Art Therapy Graduate Programs with Course Information

Art therapists help their clients through artwork. The entry-level education requirement for an art therapist is a master's degree. Schools vary in the breadth of subject matter offered and in additional credentialing options.

View 3 Popular Schools »

Choosing a Graduate Program in Art Therapy

Graduate degree programs in art therapy are available at 4-year colleges and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Credentialing requirements and accreditation
  • Program curriculum
  • Funding options

Credentialing Requirements and Accreditation

To become a registered art therapist credentialed by the Art Therapy Credentials Board, students must complete a master's degree program and supervised clinical work. Programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and approved by the American Art Therapy Association.

Program Curriculum

Students will want to look for a program with a broad curriculum that prepares them to facilitate artistic production with clients and help them understand the artwork produced. Students may want to look for programs that also prepare them to become licensed marriage and family therapists in order to broaden their career options. A practicum is required by most programs, but students with an interest in a particular population or setting may look for programs that offer a practicum that fits their interests.

Funding Options

It is important to note that, while these programs do not focus on art in the same way a professional creative degree program such as a Master of Fine Arts program does, most students do produce artwork during their studies, and many develop artistic portfolios. Students may want to seek programs with teaching or research assistantships, fellowships or other funding options.

Graduate Programs in Art Therapy Overviews

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Art Therapy

Students in master's programs complete coursework in:

  • Psychological assessment
  • Psychopathology
  • History of art therapy
  • Counseling skills

Most programs require courses in research methodology and some require a project or thesis. Students may also be required to complete a practicum. Students must hold at least a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted to these programs unless the program is a joint B.A./M.A. program. Prior coursework covering some psychology topics is required. The strongest candidates have bachelor's degrees in art or psychology. Students who already have a master's degree in a related field can pursue 1-year programs to fulfill the requirements to become a registered art therapist.

Doctoral Programs in Art Therapy

Doctoral programs in art therapy are not as common as master's degree programs. Doctoral programs require students to have a master's degree in art therapy before being admitted. Additionally, candidates must have experience as an art therapist. Both professional and research doctoral programs are available in art therapy, and both types of programs take 2-3 years to complete.

Professional doctoral programs teach:

  • Advanced therapeutic techniques
  • Teaching skills
  • Administration and leadership skills

Research doctoral programs focus more on preparing students to conduct original research and teach at the collegiate level. Many programs require a comprehensive exam, and some require either a dissertation or a special culminating project. Some programs require a practicum as well.

Show me popular schools

Related to Art Therapy Graduate Programs

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Best Schools with Art Therapy Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Learn about art therapy programs leading to graduate degrees. This article identifies two of the best programs in the nation in...

Art Therapy Graduate School Information: How to Choose a School

Art therapy utilizes psychoanalysis and artistic creativity as a therapeutic means to evaluate and rehabilitate patients....

Christian Art Therapy Education and Training Program Info

Christian art therapy is an art therapy field specifically focused on integrating psychological care with discussion of...

Best Art Therapy Schools: List of Top U.S. Schools

Art therapists use visual arts, such as drawing or painting, to evaluate and treat patients with emotional, physical, cognitive...

Art Therapy Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
        • Art Therapist
        • Music Therapist
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
        • Art Therapist
        • Physical Therapy
        • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • New Mexico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
        • Art Therapist
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Hofstra University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Mental Health Services
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
        • Art Therapist
        • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright