Graduate Catalog 2018-2019

Art Therapy M.A.

Department Contact Information

Department of Creative Art Therapies

Art Therapy Program

Georgia College

College of Health Sciences

Campus Box 67

Milledgeville, GA 31061

Phone: 478-445-2645

Fax: 478-445-4532

Program Coordinator: Carrie Elder

Faculty: Carrie Elder, Nancy Morales, Joselyn Spence


The Master of Arts in Art Therapy is an innovative program in the creative arts at Georgia College, the first implemented in Georgia.  The program's purpose is to provide comprehensive art therapy education, to develop astute clinicians, scholars, teachers, and leaders; to acquire skills and knowledge to work in a variety of settings; and foster transformative learning with a commitment to global, social and cultural advancement.  Health care employment opportunities in the expressive arts such as art therapy are predicted to continue to grow.

The program of study is uniquely designed offering graduates a comprehensive foundation in art therapy, enhanced by the partnership and collaboration within the Department of Creatives Art Therapies.  Students gain a minimum of 900 hours of clinical experiences and complete at least three field work placements -- one working with children, adolescents and adults/seniors.  Interns have a variety of placements including inpatient psychiatry facilities, schools, correctional facilities and day treatment facilities.  Our broad range of curriculum and cross-discipline collaborations within a liberal arts environment provide students with a global education and the desire for excellence as students, professionals and life-long learners.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Arts in Art Therapy Program is to provide coursework and clinical experience to develop art therapy clinicians who are culturally sensitive, ethical contributors, and involved in diverse communities.  We believe that art as therapy and art psychotherapy are connected and work in association in the creative intervention.  We affirm that art therapy strategies and treatment relies upon the creative process of art making through the therapeutic alliance to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals, groups, and families.

Accreditation and Affiliations

Application for approval by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) will be submitted in accordance with AATA policies.

Career Information

Art therapists work with people of all ages in many different environments to address challenging mental, physical, and social issues.  They are trained to work as private practitioners and as part of treatment teams in psychiatric outpatient and inpatient programs, hospitals and community health centers, veterans' health facilities, rehabilitation programs, schools, hospices, and many other settings.


Each student admitted to the degree program must successfully complete the following requirements within 12 months of admission.  Undergraduate or Graduate course work should include credits taken prior to admission.

A minimum of eighteen (18) semester hour credits of study in studio art

A minimum of twelve (12) semester hour credits of study in psychology which must include developmental psychology and abnormal psychology. A course in psychopathology is recommended.

A research course that covers statistics and basic design methodology is a required pre-requisite.

Admission to the Art Therapy Program is highly competitive and is limited based on availability of qualified faculty and student to faculty ratios.  All students may not be admitted.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates for admission must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.  If previous graduate work has been completed, GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required.

Students must submit official transcripts for all college-level coursework completed, directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Many agencies where clinical and practical experiences take place require students to undergo a criminal background check, urine drug screens, and to meet the CDC standards for immunizations for health care professionals.  Students desiring to enter the Art Therapy program should consider these requirements.  Agencies may refuse any student based on inability to meet these guidelines or other agency guidelines.  Refusal of an agency to accept a student may delay or prevent a student from completing a program.  Certification agencies may also refuse to license individuals who have committed certain criminal acts or other acts of moral turpitude. 

Provisional Admissions Requirements

Provisional admission may be offered to a student to be determined by the Art Therapy Admissions Committee.  Provisional students should have all application materials in, but may not meet the exact criteria, or letters of recommendation not received. To exit provisional admission and to be classified as a regular student, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all courses during the first nine (9) hours of the program and approval by the Graduate Coordinator.

Enrollment Procedures

Students seeking to enroll into the graduate study programs at georgia college may complete an application on-line or return a printed copy to the Georgia College Office of Graduate Admissions, Campus Box 107, Milledgeville, GA 31061.  A non-refundable application fee is required unless the applicant has been enrolled within the past six (6) years or has paid the fee within the past 6 years. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 800-342-0471 (in Georgia) or 478-445-6289.  After consultation with the Art Therapy Graduate Coordinator, enrollment may be completed online during designated times. 

Program Specific Admissions Requirements

Students are required to write an essay, "What is Art Therapy" with a minimum of three (3) references cited.

Students are required to submit a portfolio of twelve (12) original works of art created within the past two years.

Artwork may be submitted through a face-to-face interview or submission of a CD.

If artwork is submitted in digital format, files must be saved as .jpg, .tif, or in PDF format. Individual file sizes may not exceed 6mb and all should be submitted on a CD which includes a descriptive list of the contents. Images may be presented in PowerPoint format or other easily navigated formats, or an URL may be submitted in lieu of a CD.

Students are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation. These letters are to be completed by persons who are best able to judge the student's academic and professional qualifications. There are no standardized formats for letters of recommendation.

The Admissions Committee may evaluate artwork by the following:




Elements of Art



A personal interview may be requested as part of the admissions evaluation.

Academic Dismissal Policy

A graduate student will be placed on graduate academic probation if the student's institutional graduate grade point average falls below a 3.00 at any point during his or her graduate studies.

A graduate student will be dismissed if the student is placed on academic probation for more than one semester, receives more than one C during his or her graduate studies, or fails to comply with policy, procedures, and expectations as defined in the current version of the Master of Art Therapy Graduate Handbook.

Program Specific Progression Requirements


At the end of the second and fourth semesters of enrollment each student participates in a Professional Progress review (PPR). The PPR is an evaluative process used to determine the student's progress in the program.  It includes a self-assessment as well as evaluation by faculty.  Satisfactory progress in the program is necessary prior to advancing to the next phase of the graduate program.  Serious academic or interpersonal deficiencies may result in termination from the program.


All students who expect to complete requirements for the Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree must demonstrate synthesis of knowledge/skill prior to graduation.  Synthesis may be demonstrated by successful completion of either a master's thesis or clinical project.

After successful completion of the written comprehensive examination, the student will choose a graduate committee to include the student's advisor, one professor from a supportive field area within the specified concentration and one professor from any supportive field area.  This committee will review the proposal for the thesis or clinical project and upon acceptance of the proposal the thesis or clinical project may be implemented.  The student will arrange the defense meeting with the committee when master's thesis or clinical project is completed.


The M.A. in Art Therapy prepares students for credentials through the American Art Therapy Association (AATA).  Upon graduation students will be eligible for the credentials of Art Therapist Registered (ATR) and to take the Board Certification national examination to become Board Certified (ATR-BC). 


Submit a complete application for graduate study and all supporting documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions

Consult with the faculty advisor for development of a program of study

Participate in the Professional progress review at designated times

Complete courses with a 3.0 GPA

Complete a comprehensive exam

Choose a graduate committee

Submit a proposal for the clinical project or thesis

Complete the Final Clinical Project or Thesis defense

Submit a Formal Graduate Application for Graduation by the date specified in the official University calendar.

Program of Study

Required Courses

Satisfactorily complete each of the following courses:

ARTH 5000Hist & Theory of Art Therapy


ARTH 6010Orientation Eth & Legal Issues


ARTH 6020Psychopathology & Diagnosis


ARTH 5120Materials and Techniques 2D


ARTH 6030Human Growth & Development


ARTH 6040Assessment


ARTH 6050Quant & Qual Research


ARTH 6060Ind Psychotherapy Couns Theory


ARTH 6070Art Therapy & Couns Practicum


ARTH 6081Research Project I


ARTH 6000Clinical Group Methods


ARTH 6090Cultural and Social Diversity


ARTH 6300Art Therapy & Couns w/Children


ARTH 6310Intern Supervision: Children


ARTH 6082Research Project II


ARTH 5130Materials and Techniques 3D


ARTH 6320Art Therapy & Coun Adolescents


ARTH 6321Intern Supervision: Adolescent


ARTH 6330Art Therapy & Coun Adults


ARTH 6331Intern Supervision: Adults


ARTH 6520Symbolism & Metaphor in AT




Satisfactorily complete one of the following courses:

ARTH 6900Spec: Trauma and Art Therapy


ARTH 6910Family Couns & Art Therapy