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Prerequisites for Students in the MPS Art Therapy Program

The Department seeks dynamic, well-rounded applicants who demonstrate achievement in studio art, psychology, and community involvement. The program is emotionally and academically challenging; applicants are expected to prepare for the rigorous classroom and internship training.


Students in the MPS Art Therapy program at SVA MUST have completed 12 credits in Psychology (Abnormal Psychology and Developmental Psychology are REQUIRED; Introduction to Psychology and Theories of Personality are RECOMMENDED) and 18 credits in Studio Art (a range of coursework is RECOMMENDED, including but not limited to drawing, painting, sculpture, 3D design, mixed media, photography, animation, computer art and film). All coursework is preferred to be completed before entering the program, but are REQUIRED to be completed before entering into the second year of the program .

Psychology courses can be taken online or via a college level examination program (CLEP).

All prerequisite coursework must be taken at an accredited school/institution.

If you have questions about prerequisites, please contact the Graduate Advisor, Aaron Cockle, at

Relevant Experience

Applicants are expected to have relevant experience, ideally in an art therapy setting, to understand the professional expectations and realities of the field. This should include exposure to diverse populations and settings.


Applicants are expected to have read art therapy books and academic articles and should be prepared to discuss issues that relate to their areas of interest.

Professional Organizations

Applicants are expected to be familiar with the American Art Therapy Association, the official organization for art therapists in the United States; the Art Therapy Credentials Board, the credentialing organization for art therapists in the U.S.; the New York State Office of Professions; as well as the professional art therapy association of the state, region or country in which the applicant wishes to work upon graduating.