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EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS

The Education Committee of the American Art Therapy Association and the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) serve the profession of art therapy and the public by fostering communication among educators and providing communication to the public and the profession regarding educational standards and opportunities. If your institution would like assistance in discussing your institution’s education standards, implementing standards within your institution, or other related information please provide your name, phone number, contact information and an overview of the type of assistance you need. Send the request for information to the National Office and please be sure to designate one contact from your institution to request assistance.  Educational standards for approved Art Therapy master’s programs were established in 2007, and are overseen by the AATA’s Educational Programs Approval Board (EPAB). These educational standards for EPAB approved programs remain in place and current or prospective students can review them here.

 

Updated 2017 educational standards for accredited art therapy programs are now established and can be reviewed here. A period of transition is currently under way in which the EPAB approval process is transitioning to an accreditation process under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This process is managed by the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE).

 

Regular and rigorous review of approved and accredited programs ensures the ability of the program to prepare their students for entry level skills and post-graduate certification as an art therapist.

PREPARATION FOR BOARD CERTIFICATION IN ART THERAPY (ATR, ATR-BC, ATR-Provisional)

Both approved and accredited programs, during this time of transition, ensure the ability of the program to prepare their students for entry level skills and post-graduate certification as an art therapist with the Art Therapy Credentials Board.

Whether you graduate from an approved program or graduate from an accredited program, your education fully prepares you for working toward your art therapy credentials.

WHERE CAN I FIND A LIST OF PROGRAMS?

Information about approved/accredited programs can be found here.

Undergraduate pre-professional majors and doctoral programs currently do not undergo formal review. Listing of an undergraduate major or doctoral program on the AATA website is not indicative of an endorsement by the AATA but is offered for information purposes.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Professional entry to art therapy requires a master’s degree. Additionally, students are advised to familiarize themselves with the current procedures of the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. (ATCB) in order to understand the requirements for board certification.  The educational program requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories of art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy
  • Ethics and standards of practice
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Individual, group, and family art therapy techniques
  • Human and creative development
  • Multicultural issues
  • Creativity, symbolism, metaphor
  • Research methods
  • Internship experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings.

TYPES OF ACCREDITATION: INSTITUTIONAL AND PROGRAM LEVEL

It is important to know there are two different kinds of accreditation – institutional and program level. Approved and accredited programs all have institutional accreditation while an art therapy program itself can also be either approved or accredited at the program level of review.  Overall institutional accreditation, which includes all programs listed on our website, fully meets requirements for board certification of graduates even as the art therapy program itself is also either approved or accredited.