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Receive clinical training to use improvisation and theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote health, treating individuals with a range of mental health, cognitive, and developmental disorders. In addition to taking rigorous theoretical course work, you’ll intern throughout New York City with leading professionals in drama therapy.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Drama Therapy

Professional Licensure or Certification
Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

This degree is ideal for applied improvisation and applied theatre practitioners, theatre professionals, educators, therapists, and those working in the fields of medicine, healthcare, and special education. Your peers will come from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds to study and apprentice with leading professionals in the creative arts therapies.

Throughout your program of study, you will develop your strong commitment to doing good in the world by learning:

  • How to identify and describe theories and methods of drama therapy and psychology, and be able to apply these methods in client treatment
  • How to research effectively
  • How to develop your professional identity as a drama therapist and a future licensed professional in the mental health field
  • How to build clinical competency

You’ll also gain real-world experience through clinical internships at hospitals and shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, prisons, and special facilities for the homeless, elderly, developmentally disabled, and the terminally ill, among others.

Graduates of the 50-credit track will have met the academic requirements for New York State licensure as a creative arts therapist (LCAT) and, once licensed, will be eligible to practice drama therapy throughout New York State.

Graduates of the 60-credit track will have met the academic requirements for licensure for most states outside of New York. This track allows you to do advanced training in role theory and method, psychodrama, or arts-based research, or to pursue other electives in Applied Theatre or Applied Psychology.

Each graduate of the Drama Therapy master's program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a creative arts therapist (LCAT) in New York State and for credentialing as a drama therapist with the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA).


For information regarding credentialing versus licensure and to learn how to obtain a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) credential please explore NADTA’s Educational pages.

New York Licensure

After you graduate, you will need to continue accruing hours toward your licensure as a creative arts therapist (LCAT). During that time you will hold a provisional license. You are granted a two-year period of time after graduation during which you must complete the hours, licensing exam, and application necessary for your license.

For information on New York’s Office of Professions and the procedures to earn licensure through New York State please visit the New York Office of Professions website.

Professional Licensure

Drama Therapy is an on-campus program that places students in supervised field experiences both within and outside of New York State (NYS). NYU is authorized pursuant to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) to enroll students in supervised field experiences in the SARA states and territories. For further details regarding NYU's SARA membership please visit the NYU State Authorization website. SARA requires universities to disclose to applicants and students whether programs that lead to professional licensure meet licensure requirements in those states in which students are doing learning placements.  

Our degree prepares students for the New York Licensure for a Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), which is a license unique to New York State. Steinhardt Drama Therapy conducts placement activity in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Ohio. 

If you are interested in having a placement in a different state or gaining licensure in a different state other than what is listed above, please contact Nisha Sajnani ( and Maria ( to discuss if this is possible.

Note: State regulations change frequently, and the information posted here may have changed at the time of your specific application to or enrollment in our program of study. Please check with Nisha Sajnani ( if you have specific questions about whether our program meets other licensure requirements in a specific state.


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact us at

Program Benefits for International Students

If you’re an international student, you may be able to work in the United States after graduation for an extended period of time. Most students studying on F-1 visas will be eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) off-campus work authorization. F-1 students in our program may also be eligible for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) OPT extension, allowing you to extend your time in the United States to pursue degree-related work experience for a total of 36 months or 3 years. For more information on who can apply for this extension visit NYU’s Office of Global Services: STEM OPT.