Skip to content
Music Therapy guitar classMusic Therapy student playing guitar for a classroom of childrenMusic Therapy student playing guitar at a school
  • Print

Music Therapy

Record of Excellence

As one of the pioneering programs in the U.S., the music therapy program at the University of the Pacific offers accredited undergraduate and graduate programs that have produced outstanding music therapists. Additionally, Pacific is the only school in California that offers advanced level training in music therapy through our Master's degree program. In Spring 2014 the University of the Pacific held an event entitled, 75 Years of Music Therapy: A Celebratory Symposium which celebrated the storied history of the program and featured presentations by past and current music therapy students and faculty.

At Pacific, dedicated faculty and small class sizes support high quality learning, individualized mentoring, and professional development of students all of whom enjoy successful and rewarding careers.  Our proximity to community human service agencies and the Health Sciences Clinics provides students the understanding and skills needed to collaborate with other health and educational professionals.

On October 7, 2014, Associate Professor Dr. Feilin Hsiao was featured on The Academic Minute, a nationally-syndicated radio program from WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Dr. Hsiao spoke about how cochlear implants can bring music to those who previously could not enjoy it. You can listen to her segment below. 

On February 27, 2012, the University of the Pacific's music therapy programs were featured in a PBS NewsHour segment titled The Healing Power of Music Therapy.

Which Program is Right for Me?

  • Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy: (Stockton campus only) This program is designed for first-time freshmen or transfer students seeking entry-level training in music therapy and the professional designation as a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC)
  • Two-Year Master of Arts, Music Therapy: (Stockton and San Francisco campuses) This program is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in Music Therapy (or it's equivalent) who are Board Certified (or MT-BC eligible). Students in this program seek advanced skill in the area of clinical practice and/or research by completing advanced coursework, fieldwork, and a culminating project (e.g. thesis or clinical project).
  • Three-Year Plus Internship Master of Arts, Music Therapy: (Stockton and San Francisco campuses) This program is designed for those with a bachelor's degree in music or related fields (e.g. psychology, special education, etc.) who seek both entry- and advanced-level training in music therapy. During the first two years, students focus on the completion of all entry-level music therapy courses and competencies, as well as some graduate-level courses. This is followed by the clinical internship required to sit for the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) exam. After internship, students return to the university to complete advanced coursework, fieldwork, and a culminating graduate project (e.g., thesis or clinical project).

A Unique Career Opportunity

Music Therapy is one of the fastest growing health professions and is considered one of the best careers in today's job market (click here for details). Job growth exceeds the number of new music therapists entering the profession.

Music therapy is an established healthcare and human services profession that uses music as a vehicle to improve quality of life, optimize health and wellness, and address the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Highly trained and nationally Board-Certified Music Therapists use music-based interventions in a focused and concentrated manner to bring about healing and change, building on the inherent qualities of music to promote physical, emotional, cognitive, and social functioning. 

Additional information is available from the following organizations:
American Music Therapy Association
The Certification Board for Music Therapists

Music Therapy Faculty

Feilin Hsiao
Associate Professor of Music Therapy, 2006
M.A., New York University
Ph.D., University of Iowa  

Eric Waldon
Associate Professor of Music Therapy, 2011
B.M., Western Michigan University
M.A., Ph.D., University of the Pacific 

B.M. Music Therapy 4-Year Plan