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Our distinctive studio-based program—now with both on-campus and low-residency options—primes you for a career that incorporates a passion for art with a compassion for people. 

The first of its kind in the Lehigh Valley, Cedar Crest’s Master of Art in Art Therapy (MAAT) program educates students on the theories and applications of art media that facilitate emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth and transformation. 

The Cedar Crest College M.A. in Art Therapy program is committed to an arts-based learning process that provides students with opportunities to: 

  • Cultivate a deep appreciation and understanding of the role of the arts in healing and rehabilitative practices. 
  • Integrate theories of art therapy and psychology within a studio-model of treatment. 
  • Develop essential art therapy skills that can be utilized within a variety of settings and with diverse populations. 
  • Learn independently, think critically, and develop a personal vision, identity, and goals as an art therapist. 
  • Become part of a learning community that provides foundations for ongoing professional relationships. 

The Program Goal

The goal of the MAAT program is to prepare competent entry-level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

The MAAT Program aims to prepare art therapists skilled in the use of visual art media, materials and processes in collaboration with others to enhance emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth and transformation. Students are equipped to seek national registration as art therapist (ATR) and licensure as Professional Counselors (LPC) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

The Cedar Crest College MAAT Program will prepare you to be registered as an art therapist in all 50 states. All our graduates are eligible to sit for the Board Certification exam (ATCBE) and, upon successful completion of the exam and required hours, they can become board certified art therapists (ATR-BC). The CCC program is designed to enable students to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in the state of Pennsylvania.  

Program Goals and Outcomes

The Cedar Crest College M.A. in Art Therapy program is committed to an arts-based learning process that provides students with opportunities to:  

Program Goal #1    

Develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to enter the field as competent entry level art therapists.

Program Goal #2  

Develop a strong professional identity as an art therapist/counselor.

Program Goal #3

Know and apply professional codes of ethics to the clinical and community-based practice of art therapy.

Program Goal #4

Develop collaborative relationships to address inequities and improve outcomes.

Program Goal #5  

Commit to an on-going practice of self-reflexivity and growth.

Program Goal #6

Nurture and sustain their connection to art making through continued creative practice.

Program Delivery

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy program is comprised of 60 credits. 

The on-campus MAAT program may be completed in no less than two years (five semesters, full-time). Part-time options are available; as a part-time student, program length is dependent on the plan of study and course load. 

Students now have the option to enroll in a low-residency track, which may be completed in three years. The low-residency option enables students to maintain their work and family commitments during the year with distance education. 

Low-residency students come together for two weeks over the summer for the hands-on learning needed for the in-person craft of art therapy, guided by professors who are innovative and experienced professionals in the field.  The two-week residencies will take place in late July or early August.  

The MAAT Art Therapy Low-Residency program at Cedar Crest College allows students to complete 60 credits in three years while maintaining work and family commitments through distance education.  The low-residency program is unique in that it offers students a chance to build meaningful relationships with their classmates and professors through a combination of online synchronous classes and a two-week in-person summer residency.  During the summer residencies, students experience the hands-on learning needed for the in-person craft of art therapy, guided by professors who are innovative and experienced professionals in the field.   

The on-campus MAAT Art Therapy program at Cedar Crest College allows students to complete 60 credits in as little as 6 semesters. For flexibility in course delivery, the on-campus program consists of face to face, hybrid, synchronous and asynchronous online instruction taught by experienced art therapy professionals as students are guided through the engagement of hands-on learning needed for the practice of art therapy. 

Helpful Links

ATCB – Art Therapy Credentials Board

Pennsylvania Art Therapy Association

Pennsylvania LPC Requirements

American Art Therapy Association

Pathways to Professional Excellence

You may be eligible for a discount on tuition if your employer is a partner in our Pathways to Professional Excellence program.

Dive A Little Deeper


Students must complete sixty (60) credits to be eligible to receive the Master’s Degree. Core credits are in art therapy, psychology/counseling, and artistic materials and methods. In addition, each student must complete 900 hours of fieldwork experience and prepare a culminating project in order to qualify and apply for degree candidacy.

Internship Experience

The MAAT Program prepares students to become competent entry level art therapists.  In addition to their academic coursework, students build their clinical skills and professional identities by working with diverse populations in a range of clinical and community-based settings.  The internship program is fully supervised by program faculty who are Board Certified, Registered Art Therapists as well as on-site professionals who have a minimum of a master’s degree in art therapy or a related field. 

Internship is a time of immense personal and professional growth. Internship experiences provide students with the opportunity to translate their coursework into action. During internship experiences, students develop and hone the skills necessary to succeed as an entry level art therapist. During their internship experiences, students begin to formulate their individual art therapist identities and learn how and where their unique skills and abilities intersect with the field of art therapy and in their work alongside individuals, groups, and communities.

Students are required to complete 900 total hours of internship experience under the supervision of qualified professionals over four semesters.  Students must enroll in a 3.0 credit designated course in Internship/Supervision each semester of the internship sequence. Students obtain 225 hours of internship experience at their sites, 112.5 of which are direct client contact, each semester.  Students typically participate in 12-15 hours of internship per week during each academic semester.  

Please note that it is the responsibly of each student to obtain their internship placement

Each internship setting holds different expectations for interns. Sites may require information such as but not limited to:

  • the student’s current health and immunization records,
  • site-specific health clearances such as PPD testing,
  • seasonal flu shot,
  • physical examination,
  • drug testing prior to starting clinical hours
  • Background checks which may include a Criminal Record Check; Child Abuse Clearance; and/or FBI Fingerprinting

All students are required to follow The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability

Act (HIPAA) for confidentiality as well as the Code of Ethics outlined by the American Art Therapy Association and the Art Therapy Credentials Board at all times while at their internship sites. 

Culminating project

The Culminating Project (CP) provides students in their final year of the program with an opportunity to demonstrate that they possess the essential skills required for the master’s degree in art therapy. The process is mentored by a qualified faculty advisor who works closely with students to complete the CP.  The CP process requires students to work creatively and independently, to synthesize and integrate learning bridging theory and practice, and to share their understanding of issues relevant to the current practice of art therapy. These skills are demonstrated through the creation of a scholarly paper incorporating research, artistic inquiry and the integration of personal insights with established theory and practice. 

Students identify a research question which reflects their professional interests, clinical practices, and personal experiences as they relate to the field at large. Students explore their questions first through completion of a thorough literature review and then through a systematic art-based process of inquiry. Finally, students integrate insights which emerged through their artistic and clinical practices with the published literature to generate new knowledge and to move the field forward 

Specific information regarding timeline, deadlines and a full outline of requirements can be found on the “Art Therapy Student” page of MyCC in the “Culminating Project Guidelines.” 

Required Curriculum

Core Courses (42 credits)

ATP 501 Research Design and Methodology (3 credits)
ATP 505 Theories and Systems of Counseling Psychology (3 credits)
ATP 520 History and Theory of Art Therapy (3 credits)          
ATP 533 Family Art Therapy (3 credits)
ATP 534 Psychopathology (3 credits)
ATP 539 The Studio as a Therapeutic Environment (3 credits) ATP 544 Lifestyle and Career Development (3 credits) 
ATP 545 Materials and Techniques of Art Therapy Practices (3 credits) 
ATP 547 Investigations in the Treatment of Trauma (3 credits)
ATP 549 Cultural Perspectives in Art Therapy (3 credits)
ATP 552 Group Art Therapy (3 credits)
ATP 555 Professional Ethics for Art Therapists (3 credits)
ATP 559 Human Growth and Development (3 credits)
ATP 575 Theories of Assessment in Art Therapy (3 credits)
ATP 620 Culminating Project (3 credits)

Internship Experience (12 credits)

ATP 601 Internship/Group Supervision (3 credits)
ATP 602 Internship/Group Supervision (3 credits)
ATP 603 Internship/Group Supervision (3 credits)
ATP 604 Internship/Group Supervision (3 credits)

Electives (6 credits)*

ATP 537 Advanced Topics in Art Therapy Material and Methods (3 credits)
ATP 572 Art Therapy in the Treatment of Addictions (3 credits)
*Additional electives are provided every other year under the “Special Topics” heading

Tuition Reduction

Tuition for the MA in Art Therapy (MAAT) has been reduced beginning in the Fall 2024 semester. Click here to read more about the tuition reductions.

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Jul 08
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Art Therapy Mission Statement

The art therapy major at Cedar Crest College provides a supportive and inclusive classroom environment that fosters respect for each person and empowerment of the individual through relationship building, leadership development, civic engagement, global connectivity, and health and wellness initiatives. Coursework inspires social awareness, and community advocacy, and prepares students to be compassionate leaders using the healing potential of the arts.

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Cedar Crest College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; 1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801

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