M.Ed. in Counseling & Personnel Services (Art Therapy)

art therapy team photo

The M.Ed in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in Art Therapy was the first art therapy university-based educational program established in the U.S. Our students meet requirements for national certification as art therapists as well as licensure as art therapists in the state of KY.

Art Therapy Program Report

Application Deadline: February 1st for Fall (only) admission.

CAAHEP Accreditated Program

The University of Louisville is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE)

For Our Students

Taylor Ray

The Art Therapy program at UofL offers students a well balanced education in both art and psychology classes, as well as provides the time to still maintain your own self care in graduate school. I am thankful to have chosen a University where the faculty and staff genuinely care about my education and success in the program.

Taylor Ray, Art Therapy Graduate Student

Art Therapy strives to be an outstanding program--to be in the forefront of excellence in research, scholarship, education, and clinical application; to discover and provide expansion and integration of individual and group art therapy ideology and services into diverse segments of the culture.

Jonathan Hernandez

Everybody is friendly and the professors are wonderful teachers as well as mentors and will do their best to help you with whatever you need. Further, the program is not only an opportunity to develop as a therapist, but also an opportunity to make new future art therapy friends. Moreover, the program includes three semesters of practicum that offers great experiences for what it will be like as a therapist after graduation. I believe this program has a lot to offer future art therapy students and I recommend it to those who are interested in art therapy.

Jonathan Hernandez, Art Therapy Graduate

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program secure employment in private school settings, medical hospitals, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and forensic correctional institutions.

Art Therapy Forum

Join us for our annual Art Therapy Forum! We will be meeting virtually on Saturday November 18, 2023, 9:00 - 11:30am. The Art Therapy Forum is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the field of Art Therapy and our program here at the University of Louisville. Topics include the history of Art Therapy, application process for the graduate program, and a panel presentation of alumni representing various clinical disciplines.

Contact Marybeth Orton to register for the the Art Therapy Program and receive the Zoom link.
Registration requests will be accepted through November 16, 2023.

History of the Program

Vija Lusbrink 2016

Vija B. Lusebrink, 97, celebrated art therapist, professor, author, artist, colleague, and mentor passed away on June 12. Her passing is sorrowful for countless art therapists across the US and abroad.

For more on the Pioneers of this program, click here

For more details about program curriculum, visit the Graduate Catalog.

CoursesCredit Hours
Core Professional Area30
ECPY 540 Evaluation & Measurement in Education3
ECPY 619 Empirical and Theoretical Foundations of Counseling & Psychotherapy3
ECPY 629 Theories and Techniques of Counseling & Psychotherapy3
ECPY 650 Group Process & Practice3
ECPY 663 Multicultural & Diversity Issues (section taught by an ATR-BC)3
ECPY 670 Career Counseling3
ECPY 730 Social, Legal & Ethical Issues (section taught by an ATR-BC)3
LEAD 600 Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics3
Mid-Point Assessment: Prior to ECPY 676 Internship I: Must complete ECPY 643 with at least a B.
ECPY 676 Internship I in Art Therapy - Counseling **3
Art Therapy 24 hours24
ECPY 621 Differential Diagnosis & Treatment in Counseling3
ECPY 632 Clinical Art Therapy I: Theories3
ECPY 633 Clinical Art Therapy II: Assessment and Practice3
ECPY 638 Group Art Therapy Techniques3
ECPY 677 Research in Art Therapy and Counseling3
ECPY 641 Applied Methods in Art Therapies3
ECPY 643 Practicum in Art Therapy3
ECPY 678 Internship II in Art Therapy - Counseling **3
Professional Elective from the educational areas designated in Curriculum Guidelines for LPAT and ATR6
Art Therapy electives include, but are not limited to, the following: ECPY 628 Theories and Techniques in Counseling Children, ECPY 639 Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse, ECPY 644 Introduction to SandTray and ECPY 653 Grief Counseling
Professional Elective 13
Professional Elective 23

** At least 700 hours of clinical placement must be completed during ECPY 643 Practicum and the two Internship classes, ECPY 676 I and II. Ten hours per week are required during practicum; 150 total/75 direct client hours. No less than 20 hours per week are required during the two internships; 300 total/150 direct client hours per semester.

Note: Meeting GRE score and GPA minimums does not guarantee a student will be accepted to the program.

Admission Requirements for Art Therapy

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.

  • The minimum requirement for admission is the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Minimum overall GPA of 2.75, or 2.75 on the last 60 undergraduate hours, is required. Applicants are required to submit all official transcripts from all colleges attended as verification of coursework and degree(s).

    Applicants who have attended a college or university outside of the United States are also required to submit an evaluation of their transcript through either WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.

    Please have transcripts sent to:
    Graduate School
    University of Louisville
    Louisville, KY 40292

    If transcripts are sent electronically,
    please have them sent to the following e-mail: gradadm @ louisville.edu

  • Each applicant is required to submit at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to the applicant's academic and/or professional capabilities and potential. Please download the Graduate School recommendation form [PDF].
  • Prospective students must submit a professional goal statement [PDF] appropriate to their stated area of concentration for admission to the degree program. Please submit the cover sheet (see link) along with your goal statement.
  • Students for whom English is not their primary languagemust show English language proficiency by successfully completing one of the following: Note: International students who have earned a degree from an accredited college or university in the U.S. are not required to complete the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo.

This program is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

In addition to these requirements, admission to the degree program may require completion of prerequisite undergraduate courses specific to each area of concentration.

Faculty may require interviews in addition to written credentials as part of the admission process.

Application Deadlines

Application Deadline: February 1st for Fall (only) admission.

Additional Requirements

In addition to general admission requirements for the degree, prospective students applying for a concentration in Art Therapy demonstrate evidence of having completed the following undergraduate coursework.

Art, 18 hours to include the following:

  • Basic drawing course
  • Course in painting
  • A course using clay
  • Three other studio courses of your choice (many students take 2D or 3D design, photography)

Psychology, 15 hours to include:

  • General or intro to psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Personality theory
  • Introductory statistics

Applicants to the Art Therapy program must also submit samples of their work including the following portfolio items:

  • Writing sample which reflects the student's ability to write a formal paper. A copy of paper written for a previous class will do.
  • Portfolio of student's artwork on CD/DVD; 10 images are recommended.

Experience in helping professions, either paid or volunteer, is recommended.


Eileen Estes
Department of Counseling and Human Development
Room 317
College of Education & Human Development
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Program Faculty

Opportunities for Graduates

Art Therapy is a human services profession. It provides individuals and groups with the means to support and express and explore feelings, thought, problems and potential through the use of art media and imagery. It is utilized with any age and in areas such as medical illness, grief, educational and behavioral problems, emotional issues, and even criminal behavior. It is one of the nonverbal expressive therapies (along with dance, drama, music and poetry therapy) where the process is emphasized rather than the product.

Financial Aid

In addition to the financial aid opportunities offered by the University, the College of Education & Human Development also has information about financial aid.

Other financial aid opportunities available include graduate assistantships and other employment opportunities.

I have some credit hours from another program/university. Can the credit be transferred?

Once you are admitted to the program, you may request to transfer up to 6 credit hours if your UofL advisor approves the request. Transfer requests are then submitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.