Music Therapy, B.M.

Pending AMTA approval


The mission of the music therapy program is to prepare graduates, grounded in a Christian worldview, to use their musical gifts and skills, and therapeutic techniques to enhance the well-being of those with physical and emotional disorders.  

Degree Program

The Bachelor of Music degrees are offered upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements. The major requirements include completing 96 credits.

Students interested in pursuing this degree must demonstrate a high level of commitment to music therapy as a profession.

Special Programs/Opportunities


The Conservatory provides opportunities for experience in several types of vocal and instrumental ensembles, including the Biola Chorale, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensembles. All are open to non-music majors as well as music majors by audition.

Concert Series

The Conservatory concert series features outstanding guest artists and student ensembles.

Masterclasses and Artist-in-Residence Program

Opportunities for participating in masterclasses with guest artists are available annually. Of special note is the ongoing series of masterclasses and recitals by world-renowned artists, including Menahem Pressler, pianist, Artist-in-Residence.

Local Opportunities

The Southern California area provides exceptional opportunities for hearing the world's leading artists, as well as outstanding college and church music performances.

Service Opportunities

The Los Angeles metropolitan area offers many opportunities for remunerative service in music. There are frequent openings for competent church choir directors, soloists, accompanists, instrumentalists, and organists.


Music awards in varying amounts are available to qualified students. Complete information is available by emailing or by writing:

Director, Conservatory of Music
Biola University
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639-0001

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, students will be able to:

  1. Present themselves as skilled musicians demonstrating proficiency and functional therapeutic musical skills in piano, voice, guitar, and a major performing instrument/voice (ULO 3).
  2. Utilize a variety of musical styles from various periods and cultures to facilitate therapeutic intervention (ULO 3).
  3. Become effective therapists through self-inquiry, authenticity, and an understanding of the dynamics of the therapist/client relationship (ULO 1, 2, 3).
  4. Demonstrate knowledge concerning the cultural, sociological, psychological, and biological perspectives of music as a phenomena of humanity (ULO 1, 3).
  5. Accurately assess the needs of a variety of clinical populations and develop appropriate music therapy treatment protocols for individual and group settings (ULO 1, 3).
  6. Develop an appropriate and effective clinical writing style to document client response and progress, and to contribute to the professional body of knowledge through research and scholarly publications (ULO 3).
  7. Cultivate and shape an individual, unique therapeutic style through continual/ongoing personal and professional growth and development (ULO 1, 2, 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

All students seeking admission must demonstrate musical background and performance strengths necessary for successful completion of the stated curriculum. Admission into Biola University does not guarantee admission into the Conservatory as a music major. A student will be admitted to the Conservatory of Music after:

  1. Meeting requirements for University admission.
  2. Completing a Conservatory application with the required number of references.
  3. Completing a Conservatory audition, including a basic musicianship examination designed to demonstrate university level music study readiness.

After acceptance and upon entrance, students will be given placement examinations and auditions in music dictation, keyboard skills and performance. These examinations are given for the purpose of validating prior study and determining proper placement in music courses. Specific information concerning the content of these examinations and suggestions for preparation are available by contacting the Conservatory Office.

Transfer of Credit/Advanced Standing

With the exception of courses in music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance, courses taken at other regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States will be accepted on a comparable course basis.

Prior study in the areas of music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance will be validated through placement examinations.

Advanced standing may be gained through placement examinations in the areas of music theory, sight-singing and dictation, keyboard skills, and individual performance; however, no credit(s) will be given for waived courses. Waiver of courses on the basis of placement examinations without comparable prior course credit will increase elective credits required.

Credit for courses taken at a non-accredited college or university will be granted only through placement or challenge examinations.

Applied Music

In order to graduate, music students must reach primary applied proficiency level standards designated for each degree program. Applied Music lessons are guided by faculty or studio artists who have expertise and professional experience in the voice or instrument under study. Studio artists are affiliated with Biola via independent contracts and thus do not undergo the same process for hire as do faculty. The studio artists are all highly competent individuals who appreciate Biola and endorse the goals of the Conservatory, but their theological conceptualization has not undergone the same close review as that of the faculty. For more information, see the Conservatory Office.

GPA Requirements

Students in the degree program must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the major and receive a minimum grade of "C" in each required course.

Integration Seminar Requirement

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree program are required to take BBST 465 as "Redeeming Culture through Music" (this course fulfills the integration seminar Bible requirement).

Curriculum Requirements

Program-Specific Core Requirement
Candidates for Bachelor of Music degree are exempt from the Core Curriculum requirement in foreign language, literature, and fine arts.
Human Anatomy 1
Program Core Music Studies Courses
Major Ensembles (Vocal)4
Biola Chorale
Women's Chorus
Men's Chorus
MUSC 002Chamber Music Ensemble (Percussion Ensemble)1
MUSC 013Worship and Popular Music Ensemble3
MUSC 100Keyboard I1
MUSC 102Voice Class1
MUSC 104Guitar Class1
MUSC 118Keyboard II1
MUSC 119Keyboard III1
MUSC 145Applied Music 24
MUSC 153Sight-Singing and Dictation I2
MUSC 154Music Theory I2
MUSC 163Sight-Singing and Dictation II2
MUSC 164Music Theory II2
MUSC 200Concert Music 30
MUSC 211Improvisation for Non Keyboardists: Concepts/Practices2
or MUSC 217 Improvisation for Keyboardists: Concepts/Practices
MUSC 300Concert Music 30
MUSC 317Survey of Western Music I: Classical thru Mid-Twentieth Century3
MUSC 318Survey of Western Music II: Medieval thru Baroque3
MUSC 323Basic Conducting2
MUSC 332Music for Children2
MUSC 347Music Technology and Production2
MUSC 348Vocal and Instrumental Arranging for Schools2
MUSC 353Sight-Singing and Dictation III1
MUSC 354Music Theory III2
MUSC 363Sight-Singing and Dictation IV1
MUSC 364Music Theory IV2
MUSC 410Music Cultures of the World3
MUSC 445Applied Music 44
MUSC 470Senior Recital/Final Project0
Studies in Music Therapy and Clinical Foundations
MUSC 105Foundations and Principles of Music Therapy3
MUSC 218Music Therapy Methods and Techniques3
MUSC 225Psychology of Music3
MUSC 228Music Therapy with Various Populations3
MUSC 326Influence of Music on Behavior3
MUSC 461Internship in Music Therapy 56
MUSC 484Music Therapy Research3
PSYC 200Introduction to Psychology3
PSYC 306Psychological Testing and Assessment3
PSYC 309Abnormal Psychology3
PSYC 320Developmental Psychology: Lifespan3
PSYC 365Cognitive Psychology3
PSYC 418Seminar in Therapeutic Techniques3
Total Credits96

NOTE: The course sequence table is designed by the major department and is one way that the classes will work out properly in sequence for your major. However, there are alternative or flexible ways to rotate some of the classes within the same year/level and sometimes between year levels. Please contact your major department advisor to discuss flexible alternatives in scheduling the sequence of your classes.

Taking coursework during the summer session may also be an option to accelerate your degree path.

See Core Curriculum Program section for a list of approved Core Curriculum courses.

Music Therapy B.M. (MUTP)

First Year
BBST 103 or 1653BBST 103 or 1653
Music courses5Music courses4
MUSC 1053MUSC 2183
PSYC 2003BIOS 254 (required)4
ENGL 100 or 1123 
GNST 1021 
 18 14
Total Credits 32
Second Year
BBST 209 or 2103BBST 209 or 2103
Music courses5BBST 2513
MUSC 2253Music courses6
PSYC 3063MUSC 2283
KNES 1071PSYC 3093
Communication (see Core Curriculum)3 
 18 18
Total Credits 36
Third Year
BBST 3543BBST 3653
Music courses8Music courses11
MUSC 3263Graduation Petition due in Registrar's Office
PSYC 3203 
KNES Activity1 
Writing Competency Requirement 
 18 14
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
BBST 465 (Redeeming Culture Thru Music - required)3BBST 300/400 Bible Elective3
Music courses9BBST 306, 316, or 3263
MUSC 4843Music courses2
Philosophy (see Core Curriculum)3PSYC 3653
 PSYC 4183
 ENGL 3133
 18 17
Total Credits 35
Fifth Year
MUSC 4616
Music courses4
ANTH 200, SOCI 220, or SOCI 262 (required for Beh Sci Core Curr)3
HIST 200, 201, or POSC 2253
Total Credits 16