Why pursue a Master of Science in Art Therapy with Emphasis in Counseling?

You can become part of a learning community where students and faculty share a commitment to meaningful graduate-level academic, aesthetic, clinical, intrapersonal and interpersonal study. All gender identities are welcome. Our art therapy program is designed to combine your artistic skills with art therapy and counseling theories and techniques so you can develop an integrated professional identity as an artist-therapist and counselor. The program emphasizes experiential learning within a rigorous curriculum and provides a supportive environment for student success.

Get all you need for the next step in your career in in art therapy. Start the journey at Mount Mary.

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About the Master's Program

Program MissionThe Mount Mary University Graduate Art Therapy Program is committed to a relational, art-based philosophy and curriculum that educates students to become self-reflective, ethical practitioners. Didactic, artistic, and experiential learning are integrated with supervised clinical experience to provide an environment for the development of the whole person. Respect for the dignity of all people and their creative expression is a hallmark of the program.  

Program Goal: The overarching goal of the Graduate Art Therapy Program is to prepare competent entry-level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Program-specific goals are:  

  • Goal #1: To develop practitioners that are able to apply theory to practice, employ critical thinking, and navigate complexity and conditions of uncertainty. 
  • Goal#2: To develop practitioners that are able to effectively utilize the creative process and active visual art making within the helping relationship. 
  • Goal#3: To develop practitioners who are responsive to issues of social justice and to the needs of people in diverse settings.  
  • Goal #4: To develop practitioners that follow professional ethical standards and scope of practice.  

Program Student Learning Outcomes: Upon graduation, students in the Graduate Art Therapy Program will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of art therapy and counseling theory in order to develop a guiding theory of change. 
  2. Apply effective treatment strategies, interventions, and techniques for a wide range of therapeutic goals and the treatment of behavioral and mental health disorders. 
  3. Apply the therapeutic properties of a wide range of art-processes and media safely and effectively to address therapeutic/treatment goals and objectives. 
  4. Utilize imagery, creativity, symbolism, and metaphor as means for promoting wellness and addressing therapeutic/treatment goals. 
  5. Apply multiculturally competent strategies for working with diverse communities and clients. 
  6. Understand how the therapist’s own attitudes and beliefs about culture, oppression, and privilege impacts the helping relationship.  
  7. Know federal and state laws and professional codes of ethics for both art therapy and counseling and demonstrate the ability to apply ethical decision-making models. 
  8. Demonstrate interpersonal skills, such as collaboration, respectful communication, cultural humility, and cross-disciplinary appreciation to work effectively with a wide range of systems, organizations, professionals, colleagues, supervisors, stakeholders, and clients, and to advance the profession. 
  9. Understand the importance of actively engaging in self-reflection, self-care, personal art making, continuing education, and supervision throughout one’s career to provide ethical and effective treatment.  

Mount Mary’s 60-credit Master of Science in Art Therapy with Emphasis in Counseling features:

  • An accredited program—The Mount Mary University Graduate Art Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (caahep.org ) upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education. Mount Mary’s art therapy program is the only accredited art therapy graduate degree program in Wisconsin.
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  • Integrated learning approach—Courses promote hands-on experiential learning to integrate aesthetic, academic and clinical studies with professional practice. The program offers a supportive and collaborative environment of learners.
  • Direct access to faculty—Work side-by-side with internationally recognized faculty who are theorists, practitioners and leaders at the forefront of the art therapy profession. Mount Mary University’s art therapy faculty members are highly experienced artists and therapists in the field of art therapy and bring their real-world experiences into the classroom.
  • Licensure—Many states have laws that regulate the practice of art therapy and counseling. Students are responsible for knowing the competency areas and licensure criteria of the state in which they intend to practice. **The Graduate Art Therapy Program at Mount Mary University has received official confirmation that it is an Approved 60 Credit  Educational Program in Professional Counseling in the state of Wisconsin. The Professional Counselor Section of the Joint Board of Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work  has determined that the Mount Mary Graduate Art Therapy Program has  meet the educational requirements needed for licensure per MPSW 14.01 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. Applying for approval does not guarantee that approval will be granted. Although the MMU Art therapy program meets the requirements for equivalency requirement criteria for a degree in Professional Counseling as a related profession in the state of Wisconsin, LPC eligibility may vary state by state. For more information about state-by-state licensing efforts for art therapy, see the following link: https://arttherapy.org/state-advocacy/
  • Registration and Board Certification—The Mount Mary graduate art therapy program prepares students to qualify academically for their professional credentials in art therapy. Registration (ATR) and Board Certification (BC) are administered nationally by the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Currently, Art Therapy is not licensed in most states. For a current list of states that license art therapists and information about state-by-state licensing efforts for art therapy, see the following link: https://arttherapy.org/state-advocacy/

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Art Therapy Symposium

callout_symposium.jpgEach year, join art therapists, community leaders, artists, and mental health counselors from the Midwest gather at the Art Therapy Symposium to learn how art can inspire and promote community revitalization and personal empowerment. One partnership extended across the globe: Croatia does not have an established art therapy profession, however, in the wake of the Cold War and the country’s civil war, experts from the medical school of the University of Zagreb recognized the healing power of art therapy and reached out to Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Art Therapy Newsletters


Art therapy graduate students created a community newsletter that highlights their work and the important people behind it. The students created this newsletter to foster a new avenue for connection, community, and creation.

Get to know a few of the art therapy faculty and students who are using their creativity to make a positive impact in the field of mental health.

December 2020 Newsletter
March 2021 Newsletter
July 2021 Newsletter

Mount Mary Art Therapy Student Artwork
Mount Mary Art Therapy Student Artwork
Mount Mary Art Therapy Student Artwork
Mount Mary Art Therapy Student Artwork
Mount Mary Art Therapy Student Artwork
Mount Mary Art Therapy Student Artwork

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