Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lori Gooding


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) provides updates of diagnostic criteria and it is crucial that clinicians from all relevant fields are aware of new terminology. Music therapists are increasingly being added to interdisciplinary teams and need to efficiently communicate with other professionals. This study aimed to discover if current music therapy students are familiar with the DSM-5 before they enter their professional practice. Music therapy students from two American Music Therapy Association-approved universities completed a survey aimed to assess their use and knowledge of the DSM-5. A total of 58 participants were included in the analysis. Findings from the survey revealed that seniors had a higher level of knowledge of the DSM-5 and referred to it in their courses more so than freshmen and sophomores. However, a high rate of students indicated that they did not discuss the DSM enough in their music therapy courses, non-music therapy courses, and clinical experiences. If more universities were sampled in future studies, educational programs could closely examine the preparedness of music therapy students with regards to DSM training and then make curriculum modifications as needed.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons