Nikita Nath
Written By - Nikita Nath

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The Master’s in Art Therapy online program offers an innovative mental health treatment approach, utilizing recreation-based activities to support clients. Students develop social perceptiveness, active listening, and critical thinking skills, creating a therapeutic environment to help individuals explore emotions and address challenges effectively. The field shows promising career prospects, with a projected 18% growth in employment for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors by 2032, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics[1]. Art Therapy encompasses expressive and counseling approaches, using various arts to communicate emotions and explore thoughts. This guide outlines key aspects of the online master’s in art therapy degree program, including curriculum, specializations, accreditation, and career options.

Masters in Art Therapy Online

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

The Best Master’s in Art Therapy Online Degree Programs

Numerous universities provide online Master’s programs in Art Therapy. To thoroughly review multiple programs, the OMC team employs a methodology that considers various factors for evaluation, including program and school accreditation, the program’s structure, faculty expertise, student support, internship prospects, infrastructure, and affordability. Here are some of the highly regarded schools offering the best online art therapy programs:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
Florida State University
222 S. Copeland Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture
70 Washington Sq South, New York, New York 10012
George Washington University
1918 F Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
Nazareth College
4245 East Ave, Rochester, New York 14618-3790
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94103
Marywood University
2300 Adams Ave, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18509
Seton Hill University
1 Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601
Southwestern College
3960 San Felipe Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507
Springfield College
263 Alden St, Springfield, Massachusetts 01109
Pratt Institute
200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11205
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
School of the Art Institute, Chicago
36 S Wabash, Chicago, Illinois 60603
Antioch University Online
900 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387
Hofstra University
100 Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11549
Saint Mary of the Woods College
1 St Mary of Woods Coll, Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana 47876
Albertus Magnus College
700 Prospect St, New Haven, Connecticut 06511
Ottawa University, Ottawa
1001 South Cedar, Ottawa, Kansas 66067
Edinboro University, Pennsylvania
219 Meadville Street, Edinboro, Pennsylvania 16444
Long Island University
720 Northern Blvd, Brookville, New York 11548
Prescott College
220 Grove Ave, Prescott, Arizona 86301

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

What Master’s in Art Therapy Online Programs Entail

An online Art Therapy degree integrates psychology and creative arts to help individuals manage attitudes, anxiety, tension, and conflict. The Master’s program aims to develop students’ skills in fostering self-awareness, personal growth, and coping abilities in clients using art and creativity. 

Focusing on specific types of creative expression, graduates learn to evaluate patients and create treatment plans through the nonverbal process of art. They become competent in cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains, enabling them to handle diverse cases such as extreme behavioral disorders, addictions, trauma, medical conditions, disabilities, acute stress, and anxiety, as well as issues related to war, violence, injuries, and significant behavioral challenges.

Curriculum and Skills You’ll Gain

The curriculum for a Master’s in Art Therapy typically encompasses the history of art therapy, techniques, characteristics of disabilities and illnesses, assessment procedures, psychology, psychiatric terminology, and human development. It aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of visual, fine, and performing arts, enabling them to utilize these diverse art forms to facilitate patient healing effectively. Some typical components one might find in a comprehensive Master’s in Art Therapy curriculum include:

  • Foundations of Art Therapy: Foundations of Art Therapy is a comprehensive exploration of the fundamental principles and practices in the field. This course delves into the historical context, theoretical frameworks, and key techniques that form the bedrock of art therapy. Participants gain insights into the therapeutic potential of creative expression and its application in promoting emotional well-being, self-discovery, and personal growth.
  • Psychological Theories and Concepts: Psychological Theories and Concepts is an in-depth exploration of fundamental theories and principles that underpin human behavior and cognition. This course delves into various psychological perspectives, such as cognitive, behavioral, and psychodynamic theories, to comprehensively understand how individuals think, feel, and interact. Participants gain insights into the intricate workings of the mind and the practical implications of these theories in real-world contexts.
  • Art Therapy Techniques and Interventions: Art Therapy Techniques and Interventions is a dynamic course that delves into various creative methods used to facilitate healing and growth. Participants explore diverse artistic approaches, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and multimedia, as self-expression and emotional processing tools. Through hands-on experiences and theoretical insights, students learn to design and apply art-based interventions that address various psychological challenges and promote well-being.
  • Assessment and Diagnosis in Art Therapy: Assessment and Diagnosis in Art Therapy is a comprehensive course systematically evaluating clients’ emotional and psychological well-being through creative expression. Participants learn how to analyze art-based responses, interpret symbols, and understand nonverbal cues. This course equips students with the skills to identify and diagnose underlying issues, tailor therapeutic interventions, and contribute effectively to clients’ healing journeys.
  • Art for Art Therapists; Theory and Practice of Art Therapy: “Art for Art Therapists: Theory and Practice of Art Therapy” is a transformative course that explores the integration of personal artistic exploration with professional art therapy practice. Participants delve into theoretical foundations, learning how creative processes impact emotional expression and healing. Through hands-on experiences, students cultivate self-awareness, honing their artistic skills while gaining insights into using art as a therapeutic tool. This course empowers aspiring art therapists to bridge personal creativity with effective clinical practice.

In addition to the foundational courses in an Art Therapy Master’s, many schools also require at least one elective to be opted for, including:

  • Art and Trauma
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Group Dynamics and Group Art Therapy
  • Art Therapy with Children and Adolescents
  • Art Therapy and Cultural Diversity
  • Mindfulness and Art Therapy
  • Art Therapy and Substance Abuse
  • Art Therapy and Aging
  • Art Therapy in Medical Settings
  • Art Therapy and Social Justice

There are many outcomes and skills that graduates of an online master’s in Art Therapy will acquire by the end of the program, including the ability to:

  • demonstrate strong counseling skills, including active listening, empathy, and effective communication to establish rapport and build therapeutic relationships with clients;
  • demonstrate conduction of art-based assessments to understand clients’ emotional states, diagnose their needs, and develop personalized treatment plans;
  • demonstrate understanding of visual arts, fine arts, and performing arts, and the ability to guide clients through the creative process of healing using a variety of art forms;
  • demonstrate sensitivity and competence in working with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds;
  • demonstrate adherence to ethical guidelines and professional standards in the field of art therapy, ensuring the confidentiality and well-being of their clients;
  • demonstrate proficiency in leading group art therapy sessions and managing group dynamics;
  • demonstrate engagement in research related to art therapy outcomes and assess the effectiveness of their therapeutic interventions;
  • demonstrate effective collaboration with other healthcare professionals, educators, and community stakeholders to provide holistic care for their clients;
  • demonstrate usage of art therapy to promote social change, advocate for mental health awareness, and address social justice issues;
  • demonstrate the exploration of clients’ emotions, resolve emotional conflicts, cultivate self-awareness, control actions, build social skills, enhance reality orientation, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem using art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork.

Degree Types

In the United States, there are three types of Master’s in Art Therapy degrees, including Master of Art or MA in Art Therapy, Master of Science or MS in Art Therapy, and Master of Fine Arts or MFA in Art Therapy. While all three programs share the common objective of integrating psychology and creative arts to achieve their learning outcomes, they differ in their approach.

Master of Arts (MA) in Art Therapy

Master of Arts or MA in Art Therapy focuses on the therapeutic application of art and creative expression to promote mental and emotional well-being. Students in MA programs learn about psychological theories, counseling techniques, and various art therapy interventions. It also strongly emphasizes the creative process and expression of Art Therapy.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art Therapy

Master of Fine Arts or MFA in Art Therapy promotes self-awareness through art-making and reflection and contributes to understanding art therapy fundamentals, theory, and practice. It prepares one for careers that use the theory of art in various settings, including clinical, geriatric, child, and more.

Master of Science (MS) in Art Therapy

Master of Science or MS in Art Therapy emphasizes research, data analysis, and evidence-based practices in Art Therapy. It combines technical aspects from psychology, psychotherapy, and research methods for creative expression. Students in MS programs may conduct research projects on art therapy outcomes and effectiveness.

Specializations for Art Therapy Students

Opting for a specialization in a Master’s in Art Therapy online program allows students to explore a specific area of interest within the broader field of Art Therapy. Given the extensive nature of psychology and creative arts that form the foundation of Art Therapy, concentrating on a particular focus can lead to enhanced career opportunities and align with individual professional aspirations. Some examples of specializations within Art Therapy include:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Art Therapy and AgingThis specialization explores the therapeutic use of art for older adults. It harnesses creative expression to address emotional, cognitive, and physical challenges associated with aging. This approach enhances seniors’ quality of life by promoting self-discovery, communication, and emotional well-being. Through artistic activities, individuals engage, connect, and find meaning, making art therapy a powerful tool for promoting healthy aging.Geriatric Care, Senior Centers, Hospice and Palliative Care
Art Therapy and Autism Spectrum DisordersThis specialization combines creative expression with therapeutic techniques to support individuals on the autism spectrum. Individuals can enhance communication, emotional regulation, and social skills through artistic activities. Art therapy provides a nonverbal outlet for self-expression, helping individuals with autism to communicate and cope with challenges. This approach fosters personal growth, self-esteem, and improved well-being for those with autism.Autism Support Centers, Special Education, and Behavioral Health Settings
Art Therapy and DiversityThis specialization acknowledges diverse individuals’ unique backgrounds and experiences. Through art, people from various cultures and identities can communicate, process emotions, and address psychological challenges. Art therapy becomes a powerful platform for fostering understanding, promoting inclusivity, and honoring the richness of human diversity.Community Outreach Programs, Cultural Institutions, Mental Health Agencies
Art Therapy and Grief CounselingThis specialization intertwines creative exploration with healing from loss. This approach provides a safe space for individuals to express complex emotions and navigate the grieving process. Artistic expression becomes a tangible outlet for processing sorrow, celebrating memories, and finding meaning. Through art therapy, individuals can honor their grief, foster resilience, and embark on a transformative journey toward healing and acceptance.
Bereavement Centers, Counseling Centers, Hospice Care
Art Therapy and Substance AbuseArt Therapy and Substance Abuse intertwine creative expression with addiction recovery. This approach offers a nonverbal outlet for individuals struggling with substance abuse to explore emotions, triggers, and coping strategies. Through artistic activities, individuals can gain insight, build self-awareness, and develop healthier ways to manage cravings and stress. Art therapy becomes a transformative tool for sobriety and improved well-being.Rehabilitation Centers, Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities, and Counseling

Some specializations address specific populations and unconventional topics, examples of which are:

  • Art Therapy and Addiction Recovery
  • Art Therapy and Body Image
  • Art Therapy and Ecotherapy
  • Art Therapy and Gender Identity
  • Art Therapy and LGBTQ+ Populations
  • Art Therapy and Neurological Disorders
  • Art Therapy and Thanatology
  • Art Therapy for Refugee and Immigrant Populations
  • Art Therapy in Correctional Settings
  • Art Therapy in Schools
  • Art Therapy with Adolescents
  • Art Therapy with Children
  • Art Therapy with Military Veterans

Graduation Timeline

Most online Master’s in Art Therapy programs usually have an average duration of two years in full-time study, with some including a supervised clinical practicum. However, certain schools may allow part-time completion of a degree in three to four years for students who need more flexibility due to work commitments. Art Therapy programs may vary in length, ranging from 18 to 42 months, typically taking around 48 to 60 semester credits, depending on specific program requirements. Accelerated programs in art therapy can be finished in one year or less. Here is a summary of the timeline to complete the Master in Art Therapy program:

  • Full-Time: those taking up the Master’s in Art Therapy full-time can finish the curriculum in two years
  • Part-Time: those taking up the Master’s in Art Therapy part-time can finish the coursework in three to four years.

Accelerated Master’s in Art Therapy Online

Accelerated master’s programs in Art Therapy provide an efficient route for students to earn their degree in a shorter duration. These programs are crafted to enable motivated learners to expedite their education and graduate sooner. Students might opt for an increased course load, including intensive or summer sessions, to accelerate their progress. They may also leverage transfer credits from previous studies or pertinent professional exposure, trimming the overall program duration. Certain accelerated programs may present condensed curricula, emphasizing crucial coursework while eliminating certain elective obligations. This sharpens focus on core components, expediting degree completion. Prospective students should evaluate their preparedness and capacity to manage the accelerated learning pace.

Admission Requirements for Master’s in Art Therapy Online Programs

Like other Master’s programs in health care, including Clinical Research, Counseling, Kinesiology, Exercise Science, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, and more, applicants to an online Master’s in Art Therapy program also need a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited institution. However, an undergraduate in psychology, fine arts, counseling, or a related field can be more advantageous. Additional credits in relevant courses like drawing, painting, design, ceramics, photography, sculpture, etc., and developmental and abnormal psychology can also strengthen the application for admission.

Admission requirements for an art therapy education online vary between universities. Interviews may be part of the process to assess suitability. Prospective students must review specific admission requirements carefully as they differ among programs. Meeting minimum requirements doesn’t guarantee admission, as Art Therapy programs are generally competitive with limited seats. Some standard admission requirements include:

  • completed application form and fee;
  • bachelor’s degree from an accredited college;
  • minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
  • official transcripts from all previously attended institutions demonstrating academic performance and relevant coursework;
  • two to three letters of recommendation from professionals who can speak of one’s academic abilities and potential for success in the field of Art Therapy;
  • Personal Statement expressing motivation for pursuing program and career goals;
  • some institutions need an art portfolio showcasing the applicant’s artistic abilities and creative expression;
  • Graduate Resume highlighting experience in art, counseling, psychology, or related fields, whether through work, volunteer, or personal experiences;
  • Graduate Record Examination scores.

Master’s in Art Therapy Online No GRE Programs

The GRE is a standardized test that assesses a candidate’s readiness for graduate-level studies. However, some universities and colleges have waived the GRE requirement for their Master’s in Art Therapy programs to attract a broader pool of applicants and streamline the admissions process. By eliminating the GRE requirement, these programs emphasize other application domains, such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and relevant experience in the field of Art Therapy or related areas. Some colleges that provide a Master’s in Art Therapy with no GRE requirement include: 

Accredited Programs

Accreditation serves as a recognition of the program’s quality and adherence to high standards, providing a pathway to licensure and professional practice. Art Therapists must meet the requirements for registration, licensure, and certification—however, the fundamental prerequisite for these credentials is to take up accredited art therapy courses online. Therefore, students should always choose accredited online Art Therapy schools. 

Among the recommended options are Art Therapy programs approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA)5. While some programs gain accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)6, there are other accrediting agencies, including the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE)7 under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)8, among others.

Read the Accreditation Guide to further understand the significance of accreditation.

Free Online Art Therapy Courses

Free courses are valuable resources and offer a better understanding of the principles and practices of Art Therapy. One explores the discipline before committing to a formal Master’s program or continuing professional development and knowledge. While free Art Therapy courses can be informative and enriching, they are not a substitute for the comprehensive education and credentials required to become a certified Art Therapist. Aspiring professionals should consider pursuing a formal Master’s program at an accredited institution and obtaining additional certification and licensure to fulfill the requirements for a career in Art Therapy. Some courses that students with an online master’s degree in art therapy can pursue include:

CourseArt Therapy for Emotional Healing: Exercises and Techniques9
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis psychotherapy course provides an opportunity to assist individuals within the rehabilitation sector. The course focuses on the ways art therapy contributes to enhancing patients’ mental health, examining both its advantages and disadvantages as a contemporary psychotherapeutic approach. It guides participants on leveraging creativity and therapeutic dialogue to aid patients in their journey toward emotional and mental balance. 
CourseHow to Learn Art Therapy10
Provided byUdemy
DescriptionIn this course, students learn the fundamentals of Art Therapy—a transformative expressive therapy using creative processes like drawing and painting. It explores how art enhances mental well-being, emphasizing creative expression, non-verbal communication, and the development of a therapeutic relationship with an art therapist, fostering trust and exploration.
CourseIntroduction to Art Therapy11
Provided byAlison
DescriptionIn this course, students learn the principles and techniques of art therapy, gaining the skills needed to engage in therapeutic art sessions with clients. The program equips participants to collaborate effectively with clients of diverse artistic abilities in various settings, fostering confidence in their therapeutic practice.

How to Pay for Master’s in Art Therapy Online Programs

In the United States, the tuition for a typical online Master’s in Art Therapy program can be around $300 per credit to $1,000 per hour of credit. As each year goes by, obtaining a Master’s degree becomes costlier, necessitating reliable funding options that can lessen the financial strain of pursuing advanced education. Some of these funding mechanisms include:


Many universities provide merit-based scholarships, grants supported by alums, and fellowships for qualified students. While some colleges may offer partial scholarships, grants, or assistantship opportunities to help reduce the cost of tuition, fully funded art therapy programs that cover all tuition and living expenses are relatively rare in the field of Art Therapy. Fully funded Art Therapy programs are more common at the doctorate level. 

Private organizations often grant scholarships based on academic excellence, community involvement, cultural heritage, religious affiliation, and other criteria. Specific types of scholarships are worth exploring, such as Disability Scholarships and African-American Scholarships. However, being cautious about Scholarship Scams that may circulate is necessary. Here are a few online master’s in art therapy scholarships students can explore and apply for.


The Dr. Ellen G. Horovitz Spiritual Art Therapy Scholarship provides financial assistance to students studying spiritual art therapy or related disciplines. Named after Dr. Ellen G. Horovitz, this scholarship recognizes students passionate about integrating spirituality and art therapy into their educational pursuits.
Amount/Award: $1,000
Deadline: Varies


The Laura Greenstone Memorial Scholarship is a financial award dedicated to supporting students pursuing degrees in art therapy or related fields. Named in honor of Laura Greenstone, this scholarship recognizes students’ commitment to creative healing and their potential to make meaningful contributions to the art therapy community.
Amount/Award: $1,000
Deadline: Varies

Psi Chi Graduate Scholarships14

Psi Chi Graduate Scholarships offer financial support to graduate students in psychology. These scholarships acknowledge academic excellence, research engagement, and commitment to the field. Awardees receive valuable funding to bolster their educational path, nurturing their development as aspiring professionals in the mental health field.
Amount/Award: $3,000
Deadline: July, annually


Grants can be a beneficial funding option for students as they cover various education-related expenses, including books, research materials, travel, student housing, and more, in addition to tuition fees. Unlike scholarships, grants are typically need-based and may not be contingent on academic achievements.

Graduate Assistantships

Certain universities provide Graduate Teaching Assistantships or Graduate Research Assistantships to students enrolled in Master’s degree programs. Graduate Assistants play a vital role in supporting classroom activities and assisting senior teachers in their responsibilities. In return for their professional contributions, they receive a stipend that can help cover the expenses of their Master’s program.

Student Loans

Federal, bank, and private loans are viable options for those willing to pay interest on borrowed funds to raise the necessary funds for education. However, responsible financial management is essential, and students should prioritize timely loan repayment to avoid accruing interest and prevent excessive student debt.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a widely used method to secure funds for tuition. FAFSA is a form that evaluates a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Additional details about FAFSA can be found here.

Other funding mechanisms and more information on them are illustrated in the best Financial Guide.

Career Paths and Average Salaries for Art Therapy Graduates

A career in Art Therapy offers a unique and rewarding opportunity to help individuals improve their mental and emotional well-being through the creative process. Art Therapists use various art forms, such as drawing, painting, sculpting, and other expressive modalities, to engage clients in therapeutic interventions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Art Therapists are classified under ‘Recreational Therapists,’ distinct from Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Exercise Physiologists. The salary of Art Therapists varies significantly based on their qualifications, experience, and geographical location. As an Art Therapist, one’s work may involve various tasks, including:

  • conducting individual and group therapy
  • assessing and developing treatment plans
  • facilitating art-based interventions
  • working in various settings
  • collaborating with other professionals
  • supporting diverse populations
  • promoting wellness and coping skills
  • research and advocacy
  • continuing professional development

Some common career paths for Art Therapist with a master’s in Art Therapy include:

OccupationAverage SalaryJob growth (2022-2032)Description
Art Therapist$47,62015No Data AvailableArt therapists work in clinical settings, hospitals, mental health centers, schools, and rehabilitation facilities, using creative expression to help clients explore emotions, cope with challenges, and achieve personal growth.
Rehabilitation Counselor$39,990162% (as fast as average)Rehabilitation counselors use art-based approaches in combination with traditional talk therapy to support clients’ mental health and well-being.
School Counselor$60,140175% (faster than average)School counselors integrate art-based interventions to assist students with emotional, social, and academic challenges.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor$72,50018No Data AvailableMental health counselors provide therapeutic support to individuals and groups dealing with mental health issues.
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors$49,710118% (much faster than average)Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors help clients recover using art as a therapeutic tool.
Expressive Arts Therapist$61,89719No Data AvailableExpressive arts therapists incorporate multiple creative modalities such as dance, music, drama, and writing in their therapeutic interventions
Art Education Specialist$65,83320No Data AvailableArt education specialists design and implement art-based programs to enhance learning and personal development.

Once they graduate, students become an art therapist online and work in a broad spectrum of professional settings, including:

  • Clinics and Hospitals
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Daycare Centers
  • Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers
  • Mental Health Clinics
  • Nursing Homes
  • Outpatient Services
  • Palliative Care and Hospice Centers
  • Pediatric Oncology
  • Prisons
  • Private Practices
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Residential Schools
  • Shelters
  • Special and Mainstream Educational Institutions
  • Veteran Centers

Art Therapy Graduates can also seek jobs as:

  • Licensed Art Therapists
  • Clinical Art Therapists
  • School-Based Art Therapists
  • Private Practice Art Therapists
  • Expressive Arts Therapists
  • Group Art Therapists
  • Art Therapy Program Coordinators
  • Hospice or Palliative Care Art Therapists
  • Art Therapy Researchers
  • Art Education Specialists
  • Community Art Therapists

Certifications and Licensing for Art Therapy Graduates

Certifications are crucial for a fulfilling Art Therapy career and a vital step toward obtaining licensure, often required in the field. It ensures professionals meet standards, possess essential skills, and provide ethical art therapy services. Verified online art therapy certification adds credibility, expanding job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, schools, private practices, and other settings where art therapy services are sought. Graduates of a Master’s in Art Therapy should consider post-graduate art therapy certification from organizations including:

The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB)21

The Registered Art Therapist (ATR)22 certification confirms that one has completed specialized and unique graduate-level Art Therapy education and supervised post-graduate Art Therapy experience and meets existing requirements. Graduates must work for a few years to become Board-Certified Art Therapist23 after taking the voluntary Art Therapy Credentials Board Exam. Art Therapy Certified Supervisor 24 is another certification the ATCB provides for experienced art therapists who wish to take on supervisory roles, providing guidance and support to other art therapists and art therapy students.

Association for Play Therapy (APT)25

The Association for Play Therapy (APT) offers various certifications for professionals working in the field of play therapy, including ‘Registered Play Therapist,’ ‘Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor,’ and ‘School-Based – Registered Play Therapist’ credentials. These certifications are designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated specialized knowledge, skills, and experience in using play therapy techniques to support children, adolescents, and families.

Art Therapy Licensure

Various states have different professional Art Therapy licensure requirements. Some mandate licensure as a Licensed Professional Art Therapist or Clinical Licensed Art Therapist. Other states have unique licensure titles. For instance, Utah requires an Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor License 26, and Texas requires candidates to hold a ‘Licensed Professional Counselor with Specialty Designation in Art Therapy27.
Students are advised to visit the American Art Therapy Association (AATA)28 for specific and comprehensive information on licensure requirements in each state. It is essential to understand the particular licensure regulations in the state where one intends to practice as an Art Therapist to ensure compliance with all requirements.

Additional Resources for Students

In the ever-evolving field of Art Therapy, staying updated is crucial for students and practicing Art Therapists. Networking with peers, sharing insights, and collaborating for real-world solutions are essential. Here are some additional resources to explore for those interested in the world of Art Therapy:

  1. American Art Therapy Association (AATA)29
    The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) provides numerous resources for Art Therapy students and practitioners. Alongside scholarships, credentials, and Licensure, the website offers research work, publications, conferences, and more.
  2. Art Therapy Blog30
    The Art Therapy Blog offers captivating insights, articles, activities, ideas, and more related to Art Therapy. The platform also covers education, mental health, and autism topics.
  3. Therapist Aid31
    Therapist Aid is an outstanding resource for Art Therapists. The website offers worksheets, interactives, guides, videos, and articles covering diverse topics such as anger, anxiety, parenting, self-esteem, stress, depression, substance abuse, and emotions.
  4. Art Therapy Alliance32
    The Art Therapy Alliance is a dynamic and innovative platform committed to promoting and advancing Art Therapy practices and initiatives. It offers diverse resources on Trauma and Loss, Art and Healing, Creative Aging, Art and Brain, Veterans and Art, social media, Technology, and more.

FAQs About Master’s in Art Therapy Online Programs

Can you get an art therapy degree online?

Many universities offer online art therapy degree programs. These programs provide a flexible and accessible way for individuals to pursue a degree in art therapy, allowing them to balance their studies with other commitments while gaining the necessary knowledge and skills for a career in this field.

What are Expressive Arts?

What is Transpersonal Art Therapy?

How do I become an art therapist?

Where can you study art therapy?

Can I be an Art Therapist without a degree?

Are there fully funded art therapy programs?