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MA, Art Therapy

Integrating visual arts with psychotherapy, this American Art Therapy Association–accredited master of arts therapy program engages the creative power of art for mental health assessment and treatment, preparing you to work in clinical practice in a variety of settings. Graduates are eligible for New York State licensure as a creative arts therapist (LCAT) and meet educational requirements for the Registered Art Therapist (ATR) credential.

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Art Therapy



Application Deadline

Fall Start:
January 15

Plan Code






Admissions Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to this program, you must have completed a minimum of 18 credits in studio art, 12 credits in psychology, and 30 credits in the behavioral or social sciences and/or liberal arts disciplines. You are expected to show proficiency in the basic area of the visual arts: figurative drawing, painting, and clay modeling. The required prerequisite psychology courses are: Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Personality (or Personality Development), and Child Psychology (or Developmental Psychology). Deficiencies in course credits may be made up either prior to admission or during the first semester that courses are available.

Students may participate in the program on a full- or part-time basis. A two-year period is required for full-time completion. The Art Therapy master’s welcomes students from diverse cultural and national backgrounds.

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads:
.pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.

1. Prepare Your Application


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.

If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.

See detailed instructions on submitting transcripts.


Not required.

Proficiency in English


You are required to upload a portfolio of your artwork.

As part of the online application for this program, you will be prompted to upload a portfolio consisting of 20 images of your artwork that reflects the strongest selections of your practice. All portfolios must be submitted via your online application. 

Your portfolio should consist of digital images of your recent work in .jpg, .png, or .gif format, and no larger than 1280 x 1024 pixels (maximum 5MB). .pdfs no larger than 10MB may be uploaded as well. Each image should have a title, description, size, and medium entered at the time you upload it.

Please include an inventory of images in .pdf format with your name in the top right hand corner and a list of images numbered in the order of viewing. Include title, if any, medium, dimensions, and date. You may upload videos not in excess of 60 MB.

Videos can be a compilation of various works, but the total running time cannot exceed five minutes per video. Genres appropriate to video documentation include video art, performance, and kinetic art, but notdocumentation of sculptures or exhibitions.

We do not accept PowerPoint or Keynote presentations. You may also upload an optional artist’s statement in the Portfolio section of the online application.


Artist Statement:

Optional. Upload the Artist Statement to the Portfolio section of the online application.

Interview and Workshop

A select number of applicants will be invited to attend an interview and workshop. The workshop is composed of three art tasks assigned for the purpose of getting to know the applicants' styles of expressing their thoughts and ideas pictorially. The Art Therapy program will contact those select applicants by phone or email to set a date.

2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items

If any application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials to NYU Steinhardt, Office of Graduate Admissions, 82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6680.  Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

Application Policies

Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendation, by the application deadline.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late November for Spring semester enrollment and in late March or early April for Summer or Fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.

Financial Aid

In order to be eligible for any financial aid you MUST complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The deadline to submit the FAFSA is March 1 for Fall/Summer enrollment or November 1 for Spring enrollment. Do not wait to be accepted. You can use tax forms from the previous tax year to submit.

For more information please visit the NYU Financial Aid websiteSteinhardt Graduate Financial Aid site, and the NYU Steinhardt Office of Admissions Paying for Your Education site.