Art Therapy Counseling – Admissions Requirements

Art Therapy Counseling Admissions Requirements

Admission requirements for the MA in Art Therapy Counseling program include having a bachelor’s degree as well as program specific requirements in psychology and art completed prior to entering the program. If at any point you have questions, please reach out us. We’re happy to help: or 503.699.6268.

Application Deadline

The M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling accepts new applicants each year to start in the upcoming fall term. We request that you submit your completed application early for priority consideration. 

M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling: Admissions Requirements

Because you are applying to a master’s program at Marylhurst, we require that you hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. In addition, the M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling program requires that you also have:

  • 27 quarter credits in art (distributed among drawing, painting and sculpture). These classes can be taken at a community college.
  • 18 quarter credits in psychology, including 6 credits of general psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Human Development and Theories of Personality or Research Methods
  • Miller Analogies Test or GRE scores only if you maintain a G.P.A. below 3.0.
  • 300 hours of human services experience: Within the application, you will be asked to list how you have worked as a paid or volunteer employee within a human services environment. Examples of human service experience include work with agencies serving clients with mental illness, day treatment programs, alternative schools or residential treatment programs.

Marylhurst uses a quarter credit system. If courses are taken in a semester system, credits are calculated as: 1-semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits

admissions-staff-donna-davis-marylhurstDonna Davis – Associate Director of Admissions

“Applying to the Marylhurst Art Therapy Counseling program is a big decision and a major step toward your art therapy career. Marylhurst’s program is exceptional, and the requirements and process can seem intense. As the associate director of admissions and as a graduate admissions counselor, I am here to help you navigate the admissions process – especially the requirements for admissions. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need assistance.”

Contact Information

Application Process

Here are the items you will need to submit to formally apply for the M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling program and Post-Graduate Certificate in Art Therapy. Please review the list carefully and, if at any point, you have questions, we’re here to help you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

  • Complete the online application
    Don’t worry about finishing the application in one session. You can save your work, log out and return to the application at a later time. Your information will be saved.
  • Within the online application, you will also be directed to submit:
    • Resume including experience working with people (minimum 300 hours volunteered or paid)
    • Official transcript from regionally accredited institution where you earned a degree (additional transcripts may be requested as proof of program pre-requisites)
    • Recommendations (2)
    • Statement of Intent
    • Art portfolio
    • Miller Analogies Test or GRE scores are required only if you maintain a GPA below 3.0
    • Interview with department faculty
    • Background check

Online Application Portal and Uploading Requirements
The online application for admission is located at Click “Apply to MU” and create your application portal account. Once you are logged into the portal, you can complete the application, pay your application fee, and upload most of your application requirements. If you have already created an account and don’t remember your login information, click on the “forgot my password” link.

General Application Instructions
Please put your name in the top right hand corner of all pages submitted. All written materials should be typed in 12-point font and double-spaced.

Official Transcripts
Official transcripts must be received by Marylhurst University in the original unopened envelope or through approved electronic means from the originating institution. Sounds very legal, but it’s pretty straightforward: contact your previous institutions and request an official transcript to be sent directly to Marylhurst: 17600 Pacific HWY, PO Box 261, Marylhurst, OR 97036-0261. Official transcripts can also be sent via a secure delivery service such as National Student Clearinghouse, eSCRIP-SAFE, or Parchment. Directions on how to do this will also be available within the online admissions application.

We really simplified this process. All you will need are the names and contact information (email) for your recommenders. In the online application, you will be prompted to input their information. This sends your recommenders an email with directions on how to submit their recommendations electronically. Easy, right?

Submit two confidential recommendations from individuals acquainted with your potential for success in graduate studies. Include at least one recommendation from a supervisor from your human services experience is preferred. Recommendations from family members or personal acquaintances are not appropriate and will not be considered.

Upload a copy of your most recent resume that includes experience where you either worked as a paid employee or volunteer within a human services environment. Examples of human service experience include work with agencies serving clients with mental illness, day treatment programs, alternative schools or residential treatment programs. Resumes with a minimum of 300 hours human service experience will be considered.

Art Portfolio
Upload your portfolio as image files, a PowerPoint file or PDF document. It should include nine (9) original works:

  • 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.

Details of three-dimensional works may be included, so more than 9 photos may be submitted. Please make sure that your images are of good quality and are properly exposed

Statement of Intent
This is a six-page paper in which you briefly describe:

  • Your view on what the practice of art therapy is all about.
  • Notable aspects of your work-related experiences and career development.
  • Why you have chosen to pursue art therapy counseling and discuss previous involvement with human services professions. How these professions have influenced your goals. You may include relevant personal information and life experiences.
  • Your professional objectives for seeking admissions, including goals for using your education shortly after graduation and in the following five and ten years. Describe how you would pursue these goals.
  • Your present personality strengths and weaknesses that would have impact upon your functioning as a graduate student and as an art therapy counseling practitioner.
  • Your reason for selecting Marylhurst University’s art therapy counseling program.

Miller Analogies Test (MAT)/GRE
If you maintain a GPA below a 3.0, you have the option to take either the MAT and earn a minimum score of 398 or the GRE scoring above the 50% percentile. Please request your scores be sent directly to the Office of Admissions at Marylhurst University. 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 for information on the MAT or for information on the GRE. Test scores should be no older than 5 years to be considered with your application.

Background Check
A background check is required for practicum and internship placements. Once admitted, you will be sent instructions on how to complete this step.

  Are you applying as an international student?  Please review these additional requirements for graduate international student applicants.

Art Therapy Prep Programs

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If art therapy is a career goal for you, but you still need to complete your bachelor’s degree, Marylhurst University offers three programs that have coursework designed to prepare you for graduate-level studies in art therapy counseling.

Begin the process by creating your online application account. That will get your admissions application started.

Create Your Online Account Today

Or, Explore Additional Admissions Information