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Graduate Degree

MS - Art Therapy (Post Master's)

MS - Art Therapy (Post Master's)

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.

Program description

Do you already have a master's degree? The post-master’s Master of Science in Art Therapy is designed for professionals already holding a master’s degree in a related master's licensed field, such as social work or counseling, who would like to pursue a dual identity as an art therapist.

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.

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.

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 the unique option culminating in candidates earning two graduate degrees through this program through our dual degree programs.

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.

Length of Program

The M.S. in Art Therapy (Post Master's) is designed to be completed in two academic years, but part-time students are welcome. Students generally enter the program in the fall semester but  may elect to begin the program in other enrollment periods (spring and summer) to either eliminate prerequisites or to pick up non-sequence courses. However, beginning in spring will result in a minimum of 2.5 years for degree completion, but course load will be slightly lighter.

View the program requirements here.pdf.

Credit hours

60 credit hours


Admission Requirements

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:

  1. Completed graduate school application online;
  2. Official transcripts showing an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally (or equivalent) accredited institution;
  3. 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;
  4. Writing style and content of program application;
  5. Education and employment history: Please mention any volunteer or work experience with special populations in online application;
  6. Three references, at least one from a current or former psychology professor. Reference forms are available online, however, letters are preferred;
  7. Invited interviews with faculty for selected applications. Interviews may be conducted in person or via distance technology.
  8. Attitudinal and behavioral attributes deemed conducive to success in the program and discipline;
  9. Completed Art Therapy Counseling program application online or by contacting the Counselor Education Department at 620-341-5220.
  10. Applicants interested in the dual program with Clinical Counseling or Psychology must complete a separate application.
  11. Prerequisite of 12 semester hours of psychology to include Abnormal Psychology and Developmental Psychology;
  12. 18 credit hours of studio art coursework; and,
  13. 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.

How to contact us

Phone + Email

Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, Program Director
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Carleen Dvorak, Administrator
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Mailing Address

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

Physical Address

Department of Counselor Education
(off of the ESU main campus)
1601 State St., Emporia
The Earl Center, Upper Level