35 Best Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy, Ranked by Affordability

Best Counseling Degrees - Top Master's Programs 2016
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By BCD Staff

October 2016

If you are an artistic soul with a desire to help people, that is probably what has drawn you to our ranking of the best master’s degrees in art therapy.

Art therapists integrate the traditional techniques and theories of psychotherapy with the theories and tools of art therapy. Clinicians can use art therapy for assessment, treatment, and prevention of a wide range of issues and concerns. In art therapy the artistic and creative process is used to promote healing and self understanding.

Art therapy allows clients to express themselves non verbally, making it an effective model of treatment for diverse populations including children, adults, individuals, families, couples, and groups. Art therapy is considered an effective mode of treatment for a variety of presenting concerns such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, behavioral issues, medical issues, relationship challenges, grief and loss. Art therapists can work in settings such as: private practice; mental health clinics; schools; hospitals; residential treatment centers; nursing homes; prisons; social service centers; and homeless shelters.

In order to become a professional and certified art therapist students need to graduate from a master’s program approved by the the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Approval by the AATA means that the the college or university offering the program is regionally accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and that the program offering the degree has met strict educational standards developed by the AATA Educational Program Approval Board (EPAB). This allows students to know they are investing in a rigorous, well-rounded, and complete education in the field of art therapy.

In order to become a registered art therapist students (ATR) will need to graduate from an accredited program and then go on to complete post-graduate clinical hours under the direct supervision of a credentialed art-therapist. Graduates can obtain credentialing as a Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC), the highest credential in art therapy, after successfully completing the national examination.

Many of the schools listed here will also prepare graduates for licensure as a professional counselor. Licensing requirements vary by state and we encourage you to consult the licensing board of the state you plan to practice in for specific requirements.

Please see our ranking methodology statement at the bottom of this article.

**Editors Choice:
We have chosen to highlight three schools from this list of The Best Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy. The following three schools offer master’s degrees in art therapy with the additional feature of having a low-residency option for study at the master’s level. The low-residency option allows for students to complete online coursework from home, complete clinical internships locally, and participate on-campus briefly (for residencies lasting a couple to a few weeks at a time) while in the program. If you are interested in a graduate degree in art therapy but the idea of relocating for graduate school would be preventive to you obtaining your degree, these featured schools will be of interest to you. We recommend you take an extra moment to check out these schools:

  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (#8) – Master of Arts in Art Therapy offered in the low residency/hybrid format
  • Lesley University (#20) Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Specialization in Art Therapy, offered with a low-residency option of study
  • Pratt Institute (#33) Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development, offered with a low-residency option of study

 

Ranking the Top Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy

#35 Florida State University – moved to #23 after edits received from FSU

#34 School of Visual Arts 

New York, NY

school-of-visual-arts-master-of-professional-studies-in-art-therapy

Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy

The School of Visual Arts offers a Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy. Located in New York, the program is able to utilize the diversity and creativity available in the local art community. A unique feature of the School of Visual Arts Art Therapy program is that in the second year of the program students choose either the Addictionology Track or the Trauma Track. The students second year coursework, internship and thesis project will focus around this area of specialization.

Courses include: theoretical foundations of art therapy; child art development; adolescent art development; methods and materials in art therapy; group therapy and practice; adult art development; interviewing and counseling skills; art assessment and diagnosis; multicultural issues in art therapy; and family art therapy.

  • Tuition: $1,704 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: January 15th

For more information on The School of Visual Arts

#33 Pratt Institute  

Brooklyn, NY

pratt-institute-master-of-professional-studies-in-art-therapy-and-creativity-development

Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development

A Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development (53 credits) is available from Pratt Institute. The Creative Arts Therapy department also offers a Master of Science in Dance/Movement therapy (56 credits). A unique feature of Pratt Institute is that they offer the option of a low-residency program with a spring summer intensive, with courses offered in NYC and New Hampshire. This low-residency option allows for students to pursue a degree in art therapy without having to relocate to NYC, or even for those who live in NYC and are unable to attend traditional classes due to family and/or professional commitments. The American Art Therapy Association has approved these art therapy programs at Pratt Institute.

Courses include: creative arts therapy; materials in creative art therapy; fieldwork experience and supervision; development of personality; art diagnosis; research and thesis; family art therapy; clinical diagnosis and treatment issues; the psychology of intergroup relations and intergroup process.

  • Tuition: $1,647 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 53-56
  • Application deadline: January 5th

For more information on Pratt Institute

#32 New York University 

New York, NY

new-york-university-master-of-arts-in-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Art Therapy

New York University offers a Master of Arts in Art Therapy. This well established graduate art therapy program was begun by pioneers in the field of art therapy, and was one of the first five programs to be accredited by the American Art Therapy Association. Students can complete the 50 credit program full-time or part-time. The program follows a cohort model with courses building on each previous course. A Unique feature of this program is the three week, three credit, global internship that they offer. Students pursuing this internship opportunity will work with clients from diverse backgrounds in diverse settings from orphanages to AIDS hospices around the world.

Courses include: art for art therapists; theory and practice of art therapy; art therapy with children; pictorial analysis for assessment and diagnosis; art therapy with adolescents; internship in art therapy; research in art therapy; diverse populations in art therapy; art therapy with groups; art therapy with adults; family art therapy; cultural diversity in art therapy.

  • Tuition: $1,596 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 50
  • Application deadline: February 1st

For more information on New York University

#31 School of the Art Institute of Chicago 

Chicago, IL

art-institute-of-chicago-master-of-arts-in-art-therapy-and-counseling

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling. This program emphasizes current theory and research in the field of art therapy as well as supporting students in being socially and culturally aware in their practice. A well respected art and design school, SAIC aims to meet all academic requirements to prepare their graduates to be eligible for registration as art therapists and licensure as  counselor.

Courses include: materials and media in art therapy; psychopathology; history and theory of art therapy; counseling techniques; assessment and evaluation in art therapy; group art therapy; cultural dimensions in art therapy; art therapy fieldwork; ethical and legal issues; human growth and development; family art therapy; research in art therapy; substance use; and professional development and career counseling.

  • Tuition: $1,580 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60-63
  • Application deadline: February 1st

For more information on The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

#30 The George Washington University

Alexandria, Virginia

the-george-washington-university-master-of-arts-in-art-therapy

Art Therapy Graduate Program

The George Washington University founded its Art Therapy Graduate Program in 1971. This well established program offers students numerous innovative on-campus features including: technological studio classrooms; an on-site open art studio, and a program library. Students will be exposed to the latest research on integrating trauma and art therapy. Additionally, the program offers unique study abroad options to enhance students’ understanding of social and cultural diversity with coursework and internship opportunities at locations around the world, as well as over 100 local internship opportunities.

Courses include: history and theory of art therapy; studio/technique of art therapy; marital and family art therapy and counseling; child art therapy; adolescent art therapy; research methods; counseling/art therapy process; social/ cultural diversity and art therapy; ethics and professionalism; group art therapy; substance abuse and art therapy; and advanced issues in psychotherapy and art therapy.

  • Tuition: $1,465 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 61
  • Application deadline: February 1st

For More Information on George Washington University

#29 University of Louisville 

Louisville, KY

university-of-louisville-master-of-education-in-counseling-and-personnel-services-with-concentration-in-art-therapy

Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services with Concentration in Art Therapy

Students at The University of Louisville can earn a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in Art Therapy. This was the first art therapy program established at a university. Students in the program describe the faculty as supportive and caring. The program offers unique electives including: media/ grief counseling in art therapy; art for children with special needs; and chemical and substance abuse in art therapy. Graduates of the program will be eligible to pursue registration as an art therapist.

Courses include: evaluation and measurement in education; human development; theories and techniques of counseling and psychotherapy; group process and practice; multicultural and diversity issues; career counseling; social, legal, and ethical issues; clinical art therapy; group art therapy techniques; research in art therapies; and field studies in art therapy.

  • Tuition: $1,417 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: February 1st

For more information on University of Louisville

#28 Wayne State University 

Detroit, MI

wayne-state-university-masters-degrees-in-art-therapy

Master of Education in Art Education with a concentration in Art Therapy

Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Art Therapy

Wayne State University offers both a M.Ed. in Art Education with a concentration in Art Therapy (48 credits) and a M.A. in Counseling with a concentration in Art Therapy (73 credits). Both degrees prepare graduates to be art therapists, the M.A. in Counseling allows students to also pursue licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). The faculty at Wayne State University offer students a wide range of depth and experience in the field of art therapy.

Faculty areas of expertise include: adult psychiatry; photography; working with incest survivors; working with individuals with borderline personality; working with adolescent sexual offenders; working with clients with HIV; substance abuse; oncology; grief and loss; depression; working with foster children; working with individuals in prison; and autism spectrum disorder.

  • Tuition: $1,331 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 48-75
  • Application deadline: June 1st for Fall start, October 15th for Winter start, February 1st for Spring start

For more information on Wayne State University

#27 Hofstra University 

Hempstead, NY

hofstra-university-master-of-arts-in-creative-arts-therapy

Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy

Hofstra University’s Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy has been approved by the American Art Therapy Association since 1984. This 53 credit degree can be completed on a part time or full time basis. The program offers numerous electives such as drama, poetry, and music. Graduates will be prepared to bring art therapy to diverse populations in settings from residential treatment centers to schools.

Courses include: clinical instruction in media techniques; foundations of art therapy counseling; child and adolescent development in art therapy counseling; group art therapy counseling; clinical methods in art therapy counseling; clinical applications in art therapy counseling; internship-creative arts therapy counseling; practicum-clinical practice in art therapy counseling; multicultural art therapy; counseling and helping relationships; and individual and family life cycle development.

  • Tuition: $1,240 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 53
  • Application deadline: Rolling admission

For more information on Hofstra University

#26 Adler University

Chicago, IL

adler-university-master-of-arts-in-counseling-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy

A Master of Arts in Counseling- Art Therapy is available from Adler University. Adler University is able to offer graduate students in the Art Therapy program state-of-the art classrooms and art studios as well as small class sizes to enhance learning and the artistic process. Graduates of the program have pursued careers in settings such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and residential treatment centers. Coursework and program requirements enable graduates to be eligible to pursue licensure as a professional counselor, registration as an art therapist, and the National Certified Counselor credential.

Courses include: social justice practicum; professional development, issues and ethics in art therapy, counseling and psychopathology; community psychology; adlerian theories and integrative interventions for parents and teachers; introduction to addictive disorders; basic skills for psychotherapy and the use of art therapy; socio cultural and multicultural approaches in art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; and studio art in therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy.

  • Tuition: $1,190 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 63
  • Application deadline: April 1st

For more information on Adler University

#25 Long Island University – Post Campus

Brookville, NY

long-island-university-post-campus-master-of-arts-in-clinical-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Clinical Art Therapy

Long Island University at Post offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Art Therapy. The program attracts a diverse student population, including international students, in the small class sizes of 8-22. The program trains students in the practice of art therapy with an emphasis placed on creating art. Students will display their art at least a couple of times each year. Additionally, a focus is placed on research with students attending and presenting their research at national conferences. Graduates of the program are successful in establishing careers as art therapists.

Courses include: theories in art therapy and counseling; studio-drawing, painting, and sculpture for the art therapist; history and philosophy of art therapy; career development; clinical group techniques in art therapy and counseling; theories of art therapy and counseling in child/adolescent populations; psychopathology; multicultural issues in counseling and clinical art therapy; and therapeutic systems-family art therapy and counseling.

  • Tuition: $1,178 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 51
  • Application deadline: May 1st

For more information on Long Island University

#24 Loyola Marymount University 

Los Angeles, CA

loyola-mgarymount-university-master-of-arts-in-marital-and-family-therapy-specialization-in-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy: Specialization in Art Therapy

Loyola Marymount University offers a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy with a specialization in Art Therapy. This 60 credit program can be completed in a two year full time format or a three year part time format. Students will learn to apply art and psychotherapy techniques to facilitate therapeutic growth and change in youth and families. This program at Loyola Marymount University emphasizes small class sizes and diversity. A unique study abroad/ summer immersion program is offered in collaboration with the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In this immersion program students will expand their understanding of the culture of Mexico and take for credit courses focusing on family art psychotherapy and multiculturalism and art therapy.

Courses include: art therapy literature/ assessment; art explorations; fundamentals of marriage/ family systems; child psychotherapy-theory and practice; introduction to mental health services; group psychotherapy- theory and practice; psychopathology; adolescent psychotherapy- theory and practice; theories of marriage and family therapy; adult psychotherapy; drug and alcohol treatment; introduction to research; trauma theory and treatment; cultural issues in marriage/family therapy; assessment and intervention of intimate partner violence; and human sexuality.

  • Tuition: $1,162 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: December 5th

For more information on Loyola Marymount University

#23 Florida State University  

Tallahassee, FL

florida-state-university-master-of-science-in-art-therapy

Master of Science in Art Therapy

Florida State University offers a Master of Science in Art Therapy. Students in this two year program have the chance to choose between a final project (58 credits) and a thesis (61 credits) plan of study. Additionally, students can elect to take three additional courses to be eligible for licensure as a mental health counselor in the state of Florida. This program also allows students to select an individualized specialized course of study, leading to graduation with an area of expertise. The program emphasizes the idea of art as being a social justice issue and that art can lead to change at a societal level. The department also offers a doctoral program and summer seminars.

Courses include: introduction to counseling concepts in art therapy; theories of art therapy; art therapy/ special populations; art therapy and group counseling; assessment for the practice of art therapy; art therapy issues- trauma, loss, sexual abuse; therapeutic use of art materials; interpreting and using symbols in therapy; advanced art therapy; multicultural issues and art therapy; ethics and professional issues; and family art therapy.

  • Tuition:  In-state :$479.32 per credit;  Out-of-state:  $1110.72 per credit
  • Credits required: 58-61
  • Application deadline: January 15th

For more information on Florida State University

#23 Ursuline College 

Pepper Pike, OH

ursuline-college-master-of-arts-in-counseling-and-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy

A Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Art Therapy is available from Ursuline College. Ursuline College was the first women’s College in Ohio, and currently the majority of student body is female. The program aims to support students in identifying their personal goals around being an art therapist and then support them in an individualized learning experience, enhanced by a variety of internship opportunities, and supported through mentoring. Students are encouraged to actively pursue personal growth through meeting with an individual therapist while in the program. The Counseling and Art Therapy Track requires the completion of 65 credits. Graduates will be ready to pursue licensure as a mental health counselor and certification as an art therapist. An Art Therapy Track (55 credits) is also available; graduates of this program can see certification as an Art Therapist but will not be eligible for professional licensure as a counselor.

Courses include: professional, ethical, and legal issues; history and theory of art therapy; treatment of children and adolescents; counseling theories; group process; family systems; cultural and social diversity; art therapy studio; lifestyle and career development; and psychotropic medications.

  • Tuition: $1,052 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 65
  • Application deadline: Rolling admission

For more information on Ursuline College

#22 Naropa University 

Boulder, CO

naropa-university-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-concentration-in-transpersonal-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy

Naropa University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Transpersonal Art Therapy. Naropa University distinguishes itself by integrating Eastern wisdom traditions with a liberal arts education. This 3 year 62 credit program emphasizes transpersonal psychology and contemplative studies in the practice of art therapy. Graduates will be prepared to utilize their clinical skills in working with diverse populations in settings from private practice to school and community settings.

Courses include: transpersonal art therapy orientation seminar; foundations of art therapy- studio and practicum; counseling and helping relationships- transpersonal art therapy; psychology of meditation- mindfulness training; history and theory of art therapy; civic engagement studio practicum; jungian psychology- transpersonal foundations and central concepts; meditation practicum- cultivating awareness; human growth and development; social and multicultural foundations; counseling for child and adolescent populations; diagnostic psychopathology; assessment; and career development.

  • Tuition: $995 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 62

For more information on Naropa University

#21 Springfield College 

springfield-college-master-of-science-in-art-therapycounseling

Springfield, MA

Master of Science in Art Therapy/Counseling

Students can earn a Master of Science in Art Therapy/Counseling for 63-66 credits from Springfield College. Faculty in the program prioritize being accessible to students and keep class sizes small in an effort to provide individualized attention. The Art Therapy/Counseling program collaborates with the Department of Psychology to provide psychology courses. The program emphasizes research with several courses in research theory and techniques along with a final research project.

Courses include: ethical issues for art therapy/counseling; family therapy in art therapy/counseling; multicultural issues in art therapy/counseling; counseling theory and practice of art therapy; psychopathology; human life span development; therapeutic aspects of clay; painting for the art therapist; art therapy for the elderly; art therapy and body therapies; and practicum in art therapy/counseling.

  • Tuition: $988 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 63-66
  • Application deadline: Rolling Admissions through July 25th

For more information on Springfield College

#20 Lesley University**

Cambridge, MA

lesley-university-master-of-arts-in-clinical-mental-health-counseling-with-a-specialization-in-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy

Lesley University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy. This 60 credit degree prepares graduates for registration as an art therapist and licensure as a mental health counselor. This program is offered on campus and recently added what they call the “low-residency option.” The low-residency option allows students to complete a master’s degree in expressive therapies online with limited residency requirements (3 weeks each year on campus). All students, on-campus and low-residency, complete the same courses as well as a supervised internship experience. Lesley University developed the hybrid program to be accessible for students from across the country and around the world.

Courses include: theories in art therapy; theory and practice of group work; art therapy assessment; principles and practices of expressive arts therapy; theories of mental health counseling; assessment and mental health counseling; human development across the lifespan; art therapy with older adults; art therapy with people with severe mental illness; introduction to art and the brain; family art therapy; art therapy with children and adolescents; and art therapy with traumatized adults.

#19 Caldwell University 

Caldwell, NJ

caldwell-university-master-of-arts-in-counseling-with-a-mental-health-counselingart-therapy-specialization

Master’s Degree in Counseling with Art Therapy Emphasis

Caldwell University offers a Master’s Degree in Counseling with Art Therapy Emphasis. This 63 credit program is also accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). A number of electives are available for students to choose from on a range of topics such as: spirituality in counseling for art therapists; issues in grief counseling; and sexual issues in counseling.

Courses include: introduction to mental health counseling; biopsychology; legal and ethical issues in counseling; assessment methods in counseling; career counseling; lifespan development; history and development of art therapy; counseling theory and practice for art therapists; art therapy methods in counseling; cultural diversity in counseling for art therapists; and group dynamics in counseling for art therapists.

  • Tuition: $950 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 63
  • Application deadline: April 1 for Summer start, June 1 for Fall start, December 1 for Spring Start

For more information on Caldwell University

#18 College of New Rochelle 

New Rochelle, NY

college-of-new-rochelle-master-of-science-in-art-therapycounseling

Master of Science in Art Therapy/Counseling

The Master of Science in Art Therapy/Counseling at College of New Rochelle offers several different specializations in addition to the degree. Specialization options include: studio art/art therapy; child art therapy; and art therapy and thanatology. The program emphasizes each students engagement in studio art. Graduates will be competent in integrating studio art and counseling theory into their model of therapy with clients. The program strives to provide coursework that meets state licensing requirements.

Courses include: introduction to art therapy-ethics and fieldwork; human development; art therapy assessment; psychopathology for art therapists; art therapy with groups; research methodology for art therapists; the psychology of art materials; interviewing and counseling; and counseling the culturally diverse.

  • Tuition: $930 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60

For more information on College of New Rochelle

#17 Nazareth College of Rochester 

nazareth-college-of-rochester-master-of-science-in-creative-arts-therapy-with-a-specialization-in-art-therapy

Rochester, NY

Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy with a specialization in Art Therapy

Nazareth College of Rochester offers a Master of Science in Creative Arts Therapy. This 60 credit program offers a wide range of elective courses covering topics such as yoga and play therapy. A highlight of the program is that students are able to collaborate professionally in the clinic with occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists; and physical therapists. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to intern at the on-campus art therapy, play therapy, and music therapy clinics.

Courses include: human development and assessment across the creative arts therapies; family therapy and counseling techniques; ethical and multicultural issues in clinical documentation and practice; assessment, diagnosis, and counseling; and methods and materials in art therapy. A variety of electives include: phototherapy and counseling techniques; yoga and mandala-exploring the art of transformation; alcoholic family systems and counseling; foundations of play therapy; legal and ethical issues in play therapy; yoga therapy principles and applications; and creativity, symbolism, and metaphor.

  • Tuition: $880 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: January 15th

For more information on Nazareth College of Rochester

#16 Notre Dame de Namur University (formerly College of Notre Dame)

notre-dame-de-namur-university-masters-degrees-in-art-therapy

Belmont, CA

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy with Specialization in Art Therapy

Master of Arts in Art Therapy

Notre Dame de Namur University offers both a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Art Therapy and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy. Graduates will be prepared for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) respectively, as well as a Registered Art Therapist (ATR). A Ph.D. program in Art Therapy is also available. The program integrates theory and practice. Students will have the opportunity to grow professionally through working with diverse populations in a range of settings from schools, to hospitals, to prisons.

Courses include: foundations of art therapy; introduction to clinical art therapy; communication/ counseling skills; psychological assessment; psychopathology; cross-cultural issues; human sexuality; professional ethics and law; starting a private practice; art therapy techniques; career counseling; trauma and art therapy treatment; and international and multicultural art therapy service.

  • Tuition: $872 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 63

For more information on Notre Dame de Namur University

#15 Phillips Graduate University

Chatsworth, CA

phillips-graduate-university-master-of-arts-in-psychology-with-a-major-in-marriage-and-family-therapyart-therapy

Master of Arts in Psychology with a Major in Marriage and Family Therapy/Art Therapy

Phillips Graduate University offers a Master of Arts in Psychology with a Major in Marriage and Family Therapy/Art Therapy. This Master of Arts program emphasizes the integration of marriage and family systems theory with art therapy techniques, as well as interpersonal neurobiology. Student learning is enhanced through connection with faculty and peers in small classes. Rolling admission allows students to enter the program in the spring or the fall.

Courses include: family therapy- systemic approaches; developmental psychology; foundations of counseling and psychotherapy; history and literature of art therapy; studio art therapy principles; diversity and social justice in families, schools, and other systems; abnormal psychology; art therapy approaches to assessment; art therapy dynamics and applications; art therapy approaches to addiction and trauma; couple therapy; sexuality and sex therapy; legal, ethical, and professional issues; and psychopharmacology.

  • Tuition: $854 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 64
  • Application deadline: Rolling Admissions

For more information on Phillips Graduate University

#14 Marywood University 

Scranton, PA

marywood-university-master-of-arts-in-art-therapy

Master of Arts in Art Therapy

Marywood University offers a 60 credit Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree. This program trains students to work as mental health professionals with the skills to incorporate art therapy into their practice. Students in the program, with the support of faculty, can participate in the student organization Marywood University Art Therapy Association (MUATA). MUATA allows students to do many things, including promoting art therapy and participating in personal and professional growth experiences.

Courses include: introduction to art therapy; ethical issues in art therapy; art based research and assessment; multicultural issues in art therapy; studio in art therapy; group process in art therapy; developmental dynamics in art therapy; psychopathology; child psychopathology; expressive arts workshop; trauma and resiliency in art therapy; psychology of art; art in special education; introduction to family art therapy; and art therapies: creative art therapies in the treatment of addictions.

  • Tuition: $775 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: None

For more information on Marywood University

#13 Emporia State University 

Emporia, KS

emporia-state-university-master-of-science-in-art-therapy-counseling

Master of Science in Art Therapy Counseling

Emporia State University offers a Master of Science in Art Therapy Counseling. A unique feature of the program at Emporia State University is the option to enroll in the dual degree program which allows students to earn two degrees in three years: the Master of Science in Art Therapy Counseling and the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling. The M.S. in Art Therapy Counseling can be completed in two years. This program emphasizes preparing graduates to contribute to the field of art therapy through research and practice. The program aims to attract a diverse student body and to serve diverse populations.

Courses include:Courses include: art therapy foundations; theory and practice of appraisal in counseling; diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders; art therapy group dynamics and special populations; counseling theories; introduction to art therapy research; group processes in counseling; developmental and treatment models in art therapy; ethical, professional, and legal issues; art therapy internship; multicultural issues in counseling and related fields; and relationship and family counseling.

  • Tuition: $767.25 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 57

For more information Emporia State University

#12 Eastern Virginia Medical School 

Norfolk, VA

eastern-virginia-medical-school-master-of-science-in-art-therapy-and-counseling

Master of Science in Art Therapy and Counseling

Eastern Virginia Medical School offers a Master of Science in Art Therapy and Counseling. Students can select an area of specialty from a range of options such as schools, medical, and trauma informed art therapy. Students will create art throughout their time in the program and will enjoy access to a large on campus art studio that is open 24 hours a day. This 63.5 credit hour program can be completed in two years and is taught by three full time faculty and adjunct faculty in the community.

Courses include: research methods; clinical case conference; group counseling and psychotherapy; introduction to the history and theory of art therapy; assessment; individual counseling and psychotherapy; case presentation skills; child counseling and psychotherapy skills; adolescent counseling and psychotherapy skills; art therapy in the schools; medical art therapy; trauma informed art therapy; and addictions.

  • Tuition: $767 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 63.5
  • Application deadline: February 15th

For more information on Eastern Virginia Medical School

#11 Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville 

Edwardsville, IL

southern-illinois-university-at-edwardsville-edwardsville-il-master-of-arts-in-art-therapy-counseling

Master of Arts in Art Therapy Counseling

The Department of Art and Design and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville offers a Master of Arts in Art Therapy Counseling. The program admits 10 students each year in an effort to provide students with individualized attention in small classes. This three year program prepares graduates to pursue registration as an art therapist and licensure as a counselor. This program immerses students in art therapy from the beginning, in the first year of the program students will take what they are learning in the classroom and begin their fieldwork training with children in local Head Start centers. In the second and third years of the program students are supported in selecting a practicum site (from over 100 diverse sites) that meets their individual interests and career goals.

Courses include: counseling techniques in art therapy; assessment of individuals and families; art therapy with group; family art therapy; developmental theory and art therapy; multicultural issues in art therapy; research methodology in art therapy; counseling theory and art therapy; career counseling; professional ethics and legal issues; studio art; psychopathology; and clinical application.

  • Tuition: $763 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: January 15th

For more information on Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

#10 Mount Mary University 

Milwaukee, WI

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Master of Science Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling

Mount Mary University offers a Master of Science in Art Therapy. Mount Mary University offers an art therapy program that is art-based with a clinical focus and an experiential learning philosophy. Each year students in the Master’s program participate in an opening colloquium to encourage a connected cohort and a rich art and learning community. This is one of four schools on this list that also offers a bachelor’s degree in art therapy and one of only two schools on this list that also offers a doctoral degree in art therapy. The Professional Doctorate of Art Therapy is described by Mount Mary University as “the first degree of its kind” and is designed for the credentialed art therapist that would like to advance their education with the goal of becoming an expert clinician in practice of Art Therapy. The Doctoral Degree is offered as a low-residency program combining online coursework with an annual on campus 12 day summer intensive.

Unique Feature: A unique feature of Mount Mary University is that Mount Mary is the only program on this list that includes all three levels of higher education in art therapy. Mount Mary University offers: a Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy; a Master of Science in Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling; and a Professional Doctorate of Art Therapy.

  • Tuition: $740 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 66
  • Application deadline: February 15th

For more information on Mount Mary University

#9 Seton Hill University 

Greensburg, PA

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy with Specialization in Counseling

The Master of Arts in Art therapy with a specialization in Counseling is available at Seton Hill University. The program offers experiential learning opportunities such as creating art in class. Students will learn first hand the emotional impact of art. Students will complete a final project that includes an oral presentation where they will integrate what they have learned in the classroom and through their internship experience.

Courses include: art therapy-theory and practice; art therapy with children; art therapy with groups; art therapy with families; art therapy studio; art therapy with adults; multicultural therapy; couples and family systems; psychopathology; lifespan development; counseling history and practice; assessment; and professional, legal,and ethical issues.

  • Tuition: $704 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: July 1st for Fall start, November 30th for Spring start

For more information on Seton Hill University

#8 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College**  

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is one of only three schools offering a Master of Arts in Art Therapy in the distance learning hybrid format approved by the American Art Therapy Association. Students can earn this degree through online courses, local supervised clinical experiences, and minimal residency requirements. The 60 credit program emphasizes creativity and spirituality. This program will be a good fit for students interested in building a career as art therapists or as therapists using art in their practice and who wish to earn a degree without uprooting their life.

Courses include: theories and techniques of art therapy; assessment techniques of art therapy; multicultural art therapy; clinical art therapy; art therapy through the lifespan; art therapy and spiritual growth; internship in art therapy; group dynamics and counseling; professional ethics and business practices; research- thesis or major project; psychopathology; and theories and techniques of counseling.

  • Tuition: $703 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: April 30th

For more information on Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

#7 Antioch University – Seattle 

Seattle, WA

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Master of Arts in Counseling, Art Therapy with Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy, Art Therapy Specialization combined with Couple and Family Therapy (CFT)

Antioch University in Seattle offers two master’s degrees with an art therapy focus: The Master of Arts in Counseling, Art Therapy with Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as the Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy, Art Therapy Specialization combined with Couple and Family Therapy (CFT). Students in the program have had the opportunity to share their expertise and research at local conferences as well as in peer-reviewed journals. Graduates will be prepared to utilize art therapy in all aspects of clinical practice. The program emphasizes multicultural competence. Antioch University strives to offer scheduling options to meet the needs of all students. Courses are offered Monday through Thursday (late afternoon and evenings) for local students and Thursday evening and Friday all day for students who need to travel from further away.

Courses include: advanced art therapy assessment; art therapy in diverse settings- individual and group; art therapy master’s project or art therapy thesis; developmental and treatment models in art therapy; ethical issues in art therapy; family group art therapy; family of origin systems and art therapy; history and theory of art therapy; and multicultural perspectives and art therapy.

  • Tuition: $700 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 75-79
  • Application deadline: Rolling admission

For more information on Antioch University-Seattle

#6 Albertus Magnus College 

New Haven, CT

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy

Albertus Magnus College offers a 60 credit Master of Arts in Art Therapy. This program attends to the importance of respect for diversity and attention to ethics in the practice of art therapy. Students will learn to integrate art, theory, and science as clinicians in the field of art therapy. Informational sessions are offered several times throughout the year in an effort to provide interested applicants with the opportunity to learn more about the field of art therapy, meet faculty, and ask any questions they may have about the program.

Courses include: foundations of art therapy; field work in art therapy; professional practices-ethical standards and legal issues; art therapy with children; theory and practice of group art therapy; art therapy in a multicultural world; art therapy in substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment; art therapy assessment; art in counseling and therapy; the origin of art; theories of counseling; psychological assessment; psychopathology; career counseling; and thesis.

  • Tuition: $668 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: Rolling Admissions

For more information on Albertus Magnus College

#5 Drexel University 

Philadelphia, PA

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling

The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University offers a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling. Founded in 1967, this was the first master’s program in the world to offer an education in art therapy. This is a 90 credit degree that includes a thesis. The program emphasizes having an understanding of the client’s experience in the process of art therapy. The significance of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is also highlighted. Also, worth noting is that Drexel University is one of two Universities on this list that also offers a Doctoral degree in Art Therapy with their Ph.D. in Creative Art Therapies. The doctoral program may be of interest to students who have a master’s degree in art therapy and wish to pursue a career in academics and research with the goal of advancing the field of art therapy.

Courses include: introduction to creative arts therapy; human psychological development; group dynamics in counseling and psychotherapy; social and cultural foundations in counseling and psychotherapy; art therapy assessment and treatment for adults; art therapy theory and symbolism; art therapy group supervision; medical art therapy; forensic art therapy; and art therapy in an educational setting.

  • Tuition: $649 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 90
  • Application deadline: January 15th

For more information on Drexel University

#4 Marylhurst University 

Marylhurst, OR

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy Counseling

Marylhurst University offers a Master of Arts in Art Therapy Counseling. This 90 credit program can be completed in twenty one months (or longer if students desire a slower pace). Marylhurst offers summer workshops for individuals who are interested in the field of art therapy and wish to learn more before applying to the program or for individuals seeking continuing education credits. The program follows a cohort model, with small class sizes, allowing for students to get to know one another and support each other throughout the program. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure as a professional counselor, credentialing as board-certified art therapist, and credentialing as a national board-certified counselor.

Courses include: theories of counseling and psychotherapy; social and cultural foundations of counseling; introduction to art therapy; the helping relationship-counseling/art therapy technique; cross-cultural counseling and art therapy; professional orientation and ethics; family and couples therapy; and art therapy practicum studio.

  • Tuition: $628 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 90
  • Application deadline: January 31st

For more information on Marylhurst University

#3 Southwestern College 

Santa Fe, NM

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Master of Arts in Art Therapy/Counseling

Southwestern College offers a Master of Arts in Art Therapy/Counseling. Students can complete the program in two to three and a half years, depending if they want to be enrolled full or part time. Additionally, students can enroll throughout the year. The program emphasizes attention to the spiritual aspect of art. Students in this program will engage in art projects consistently throughout their time at Southwestern College. The program works to create a sense of community for and between students and faculty. A unique feature of this program is that students are required to participate in 40 hours of their own therapy with a licensed clinician, allowing students to grow personally and professionally.

Courses include: applied theories of human development; counseling theory and practice; history of art therapy-founders and foundations; art therapy techniques-studio art; theories of art therapy/counseling; multicultural perspectives in art therapy/counseling with diverse populations; professional ethics in art therapy/counseling; career and life development; group dynamics; and research methods.

  • Tuition: $540 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 91
  • Application deadline: Rolling Admissions

For more information on Southwestern College

#2 Concordia University 

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapies

Located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Concordia University offers a Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapies. This is the only accredited art training program of it’s kind in Canada. This program is accredited by both the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Graduates of this program will be well rounded in the history and techniques of art therapy as well as the current best practices and research of the field. All students complete a practicum experience and final research project.

Courses include: readings in art therapy; symbolic imagery and art therapy; art therapy practicum supervision; counseling skills for creative art therapists; ethics in clinical practice; group and family art therapy; topics in clinical psychology; research in the creative art therapies; assessment techniques in art therapy; child and adolescent art therapy; and art therapy skills- special problems.

  • Tuition: $531.43 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 60
  • Application deadline: January 15th

For more information on Concordia University

#1 Adler Graduate School 

Richfield, MN

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Master of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy with an emphasis in Art Therapy

A Master of Arts Degree in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy with an emphasis in Art Therapy is available from Adler Graduate School. Students interested in the Art Therapy concentration will select the Marriage and Family Therapy track (69 credits) or the Mental Health Counseling track (75 credits); the Art Therapy concentration is integrated into these tracks. Adlerian theory and technique is integrated throughout the programs. Graduates will be eligible for registration as an art therapist and also for their respective licensure (LMFT or LPCC).

Courses include: abnormal psychology and DSM-5; developmental psychology; introduction to adlerian psychology and child guidance; values, ethics, and legalities in art therapy; essential interviewing skills; clinical assessment; systems of family therapy; couples counseling; foundations of art therapy; art therapy assessment; art therapy with special populations; multicultural art therapy; practicum in art therapy; and internship in art therapy.

  • Tuition: $530 / Credit Hour
  • Credits required: 69-75
  • Application deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout year

For more information on Adler Graduate School

 

Methodology: A list was compiled from the American Art Therapy Association website of schools offering masters programs in Art Therapy. Each program’s website was searched for tuition information (per credit hour). Schools were then ranked on tuition, lowest to highest.

 

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