Graduate Degrees Available in
Our 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 Master of Science in Art Therapy prepares human service professionals to utilize the creative art process and patient/client responses as reflections of an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. We have degree options for masters and post-master’s students. Program completers are eligible to apply for the registered art therapist (ATR) credential.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Art Therapy?
Art therapy offers several advantages that verbal therapy cannot. Through the creation of art, one can express thoughts, feelings, and conflicts that cannot be easily expressed through words. Those who cannot communicate effectively through other means can benefit greatly from the process. Art is a direct path to the real issues an individual is struggling with; it bypasses defenses that we use to protect or distance ourselves. The process of making art is therapeutic in itself, as the client gives symbolic shape and form to inner feelings.
- What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is a human service profession utilizing art media, images, the creative art process and patient/client responses to the created productions as reflections of an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. Art Therapy practice is based on knowledge of human developmental and psychological theories which are implemented in the full spectrum of models of assessment and treatment including educational, psychodynamic, cognitive, transpersonal, and other therapeutic means of reconciling emotional conflicts, fostering self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behavior, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation and increasing self-esteem. Art Therapy is an effective treatment for individuals who have developmental, medical, educational, social, or psychological impairments; and is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, and forensic institutions. Populations of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds are served by art therapists in individual, couples, family, and group therapy formats.
- Where is Art Therapy practiced?
Art therapists work in private practice or as part of a treatment team. They work in both regular and special education schools, medical and psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, counseling centers, prisons, substance abuse rehabilitation programs, pain clinics, halfway houses, community centers, industrial / organizational settings, nursing homes, shelters, outpatient and inpatient treatment programs, and many other settings.
- Who practices Art Therapy?
Entry into the profession is at the master’s level. The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) oversees the professional credentialing practice of art therapists.
- Is there an undergraduate degree or minor in Art Therapy at Emporia State University?
While no undergraduate degree or minor in art therapy is available at Emporia State University, students interested in pursuing the MS in Art Therapy should complete the BS in Art and the courses listed with the art department.
Mission + Licensure / Certification
The mission of the ESU Graduate Art Therapy Program is to prepare exceptional graduates who think purposefully, creatively, and ethically about the psychological constructs involved in the art making and reflection processes.
Art Therapy is a human service profession that utilizes art media, images, the creative art process and patient/client responses to the created productions as reflections of an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. Our two-year degree program results in a Master of Science in Art Therapy Counseling.
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.
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, research skills, fine arts training, state and national professional service, and international networking to offer students an exemplary art therapy education.
The Department of Counselor Education also offers unique options culminating in candidates earning two graduate degrees.
Emporia State University demonstrated a 90.91% Positive Placement for graduates between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. Positive placement refers to graduates employed full or part-time in the field of art therapy or in a related field, continuing in their education, or serving in the military. A related field is one in which the graduate uses the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective competencies acquired in the program.
From how to get admitted to the program all the way through what it takes to graduate with your degree, the information you need is here.
More than 85% of ESU's art therapy students are employed upon graduation. Find out where our art therapy program alumni work.
Our Art Therapy program offers two stand-alone master's degrees, as well as two options for dual degrees. You can earn two master's at once through the dual degree programs in Art Therapy + Clinical Counseling or Art Therapy + Clinical Psychology.
Art Therapy Counseling
Master of Science
Art Therapy, Post-Master's
Master of Science
Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling, Dual Curriculum
Master of Science
Art Therapy and Clinical Psychology, Dual Curriculum
Master of Science
Learn about internships in the field.
Learn more about organizations and employment available.
If you need to mail something to the program, please send it to our mailing address:
Art Therapy Program
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Campus Box 4036
Emporia, KS 66801
The physical address of the building is:
Art Therapy Program
(not on the ESU main campus)
Department of Counselor Education
Earl Center, Rm #252
1601 State Street
The Art Therapy Program is in the Department of Counselor Education, housed in the upper level of The Earl Center. Accessible parking spaces are available near the entrance.
The two story, brick building houses is located off of State Street across from Hammond Park.