Master of Arts in Art Therapy (MAAT, MAATA)

As the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy program in Northern California, Dominican University of California offers an intimate on-campus learning environment designed to prepare students for successful careers in art therapy while encouraging the artistic and therapeutic process.

graduate students working on crafts project

Dominican University of California's Art Therapy Psychology students learn through practical experience and hands-on training guided by credentialed art therapist faculty. Our MA in Art Therapy programs are approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). 

Dominican's Master of Arts in Art Therapy can lead to a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT), as well as a PhD in Art Therapy. Our program also prepares graduates to sit for an Art Therapy Registration (ATR) and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy is offered as two tracks: 

  • MA in Art Therapy (MAAT)
  • Post-Master's Advanced Standing (MAATA)

The Art Therapy Psychology Master's 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.

Art Therapy Psychology 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
  • A vibrant network of Dominican Art Therapy MA and PhD alumni
  • Training for clinicians, researchers, and leaders in the field
  • Small classes and individual faculty advising
MA in Art Therapy
Application DeadlinesTuition Rate Per UnitUnitsFormat and Length
Fall: June 1
Spring: Dec. 1
$988 63 In-person
36 months 
MA in Art Therapy (Advanced Standing)
Application DeadlinesTuition Rate Per UnitUnitsFormat and Length
Fall: June 1
Spring: Dec. 1
$98830 In-person
24 months 

View Tuition and Financial Aid Information for additional details. 

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Art Therapy Psychology Program Admission, Tuition and Financial Aid

Students may apply to enter the Master of Arts in Art Therapy in the fall and spring semesters and should meet the following requirements:

  • 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.
    A bachelor’s degree in Art, Psychology, or Behavioral Science is preferred. Find complete instructions on how to submit your transcripts to Dominican here.
  • Eighteen semester units (or 27 quarter units), in two- and three-dimensional studio art and design in a range of media, with at least three semester units in drawing, three semester units in painting, and three semester units in clay.
  • A minimum of 12 semester units or 18 quarter units of study in psychology.  Required classes are three units in each of the following: general psychology, lifespan developmental psychology (birth to death), abnormal psychology, and personality theory. A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better
  • Two professional or academic recommendation letters
  • A letter of intent regarding your interest in the profession of art therapy (three to four pages) 
  • A portfolio of 12 color images of personal artwork representing a range of media. Portfolios may be submitted online with JPEG or PowerPoint images.
  • In-person or online interview

Request Information

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy Advanced Standing track is designed for students who already possess a master’s degree in a related mental health field. At the end of this 30-unit track, students will meet the requirements to sit for the exam to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR).

Students may apply to enter in the fall and spring semesters and should meet the following requirements:

1. Students must have completed and provided a transcript of a related master’s degree (minimum 48 semester units or 72 quarter units) from an accredited institution in the U.S. or equivalent academic preparation outside of the U.S.  

  • Related master’s degrees include expressive or creative arts therapies, counseling, social work, psychology, psychiatric nursing, and other mental health professions.
  • Related degrees not tied to licensure include the fine arts, art education, and special education. Other related degrees may be considered with approval from the department chair.

2. Eighteen semester units (or 27 quarter units), or the equivalent, in a range of media in studio art must be completed. A minimum of three semesters in each of the following is required: drawing, painting, and clay.

3. Study in the following content areas at the graduate level: psychopathology, human growth and development across the lifespan, counseling and psychological theories, cultural and social diversity, assessment, and research.

4. Two letters of recommendation, professional or academic.

5. Portfolio of original artwork to demonstrate competence with a range of art materials; 10-12 JPEG images are preferred.

6. A letter of intent, generally three to four pages.

7. In-person or online interview.

Request Information

The MA in Art Therapy and Advanced Standing MA-AT programs begins each fall and spring. 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:

Fall: June 1

Spring: December 1

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. 


Art Therapy Psychology Program Format and Career Paths

  • Start Dates: Spring and Fall
  • The MA in Art Therapy program is 63 units. 
  • The advanced standing MA-AT program is 30 units. 

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

When considering this program, applicants should be aware of, and able to attend, degree-required courses which are scheduled only during summer terms (in addition to fall and spring terms):  

  • A minimum of seven (up to 10) degree-required units are only offered in the summer term. Six of the classes are one-unit, week-long intensives (M-F) for three hours each day.  
  • There is a required one-unit course offered from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on a Saturday and Sunday.
  • Summer classes can be completed over the course of multiple summers.

Applicants should also be aware of, and able to attend, degree-required courses scheduled from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during the fall and spring terms. There are approximately eight weekend courses required over the course of the entire three-year program (including summer).


Master of Art in Art Therapy students will demonstrate:

  • Professional development and clinical suitability.
  • Ability to effectively apply marriage and family therapy and Professional Counselor and Art Therapy Interventions.
  • Understanding of a) claims and evidence and b) methods of implementation of interventions related to Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Art Therapy.
  • Understanding and ability to implement ethical and legal guidelines in treatment as well as scholarly work.
  • Ability to understand, integrate, and communicate research data related to Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Art Therapy.

The MA in Art Therapy program is a clinical licensure course of study, leading to a Master of Arts in Art Therapy while preparing students to apply for a license to become Licensed Practical Clinical Counselors (LPCC) a registered Art Therapists (ATR).

Graduates are prepared to provide counseling and art therapy for individuals, groups, and communities and can 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 University of California 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. 

We also offer working professionals the opportunity to take post-master's advanced standing courses to further their education and career growth. 

counseling psychology checkerboard

Master of Art, Marriage and Family Therapy

The Art Therapy Psychology department also offers a MAMFT, a clinical licensure course of study, leading to a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. This track prepares you for a license to become a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) as well as a Registered Art Therapist (ATR).

Learn More About MAMFT
student painting with faculty

PhD in Art Therapy

As one of only two PhD Art Therapy programs in the country, Dominican's PhD Art Therapy Psychology program attracts a diverse student body from throughout the United States and overseas.

Learn More About Art Therapy PhD

Liberal Arts and Education: In The News

Faculty and Staff

Richard Carolan

Richard Carolan, ATR-BC, EdD

Professor of Art Therapy Department Chair
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Victoria Dobbins

Adjunct Instructor
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Arnell Etherington Reader

Adjunct Professor
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Cheryl Feldman

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Jordan Gonzales

Adjunct Instructor
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Lisa D. Hinz, PhD, ATR-BC

Associate Professor of Art Therapy Director of Art Therapy, PhD
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Kerry Linetzsky

Adjunct Associate Professor
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Lisa Manthe

Adjunct Professor
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Erin Partridge

Adjunct Professor
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Gwen J. Sanders

Adjunct Professor
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Deborah Sharpe

Adjunct Professor
julie carolan headshot

Julie Carolan

Administrative Program Manager, Art Therapy
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Savannah Stone

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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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