Visual Arts Therapy

Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts Therapy

Certificate code - cg35

The Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts Therapy program will help to provide additional training for art teachers that the Bachelor of Fine Arts and/or Masters of Arts in Art Education currently do not offer. As such, this field offers new professional opportunities to art educators who are trained, knowledgeable, and versed in its systems, methods, and practices for using Visual Arts Therapy within their teaching practice in the PreK-21 classroom.

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

For those interested in a visual arts therapy graduate certificate, students should apply to the 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.

The required courses for a graduate certificate in Visual Arts Therapy are as follows:

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
Required Courses
ART 610Introduction to Ethics of Visual Arts Therapy3
ART 611Theory of Art Education & Art Therapy3
ART 612Art Methods/Materials for Special Populations3
ART 613Art Assessments and Evaluations with Special Populations3
ART 620Advanced Problems in Art Making3
ART 690 Clinical Observations*3
*Complete a minimum of 100 observation hours in school or clinical settings.
Total Hours18

Certificate Learning Outcomes

Visual Arts Therapy


Upon completion of the certificate students will be able to:

  • Provide an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to understanding and mastering Visual Arts Therapy 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 Visual Arts Therapy 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 visual arts therapy 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.