From Southwestern College, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Art Therapy Schools: General Information

Many prospective students write to us for information about art therapy education. Art therapy education generally involves a graduate level degree from a college or university or some sort of advanced education beyond the bachelor degree, depending on the country. Here is some general advice:

  • Get your informationfrom an academic advisor at a college or university rather than non-professional sources or blogs that may not be well-versed in art therapy educational requirements throughout the world. There are many blogs and websites that list education programs, but none can replace advice from a professional who can help you determine what courses or education you may need to work in your country. A career or occupational counselor may be helpful or someone in education, depending on your country and the job outlook.
  • While testimonials from former students can be helpful, remember that their statements are often subjective. Use social networks to get a variety of opinions and talk to as many educational program directors as possible.
  • Ask art therapy schools for exact information on how their graduates are employed and under what job titles. Some times art therapists are employed under other titles such as counselor, educator, or psychologist, depending on the country or region. Make sure that the degree or education you will receive will be useful and meet not only your interests, but also employment goals.
  • If you are attending a college or university in a country outside of your own, ask the faculty or program director how the educational program or degree will address cultural issues or work opportunities where you will work. Do they have experience in teaching students from other countries? Again, ask how students have become employed and what assistance the college or university can provide in helping you find work or establish yourself, once you have received your degree.
  • Many schools indicate that they are "approved" by a professional body or organization. This generally means that the program has met a certain standard of coursework and other criteria to earn that approval. However, it is not the same as "accreditation" and it does not necessarily mean that the program is better than another school that has not sought approval. Again, consult a good academic advisor or career counselor to determine what you require to practice where you plan to live and work. For US art therapists, this may mean meeting state requirements for licensure; for other countries, there may be specific regulations about who can call oneself an art therapist or a "therapist" or "counselor." Do your homework!

There are websites [see several listed below] that provide links to educational programs; they are a good place to begin your search. IATO does not post a listing because information about educational programs becomes quickly outdated and it is impossible to maintain a comprehensive, non-biased list of schools and opportunities. And there are already websites that do this much better, such as the two links listed below.

International Art Therapy Schools and Programs is a comprehensive source for information and links to educational programs throughout the world. Most of the schools listed provide degrees in art therapy; others provide degrees in related fields such as creative arts therapies, expressive therapies, education, or counseling, with a specialization in art therapy. Use the link below to visit this site for contact information:

US Art Therapy Graduate School Programs - Masters & PhD Degrees also provides information on US education programs. Use the link below to visit this site for contact information:

Check back soon for more information!



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All Rights Reserved. Statements and content found on this website do not constitute professional advice. Material on this website may be out of date, incomplete, or inaccurate at the time of publication. IATO cannot be held responsible for the content of links on this website that direct visitors to websites maintained by other groups, organizations, or individuals.