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Vancouver | Master of

Master’s in Art Therapy

Program Overview

Program Overview

Adler University’s Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program prepares students to work as counsellors, art therapists, and educators in a leading-edge field that combines the arts and psychology to improve physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Our unique degree offering trains graduates to be socially responsible practitioners who work with both words and images to treat individuals facing trauma, stress, and other life transitions.

The innovative program aligns with the requirements set forth by the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association to become a Registered Clinical Counsellor in the province of British Columbia or a Canadian Certified Counsellor in Canada. It is also designed to meet the registered art therapist requirements of the British Columbia Art Therapy Association, the Canadian Art Therapy Association, the American Art Therapy Credentials Board, and the American Art Therapy Association.

Graduates are prepared to be counsellors and art therapists that serve diverse populations in a range of settings including clinics, correctional facilities, private practice and more.



The Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy is a 60-credit hour program. Successful completion of this program includes the courses listed below.

Core Courses
  • Professional Development Seminar I & II
  • Professional Development Seminar Continued
  • Social Justice Practicum I & II
  • Social Justice Practicum Continued
  • Historical and Theoretical Perspectives of Art Therapy
  • Arts-Based Assessment, Research and Treatment Planning
  • Introduction to Adlerian Psychology
  • Theory and Interventions III: Group Skills and Practice
  • Adlerian Theory and Interventions I: Children and Parents
  • Methods, Theory and Applications of Intersectionality and Community Engagement
  • Theory and Interventions II: Families, Couples, and Older Adults
  • Theory and Interventions IV: Trauma
  • Studio Art
  • Clinical Seminar I & II
  • Clinical Seminar Continued
  • Basic Intervention and Assessment Skills
  • Pre-practicum Counselling/Art Therapy Lab
  • Clinical Practicum I & II
  • Clinical Practicum Continued
  • Research Methods
  • Professional Development, Issues and Ethics
  • Individual Appraisal for Counsellors in Practice
  • Theories of Psychotherapy
  • Life Span Development
  • Biopsychosocial Bases of Health
  • Master’s Clinical Art Qualifying Examination (MCAQE)

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

Social Justice Practicum

Social Justice Practicum

Doing is learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes


Our groundbreaking program is designed to prepare counsellors and art therapists to serve diverse populations in a range of settings, including:

  • Clinics
  • Mental health centres
  • Children’s agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Community organizations
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Correctional facilities
  • Violence shelters
  • Residential treatment centres
  • Private practice
Professional Development & Training

Gain the knowledge and skills to facilitate real change in individuals’ lives through words and art. Our diverse faculty brings together rigorous classroom learning with individualized mentorship, artistic guidance, and hands-on professional experience.

We offer extensive training in the field, including a 700-hour clinical practicum focused on learning the skills of art therapy and counseling by working in settings such as hospitals, criminal justice systems, nonprofit organizations, school systems, mental health organizations, addiction services, and private practice.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, preferably in psychology or counselling-related discipline.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate or graduate coursework.
  • The equivalent of at least 12 semester credit hours in baccalaureate-level psychology coursework with a grade of C or better. These courses must include introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, research methods, and developmental psychology.
  • The equivalent of 18 semester credit hours in studio art that demonstrate proficiency and disciplined commitment in art-making. Students may earn these hours in traditional or non-traditional ways. Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.
  • A portfolio of original artwork (15 examples in three or more different media) demonstrating competence with art materials.
  • Coursework or volunteer/work experience that involves working with counselling-related skills and demonstrates counselling capacity is highly desirable and is considered in the evaluation of applicants.

Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:

  • Application and application fee
  • Statement of Intent (2-3 pages double-spaced) answering the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in your chosen field and program?
    • Why is Adler University’s program a good fit for you?
    • What are your career goals and interests?
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (U.S and Canada)
    • Please have official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions
    • Unofficial transcripts are accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
  • Two letters of Recommendation
    • These should be from someone who can specifically speak to your academic and professional abilities

Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview with faculty. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

International Students

International applicants are also required to submit the following:

  • Course-by-course transcript evaluation
  • All transcripts from outside of North America (including Mexico) must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES) ( or Educational Credentialing Evaluators (ECE) ( Please note that we require all official transcripts (and official translations if not in English) as well as the course-by-course international credential evaluation.
  • If a WES ICAP course-by-course evaluation is ordered, applicants will only be required to submit the official international credential evaluation to the University as this service provides a verified copy of the official transcript(s) and translations to the University. Applicants must be sure to send in all transcripts and order the course-by-course evaluation.
  • English Language Proficiency Assessment: Applicants whose first language is not English must submit English proficiency test scores from one of the following testing services directly to the University. Scores are only valid if taken within two years of enrollment.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Adler University’s – Vancouver Campus code for receiving test scores is 6215
    • Internet-based TOEFL minimum score is 92 with at least 22 on each of the four sections
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): A minimum Overall Band score of 7.0 is required, with no band lower than 6.5
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE): A minimum overall score of 62 is required

Vancouver Campus

Adler University in Vancouver has been, like Canada itself, born and built with an open mind. Located in the midst of one of the world’s most exciting and breathtaking cities, Adler University reflects a true Canadian spirit.

You’ll find multiple collaborative areas with the absolute latest technology. Learning areas and class windows have deliberately been situated to stimulate thought. These things do matter. If students are given the space, opportunity and technology to achieve their goals, they are more likely to rock the boat of conventional thought.

Studying in Vancouver does have its added advantages. They are the land, sea and call of the wild. All of which, we encourage you to experience. This is the great outdoors and a very different school of thought. You’ll want to experience it all.

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Vancouver Campus graduate Melika Mirilavasani, MCP-AT ’19, is using her Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy degree to help residents at the Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery and Education Society build relationships and find healing, recognition, and connection through art making.

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Vancouver Graduate Discusses Racial Trauma Counselling on Canadian News Outlets

Vancouver Campus graduate, Linda Lin, M.A. '18, shared her experience as a racial trauma counsellor as her practice experiences an increase in patients seeking counselling in the midst numerous attacks on the Asian community.  

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Education, a Step on the Road to Reconciliation

Cheryl Maguire is a first-year student in the Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program at Adler University’s Vancouver Campus. She is a member of the Trondëk Hwëchin, a self-governing First Nation located in Dawson City, Yukon.

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