Doctor of Philosophy in Art Therapy (PhD)

Dominican University of California offers an intimate on-campus learning environment to train Art Therapists as researchers, educators, practitioners, and leaders in their field. 

female student working with ceramics

As one of only two PhD Art Therapy programs in the country, Dominican's PhD Art Therapy Program attracts a diverse student body from throughout the United States and overseas. Graduates are contributing to the local, national, and international development and recognition of the profession, and are leaders in advancing the theoretical, research, and clinical foundations of Art Therapy. 

Ideal art therapy PhD students are interested in being stewards in the field of art therapy. Candidates are interested in generating new knowledge in the field, as well as developing a deeper knowledge of the integration of science and art. Art Therapy PhD students may be interested in research, teaching in art therapy programs, and supervising or mentoring future art therapists. They are practitioners in the field of art therapy or one from the allied fields who have previous training in art therapy, psychology, and art and advanced degrees in fields that include psychology, counseling, social work, and art. 

The Art Therapy Program at Dominican has been granted WSCUC approval by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

PhD Art Therapy Program Highlights

  • Close relationship with professional organizations such as the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT), and the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB)
  • Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Training
  • Advisory Council of Agency Supervisors
  • A vibrant network of Dominican Art Therapy alumni
  • Training for clinicians, researchers, and leaders in the field
  • Small classes and individual faculty advising
PhD in Art Therapy
Application Deadlines Tuition Rate Per Unit   Units Format and Length

Fall: June 1
 

$1062

52

In-person
36 months

Contact Us: For admissions questions, contact Deepa Raghupathy by phone
(415)-458-3748, email deepa.raghupathy@dominican.edu or sign up for a counseling appointment.
For applicants requesting an appointment with the faculty, please contact Dr. Richard Carolan richard.carolan@dominican.edu

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Meet Your Admissions Counselor 

Admission, Tuition and Financial Aid

Students may apply to enter the PhD in Art Therapy for the fall semester, every other year and should meet the following requirements:

(Students need to have met all or most all of the academic requirements to become an ATR.)

  • Completion of 18 semester units in studio art (including drawing, painting & clay) and 12 units in psychology (general psychology, abnormal psychology, lifespan development, and personality psychology).
  • Completed application for admission
  • Two letters of recommendation, professional or academic.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, with one transcript showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or equivalent academic preparation outside of the U.S. Find complete instructions on how to submit your transcripts to Dominican here.
  • Portfolio of original artwork to demonstrate competence with a range of art materials; 10-12 JPEG images are preferred.
  • An autobiographical statement, generally, three to four pages.
  • Application to apply courses to Dominican’s prerequisites. 
  • In-person or preliminary online interview
  • Published article or scholarly academic writing (the scholarly writing can include a masters thesis)
  • Resume 

Request Information

The PhD in Art Therapy is a full-time program, with cohorts beginning every other fall. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

If an application deadline falls on a weekend and/or holiday, applications will be accepted through the end of the next business day.

Application Deadlines:
June 1, 2021 (2023, 2025, 2027 etc.)

Learn more about tuition per unit, additional fees, and total tuition.

We'll also show you how a Dominican education is more affordable than you might think with support from scholarships and loans. 

TUITION AND Financial AID

Program Format and Career Paths

The PhD in Art Therapy program is designed as a three-year program with 52 required units. Students are admitted in the fall semester only, every other year. The program curriculum is designed to meet PhD expectations with an emphasis on research integrated with practice.

Classes are taught in-person on Dominican's beautiful 80-acre campus, located just 12 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County. 

The low-residency program is delivered in one two-week in-person summer term each year of the program. During the rest of the year, students typically meet on campus one weekend (first Friday-Sunday) per month.

Graduates of the PhD Art Therapy program bring art therapy into a wide variety of settings which include schools, mental health organizations, inpatient and outpatient programs, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, prisons, private practice, and more.

Dominican graduates are also able to take advantage of training and internship opportunities in the vibrant Bay Area, well known for both the arts, as well as its complex healthcare systems. 

Graduates are prepared to teach in art therapy programs and supervise or mentor future art therapists. The PhD program provides training for clinicians, researchers, and leaders in the field.

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