The MAATC provides a comprehensive art therapy education emphasizing the identity of the artist/art therapist and fostering a critical engagement within social and cultural contexts. The program prepares graduates to provide professional art therapy services in a variety of settings, from traditional psychotherapy to community-based practices. Students progress through a curriculum designed to draw from the best of studio, classroom, and clinical educational opportunities.

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling requires nine credits of fieldwork fulfilled across four semesters in two or three placement sites.

Each Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling student is required to complete a minimum of 900 internship hours of supervised fieldwork experience. This requirement is fulfilled across four semesters in two or three placement sites. Classroom supervision in the Fieldwork I through Fieldwork III courses is completed by supervision at the internship site.

MAATC students are required to complete a one-semester graduate project or two-semester thesis. Students electing to take the six-credit thesis option can enroll in Thesis II in lieu of a studio elective, or for an additional three credits. Most students attend full time and complete their course of study in three years. MAATC graduate courses are open only to students admitted into the Art Therapy program.

Art Therapy Program Approval

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program is approved by the Educational Program Approval Board of the American Art Therapy Association.

AreaCredit Hours
Art Therapy Core 39
Art Therapy Fieldwork 6
Art Therapy Thesis 6
Studio Electives (or other approved course) 9
Total Credit Hours60

MA in Art Therapy and Counseling Course Sequence

TermCredit Hours
First Year Fall 12
  • ARTTHER 5001 Materials and Media in Art Therapy (3)
  • ARTTHER 5002 Psychopathology (3)
  • ARTTHER 5003 History and Theory of Art Therapy (3)
  • ARTTHER 5025 Counseling Techniques (3)
First Year Spring 12
  • ARTTHER 5008 Assessment and Evaluation in Art Therapy (3)
  • ARTTHER 5019 Group Art Therapy (3)
  • ARTTHER 6008 Cultural Dimensions in Art Therapy (3)
  • Studio Elective (3)
Second Year Fall 12
  • ARTTHER 5020 Art Therapy Fieldwork I (1.5)
  • ARTTHER 6002 Ethical and Legal Issues I (1.5)
  • ARTTHER 5010 Human Growth and Development (3)
  • ARTTHER 6018 Family Art Therapy (3)
  • Studio Elective (3)
Second Year Spring 12
  • ARTTHER 6001 Art Therapy Fieldwork II (1.5)
  • ARTTHER 6003 Ethical and Legal Issues II (1.5)
  • ARTTHER 5009 Research in Art Therapy (3)
  • ARTTHER 6007 Substance Use (3)
  • Studio Elective (3)
Third Year Fall 6
  • ARTTHER 6020 Art Therapy Fieldwork III (3)
  • ARTTHER 6010 Graduate Thesis I: Art Therapy (3)
    ARTTHER 6019 Art Therapy Graduate Project (3)
Third Year Spring 6 (or 9)
  • ARTTHER 6020 Art Therapy Fieldwork III (3)
  • ARTTHER 6006 Professional Development and Career Counseling (3)
  • Optional 3 Credit Course
        ARTTHER 6011 Graduate Thesis II: Art Therapy (3)
Total Credit Hours60 (or 63)

Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the degree This includes time off for approved leaves of absence. Thesis in Progress: Students who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All students with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester until the thesis is completed and approved and the grade is changed to Credit (CR). If the statute of limitations is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
  2. Transfer credits: A minimum of 48 credit hours must be completed in residence at SAIC. Up to 12 graduate transfer credits (from previous master's degrees) may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
  3. Electives: One studio elective may be taken prior to the sixth semester, including during a summer semester or winter interim, by any student wanting to complete the program in five semesters. An elective non-studio course may be substituted for one studio with the prior approval of the Department Chair.
  4. Professional Progress Review: At the end of semesters I and IV, each student participates in a Professional Progress Review (PPR). The PPR is an evaluative process used to determine the student's progress in the program. It includes a self-assessment as well as evaluation by each of the student's faculty members. Satisfactory progress in the program is necessary prior to advancing to the next phase of the MA in Art Therapy and Counseling program. Serious academic or interpersonal deficiencies may result in termination from the program.
  5. Fieldwork/Internship Requirements: As part of the MAATC internship requirement, students are obligated to meet the trainee expectations of their internship site. These requirements may include a criminal background check, drug testing, the submission of immunization records, special training, etc.
  6. Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 9 credit hours for fall and spring semesters, 6 credit hours in the summer.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions requirements, MA in Art Therapy and Counseling faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or