The thesis track (Plan A) provides students with the opportunity to complete research under the guidance of experienced faculty researchers at CSU. This track may be attractive to students whose future goals include conducting clinical research and/or completing a Ph.D. The thesis track requires commitment on the part of the student and also the mentoring faculty. Students are therefore required to invite a faculty advisor for their project who will be their primary contact throughout the thesis process. This guide outlines the process and requirements for completion of the thesis.
- Students wishing to pursue a thesis must first secure a faculty member from music therapy to serve as their thesis advisor. Faculty are not required to agree to be on your thesis committee and are limited in the number of projects they can chair.
- Students will submit the GS6 as Plan B unless they have an approved pre-proposal. Following the approval of the pre-proposal, students will be considered Plan A.
- Students will enroll in MU 699 (3 credits) the semester they defend their thesis in order to be graded on the final thesis product and defense.
- Students will work with their thesis advisor on the pre-proposal, thesis proposal, and final draft - submitting to committee with the approval of their advisor. Once the student has sent the full thesis proposal to the committee, there will be no option to change to Plan B; students will be required to complete the project.
- Students who complete a thesis will not need to complete the final common exam.
- Students should maintain realistic expectations for the formation and completion of a thesis. Typically, the thesis adds one year to the student’s program.
This course can be applied toward:
Dr. Blythe LaGasse is coordinator and associate professor of music therapy at Colorado State University. For over eleven years, she has been a music therapist specializing in working with children with autism spectrum disorders. She continues to provide services to children in Fort Collins and works at summer intensive therapy camps.
At CSU, Dr. LaGasse teaches undergraduate and graduate coursework in music therapy, coordinates the music therapy clinics, and directs the Music Therapy Distance Learning Program.
Dr. LaGasse holds degrees from the University of Kansas (Ph.D. with music therapy and communication neuroscience emphasis), Colorado State University (M.M. in music, music therapy), and University of Kansas (B.M. in music therapy). Additionally, she was certified in neurologic music therapy (NMT) and was a trainer for the NMT Academy for eight years. With a strong background in communication neuroscience, her research interests include the use of music to improve communication and cognitive skills in children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. LaGasse has publications in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, the Journal of Music Therapy, Music Therapy Perspectives, and Music and Medicine. She has served as the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) council coordinator for professional practices and the Midwestern Region AMTA president. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Music Therapy and Music Therapy Perspectives.