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Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MA in Art Therapy Counseling must have a bachelor's degree and meet the following requirements:

  • 27 credits* in art distributed among painting, drawing and sculpture
  • 18 credits* in psychology: Four upper-division courses — Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Counseling, Human Development and Theories of Personality — and 6 credits* of general psychology
  • 3.0 GPA on transcript
  • Supervised human services experience

In addition to these requirements, applicants must submit:

Required Materials

  • Marylhurst University Application to the Department of Art Therapy Counseling
  • Non-refundable $50 application fee
  • A chronological résumé
  • Proof of measles immunization form  - required for students taking 9 or more credits per term (download form)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    Transcripts showing all of your previous college work are required. All transcripts must come to the Office of Admissions from the university or college in their original and sealed envelopes, unless the college or university has the option of sending an electronic official transcript (through a company like EScript Safe). Please provide the Registrar of your university or college with our main Admissions email:
  • A brief autobiography
    The autobiography should be no more than four pages and is an opportunity to tell us about yourself.
  • A slide portfolio
    • Three works which show creative ability and competence in painting.
    • Three works which show creative ability and competence in drawing, including figure drawing.
    • Three works which show creative ability and competence in sculpture, including clay work.

    The committee is interested in seeing examples that best demonstrate the applicant’s level of artistic development, rather than art examples with an art therapy orientation.

    • Portfolios are to consist of a CD/DVD/USB or 35mm slides of nine (9) original works. Details of three-dimensional works may be included, so more than 9 photos/slides may be submitted.
    • Images should be of good quality and properly exposed.
    • Photos or slides must be labeled with your name and an indication with both word and arrow of the “top” (or “up”) of the pictured artwork.
    • Each photos or slide must be numbered, and accompanied by an annotated sheet providing: title of work, date of execution, media, and size (height x width x depth) for each photo/slide.
    • Slides are to be submitted in a transparent plastic 3-ring notebook page designed to hold slides.
  • Three confidential recommendations
    The online application process will email recommendation requests to your references once you put in their email information. They will then be able to fill out the recommendation form online. Please indicate, as soon as possible, who the letter requests should be sent to.
  • Essay
    Applicants must submit a six-page paper that briefly describes:
    a) Your view of what the practice of art therapy is all about.
    b) Notable aspects of your work-related experiences and career development.
    c) Why you have chosen to pursue art therapy counseling as a career. Discuss previous involvement with the human services professions and how that may have influenced your goals. You may include relevant personal information or life experiences that have influenced your decision.
    d) Your professional objectives in seeking admission, including goals for using your education shortly after graduation and in the following five and ten years. Describe how you would pursue these goals.
    e) Your present personality strengths and weaknesses that would have impact upon your functioning as a graduate student and as an art therapy counseling practitioner.
    f) Your reasons for selecting the Marylhurst program.
  • Problem response
    Respond to the following problem (maximum of two pages):
    You are working as an art therapist counselor in a community mental health day treatment setting. You function as a professional member of a clinical treatment team consisting of a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, and other mental health counselors. You have established a close relationship with a 45-year-old female client who has a history of violence towards herself and others, but is currently functioning very well. She comes to the day treatment program several times weekly and participates in a variety of activities. This client chooses to confide in you, beginning by saying "I can tell you this because I trust you and I know you won’t betray my confidence to anyone else."
    How would you respond to this client? Justify your response for the reader.
  • Miller Analogies Test scores
    You must request that scores be sent directly to the Office of Admissions at Marylhurst University. Please plan to take the test early, as it can take a few weeks for the results to reach us. For general information and test locations, visit If you have already taken the test, please have a transcript sent to Marylhurst. If you took the test more than five years ago, you will be required to take it again.


Preparatory Undergraduate Programs

Individuals without a bachelor's degree may choose to enroll in one of three preparatory art therapy undergraduate programs:

Each program is designed to prepare students for graduate-level studies in art therapy counseling.


*Credits are based on a quarter system.

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Greg Crosby Trains Group Therapists

Greg Crosby, art therapy and human sciences faculty, taught a one-day course at the American Group Psychotherapy Association's national conference in San Francisco in February 2015.

Elsbeth Knott Presents at AATA Conference

Art therapy counseling alum Elsbeth Knott will present Art Therapy for a Traumatized Adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the American Art Therapy Association's national conference in July 2015.


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May 04, 2015 – May 31, 2015

Streff Gallery: Art Therapy Faculty

Exhibition: Works by art therapy counseling faculty.


June 02, 2015 – June 30, 2015

Streff Gallery: Art Therapy Student Show

Exhibition: Works by students in the art therapy counseling program.


June 18, 2015

Art Therapy Open House

Graduating art therapy students will give presentations on art therapy projects with children and adults. Faculty will be available for informal di...



Take the next step toward becoming an art therapist.


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