What is the mission of Seton Hill's Art Therapy Program?

We develop clinically competent, ethical, and compassionate practitioners of tomorrow who care for the whole person, think and act critically and creatively, embrace collaboration and flexibility, and are committed to transforming the world.

The core goal of the program is to prepare competent, entry-level art therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains, according to national accreditation standards. 

How long does it take to complete the program?

Students can complete the program on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students complete the program in 8 semesters, taking 9 credits (3 classes) most terms. Part-time students typically take either 9, 10 or 11 semesters to complete the program. (To be eligible for student loans you must take a minimum of 5 credits, or 2 classes, each term.) Semester Course Sequence Options (PDF).

Is completing the program feasible for a person who works? 

Yes. Seton Hill’s art therapy graduate program is a 63-credit program, in line with most mental health graduate training. It takes at least 3 years (8 semesters) to complete so that you can maintain flexible work or family responsibilities while completing your studies. 

The class schedule is set up to allow students to work part-time so students on the 8 semester plan are able to come to campus just two nights a week for the first four semesters, three nights for the fifth, then enter their internship year. Most students work part-time while completing the program, though some work full-time until the internship year. Please keep in mind that if you are taking three classes a term, the expectation for coursework and class time is then around 25 hours a week total (for three classes) so if you wish to work full-time, we would discuss shifting you down to two classes a term. 

While it is possible to continue working while completing the practicum/internship experience, it is not recommended to attempt to work full-time during this final third year of studies. The importance of mastering clinical skills through extensive hours at the site, coupled with coursework in other classes, entails a focused commitment. In addition, internship supervision with art therapy faculty occurs during a four hour daytime/weekday course on campus. 

What time of the day are classes held?

Most courses are held during the evening hours although a few are offered during traditional work hours. Please see the Semester Course Sequence Options (PDF) for the typical times classes are held.

Can I start the program in the spring or summer semesters, or just fall? 

Our program starts in the fall or spring semesters, but not in summer. Please see the Semester Course Sequence Options (linked above) for the plans that can support your learning needs. Beginning in the fall will allow you to move through your courses with a reliable cohort of peers with which you will develop strong relationships. A spring start allows you to engage with several different cohorts. 

Can the program be completed online?

While online tools are used in learning and assignments, and students receive a MacBook Air laptop, most courses are face-to-face. We believe the opportunities that exist for art-making in our studio classrooms, along with other team-oriented coursework, form essential connections between peers and develop interpersonal relational skills needed as an art therapist. At this time, four courses are offered online in order to assist with maintaining a busy schedule. 

How many courses do I have to take to complete the master's degree program?

Students take a total of 21 courses.  

What is the typical class size?

First and second year classes are around 14-18 people, which allows for diverse perspectives and life experiences amongst peers. Year three courses are smaller, with practicum/internship supervision being no more than eight students. 

How much does it cost to attend?

Our tuition is competitive, and we also offer aid. This program also participates in the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. Partial scholarships are also available through the American Art Therapy Association. Graduates who obtain full-time work in a public service job may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  It is also important to note the program is designed for livable learning so students can work while they complete graduate studies. 

Can I review the Art Therapy Program Handbook?

Absolutely.  Here is a link to the PDF of the Handbook.

How will I be taught in the Art Therapy Program at Seton Hill University?

Teaching and learning methods include interactive classes, intensive supervision during your internship, group projects, role play, content review, group presentations, case presentations, preparatory field experiences with volunteers, and responsive art-making. 

At the graduate level, we expect that our students are bringing life learning into the classroom, and our courses are designed to create an environment where students are learners and peer teachers who facilitate personal and professional growth in others and themselves. The faculty welcomes open communication with students and receive and provide regular feedback.  Extensive writing is also expected in the program as a tool of reflection. 

Once I submit my completed application how long will it be until I receive an admission decision? 

Candidates will typically be scheduled for an interview within two to three weeks of submitting an application and will be notified of an admissions decision within one week of interviewing. 

What is Greensburg like?

Greensburg is a great small town with affordable housing and an active cultural scene, which serves as the home for the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.  Greensburg is only 35 miles from the “most livable city” of Pittsburgh, with its many museums, thriving arts community and urban feel. The Laurel Highlands are also nearby and provide a balance of hiking and biking trails. 

What are you looking for in a candidate for this program? 

The faculty is interested in students who demonstrate:

  • A strong work ethic and self-direction.
  • The ability to be empathic and emotionally present with others, while remaining curious. 
  • A passion for art-making that supports emotional growth rather than focusing on skilled technique.
  • A commitment to learning about multicultural experiences and marginalized communities.
  • An investment in personal growth and interest in obtaining feedback.
  • The ability to reflect on and articulate personal attitudes, especially in classroom groups.
  • The ability to write, read and present at the graduate level. 

In addition to prerequisite courses, what else can I do to prepare for the program?

  • Engage in art-making for your own means of self-exploration and expression.
  • Show you have a desire to work with people by volunteering or working with a human service, medical, educational or similar agency offering support to community members.
  • Participate in your own personal therapy (not necessarily art therapy if unavailable) to develop self-awareness while getting a sense of what a therapeutic relationship is like.

To contact the Office of Graduate and Online Studies about graduate-level programs, fill out the online Request for Information form. Ready to apply? Apply online now for free! You may also call Graduate Admissions at (724) 838-4208 or email us at gadmit@setonhill.edu.