There are at least two universities in Florida that prepare graduate students for a career in art therapy. Here we discuss in detail the available programs, unique learning opportunities and standard admissions requirements.
Florida Schools with Graduate Programs in Art Therapy
Florida State University
Florida State University in Tallahassee offers a 2-year, Masters of Science (MS) in Art Therapy and a 3- to 5-year Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD) with a concentration in Art Therapy. Students in the MS program have the option to further specialize in an area of art therapy, such as working with autistic patients or medical art therapy, and gain hands-on experience through a thesis or final project and an internship experience. The master's program consists of practicum and field studies courses, as well as traditional courses in topics like ethics, research, counseling concepts, art therapy theories and issues in art therapy. Coursework for doctoral students vary based on their interests and career goals, but students must take some required courses in areas like research methods and art education, and complete a comprehensive exam (with written and oral portions) and dissertation. Students in the doctoral program also have various research opportunities and are prepared for careers in academia, research and/or administration.
University of Florida
The University of Florida in Gainesville has a unique online Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine, Graduate Certificate in Art in Medicine or a Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health. Students in the MA program complete 8-week long courses completely online, but then gain hands-on learning through a 16-week long practicum and 16-week long capstone experience. Outside of the required practicum, capstone and core course requirements, students in the MA program can choose from electives that examine the relationship between the arts and topics like self-care, human development and care environment. The Graduate Certificate in Art in Medicine is also offered online and has more flexibility than the MA program as it only requires 4 core courses and a basic practicum experience. Starting in the fall of 2019, the university will also offer an online Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health that includes a practicum for hands-on learning and trains students in the planning and assessment of public health and arts programs.
Common Entrance Requirements
Standard application materials for master's or doctoral degree programs in art therapy usually include students' official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, personal essay and academic writing sample. Applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree for these programs and may be required to meet a minimum GPA that may range between a 3.0 and 3.5. These programs typically require students to also submit a professional portfolio that may include any artwork, papers and/or experience related to the field. It is also fairly common for master's programs to have some kind of prerequisites, whether it is coursework in areas like psychology, a year of professional experience or completing an introductory course or intensive program. Doctoral programs may have additional admissions standards, such as an undergraduate major related to the art therapy field and/or minimum standardized test scores.
Florida State University and the University of Florida provide graduate programs in art therapy at the certificate, master's and doctoral levels for interested students. These programs include hands-on learning experiences and generally require students to submit a professional portfolio for admission.