Art therapy

Master of Arts in Art Therapy

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

The Art Therapy Psychology Department at Notre Dame de Namur University is the only one of its kind in Northern California. It is unique because it provides a Master of Arts in Art Therapy, which qualifies a student to sit for the Licensed Professional Clinical License (LPCC), as well as a licensure course of study, leading to a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, while preparing the student for a Marriage and Family Therapy License (MFT). Both the MA in Art Therapy and the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy programs prepare students to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR). The department also offers a Post Master’s/Advanced Standing Master of Arts in Art Therapy and a Ph.D. in Art Therapy.

The Art Therapy Psychology Department draws applicants from around the world. Approximately 30% of Art Therapy Psychology students come from outside the state of California. NDNU’s Art Therapy Psychology graduates work with children, adolescents, adults, elders, couples, families, groups and communities. They bring art therapy into a wide variety of settings which include schools, mental health organizations, inpatient and outpatient programs, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, prisons, private practice and more.

Learn about the Mills-Peninsula scholarship.

See the NDNU General Catalog for course descriptions:


  • Faculty includes noted authors in the field of art therapy
  • Close relationship with professional organizations such as the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT) and the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB)
  • Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Training
  • Advisory Council of Agency Supervisors
  • A vibrant network of NDNU Art Therapy Psychology Alumni
  • Training for clinicians, researchers, and leaders in the field

Admission Requirements

Students may apply to enter the Master of Arts in Art Therapy or Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy programs in the fall, spring, or summer semesters and should meet the following requirements:

  • Completed NDNU application for admission
  • Two letters of recommendation, professional or academic.
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, with one transcript showing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or equivalent academic preparation outside of the U.S.
  • Portfolio of original artwork to demonstrate competence with a range of art materials; 10-12 JPEG images on a CD is preferred.
  • An autobiographical statement generally, 3-to-4 pages.
  • Application to Apply Courses to NDNU’s Prerequisites
  • In-person or preliminary Skype interview
  • Psychology prerequisites: A minimum of twelve (12) semester units (or eighteen (18) quarter units), which must include the following foundation areas:
    • General psychology
    • Personality theory
    • Developmental psychology
    • Abnormal psychology
  • Art prerequisites: Eighteen (18) semester units (twenty seven (27) quarter units which must include the following foundation areas:
    • Studio painting
    • Studio drawing
    • Studio clay/sculpture
  • A grade of “B-” or better is required for prerequisite courses.
  • Please note that a minimum of six semester-units must be completed before admission to the program.


Kaitlin Aparicio
Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions

Amy Backos, Ph.D., ATR-BC
Chair, Art Therapy Psychology Department

Michelle Jones
Department Coordinator

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