Combine creativity with your passion for helping others by earning a master's degree in art therapy and counseling.
The Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy program provides education and training in clinical mental health counseling and prepares competent, entry-level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains. In the art therapy master's program at Ursuline College, students learn to aid clients in exploring personal potentials and problems through both visual and verbal expression.
Degree Requirements for a Master's in Counseling and Art Therapy
Through Ursuline's nationally recognized Counseling and Art Therapy master's program, you'll be prepared to work in a variety of clinical, educational, medical, and human-service settings. Because of our extensive network of partner institutions, you'll choose from a wide range of internship placements. We'll encourage you to develop areas of expertise in line with your own strengths and interests and we'll nurture your professional development.
In our art therapy and counseling master's program, classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate your job and internship obligations. Electives are offered in a workshop format, which allows you to attend two consecutive days followed by time to complete assignments. Workshop presenters include nationally known figures, authors, lecturers and experts in various approaches.
If you already possess a master’s degree in a related field, we can design a course sequence to meet the educational standards for registration and certification as an art therapist, depending upon the current national standards of the Art Therapy Credentials Board.
Counseling and Art Therapy Program Goals
Our art therapy master's program aims to:
- Prepare holistically educated human service professionals adept in facilitating the creative process as a source of integration and prepared to seek licensure and credentialing
- Utilize the vast community resources in order to expose students to competent clinical counseling training and in-depth study of art therapy processes and applications
- Offer a state-of-the-art curriculum that develops the specific competencies of the professions of counseling and art therapy
- Incorporate a philosophy of education and training that is motivated by respect for the dignity of each person
- Improve the quality of life for a variety of populations and the balance of treatment with the health care field through the promotion of counseling and art therapy
Student Learning Outcomes
As an art therapy school graduate student, you will be empowered with the skills and training to treat a multitude of challenges. Upon earning your master's degree in art therapy, you will be able:
- To know and practice art therapy and counseling ethics
- To know and utilize appraisal instruments, art therapy assessments, and to be able to diagnose
- To know and demonstrate understanding of counseling theory, art therapy theory, developmental theory, history of art therapy and clinical mental health counseling, and of recipient populations/specializations
- To know and demonstrate skills with individuals, groups and families in all phases of the therapeutic process; to develop treatment plans, use appropriate documentation, verbal and non-verbal interventions, with cultural sensitivity with a range of populations/specializations
- To demonstrate personal and professional growth, including effective use of supervision, recognition of strengths and limitations, development of a unique voice and vision as a professional counselor and art therapist, active in professional associations and committed to ongoing personal creative expression
View our Student Outcomes Report
Counseling and Art Therapy Program Accreditation
The Counseling and Art Therapy program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP, 1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA, 22314, 703.535.5990) and by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP, 9355 113th St. N., #7709, Seminole, FL, 33775, 727.210.2350), upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE).
Nine or ten times throughout the year, Counseling and Art Therapy faculty members host information sessions to discuss the program and address any questions you may have. These are being held virtually on various weeknight evenings on a monthly basis. We discuss credentials, curriculum, the admission process and more. Scroll through our calendar for the next art therapy school session and contact the Graduate Admission office to register.
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Ursuline Faculty at the 2023 American Art Therapy Association (AATA) Conference
Dr. Katherine Jackson, Associate Professor, gave a paper presentation titled, “Creative arts therapies and collective efficacy within the Cheyenne River Lakota reservation community,” and facilitated a master-level clinician supervision group on “Community Engagement.”
Dr. Rebecca D. Miller, Program Director and Assistant Professor, gave two presentations: “Relationships between therapists’ tears and their personal and professional characteristics,” and “The intensified juggling act: Breadwinner mothers of school-aged children during COVID-19."
Ursuline Faculty at the 2022 Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA) Symposium
Presenters and presentations included:
- Rebecca D. Miller, Program Director and Assistant Professor, presented a paper titled, “Reflecting an Ideology of Juggling: Breadwinner Mothers’ Visual Artifacts during the COVID-19 Pandemic”
- Katherine Jackson, Associate Professor, and Megan Seaman, Assistant Professor, co-presented a paper titled, “Combining the ETC and DCT in Therapeutic Treatment with Depressed and Anxious Teens”
- Fawn Gordon, Assistant Professor, co-facilitated two workshops, “Burned Out: Ethical Considerations and Strategies to Prevent and Monitor for Impaired Practice” and “The Role of Ethics in Using Creativity to Enhance Well-being”
- Diane Fleisch Hughes, Adjunct Instructor, facilitated a workshop, “Using the Experience of Play in Adult Art Therapy”
- Cheryl Pete, Adjunct Instructor, co-facilitated a workshop, “Political Advocacy for Social Justice”
- Gretchen Miller, Adjunct Instructor, co-presented a paper titled, “Understanding How Creative Forces® Utilizes Creative Arts Therapies with Veterans”
- Heather Denning, Adjunct Instructor, was a co-presenter on a panel along with undergraduate art therapy faculty, Jennifer Schwartz, Department Chair and Assistant Professor, and Molly Hagaa, Assistant Professor, titled “Lessons Learned: Expanding Art Therapy Practice to Publishing”
- Recent CAT program alumni, J. Subinsky, Leah Barron, and Shelby Driver, graduates of the class of 2022, co-presented a panel titled, “Innovative Topics in Art Therapy Research: Expressive Movement, Moral Injury, and Religious Trauma with LGBTQ+ individuals”
Careers: Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy
Your Future Credentials and Career
Upon graduating from Ursuline's Counseling and Art Therapy master's program, you'll meet the educational requirements for counseling licensure (LPC-Licensed Professional Counselor and LPCC-Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor) in Ohio, and the educational requirements for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certifying Counselors.
You'll meet the education requirements for national registration and board certification for art therapists (ATR-BC) through the Art Therapy Credentials Board, and may meet the educational requirements for counselor and/or art therapy licensure in many states. Licensure laws vary from state to state. If you live and plan to work outside of Ohio, we encourage you to check your own state's laws for licensure eligibility requirements.
After completing the art therapy master's program, you'll be prepared to work in a wide variety of clinical, educational, and human service institutions, including hospitals, children’s agencies, mental health and counseling centers, correctional and geriatric facilities, hospice care, and wellness centers to name a few. Graduates of Ursuline's Counseling and Art Therapy master's program are directors and supervisors in many facilities. They are board members of state and national organizations, educators, and professionals in private practice. The dual credential makes our graduates competitive and marketable!
Admission Requirements: Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy
Art Therapy Program Deadlines for Counseling and Art Therapy Enrollment
The priority deadlines for applications to the Counseling and Art Therapy program are as follows:
- March 15 for fall semester enrollment
- October 15 for spring semester enrollment
We accept and admit students on a rolling basis throughout each semester.
Students applying for admission must meet the general requirements for graduate admission and the following program requirements:
A 3-5 page essay in APA format discussing the following:
- Aptitude for working with people
- Motivation for pursuing a career in counseling and art therapy
- The meaning of art in the applicant’s life
- Areas of artistic strength and areas of possible artistic growth
Please note: This essay is in addition to the general essay on the graduate application form.
A portfolio needs to be completed prior to interviewing with the faculty. Candidates completing prerequisite art courses must submit a partial portfolio for review, with follow-up work submitted after completing the art prerequisites. The portfolio should contain:
- At least 24 works of art representing a variety of media and techniques
- A separate index describing the media, size and date the work was completed
- Digital images, slides, photos, or actual works are all acceptable.
18 semester hours in studio art, with earned grade of ‘B’ or better, which must include:
- Three-Dimensional Media (Ceramics, Sculpture, or equivalent)
12 semester hours in psychology*, with earned grade of ‘B’ or better, which must include:
- Developmental Psychology (or Lifespan; Human Growth & Development; Child/Adolescent Psychology)
- Abnormal Psychology (or Psychopathology)
*Coursework in cultural studies, such as Queer Studies, Women/Gender Studies, Disability Studies, Racial and/or Ethnic Cultural groups studies, may count towards Psychology prerequisite coursework, at the discretion of CAT faculty.
At least 12 hours of the studio art and at least 9 hours of the psychology must be completed prior to starting the program. The remaining prerequisites must be completed within the first year of the program.
Some experience in working with people within a human service context is highly recommended.
Scholarships: Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy
The Art Therapy Master's Program at Ursuline College offers a variety of merit and need-based scholarships to prospective students, including:
Helen Dineen Scholarship
A scholarship awarded on an annual basis to graduate students exhibiting a high level of academic scholarship, financial need and a desire to work with children. Students must complete a FAFSA and Scholarship Application Form. For details on eligibility and how to apply, click here.
Carol Hunter Kelley/Graham Hunter Fund Scholarship
A Counseling and Art Therapy scholarship award granted to the College by Carol Kelley, class of 1989. For details on eligibility and how to apply, click here.
Sarah Scherer Memorial Fund
This scholarship was established in honor of Sarah Scherer, a counseling and art therapy student who died in a tragic accident while on vacation in Italy in the fall of 2007. Sarah was completing an internship at Signature Health, a community mental health agency where she also worked. Sarah’s creativity, compassion and wisdom were an inspiration to both her clients and fellow students. The recipient will receive a $2,000 scholarship and complete a paid internship at Signature Health.
American Art Therapy Association Scholarships
The AATA offers research grants and student scholarships. For details on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://arttherapy.org/scholarships/