Post-Graduate M.A. in Art Therapy

This program is intended for professionals who already hold an M.A. in Counseling or a closely related field and who are interested in pursuing a career in art therapy. Graduate art therapy courses fulfill the educational requirements for registration as an Art Therapist through the American Art Therapy Association and licensure as a Professional Art Therapist (LPAT) in New Jersey. Graduates will need an additional 1500 hours of supervised clinical work in art therapy to qualify.

Admission Requirements Program Requirements (36 credits)
  •  M.A. in Counseling or a closely related field, demonstrating a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better
  •  18 credits in studio art, to include at least one class in drawing, painting, and three dimensional work
  •  12 graduate or undergraduate credits in counseling or psychology, to include Introduction to Psychology, Personality Theory,   Human Development, and Psychopathology
  •  Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  •  One letter of recommendation
  • 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)
  •  Personal Interview

“Applicants must have prior coursework in the following content areas to qualify for full acceptance. Applicants who do not have coursework in the following areas may be asked to complete additional coursework or receive a conditional acceptance before achieving fully accepted status”
Content areas required at the graduate level prior to full acceptance:

  • Human Growth and Development over the Lifespan
  • Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  •  Appraisal and Evaluation
  •  Research Methods
  •  Career Counseling and Development

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)
CAT 612 Treatment of Children & Adolescents (3)
CAT 614 Professional Practice (3)
CAT 617 Group Process (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 for Art Therapists (3)
CPS 510 Survey of Research Methods (3)
CPS 545 Legal & Ethical Issues in Counseling (3)
CPS 562 Assessment Methods in Counseling (3)
CPS 577 Diagnosis & Treatment of Psychopathy (3)
CPS 613 Techniques of Individual Counseling (3)
CPS 621 Crisis Intervention (3)
CPS 627 Psychopharmacology/MH Professionals (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)

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

  • Sustainability plans through a. maintaining CACREP through reaccreditation and creation of a self-study towards CAAHEP accreditation (MA program) and ACATE approval (Post Grad program), b. the study of vital statistics (demographics of applicants, students, and graduates), attention to admissions and enrollment, and maintaining an inclusive learning environment; (see Grid 1 below)
  • Community Service opportunities  through  active involvement of faculty, students and constituents in co-curricular activities; and
  • 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;
  • The transition from Student to Professional through providing opportunities to sit for and track scores from the NCE, administering a comprehensive exam, tracking graduates’ credentialing process and, follow up with graduates, supervisors, and employers.

The program objectives assure sustainability, community service opportunities, the transition to work and minimum competence in the identified core content areas. To this end, the program will:

  • Increase students’ knowledge of the history of the professions of counseling and art therapy, its trends, goals, and objectives, as well as the professional bodies which guide its ongoing development and ethical practice;
  • Inform and prepare students to appreciate and to perform effectively in a society that is increasingly diverse in culture by fostering inclusivity through knowledge, skills, and self-awareness;
  • Develop a thorough knowledge of human growth and development and the maladaptive behavior that impedes it;
  • Prepare students to perform effectively in intervening with individuals and groups toward positive personal and career development;
  • Provide an appreciation and knowledge of a variety of theoretical orientations in counseling as a basis for the work in today’s diverse society;
  • Create opportunities for group process and for the acquisition of knowledge and skills regarding group practice;
  • Acquaint students with professionally accepted methods of client assessment and to provide appropriate intervention;
  • Assist students in gaining familiarity with and understanding research and program evaluation;
  • Evaluate students over the course of the program to assure gatekeeping and progression through remediation plans, curricula revisions, signature assignments and assessment of professional dispositions.
  • Provide an educational experience and professional preparation this is consistent with core values and mission of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB), Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP);

Program Evaluation Plan (PEP)

Thesis (non-credit)

The academic capstone of the program is a two-part comprehensive exam in the form of a case study. This will be completed during the student’s final art therapy practicum experience (CAT 604). The first part involves a written treatment plan for an art therapy case generated from the practicum site with an actual client; the second involves an oral defense/presentation of the case to a committee of art therapy faculty members. Students will be expected to demonstrate competency in fundamental principles of art therapy practice.

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 University. 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. Each request for transfer credit will be reviewed by the Program Coordinators. Approval of transfer credit is based on course content and grade earned in the course.