Online Post-Master's Certificate in Art Therapy

Home  >  
Art Therapy

Learn to use the power of art to impact lives

The Certificate in Art Therapy teaches you the essential of art therapy, including history and theory.

Are you currently a mental health practitioner who would like to use the creative power of art to impact someone’s life? PennWest’s Certificate in Art Therapy can help you get there on your terms, at your own pace.

Delivered 100% online, this post-master's certificate teaches you the essentials of art therapy, including history and theory. Experienced faculty will share insights into the therapeutic benefits of a variety of art processes and media, strategies and interventions, and how to apply them to treatment for individuals, groups and families. You will also delve into the legal, ethical and cultural considerations necessary to connect with people and help them navigate the challenges they are facing.

Built on PennWest’s foundation of excellence in Counseling and the Arts, this program provides you with the qualifications you need to add a Provisionally Registered Art Therapist (ATR-P) certificate to your current mental health credentials.

View courses

Qualifications Count

The post-master's art therapy certificate through PennWest Global Online allows students to add the qualifications needed for a Provisionally Registered Art Therapist to their current mental health credentials.

Flexible and Affordable

Choose to attend classes full- or part-time, whatever suits your schedule.

Hands-On Experience

Get real-world experience through a supervised internship.

Fast Facts


Ranked #8 in the country by Nonprofit Colleges Online’s “Students Before Profits Award."




100% online


Graduate Admissions

Start Terms:

Fall, Spring

Careers and Salaries

Projected Job Growth

According to 2019 data from O’NET OnLine, jobs for art therapists are projected to grow faster than the average U.S. job growth. The median salary for an art therapist is $48,220.

Graduate Outcomes

  1. Understand the historical development of Art Therapy as a profession, Art Therapy theories and techniques, as a foundation for contemporary Art Therapy professional practice.
  2. Distinguish among the therapeutic benefits of a variety of art processes and media, strategies and interventions, and their applicability to the treatment process for individuals, groups and families.
  3. Recognize that Art Therapy, from a multicultural perspective, takes into consideration the specific values, beliefs and actions influenced by a client’s race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, political views, sexual orientation, geographic region, physical capacity or disability, and historical or current experiences within the dominant culture.
  4. Select culturally and developmentally appropriate assessment and evaluation methods and administer and interpret results to identify challenges, strengths, resilience and resources for Art Therapy treatment planning.
  5. Develop culturally appropriate, collaborative and productive therapeutic relationships with clients.
  6. Know federal and state laws and professional ethics as they apply to the practice of Art Therapy.
  7. Recognize and respond appropriately to ethical and legal dilemmas using ethical decision-making models, supervision and professional and legal consultation when necessary.
  8. Recognize clients’ use of imagery, creativity, symbolism and metaphor as a valuable means for communicating challenges and strengths and support clients’ use of art-making for promoting growth and well-being.
  9. Recognize the legal, ethical and cultural considerations necessary when conducting Art Therapy research.
  10. Apply principles of human development, artistic and creative development, human sexuality, gender identity development, family life cycle and psychopathology to the assessment and treatment of clients.
  11. Understand professional role and responsibility to engage in advocacy endeavors as they relate to involvement in professional organizations and advancement of the profession.
  12. Continuously deepen self-understanding through personal growth experiences, reflective practice and personal art-making to strengthen a personal connection to the creative process, assist in self-awareness, promote well-being and guide professional practice.
  13. Pursue professional development through supervision, accessing current Art Therapy literature, research, best practices and continuing educational activities to inform clinical practice.
  14. Recognize the impact of oppression, prejudice, discrimination and privilege on access to mental health care, and develop responsive practices that include collaboration, empowerment, advocacy and social justice action.
  15. Understand the basic diagnostic process and the major categories and criteria of mental disorders, corresponding treatments and commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications.
  16. Recognize the foundational purposes of research and its application to counseling and art therapy, define methodologies, research design, arts-based research, concepts of validity and reliability, apply research concepts through the completion of a culminating research project.
  17. Identify and apply theories of effective programs and treatments for individuals and groups in various interprofessional settings; apply strategies for program development, treatment planning and evaluation; understand a systems approach to helping relationships and appropriate referral processes for accessing community resources.

Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree in counseling or related program from a regionally accredited institution
  • (2) Recommenders
  • Essay
  • Digital Portfolio
  • Interview

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.
Request Info
Apply Now