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Therapeutic Art Graduate Certificate

Aug. 16, 2023

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Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours


The Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art, offered by School of Art and Design in the College of Creative Arts, offers additional training and new professional opportunities for art educators, as well as students in art education and the fine arts. The certificate is particularly valuable for those who are knowledgeable and versed in therapeutic art concepts and technical skills within their teaching practice in the PreK-12 classroom. The concepts and skills learned will benefit all students, but especially those coming from special needs and at-risk student populations. Students in this two-semester program will engage in free exploration, art experimentation, group discussion, and personal reflections to learn therapeutic art concepts and theories and to apply learned methods to personal and professional practices.

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Learning Formats

Online Courses

Start Date

August 16, 2023

Curriculum developed and taught by faculty from

College of Creative Arts School of Art and Design

Degree Awarded: Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art

Program Details

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By using a variety of advanced art methods and therapeutic art approaches, the Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art provides advanced instructional study for art educators, fine artists, and students in helping professions on how engagement in art-making can facilitate self-reflection, promote healing, and improve overall mental health and wellness. The certificate is offered exclusively online and can be completed in one year.

Upon completion of the certificate students will be able to:

  • Provide an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to understanding and mastering Therapeutic Art systems, methods, and practices that place emphasis on the interdependence between teaching art and the whole being of the child;
  • Integrate concepts and skills from Therapeutic Art to benefit all students, but especially those coming from special needs and at-risk student populations;
  • Help practicing art educators gain a foundational understanding of the current field of Therapeutic Art in order to understand how it complements the therapeutic value of art within art education;
  • Widen practicing art teachers’ perspectives of the visual arts to help improve student learning, interpersonal skills and behavior, and/or physical abilities within the education environment;
  • Supplement practicing art educators with new skills that enhance positive student behaviors, increase self-esteem, augment cognitive abilities and improve social skills through visual arts therapy approaches, art activities, assessments and evaluation;
  • Engage current practicing art educators in exercise and project level art-making that focuses on expression, while still considering technical skills and concepts.

Curriculum Program Website


To be considered for admission, the applicant must have a bachelors’ degree in studio art, art education from a program accredited by NASAD with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Any student currently enrolled in a graduate program of a related field at WVU may also take the Therapeutic Art certificate courses. Students in the post bachelors’ certificate program must maintain a 3.0 GPA to progress.

Students should apply to the WVU Graduate School and the School of Art and Design Graduate School.

Note: Admission criteria are subject to change. Please see the School of Art and Design website for the most up-to-date criteria on how to apply. Applications that are incomplete or submitted after the deadline may be reviewed if openings remain.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into the Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art, an applicant must submit the following documentation:

  • Résumé/CV
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Essay/Writing Sample (Contact a graduate program representative for a prompt). Writing sample should be submitted to
  • Please contact a program representative for further information regarding the portfolio requirements.

Application Deadline:
Fall: January 15

University Requirements:
To be eligible for admission into a graduate program at WVU an applicant must submit official, bachelor’s degree transcripts from a regionally accredited institution and hold a GPA of at least 2.75.

Program Contacts:
Therese Giobbia
Coordinator of the Arts Education/Arts Therapy Graduate Programs
Phone: (304) 293-2393

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
Phone: (304) 293-5980

International Admissions
Phone: (304) 293-2121

Estimated Tuition and Fees

The Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art requires 12 hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $667.

Total Degree Cost

$8,004 – Residents and Non-Residents

Meet Kelly Legg

Your personal admissions and enrollment coach

Phone: (304) 293-0112
Virtual Session: Schedule a virtual session with me.

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“I am a graduate of the WVU John Chambers School of Business and Economics with a degree in business administration. I am here to service, support and simplify the enrollment process. Our online programs are the perfect opportunity for working individuals to pursue another degree.”

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Financial Aid

Students enrolled in certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Visit Student Financial Support & Services for additional information.

Career Paths

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.

Art Therapist
Projected Growth: 10-15% *Bright Outlook

Art Teacher – Postsecondary
Projected Growth: 10-15% *Bright Outlook

Special Education Teacher – Preschool
Projected Growth: 10-15% *Bright Outlook

Special Education Teacher – Kindergarten
Projected Growth: 5-10%

Special Education Teacher – Elementary
Projected Growth: 5-10%

Recreational Therapist
Projected Growth: 10-15% *Bright Outlook

Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

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