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Edinboro’s master’s degree in Art Therapy is nation’s first to be available entirely online

02/10/2014

Students are now being accepted into Edinboro University’s nationally unique Master of Arts in Counseling – Art Therapy program. Recently accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the program is the first master’s-level art therapy degree program in the United States that can be completed entirely online. The program also is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

“Edinboro’s master’s degree in Counseling – Art Therapy is unique in many ways. The program can be taken 100 percent online or can be taken with some on-campus courses to meet diverse student learning needs,” said Dr. Penelope Orr, ATR-BC, ATCS, co-director of the MA in Counseling – Art Therapy. “Edinboro’s program provides students the education they need to apply for the PA Practicing Counselor License and for the National Art Therapy Registration.”

The Art Therapy program is dedicated to achieving excellence in counseling, art therapy education, research and clinical and community service while fostering the highest ethical standards. The program integrates both counseling and visual arts practice, engaging the creative power of art for clinical assessment and treatment.

Students enrolled in the art therapy track train as professional counselors but also meet requirements for certification as art therapists. This track allows students to develop an official plan of study that supports dual credentialing as a licensed professional counselor and registered art therapist.

“Art therapy is a rapidly growing profession that combines the skills of the artist with the counselor,” Orr said. “Edinboro’s program also focuses on current topics in art therapy, such as neurobiological-based trauma art therapy and international art therapy.”

The program is a rigorous 63 credits. In addition to the Master of Arts in Counseling curriculum (39 credits) and the required specialized courses in art therapy (24 credits), students are required to have completed 18 graduate or undergraduate credits in two- and three-dimensional studio art areas and 12 graduate or undergraduate credits in psychology before candidacy. Of the studio art courses, 12 credits must be completed before art therapy courses can be taken, and six credits may be completed in the first year of the program. Six credits can be done as portfolio approval.

Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients use the creative process and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, manage behavior, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.

For more information on Edinboro’s new MA in Counseling – Art Therapy program, contact the School of Graduate Studies and Research by phone at (814) 732-2856, toll-free at (888) 845-2890 or by email at gradstudies@edinboro.edu