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Art Therapy Graduate Programs with Course Information

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

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Choosing a Graduate Program in Art Therapy

To become a Registered Art Therapist credentialed by the Art Therapy Credentials Board, students must complete a master's level 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.

Students will want to look for a program with a broad curriculum that prepares them to facilitate artistic production with clients and to help their clients 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.

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 degree program does, most students do produce work 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 and ethics. Most programs require courses in research methodology and some require a research project or thesis. 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-level degree in art therapy before being admitted. Additionally, candidates must have experience as an art therapist. Both professional doctoral programs 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 and administration and leadership skills. Research doctoral programs prepare students to conduct original research and teach at the collegiate level. Many programs require a comprehensive exam, and some require either a dissertation or special culminating project.

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Art Therapy Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    When would you like to start classes?

  • 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 be 23 years of age or older
    • Must have 3 years of relevant work experience for a Master of Business Administration
    • Must have 5 years of relevant work experience all other Master's degrees
    • Must have at least 5 years of managerial work experience for a Doctorate degree
    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:
    • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

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

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Occupational Therapy

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Science in Education - Allied Health Teaching and Leadership

    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

Popular Schools

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