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Graduate Catalog 2015-16


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The program leading to the Master of Arts degree in art therapy counseling combines classroom instruction, practicum experience, and research. The program is clinically based with an emphasis on experiential learning. Upon completion of their degrees, graduates are prepared to accept positions as art therapists and counselors in a wide variety of clinical settings.


In addition to the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, an applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree in art studio, art education, psychology, or a related field. Prospective students must show evidence of having completed 18 hours of art studio, 3 hours of statistics, and 12 hours of psychology, including developmental and abnormal psychology, prior to admission to the program. Applicants with deficiencies will be required to take prerequisite course work before classified status is approved. A statement of intent (500 words or less), resume, three letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of 12-15 digital images of recent general work are required for admission. Applicants must submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and schedule a group interview with faculty and students in the graduate program in art therapy counseling.


The Master of Arts degree in art therapy counseling requires a minimum of 60 semester hours.

Required courses (36 hours):

ART 550 Counseling Techniques and Art Therapy

ART 552 Assessment of Individuals and Families

ART 555 Group Art Therapy

ART 556 Family Art Therapy

ART 557 Developmental Theory and Art Therapy

ART 561 Multicultural Issues

ART 566 Research Methodology

ART 573 Counseling Theory and Art Therapy

ART 574 Career Counseling

ART 575 Professional Ethics

ART 595 Research Projects

SOCW 557 Substance Abuse

Required options (9 hours):

3 credit hours of studio art (ART 551 or any graduate level studio art course)

3 credit hours of Psychopathology (PSYC 431 or 531)

3 credit hours of clinical application (ART 553 or 554)

Required Practicum (7 hours minimum): ART 559

Electives (8 hours):

ART 549, 551, 553, 554, 558, 559. Other electives may be selected by advisement from art therapy, studio art, psychology, social work, or related fields.

Students are required to complete a final project, which can be a traditional research paper or a creative effort accompanied by a written paper in appropriate academic form. The topic and format must be acceptable to the research committee, which is composed of the director of the art therapy counseling program and two other graduate faculty members. Students will complete 800 hours of Practicum.

Prior to beginning ART 559 (Practicum in Art Therapy), students must undergo a mid-course review to determine readiness to work with a client population in a counseling setting. The review is comprised of a self critique, evaluations from all instructors, and a meeting with the program director and faculty. The faculty will evaluate a student's ability to continue in the program based upon an examination of the student's performance in fieldwork, academic learning, professionalism, ability to participate in and process class experiential learning, and psychological readiness to take on a more intensive practicum.

This program of study is designed to meet the requirements for students to become licensed as clinical professional counselors in the state of Illinois and to become registered art therapists with the American Art Therapy Association. The program was approved by the American Art Therapy Association in 1992.


After the final project is submitted and evaluated by the advisory committee, the candidate must successfully complete an oral examination conducted by the research committee.

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