Ph.D. in Music Therapy

Apply to Herron's Ph.D. in Music Therapy program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Music Therapy is an Indiana University degree. The flexible 90-credit-hour online or on-campus curriculum provides opportunities to explore the vast ways music can benefit health and well-being as you begin your independent research program. You will also have the chance to prepare for faculty positions in one of the fastest growing music professions.


A minimum of 3 years (or its equivalent) of clinical practice as a music therapist is required to apply to the Ph.D. program in Music Therapy. Applicants must also provide evidence of Music Therapy Board Certification (MT-BC).

Transfer credits or direct admit

For applicants who have already completed a Master’s Degree, a transcript review by the music therapy graduate committee will determine if any credits qualify are applicable to the Ph.D. requirements. If the applicant completed a thesis-based Master’s Degree, up to thirty (30) credits can be transferred. Specifically, up to twenty-one (21) credits of graded graduate coursework (equivalent to 500-level or higher) can be applied and up to nine (9) credits of appropriate Master’s thesis-level research credit can be applied. If the applicant completed a “coursework only” master’s degree, up to twenty-one (21) credits of graded graduate coursework (equivalent to 500-level or higher) can be applied.

Applicants entering the program post-B.S. who are interested in earning an M.S. in Music Therapy prior to continuing their Ph.D. work will be advised to take appropriate coursework and if applicable, Master’s thesis-level research credit, that qualifies toward the Ph.D. in Music Therapy requirements.

Application components

To begin the application process, visit IU Indianapolis' online graduate application.

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Applicants must provide evidence of current board-certification status (MT-BC).

Submit a short essay discussing the applicant’s ideas for doctoral research and arguing how their expertise and interests make them the a strong candidate for pursuing this research. In preparing this statement, applicants should identify the faculty member(s) that they are most interested in working with. The statement of purpose should not exceed three double-spaced pages.

You will be asked to provide contact details (i.e. names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) of three recommenders from professionals familiar with your academic, clinical, or research background.

Recommenders will only receive an electronic request after you've submitted your online application. In the online framework, they will be asked to discuss aspects of your academic or professional performance, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Recommenders must submit their recommendations electronically.

Official transcripts from each institution you attended must be sent to Herron's Office of Admissions and Student Services. Official transcripts must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and completion of a bachelor's degree.

If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your academic record through your current term of study is acceptable. If admitted to Herron, you must submit a final, official transcript verifying the completion and award of your degree.

For international students, if the original documents are not in English, a verified translation must be sent with your official transcripts.

Submitting electronic transcripts

If your institution(s) can submit official transcripts electronically, they can be emailed to

If your school is sending limited-time login credentials that allow us to access their transcript system, be sure to make your request during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST).

Emailed unofficial PDFs of transcripts will not be accepted.

Submitting mailed hard copies

If there is an extenuating circumstance preventing the submission of official electronic transcripts, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Services at with an explanation and a representative will provide detailed mailing instructions.

Note: We do not require transcripts from Indiana University campuses.

Proof of English proficiency is required for international students unless the applicant's undergraduate degree is from a university that is located in a country where English is the official language.

Most commonly, students submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. TOEFL scores must total 79 or higher on the internet-based test (550 or higher on the paper-based test). IELTS scores must total 6.5 or higher.

Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to IU Indianapolis by the testing agency. The IU Indianapolis reporting code for TOEFL is 1325. Other tests or ELS coursework may be accepted in order to verify English proficiency.

For a list of all options and minimum scores required, please see the IU Indianapolis Office of International Affairs English Requirements.

For a full list of required documents, please visit the IU Indianapolis Office of International Affairs.


As the final step in the application process, semi-finalists will be contacted for an in-person or telephone interview with the graduate program director or a graduate faculty member.

Application fees

  • IU Indianapolis online graduate application fee: $70 for all applicants

Application deadlines

January 15: Deadline to submit your completed online application

January 22: Deadline to submit all supplemental materials

Technology and equipment requirements

Music Technology and Music Therapy students in the Department of Music and Arts Technology are required to have core technology elements prior to enrollment. The specific requirements vary between programs based on the curricular needs of each degree and can be found on our technical requirements page.


Ask an admissions advisor, or contact Herron's Office of Admissions and Student Services directly at 317-278-9400 or