Create, Collaborate, and Contribute

The art therapy emphasis for the Master of Arts Degree in Counseling combines the expressive use of art media and psychotherapeutic concepts to develop healing, life-enhancing competencies accessible to all communities and populations. Our hands-on curriculum and Adlerian-guided coursework encourage the development of a sound professional identity rooted in social justice and societal change.

An Experientially-Focused and Integrated Curriculum

This on campus only 67-70 credit master’s program features expert-led coursework, internship experience, and a professional portfolio that reflects and showcases all you’ve learned. Choose from two licensure tracks:

  • Art Therapy and Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling track (67 credits)
  • Art Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling track (70 credits)

Each track includes a combination of foundational, theoretical, and counseling courses and art therapy content courses. Experiential learning and hands-on creative opportunities are infused into every art therapy course.

Find Your Mentor

The diverse faculty is the foundation of the Adler Graduate School learning experience. Our faculty are:

  • credentialed art therapists
  • long-time clinical mental health professionals with deep experience
  • passionate educators and mentors with experiential-based teaching expertise
  • dedicated to fostering inclusive and supportive student-to-faculty and student-to-student connections

Click here to learn more about our faculty.

Deepen Your Expertise

Explore the application of art therapy in diverse populations through special topic courses, including:

  • addictions
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • older adults
  • individuals and families impacted by cancer
  • military veterans and their families
  • grief and loss
  • neuroscience and trauma
  • Spirituality
  • sexuality

The art therapy field experience can also be tailored to your individual interests through clinical or community-based site placements.

Licensure Information

The Art Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education. The program meets the requirements for the licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) credentials in MN. Does our program meet licensure requirements in your state? Contact the state licensure board here.

Your Future

The art therapy program at Adler Graduate School will immerse you in a creative and professional growth process that leads to personal transformation and deeper community connections.

Discover Inspiring Career Paths

Art therapists apply creative engagement and the application of art therapy processes across a wide spectrum of clinical, educational, cultural, and community contexts. Your work may include providing services to individuals, families, community groups, and entire organizations. Your professional identity as an art therapist and artist provides a fertile ground for you to network, collaborate, advocate, and craft a career path that fits you.

Career Options

  • Addiction recovery services
  • Behavioral/mental health programs
  • Community-based engagement
  • Corrections
  • Disability services
  • Domestic abuse shelters/support agencies
    Eating disorder clinics
  • Educational settings (primary, secondary and higher education)
  • Family therapy
  • Group homes/Residential treatment centers
  • Hospitals (Medical/rehabilitation/psychiatric)
  • Hospice
  • Immigrant services
  • LGBTQAI+ communities
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • Social justice organizations
  • Treatment of trauma
  • Veteran service agencies

Field Work

Practicum

The art therapy field experiences provide supportive and immersive learning opportunities in clinical- or community-based settings. All art therapy emphasis students are required to complete 700 hours of field experience, including:

  • 100 hours of supervised practicum
  • One hour of on-site supervision for every 10 hours of client contact
  • Supervision by credentialed art therapy faculty

Supervised Internships

All art therapy emphasis students complete 700 hours of supervised internship, with at least 350 direct art therapy service hours. Gain crucial hands-on experience and participate in direct client contact through:

  • Collaboration
  • Assessment
  • Co-leading or leading groups
  • Individual and family sessions
  • Treatment plan development
  • Advocacy
  • Documentation and presentation of case conceptualizations

Required Courses

Please refer to our course catalog for the most up-to-date course requirements.

Art Therapy Program Prerequisites

In addition to the Adler Graduate School’s standard admission criteria, specific requirements are needed to enroll in the Art Therapy Program.

Art Therapy Program prerequisites:

  • All applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or have the equivalent academic preparation from an institution outside of the United States.
  • Applicants must complete a minimum of 18 semester credit hours (or 27 quarter credit hours) in studio art, which must include drawing, painting and clay work.
  • Applicants must demonstrate proficiency and disciplined commitment in art making by presenting an art portfolio of their original work.  Equivalency of non-academic studio art experience or art therapy-based course work may be taken into account on a limited basis.
  • A minimum of 3 credits in psychology or a related field. A related field could include, but not limited to: Anthropology, sociology, gender studies, ethnic/multicultural/diversity/intersectionality studies. Applicants may need to submit a course syllabus or course description to verify that it addresses the pre-requisite. Additional psychology content areas (developmental and abnormal) will be taken as a part of the graduate program.
  • A portfolio review will be conducted as a part of the interview. Applicants must submit a portfolio of 15 to 20 images that reflect their technical and creative skills with drawing, painting, and clay media. Additional media and art processes may be included to demonstrate additional skills and experiences. The portfolio may be presented via a digital format and/or the presentation of actual art works. 
  • An in-person or virtual interview with Art Therapy Program faculty.

Program Minimum Expectations

To prepare competent entry-level art therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Program Goals

All Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Art Therapy students will graduate with the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of:
    • Adlerian and comparative theories
    • History and theories of art therapy
    • The Expressive Therapies Continuum
    • Ethical codes of professional practice
    • The connections between neuroscience and art therapy
  • Demonstrate skills of:
    • Documenting and presenting case conceptualizations
    • Proficient practice of art therapy with diverse populations and acquire multicultural competency that reflects attunement to current global social justice and advocacy issues.
  • Demonstrate attitudes/behaviors around:
    • Developing a professional identity as both an art therapist and an artist through personal creativity
    • The importance of self-care and self-advocacy
  • The Art Therapy Program is committed to support institutional stability in:
    • Monitoring long-term enrollment management, tracking, and analysis.
    • Responsible resource management and development.
    • Securing and maintaining the highest level of accreditation available for the Art Therapy Program.

The AGS Art Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE).



Next Steps?

It’s time to take the next step in your journey. Choose yours below.

Contact the Admissions Office