Skip to main content

Art Therapy Graduate Degree

Thesis Option

The MS in Art Therapy Counseling is designed to be completed in two academic years including summer internship however, part-time study is possible, and will increase the length of the program.

Students with background deficiencies and those beginning the program in the spring semester should plan for extra time to complete degree requirements.

Course Requirements & Descriptions

AT 708 Art Media & Materials Use in Art Therapy (3 hrs)

This course is an advanced seminar providing opportunities for art therapy graduate students to explore media and its applications within the context of art therapy practice. The use and exploration of diverse media in art therapy will emphasize Kagin and Lusebrink’s Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) Model. The course will engage students in experiential learning, both in and out of class, and will underscore studio art practices within the context of art therapy and specific to application with clinical populations. Venue and cultural implications, as well as ethical and safety issues, of media and its use will be explored. The course presents opportunities for students to plan for self-care through art making, both as graduate art therapy students and in future professional practice. Finally, the course engages students in art-based community service learning experiences.

AT 800 Art Therapy Foundations (3 hrs)

Designed for graduate art therapy students, this course will introduce the theoretical and practical applications of art therapy, some of which parallel approaches studied in prerequisite courses, as well as an historical overview of the field. Students will be introduced to the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) and acquire introductory knowledge in the areas of graphic development, clinical properties of art media, treatment modalities and techniques, and the use of art therapy with special populations.

AT 801 Art Therapy Group Dynamics & Special Populations (2 hrs)

Students will gain an understanding of group dynamics, learn about needs and approaches for various special populations and settings, and acquire sufficient knowledge of theory and practical applications to plan and facilitate art therapy groups. The course will be both didactic and experiential and will require outside reading and class participation.

AT 802 Developmental Treatment Models in Art Therapy (3 hrs)

The course explores models of developmental psychology to address the entire lifespan, along with art therapy methods pertinent to the various life stages. Students learn about the universal developmental path of artmaking through childhood and adolescence and about variations that may occur. The course will be both didactic and experiential and will require outside reading and class participation.

AT 804 Art Therapy Advanced Assessment & Techniques in Relationships & Families (3 hrs)

This advanced art therapy course will introduce art therapy and psychological projective assessments their roles in client evaluation and treatment planning, and will provide a clinical understanding of family art therapy assessment and approaches, with a focus on structural and narrative family art therapy. An emphasis on experiential learning will foster critical thinking in the application of methods and tools relevant to art therapy practice. Assessments covered include Sentence Completion, Draw-A-Person, Kinetic House-Tree-Person, Kinetic Family Drawing, Draw a Story, Person Picking an Apple from a Tree, Diagnostic Art Interview, and Family Art Assessments by Kwiatkowska and Landgarten.

AT 810 Introduction to Art Therapy Research (2 hrs)

This course will provide an introduction to art therapy research. Existing literature in the art therapy field will be explored and discussed. The class will be introduced to basic research terminology and concepts, formats in proposals in research, problems in art therapy and research design. Students are expected to gain an understanding of current research, pitfalls in research, ethics and multicultural considerations. The student will formulate and complete two research proposals. The instructor will aid in research ideas, as needed. Additionally, students will complete pertinent literature reviews and participate regularly in class discussions.

AT 812 Applied Art Therapy Research (2 hrs)

This course will provide an advanced review of research design and implementation in the art therapy field. The class will review research terminology and concepts, formats in conducting research, research problems in art therapy and research design. Students are expected to research, design and complete a research project in conjunction with the SPSS class. The instructor will aid in research ideas, as needed. Additionally, students are expected to complete critical reviews of research and participate regularly in class discussion.

AT 835 Art Therapy Internship (6 hrs)

This course is an advanced art therapy seminar providing supervision and peer consultation specific to internships and clinical practice. Formal and brief case presentations incorporating theoretical framework (including technique), diagnosis, assessment and treatment, and relevant ethical issues will be presented and discussed. Students will examine their performance at their current internship site(s), contribute regularly, provide and receive feedback, and engage in discussions regarding case studies presented in class. Professional issues and opportunities will be presented, discussed, and pursued. Additionally, the course includes an experiential learning component; learners will engage in media exploration and appropriate application (as well as contra-indication) with clinical populations. Full participation in class dialogue is essential; peer feedback, critical thinking, and idea sharing are viewed as intellectual exercises.

AT 850 Art Therapy Thesis (3 hrs)

This course is an advanced art therapy seminar providing mentoring and peer consultation specific to the creation of a Master’s Thesis. Students are expected to be proficient in APA style writing. Students will design and implement research within a structured format, supervised by art therapy faculty and a Thesis Committee. Students will prepare for committee proposal and defense of their work, as well as future presentation and publication.

CE 708 Multicultural Counseling (3 hrs)

This course is designed to meet the growing demand for culturally competent counseling and human service providers by providing graduate students with a foundation in multicultural counseling. The text provides interpretation, examination, and information on a broad range of cultures and potential views of therapy and treatment. Students are expected to comprehensively evaluate their own ethnic upbringing and belief systems, as well as a broad range of other cultural value systems to enhance their level of awareness, knowledge, and skills. Course material will be experienced through a variety of teaching and learning methods, including: reading, discussion, didactics, class presentation, and experiential activities. This course includes the use of imagery and metaphor within counseling and art therapy settings. Non-verbal symbol systems in arts-based interventions can prove to be extremely effective with diverse cultures and persons with disabilities.

CE 820 Career Counseling & Development (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites, CE810 or concurrent.) An introduction to career counseling with various types of clientele. The theoretical emphasis is on the development aspects of career decision making from childhood through adulthood. Attention is given to various information sources and techniques for counselors to use in assisting clients with appropriate approaches to decision making.

CE 825 Counseling Theories (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites, CE 810 or concurrent.) This course provides students with an overview of foundational counseling theories: psychodynamic, phenomenological, cognitive-behavioral, and post-modern approaches. Students reflect on their values and beliefs to identify the counseling theories that best fit their worldviews. The application of theory to client concerns in education, private practice, public rehabilitation, and community settings is introduced and modeled. Videos demonstrating how theory and techniques can be used are presented weekly.

CE 830 Group Processes in Counseling (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites: 9 graduate hours in Art Therapy Counseling, Clinical Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling or permission required.) This course provides an understanding of group dynamics, stages of group development, group leadership styles, group counseling methods and skills, and presents group process theories and methods applicable in all group counseling settings. Specifically, this course is designed to provide experiential techniques and intervention strategies essential for counselors treating mental disorders in therapeutic groups in mental health settings. Part of this course provides students the opportunity to participate in brief counseling groups facilitated by the professor during which techniques and interventions reflecting various group counseling theorists and group processes are implemented.

CE 833 Diagnosis & Treatment of Mental Disorders (3 hrs)

This course provides an overview of the diagnostic criteria utilized in the diagnosis of mental illness. Assessment, psychopharmacology, treatment and rehabilitation modalities will be explored. Using lecture and case studies, students will be provided with experience in diagnosing mental disorders and developing appropriate treatment/rehabilitation plans.

CE 835 Theory & Practice of Appraisal in Counseling (3 hrs)

This course focuses on the theory, standardization, and application of various assessment instruments necessary for conducting a comprehensive Mental Health Evaluation and doing mental health counseling. These assessment instruments include projective and standardized personality tests, aptitude, intelligence, achievement, and interest inventories. Administering, analyzing, and interpreting the findings of assessment instruments and the writing of comprehensive mental health evaluations is the major emphasis of this course.

CE 893 Professional, Ethical, & Legal Issues in Counseling (3 hrs)

This course will examine foundations of counseling and the development of professional attitude and identity in relation to codes of ethics, professional behavior, ethical issues, credentialing, practice and research, clinical supervision and legal and liability concerns facing practitioners working in community, agency, school, and art therapy settings. Comparison of ethical codes and similar issues will be made within the counseling disciplines and art therapy. Particular emphases are placed on issues of confidentiality, child abuse, elder abuse, and ethical dilemmas associated with dual-role relationships, as well as the use of creative arts within art therapy and counseling settings. Other topics include issues associated with psychotherapy, multiculturalism, research, advertising, and challenges related to specific work settings. Decision-making models used by art therapists and counselors for addressing ethical issues are explored through experiential exercises, written assignments, and presentations.

CE 670 Substance Abuse in Counseling (3 hrs)

This course provides a theoretical and practical orientation to a broad range of topics in substance abuse counseling, including: etiological theories; substances of abuse; assessment and diagnosis; treatment planning; ethical and legal issues; individual, group and family modalities; the continuum of care; and clinical considerations for special populations and diverse cultures. Special focus will be on predominant approaches including Motivational Interviewing and the Stages of Change model.

CE 770 Relationship & Family Counseling (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites: 9 graduate hours in Art Therapy Counseling, Clinical Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling. Permission required.) This course serves as an introduction to marriage and family counseling. This course presents the basic theories, history, issues and procedures followed in marriage and family counseling. In addition, this course focuses on giving the student experience in completing relevant documentation and appraisal instruments pertinent to marriage and family counseling. The ethical, legal, and related professional issues as well as implications of socio-cultural and lifestyle diversity relevant to the field will be covered. Major approaches will be demonstrated and discussed.

PY 520 Statistics 1 - Thesis Option (3 hrs)

(Prerequisites: 9 graduate hours in Art Therapy Counseling, Clinical Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling. Permission required.) This course serves as an introduction to marriage and family counseling. This course presents the basic theories, history, issues and procedures followed in marriage and family counseling. In addition, this course focuses on giving the student experience in completing relevant documentation and appraisal instruments pertinent to marriage and family counseling. The ethical, legal, and related professional issues as well as implications of socio-cultural and lifestyle diversity relevant to the field will be covered. Major approaches will be demonstrated and discussed.

Choose one of these two courses:

ER 752 Analysis of Research (3 hrs)

An introductory graduate level course in research methodology designed to allowthe student to function as a knowledgeable and critical consumer of scholarly research in their field ofendeavor.

ER 851 Research Design & Writing (3 hrs)

Develop competencies in designing research proposals and writing of research work. Introduction to theoretical concepts and research. Investigate, evaluate and discuss various types of research studies and designs. A study of variables related to research problems and hypotheses. Development of first three chapters of thesis or research problem.

Total for Thesis: 60 hrs