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MS - Art Therapy Counseling


MS - Art Therapy Counseling

Art Therapy offers several advantages verbal therapy cannot. Through the creation of art, one can express thoughts, feelings, and conflicts that cannot be easily expressed through words. At ESU, you can choose to study for an MS in Art Therapy or select one of our two dual degree programs, Art Therapy with Clinical Counseling or Art Therapy with Clinical Psychology.

Our Art Therapy program is one of only a handful in the central U.S. By maintaining a low student-to-faculty ratio, the Art Therapy program provides quality individual attention and helps to meet the needs of the increasingly diverse student body.

Our faculty combines strengths in clinical experience with diverse populations; highly regarded book, article, and chapter publications; research skills; innumerable professional presentations; fine arts training and practice; and state, national, and international professional service and networking to offer students an exemplary art therapy education.

The Emporia State University Art Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education.

The Emporia State University Art Therapy Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Our most recent annual reporting for CAAHEP/ACATE demonstrated a Positive Placement rate of 100%. Data collected for the reporting period of 2018-2020 revealed a Rate of Retention of 93.1%.

applying for this program

More information on applying

To pursue a master's degree in Art Therapy Counseling, you need to apply through ESU's Graduate School before your information is evaluated for admittance by the Department of Counselor Education.

You need to complete all necessary admission requirements prior to enrolling in courses.

An admissions committee composed of faculty members will consider the following criteria in deciding whether or not to recommend a person for admission:

Completed graduate school application online;

Official transcripts showing an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally (or equivalent) accredited institution;

Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 point scale or a 3.25 on the last 60 semester hours, and/or graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher;

Writing style and content of program application;

Education and employment history: Please mention any volunteer or work experience with special populations in online application;

Three references, at least one from a current or former psychology professor. Reference forms are available online, however, letters are preferred;

Invited interviews with faculty for selected applications. Interviews may be conducted in person or via distance technology.

Attitudinal and behavioral attributes deemed conducive to success in the program and discipline;

Completed Art Therapy Counseling program application online or by contacting the Counselor Education Department at 620-341-5220.

Applicants interested in the dual program with Clinical Counseling or Psychology must complete a separate application.

Prerequisite of 12 semester hours of psychology to include Abnormal Psychology and Developmental Psychology;

18 credit hours of studio art coursework; and,

Electronic portfolio with 15-20 examples of artwork demonstrating competence with a range of media.

All qualified applicants to Counselor Education receive equal consideration for admission, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, gender, familial or parental status, marital status, sexual orientation or identity, religious or non-religious beliefs, age, disability, military or veteran status, or socioeconomic status. ESU provides accommodations to applicants with disabilities, as requested from Student Accessibility & Support Services. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


60 credit hours

Required application materials

Graduate School Application

Upon filling out the application, one has the choice to choose a concentration to supplement their Master's Degree. If one does not desire to choose a concentration, then leave that section blank on the application.

Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

Departmental application


Three reference forms

Submitting Application Materials

The following items must be provided/completed at the time of application submission through the Application Portal:

*Unofficial bachelor's degree transcript

*Departmental application located within the Graduate School application


*Three references or the names and emails of three recommenders

Official transcripts

Students must submit official bachelor’s degree transcripts containing at least 60 credit hours of coursework and final grades. Any additional transcripts from college credit accumulated after the bachelor’s degree MUST be submitted if you will be using these credits for transfer credit or for last 60 GPA. Transcripts are considered official when they arrive in the Graduate Office in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution or are received through a secure electronic transcript service to

If the transcripts need to be mailed, send to:

Emporia State University
Graduate School

Campus Box 4003
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415

Art Therapy Alum posing for photo

Why ESU?

ESU is home to the oldest continually running art therapy master's program not just in the US, but in the world. Our faculty are nationally known for their leadership, publications, clinical and community service.

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Apply to the Emporia State University Graduate School.

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Scholarships are available for Art Therapy students.

Figures made out of wooden sticks for Emporia State's Art Therapy program

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Art Therapy is a program of The School of Applied Health Sciences at Emporia State University.

How to Contact Us

Phone + Email

Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, Program Director
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Mailing Address

Counselor Education
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Campus Box 4036
Emporia, KS 66801

Physical Address

Counselor Education
1701 Morse Road
Visser Hall, 3rd Floor