IUPUI 2014-2016 » Schools » Herron School of Art and Design » Graduate » Degree Programs » Master of Arts in Art Therapy

The Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree is a two-year program that prepares students with academic, clinical, and research experience in preparation for the credentials of Registration as an Art Therapist (ATR) according to the educational guidelines established by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and Licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Indiana.

Positioned within the urban campus Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), this two-year, full-time residential program is the only one of its kind in the state of Indiana. The program provides a foundation in art therapy where the general concepts of science, art, and the creative process are understood and applied in a therapeutic context.

Students are required to engage in clinical training within the IU Health system and surrounding Indianapolis community as a part of their coursework and are required to complete 1000 hours of supervised practicum and internship experience.

Honoring the dynamic nature of the psyche, the art therapist calls upon the theoretical and practical application of psychotherapeutic principles through a variety of interventions and in myriad settings including mental health, medical, educational, and forensic facilities.

Students will be trained from didactic and experiential models that encourage personal art making within Herron's studios. The use of imagery to conceptualize symbolic communication and expression of the unconscious is taught through the application of present-day assessment and intervention strategies in areas such as neuroscience and trauma, and through research methodologies including art-based and evidence-based practices.


Students should consult the handbook given to them at orientation for policies and procedures pertaining to their degree progress.


Students seeking admission to the MA in Art Therapy degree program should demonstrate commitment to the professional goal of helping others as art therapists. Prerequisites for admission to the program meet the requirements mandated for all programs approved by the American Art Therapy Association. Herron requires that students have all these prerequisites completed before starting the program. If all prerequisites have not been met at the time of application, acceptance to the program can only be made pending successful completion of the prerequisites before the start of fall classes.

  • A bachelor's degree
  • 18 credits of studio art
  • 12 credits of psychology including developmental psychology and abnormal psychology
  • A portfolio of artwork demonstrating experience with different media and an ability to understand the motivations behind one's personal art making process

Details of the admissions process are described on Herron's website: http://herron.iupui.edu

Suggested plan of study (Any revisions to this curriculum made after this bulletin goes to press will be posted on the Herron website.)

Year 1 Fall Semester

• Lifespan Development
• Counseling Theory and Practice for Art Therapists
• Art Therapy with Children and Adolescents
• Introduction to Group Counseling
• Psychopathology and Advanced Diagnosis
Practicum and Group Supervision

Year 1: Spring Semester

• Assessment and Evaluation in Art Therapy
• Art Therapy with Families and Adults
• Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling and Art
• History, Theory and Practice of Art therapy
• Art Therapy Internship

Summer Semester

• Career Counseling Theory and Practice

Year 2: Fall Semester

• Cultural and Social Diversity in Counseling and Art
• Studio Art for Art Therapists
• Strategies for Educational Inquiry
• Advanced Clinical Internship and Group Supervision

Year 2: Spring Semester

• Art Therapy and Counseling with Specialized
• Professional Issues Capstone II
• Art Therapy Advanced Internship and Group Supervision

Last updated: December 2013