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.

student painting outside

Dominican University of California's Art Therapy 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 Program at Dominican has been granted WSCUC approval by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

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
  • A vibrant network of Dominican Art Therapy Psychology MA and PhD alumni
  • Training for clinicians, researchers, and leaders in the field
  • Small classes and individual faculty advising
MA in Art Therapy
Application Deadlines Tuition Rate Per Unit  Units Format and Length

Fall: June 1
Spring: Dec. 1

$959 

63 

In-person
36 months 

MA in Art Therapy (Advanced Standing)
Application Deadlines Tuition Rate Per Unit  Units Format and Length

Fall: June 1
Spring: Dec. 1

$959 

30 

In-person
24 months 

Contact Us. To learn more about Dominican's MA in Art Therapy, contact our Admissions Counselor by phone (415) 485-3280, email katherine.vaughan@dominican.edu or register for a counseling appointment

View Tuition and Financial Aid Information for additional details. 
 

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Meet Your Art Therapy Admissions Counselor 

Art Therapy 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.
  • 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-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

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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. 

TUITION AND Financial AID

Art Therapy 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 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 department also offers a MA-MFT, 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 MA-MFT
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 Program attracts a diverse student body from throughout the United States and overseas.

Learn More About Art Therapy PhD

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