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Best 24 Masters in Art Therapy in 2021

February 16, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Art Therapy
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If you’re creatively talented and have a yearning to help people heal, a career in art therapy is an excellent fit. Part professional artist and part psychologist, the art therapist works closely with medical doctors and patients to help give them prescribed therapeutic sessions in the arts to express themselves and treat a variety of mental and health conditions. Most often these artistic exercises involve painting, drawing, or sculpting, but other times it involves therapeutic dance, music, or performing arts as well. Some art therapists work in doctor’s offices and hospitals, while others work with clients in their own office practices. Some work with special needs patients. Solo art therapists often promote their own services in the local community.

What it Takes to Become an Art Therapist

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies art therapists as a niche within the professional counseling field. Aspiring art therapists who are serious about their work will need to be prepared to achieve the qualifications of the general counseling field also, as a majority of art therapy jobs are in the general therapy sector. The BLS projects that licensed therapists receive on average $30,000 to $95,000 per year in an annual salary. As more awareness is being recognized for the importance of therapy work, employment is estimated to rise close to 5% in this category. Students who are interested in helping individuals in their community with therapeutic methods and who are artistically talented are excellent candidates for becoming an art therapist. They will also need to have excellent listening and communication skills on the job. Aspiring art therapists who plan to provide services on their own will also need to know essential business skills such as billing. Patience and an interest in human psychology are also important to achieve career success.

To become an art therapist, a student will need a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A Masters in Art Therapy program is particularly helpful. Graduate students will need to submit a portfolio of their work to the school, along with completing a practicum and internship. They will also need to be licensed. Depending on the state, they would need to be licensed in either art therapy or in another field of counseling. If you’re not sure what specific credentials you will need, refer to the Art Therapy Credentials Board.

The Top 24 Schools with a Masters in Art Therapy Program

1. Saint Mary of the Woods – MA in Art Therapy with an Emphasis in Counseling (110 points)

This Catholic school in Indiana is small but mighty with its powerful MA in Art Therapy program. With an affordable rate, a campus experience with undivided devotion and attention, and a historical supporter of women’s rights, Saint Mary of the Woods is an excellent choice for quality education that makes a difference in people’s lives.

  • Graduate Tuition: $12,780
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 8 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 327

2. Cedar Crest College – MA in Art Therapy (102 points)

This private school in Allentown PA focuses on the deep theories of art therapy and helps prepare students for real-world situations in their professional studio. If you’re looking for quality and value in the Mid Atlantic states, Cedar Crest’s Masters in Art Therapy program is a solid choice.

  • Graduate Tuition: $14,287
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 310

3. Eastern Virginia Medical School – MS Art Therapy and Counseling Program (96 points)

The hands-on approach with Eastern Virginia Medical School’s (EVMS) Art Therapy and Counseling Program brings learning to life for students, who have the opportunity to practice at three of their 50 internship locations in Hampton Roads, VA. They will also help prepare students for the required therapy licensing exams. The result? 94% of graduate students in 2019 gained employment right away in their field, a very impressive number for a niche medical field.

  • Graduate Tuition: $20,575
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,275

4. New York University – MA in Art Therapy (94 points)

New York City is well known in the professional fine arts circuit, so it’s no surprise that their Masters in Art Therapy Program is also top flight at New York University (NYU). Coursework at NYU focuses on cross-cultural and evidence-based clinical practice with cutting edge educational technologies and an emphasis on promoting social justice in the therapeutic fields. It is definitely one of the cutting edge art colleges of New York

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  • Graduate Tuition: $33,408
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 25,904

5. Naropa University – MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Concentration of Transpersonal Art Therapy (92 points)

Established in 1974, this relatively new college in Boulder, CO takes on art therapy counseling with a unique Buddhist approach and up to 1,000 clinical hours needed for credits to licensure. The program focuses on practices such as mindfulness and a transpersonal experience with creating art.

  • Graduate Tuition: $22,800
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 7 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 523

6. Mount Mary University – MS in Art Therapy (91 points)

Mount Mary University is well respected in Wisconsin for its comprehensive Art Therapy program. The university was influential in reaching out to Croatia and establishing an art therapy initiative to help residents express themselves and heal in the Cold War-torn country.

  • Graduate Tuition: $14,952
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 587

7. Loyola Marymount University – MA in Marital and Family Therapy with Concentration in Art Therapy (90 points)

This California-based Catholic school has a vibrant art therapy concentration program that prepares students to become nationally licensed art therapists. Their summer internship program in Mexico and affiliation with the Art Therapy Research Institute enriches graduate students for a meaningful launch in their careers.

  • Graduate Tuition: $18,606
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 3,044

7. Lesley University – Master’s Expressive Therapies Program (90 points)

Lesley University has one of the most extensive art therapy programs, as it not only has one concentration but four! The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has concentration options in art therapy, expressive arts, music, and even dance to further hone their therapeutic study skills.

  • Graduate Tuition: $18,540
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,382

9. Pratt Institute, New York Campus – MS in Art Therapy and Creativity Development (88 points)

Located in the heart of New York City, the prestigious Pratt Institute offers a high-quality educational experience in their Art Therapy and Creativity Development program, which includes two years of carefully attentive internship for undivided attention and learning.

  • Graduate Tuition: $33,246
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,392

10. Prescott College – Post-Graduate Certificate, Expressive Arts Therapy (86 points)

Prescott College’s innovative art therapy program is designed as a crowning piece for the Master of Science in Counseling. Everything in the coursework is offered online, including the master’s, so students can work their studies with great flexibility in their own communities.

  • Graduate Tuition: $21,696
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 490

11. Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling – MA in Art Therapy (85 points)

Lewis & Clark offers a reliable foundation in their core art therapy teaching. Students can pursue an optional MS track as well after enrolling in the MA program and can move further in their studies for a PhD. as well.

  • Graduate Tuition: $17,046
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,288

12. Marywood University – MA in Art Therapy (84 points)

Marywood University’s practical art-based approach is front and center in their master’s program, with an attractive tuition rate to match. Graduates will also be able to pass licensing for the state of Pennsylvania and the National Art Therapy Certification Examination.

  • Graduate Tuition: $9,888
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 876

13. University of Louisville – MEd in Counseling and Personnel Services (77 points)

Unlike most master’s in art therapy programs, the University of Louisville offers an MEd with an emphasis on education and research and art therapy worked into the curriculum. Graduates are ready for licensing in the state of Kansas and other applicable options.

  • Graduate Tuition: $13,000
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 5,810

14. Emporia State University – MS in Art Therapy & Clinical Counseling / Clinical Psychology (75 points)

Emporia’s unique offering of a dual degree program is a great option for the serious student to go all in. It’s a great value considering the graduate tuition rate, and students can come out on top with a stronger educational portfolio in their careers.

  • Graduate Tuition: $6,394
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,472

15. Edinboro University School of Graduate Studies – MA in Counseling / Art Therapy (69 points)

This award-winning master’s program is one of the first accredited in the United States, and there’s a good reason for it. Edinboro’s engaging and lively educational environment not only educates graduates to provide therapy but empower permanent change.

  • Graduate Tuition: $9,288
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,247

16. Notre Dame de Namur University – MA in Art Therapy, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy (68 points)

Notre Dame de Namur offers both master’s programs in an interesting tandem path that leads to a Ph.D. in Art Therapy for continued expertise. 30% of its students are attracted to the program from outside its home state of California.

  • Graduate Tuition: $17,262
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 568

17. Florida State University College of Fine Arts – MS in Art Therapy (67 points)

Florida State’s renowned art therapy program is ranked #1 in the nation by TopCounselingSchools.org, adding high value to this affordable graduate program for dedicated art therapy students.

  • Graduate Tuition: $9,684
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 9,180

18. Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions – MA in Art Therapy and Counseling (65 points)

Drexel’s hands-on learning practice offers students a comprehensive studying opportunity to apply art therapy practices in a variety of settings and real clinical situations to strengthen core learning.

  • Graduate Tuition: $35,181
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 8,791

19. Springfield College – MEd, MS in Art Therapy / Counseling (62 points)

Students can take this flexible master’s degree in either the master of science or master of education track in a format that fits the needs of their busy schedule. They can also enter straight into the workforce after graduation, or continue to learn at the Ph.D. level for further enrichment.

  • Graduate Tuition: $32,190
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 935

20. University of Wisconsin-Superior – MA in Art Therapy (60 points)

This practical master’s in art therapy program is among the few top accredited degrees in the Midwest region, and the school has also partnered with a local art gallery for hands-on application of art techniques for clinical work.

  • Graduate Tuition: $7,640
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 351

20. The George Washington University – MA in Art Therapy (60 points)

George Washington’s competitive art therapy program is highly sought-after among students in the field, and it’s a small wonder why. The program is basic in form, but strong in content, allowing students to learn about treating a variety of conditions including trauma.

  • Graduate Tuition: $31,770
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 15,330

22. Caldwell University – MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with Art Therapy Specialization (58 points)

Caldwell University focuses its art therapy program on the professional practicum, encouraging students to achieve art therapy education through flexible pathways and graduate with a strong footing in the counseling professions.

  • Graduate Tuition: $17,910
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 497

23. Seton Hill University – MA in Art Therapy – Specialization in Counseling (57 points)

The comprehensive MA in Art Therapy program at Seton Hill is an enriching and worthwhile education. Art therapy graduates have moved on to provide their services in hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters in their communities, and that’s something to smile about.

  • Graduate Tuition: $14,652
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 345

24. Albertus Magnus College – MA in Art Therapy and Counseling (40 points)

While some art therapy programs focus more on the mental medical side, Albertus Magnus takes on a more personal approach to the healing of the soul. Students take a deep dive into the art-human connection as they learn art-making as a universal language for therapists and patients alike.

  • Graduate Tuition: $20,520
  • Student-to-faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Graduate Enrollment: 303

Our Ranking Methodology

Each of the graduate tuition rates above was calculated by the in-state rate for an academic semester year for graduate students. One academic year is defined by Best Value Schools as two course credit semesters. All of the listed ranking data is sourced from each school’s website, and curated from the Google Search web engine. The school data is sourced from the specific campus over the parent-school if it applies. Three areas were scored for each college – estimated tuition, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of graduate student enrollments in the last academic year. From there, all the institutions were scored first by the lowest in-state tuition, then by the smallest student-to-faculty ratio, and finally by the highest number of graduate enrollments. A weighted total was applied with a 50% emphasis on tuition and a two-thirds emphasis on the student-to-faculty ratio to get the final rankings shown.

At Best Value Schools, we take great strides in preserving the most accurate college data to the best of our abilities. If you are employed at any of these schools and find information that needs to be corrected, simply reach out to us and we will be happy to correct it and make updates. Students who are information in learning more information about a Masters in Art Therapy can begin their journey right here on our Best Value Schools website. The world is waiting for you to step into your future… are you ready? Let’s get started today to help you prepare for the art therapy career you’ve always been dreaming of.

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