The Master’s degree in Art Therapy / Counseling is designed to train art therapists through a course of study that blends theory, technique, and practice. Springfield College’s graduate program in art therapy uniquely build upon the College’s philosophy of humanics in educating students to become human service professionals who are able to integrate art and psychology as a vehicle for healing. The focus is on the development of the total person to promote the enrichment of society. Art Therapy / Counseling graduates can be found practicing their profession in mental health centers, clinics, hospitals, Veterans’ Administration hospitals and centers, hospices, schools, residential homes, rehabilitation centers, private practice, and other social service settings.
The Graduate Art Therapy Program provides a synthesis of our major components: 1) art therapy; 2) psychology/counseling; 3) development of the student’s artistic and creative skills; and 4) training in research methodology. Students develop an understanding of the variances in normal art development before they work with problems and pathology. Art therapy is an exciting and growing profession. The faculty and supervisors at Springfield College are practicing art therapy clinicians who are committed to a partnership in training. The sharing of a wide range of experience and knowledge is incorporated into each individual learning and creative style. The Art Therapy/Counseling Program is dedicated to academic, artistic, and clinical excellence.
All candidates for the Master of Science Degree in Art Therapy / Counseling are required to have completed a Baccalaureate degree in one of the following: Art, Art Education, Art Therapy, Psychology, or a related field. The American Art Therapy Association mandates the following prerequisites: A minimum of 18 credits in studio art courses at the undergraduate level as well as 12 credits in psychology, which should include courses in introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, studio art, including one course in drawing. Students who are course deficient will need to complete these prerequisites as soon as possible and within the first full-time year of graduate study.
Master’s degree candidates must submit transcripts of completed undergraduate study.
Applicants to the Master’s program must submit a portfolio of a minimum of 10 images (on a CD or in .jpeg format) depicting art work in a range of various mediums, labeled with titles and appropriate for viewing. The candidate must present an artist statement, written statement highlighting his or her interest in the field, personal goals, and academic objectives. Evidence of previous experience working with people in a human service setting or in an educational setting should be included with letters of recommendation. Each applicant is required to have an interview to discuss personal and academic characteristics appropriate for successful adjustment to study and practice in art therapy.
Students are required to take courses in art therapy, psychology, research, and studio art. During the second semester, students begin their practicum experience. Working with the fieldwork coordinator, students choose from a diverse selection of field placements. Graduate students work with individuals, families, and groups of all ages and abilities, including those with varying degrees of functional or organic impairment.
The program is committed to developing research skills in order to prepare students to be cognizant of advances in art therapy and related fields and to enable them to contribute to the field of art therapy. Students begin working on final research projects in consultation with faculty during the first year of study.
Students are required to matriculate after enrolling in the practicum course, ATPY 625, and the completion of at least 15 hours of course work. Matriculation requires a cumulative professional art therapy index of 3.25, professional competency, and completion of clinical evaluation forms. Students cannot matriculate if undergraduate prerequisite courses are still outstanding. Students’ matriculation files will be reviewed by the Visual Art Department Matriculation Committee.
The Master’s Program in Art Therapy / Counseling is an APPROVED PROGRAM by the Educational Approval Board of the American Art Therapy Association.
Dr. Simone Alter-Muri, ATR-BC, ATCS, LMHC
Director, Graduate Art Therapy Program
Chairperson, Visual and Performing Arts Department