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. 

two women in an art classroom

As one of only two PhD Art Therapy Psychology 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 Psychology 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 DeadlinesTuition Rate Per Unit UnitsFormat and Length
Fall: June 1
36 months
For applicants requesting an appointment with the faculty, please contact Lisa Hinz at

Attend an Information Session Apply Now

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:

  • Master's degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution is required to apply to the Art Therapy PhD program.
  • 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 master'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. 
  • Documented minimum of one year of clinical experience in the field (two or more preferred)
  • 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. 


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. 

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.

Degrees Offered


Course Catalog

Course Descriptions

Program Contact

Deepa Raghupathy, MBA

Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions

Liberal Arts and Education: In The News

Faculty and Staff

Hinz headshot

Lisa D. Hinz, PhD, ATR-BC

Associate Professor of Art Therapy Director of Art Therapy, PhD
Richard Carolan

Richard Carolan, ATR-BC, EdD

Professor of Art Therapy Department Chair
dominican seal

Arnell Etherington Reader

Adjunct Professor
dominican seal

Lisa Manthe

Adjunct Professor
dominican seal

Erin Partridge

Adjunct Professor
dominican seal

Gwen J. Sanders

Adjunct Professor
dominican seal

Deborah Sharpe

Adjunct Professor
dominican seal

Cheryl Feldman

Adjunct Assistant Professor
dominican seal

Kerry Linetzsky

Adjunct Associate Professor
dominican seal

Savannah Stone

Adjunct Assistant Professor
dominican seal

Victoria Mycue

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Three students walking together on the Dominican campus.

La Vida Dominican

La Vida Dominican is a program for all students, increasing educational access and connection to support services, enabling degree completion and post-graduation success. Particularly, La Vida is centering experiences of students from Latinx and other historically underserved backgrounds.

Learn More About La Vida Dominican