The Department of Creative Arts Therapy was established in 2019 as the seventh department in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).

Creative arts therapies include the regulated professions of art therapy, dance/movement therapy, music therapy, and drama therapy. The department plans to explore the potential for low-residency graduate training programs in some of these distinct professions. Currently the department is offering a master of science (M.S.) degree in art therapy, a 60-credit, low-residency program that prepares students to employ art-based approaches to counseling when working with diverse populations in a range of clinical and community-based settings.

Our Low-Residency Approach

VPA’s integrated approach with on-campus residencies and dynamic online learning offers flexibility to students seeking opportunities to further their education while maintaining other personal and professional commitments. The learning objectives in our art therapy program parallel those of traditional on-campus programs and emphasize community and cohort development.

Faculty Passionate about the Field

Faculty participate as active scholars and emerging leaders in the field who conduct original research, present their work at national and international conferences, write books or publish in academic journals, and participate in the field’s professional associations. Their rich research and scholarship interests enable them to engage students in contemporary trends and up-to-date practices in the field.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Partnerships across campus provide students with many opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary learning and benefit from the range of faculty expertise across several disciplines. VPA’s art therapy program works closely with the School of Education’s clinical mental health counseling program, Falk College’s marriage and family therapy department, and IVMF to expand learning and practicum experiences.


The mission of the Department of Creative Arts Therapy is to prepare students as ethical, competent, and culturally humble practitioners. Students will be able to apply psychosocial and systemic approaches to gain understanding of diverse clinical, social, and cultural issues that present in clinical and community-based practice. Programs will prepare students to employ the use of creative expression in individual, relational, and societal contexts to depict personal emotions and circumstances while serving as a catalyst for personal and social change, community development, and public health.

Programs will provide a hybrid low-residency approach to increase access to a wider variety of students by reducing barriers to education that some students experience with attending a traditional on-campus program. Through participation in experiential learning opportunities and engagement with curriculum that represents historic and contemporary practice issues, students gain self-awareness, insight, and skills regarding how to use their creative abilities and interests as practicing professionals in their field of study.


  • To lead in online education and telemental health practices in creative arts therapy through initiatives and innovation in research, scholarship, and teaching.
  • To offer on-demand programs and learning opportunities in creative arts therapy that prepare students for professional and advanced practice.
  • To be recognized nationally as a leading institution for training creative arts therapy practitioners to work with military connected populations.

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