M.A. in Counseling with Clinical Mental Health Counseling/ Art Therapy Specialization – CACREP – Accredited; AATA – Approved

Art Therapy Alumni Branch taking photos in group.
Spring Hats Photo
Art Therapy Student Party
2016 Graduation Class posing for the photo.
Art Therapy Day of Service- Essex County Hospital; Student conducting volunteering activities for the Essex hospital.
Art Therapy Day of Service- Essex County Hospital; Student doing some volunteering activities on Essex County Hospital.
Caldwell University Student Attending the Art Therapy Conference.
Graduate Student Puppet Performance “The Comfort Zone”.
Art Therapy Conference
“Wearable Art” Graduate Art Therapy Student Show.
“Wearable Art” Graduate Art Therapy Student Show
“Wearable Art” Graduate Art Therapy Student Show.
Caldwell University Student getting ready for the performance.
Werner Hall Art Therapy Gallery “Two Man Show”
Art Therapy Conference on Caldwell University.

CACREP AccreditedThe M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Art Therapy Specialization is a uniquely designed 63-credit interdisciplinary program that prepares students to effectively function as clinical mental health counselors and art therapists in a variety of human service settings. The program integrates the practice of art therapy within the clinical mental health counseling model, reflected in educational philosophy, course readings, and course content.

The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP) and fulfills coursework requirements for licensure in New Jersey as a Professional Counselor and CACREP Standards for Clinical Mental Health Counselors. The program is also approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and fulfills coursework requirements for registration as an art therapist with AATA and licensure as a Professional Art Therapist (LPAT) in New Jersey.

Graduate coursework is a combination of didactic and experiential teaching
methods, allowing students to successfully blend theory and practice. The program requires that students complete prescribed coursework, practica and internship experiences, and pass a written and oral comprehensive examination.

Admissions Requirements Program Requirements (63 credits)

Note – The application deadlines for the M.A. in Counseling with Mental Health
Counseling/Art Therapy Specialization are: April 1 – Summer; June 1 – Fall;
December 1 – Spring Semesters

  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2
  • 15 credits in Psychology including Psychological Statistics, Experimental Psychology, Psychopathology, Human Development and either General Psychology OR Personality Theory with at least a B in each
  • 18 credits in studio art including drawing, painting, and three-dimensional work with at least a B in each
  • Official undergraduate/graduate transcripts
  • Writing sample: submit a research-based paper of 5-10 pages that was previously submitted in an undergraduate psychology, graduate counseling or art therapy course. APA style preferred.
  • Art portfolio of 10-15 pieces, slides, or digital copies evidencing proficiency in different media (ideally shared with Graduate Admissions via a PowerPoint or Slides presentation or via Google Drive)
  • Two letters of recommendation for graduate study, preferably from former professors or current employer
  • Personal interview with Program Coordinator and/or participation in a group interview

If provisional acceptance granted, at least 12 studio art credits must be completed prior to beginning graduate coursework and all prerequisites need to be completed no later than twelve (12) months after entering the program.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy Specialization

CPS 510 Research Methods & Statistics (3)
CPS 520 Intro to Mental Health Counseling (3)
CPS 545 Legal & Ethical Issues in Counseling (3)
CPS 562 Assessment Methods in Counseling (3)
CPS 577 Diagnosis & Treatment of Psychopathy (3)
CPS 633 Career Counseling (3)
CPS 667 Lifespan Development (3)
CAT 501 History & Development of Art Therapy (3)
CAT 507 Art Therapy Methods (3)
CAT 509 Cultural & Social Diversity (3)
CAT 514 Theory & Application I (3)
CAT 515 Theory & Application II (3)
CAT 607 Art-based Assessment (3)
                                     * must be taken with internship
CAT 612 Treatment of Children & Adolescents (3)
CAT 614 Professional Practice (3)
CAT 617 Group Process (3)

CPS 590 Counseling Practicum (3)
CAT 601 Internship I (1)
CAT 602 Internship II (1)
CAT 603 Adv Internship I (2)
CAT 604 Adv Internship II (2)

CAT 510 Treatment of Trauma (3)
CAT 615 Spirituality in Counseling & Art Thera (3)
CPS 535 Biopsychology (3)
CPS 613 Techniques of Individual Counseling (3)
CPS 619 Counseling Prac Sem: Cog & Beh The (3)
CPS 621 Crisis Intervention (3)
CPS 627 Psychopharmacology/MH Professional (3)
CPS 637 Substance Abuse Counseling (3)
CPS 657 Issues of Grief in Counseling (3)
CPS 673 Foundations of Brief Couns Mod (3)
CPS 677 Sexual Issues in Counseling (3)
CPS 689 Advanced Seminar in REBT (3)
CPS 699 Seminar in Special Topics (3)


Practica/Internship Screening Requirements
Practica and internships are the culminating experiences in counselor education, preparing students to apply classroom learning to real-world concerns. Success in these courses is a requirement for graduation. Some placement sites require certain types of health and other screening in order to protect their vulnerable populations.

To qualify for full admission and continue in the counseling program, students must supply all required health information within their first semester. Criminal background and drug screening may be required within 30 days of placement in some facilities. All screenings are the student’s responsibility; the Program Coordinator can assist in identifying practicum/internship sites.

Transfer of Graduate Credit
Caldwell University may accept the transfer of six credits of graduate work in counseling, art therapy, or a closely related field, provided the credits were completed within five years of the student’s graduate registration at Caldwell. Official transcripts of previous graduate work, as well as the catalog description of each course, must be submitted for review at the time of application. Approval of transfer credit is based on course content and grade earned in the course. Each request for transfer credit will be reviewed by the Program Coordinator.


The M.A. in Counseling with Clinical Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy Specialization uses a combination of assessment measures to evaluate student learning and competency. These include: Mid-term and final exams; signature assignments and research papers
that assess students’ comprehension, organizational and writing skills; successful integration of theory with course material, especially the use of research to inform clinical practice; completion of specific projects that assess integration of counseling and psychological principles with personal experience; and the administration of both psychological and art-based assessments with actual clients in at least 800 hours of supervised practicum/internship experience that demonstrates professional aptitude and an ability to integrate theory and practice. Like all M.A. in Counseling graduates, earning the degree with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy Specialization requires successful completion of a two-part comprehensive exam in the form of a case study.

Art Therapy Counseling Program Mission

The art therapy counseling programs seek to prepare competent entry-level Clinical Mental Health Counselor/Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains, attending to the sustainment of the program guided by the CACREP and CAAHEP standards. Students participate in an active, inclusive learning environment where they foster meaning through the process of self-reflection, become scholar-practitioners, and generate new knowledge and methods. Students mature and develop competencies leading them through the transition from graduate student to a professional prepared to offer healing opportunities to members of society.

Program Objectives

The art therapy counseling programs operationalize its mission through the program goals and objectives. The broad program goals are to attain and develop:

  •  Sustainability plans for the counseling art therapy community
  • Community Service opportunities through active involvement of faculty, students and constituents in co-curricular activities;
  •  Curricula Emphasizing Competency in Knowledge, Skills, and Awareness from Professional Core Content Areas and Learning Domains by developing benchmarks, remediation plans, curricula, signature assignments, comprehensive exam, and measures for professional dispositions;
  •  Support for students to make the transition from Student to Professional

Program Evaluation Plan (PEP)