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Preparing for Careers in Music Therapy at Westminster

Westminster College’s School of Music has an Affiliation Agreement with Duquesne University’s School of Music in the field of Music Therapy. As a part of this Affiliation Agreement, students pursue a bachelor’s degree in music at Westminster. They may then be admitted to Duquesne’s Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Music Therapy (PBCMT) program which will provide them with the appropriate credentials to become music therapists.

Westminster students must meet the following requirements. After doing so, students may apply for PBCMT at Duquesne University, and must audition into their program. Students who are fulfilling the terms of this Agreement will be given priority consideration for admission to Duquesne’s PBCMT. Duquesne’s PBCMT program then enables students who have bachelor’s degrees to take the necessary coursework to become certified music therapists.


Courses to Take at Westminster

  1. Students attending Westminster are require to take the following coursework at Westminster to prepare them for admission to Duquesne’s PBCMT program:
    • MUS 121: Music Theory 1 and MUS 121P: Aural Skills Practicum 1
    • MUS 122: Music Theory 2 and MUS 122P: Aural Skills Practicum 2
    • MUS 123: Music Theory 3 and MUS 123P: Aural Skills Practicum 3
    • MUS 124: Music Theory 4 and MUS 124P: Aural Skills Practicum 4
    • MUS 141: History of Western Music to 1750
    • MUS 142: History of Western Music from 1750
    • Applied Lessons in Major Instrument (8 semesters)
    • Large Ensemble Credits with VP Designation (4 semesters)
    • Large Ensemble Credits at the 500 level (4 semesters)
    • Senior Capstone Thesis (Music Therapy Topic recommended)
    • Guitar Lessons (may substitute electives if guitar concentrator; 2 semesters)
    • Piano Lessons (may substitute electives if piano concentrator; 2 semesters)
    • Voice Lessons (may substitute electives if voice concentrator; 2 semesters)
    • MUS 271: Basic Conducting
    • MUS 367: Jazz Improvisation or MUS 341: Percussion Lessons (choose 1)
    • PSY 101: Introduction to General Psychology
    • PSY 201: Statistical Methods and Analysis
    • PSY 401: Abnormal Psychology
    • SED 201: Foundations of Special Education
    • BIO 101: Concepts of Biology
    • MTH 131: Applied Calculus
    • *Additional recommended music courses:
      MUS 102 – Introduction to Ethnomusic;
      MUS 130 – Psychology of Music**; more guitar, piano, voice, jazz improvisation, or percussion lessons as schedule allows
    • *Additional recommended psychology courses:
      PSY 221 – Childhood and Adolescence;
      PSY 291 – Adulthood and Aging;
      PSY 431 – Developmental Psychopathology**

    **Note: These courses must be completed by the time the post-baccalaureate certification is completed at Duquesne. It is best to complete these courses at Westminster.

  2. Westminster students are required to acquire the following skills:
    • Read lead sheets
    • Harmonize with the left hand of the piano while playing melody in the right hand and leading group singing in several different rhythmic styles: e.g., blues, country, pop, sacred
    • Harmonize with right and left hands while strongly carrying a melody with the voice
  3. Ordinarily, Westminster students are required to have attained a cumulative GPA of 3.25 prior to admission to Duquesne’s PBCMT program.

  4. Audition: Westminster students are required to apply and audition for Duquesne’s PBCMT program.

  5. As a part of this Affiliation Agreement, Duquesne would give Westminster graduates priority consideration for admission into its PBCMT program contingent upon a successful audition. A maximum of two Westminster College students per year will be given priority consideration.

  6. Westminster students who enter the PBMTP program at Duquesne must meet all Duquesne University requirements in order to complete the program.


Requirements for Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Music Therapy at Duquesne Univ.

1 + Year Program Includes:

On-Campus Curriculum

  • Clinical Music Courses
  • Music Therapy Courses
  • Behavioral Sciences Courses
  • Clinical Training Practica Courses (a minimum of 180 hours)

Additional Off-Campus Internship

  • Eligibility to attend requires successful completion of on-campus curriculum*
  • A minimum of 1,020 hours required beyond the 4-year, on-campus curriculum
    - Approximately 6 months on a full-time basis
    - Longer on a part-time basis
  • Application process
    - Individual selection of AMTA National Roster Internships
    - Completion of, at minimum, four applications
    - Interview with internship supervisors*
  • Financial responsibilities - Student typically furnishes room and board
    - Often unpaid
    - Frequently involves relocation
  • Course registration for Music Therapy Internship (MUTH 400)
    - Retains full-time student status
    - Does not involve university tuition/fees
  • Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy degree conferred after successful completion of internship Professional Credential Board Certification
  • Provide documentation of completed curriculum and clinical training hours
  • Pass written exam

*Eligibility for and acceptance to internship is not guaranteed. Duquesne University students are required to achieve at least a B grade in their music therapy courses to remain in the program. The Duquesne University Music Therapy Program has a long history of students successfully attaining and completing internships and passing the board certification exam.


Professional Credential

Board Certification

  • Provide documentation of completed curriculum and clinical training hours
  • Pass written exam



What can you do with a Music degree?

Imagine yourself a music educator, performer in a symphony orchestra or opera company, college professor, symphony manager, or sales manager for a recording company.