Post-Master's Art Therapy Diploma (PMATD)

PMATD ImageThe Post-Master's Art Therapy Diploma is a program that is designed to blend theoretical knowledge and clinical skills with particular emphasis on the individual student's ability to integrate diverse learning perspectives with their personal growth, and to implement this integration into effective clinical practice. PMATD students strive to develop competence in the delivery of art therapy as well as recognize the inherently spiritual nature of creative practice. It is designed for those who have previously completed a Masters or Doctoral degree in a related field. This program is open to students from any faith tradition and is intended for those interested in professional training that integrates their professional and academic learning alongside their personal development and interest in spiritually-informed practice.

Who is the PMATD for?

The Post-Master's Art Therapy Diploma program is designed for those who have previously completed a Masters or Doctoral degree in a related field. This program is open to students from any faith tradition and is intended for those interested in professional training that integrates their professional and academic learning alongside their personal development and interest in spiritually-informed practice.

What Can Students Expect?

The Post-Master's Art Therapy Diploma is equivalent to 16 months of full-time study, depending on the student's academic background. Students are expected to complete the Diploma in 2-5 years. Students will complete academic coursework, arts-based coursework, and supervised clinical experience in community settings. Arts-based coursework must be completed at St. Stephen's College during registration in the program, but graduate level academic coursework may be completed prior to admittance or fulfilled with transfer credits. With regard to clinical experience in community settings, PMATD students complete a minimum of 350 hours of supervised counselling training. Clinical supervision fees will apply. These fees will vary depending on required supervisory credentials. While every effort will be made to provide cost equity in terms of supervision fees, those in the specialization may incur additional costs. Personal therapy is also a component of the program to allow for students' exploration of their professional development and of personal issues that may arise.

Length of Program

Students taking a full course load can complete the PMATD in four years. Students must complete all requirements within seven years from the date on which they register in the program.

After Graduation

St. Stephen's has designed the PMATD program so that it can assist students in acquiring professional counselling credentials. Although the PMATD curriculum is designed to prepare students for professional registration/licensing, please note that students are not guaranteed licensure or professional registration upon graduation. It is the student's responsibility, in consultation with MPS department staff and faculty, to ensure that their course and practicum work meets the requirements for the licensing or registration body relevant to the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice. The program does not, however, meet requirements to pursue registration as a psychologist in Alberta.

General Program Information

Incoming students can expect to take their first course in early June of their starting year.

  • PMATD Program Requirements (51 Credits)
    Required Courses (24 Credits)
    PPSYC5841 Introduction to Art Therapy: Historical and Theoretical Foundations 3
    PPSYC5830 Theories and Art Therapy Studio Training Group I
    PPSYC5833 Theories and Art Therapy Studio Training Group II 3
    PPSYC5880 Professional Issues in Art Therapy: Group, Family, and Diversity 3
    PPSYC5890 Special Topics in Art Therapy 3
    One course focused on Studio Art Therapy or Expressive Art Therapy; course may be at graduate or undergraduate level, and is to be selected in consultation with Department Chair. 3
    PPSYC5878* Counselling Practicum (Art Therapy) * Counselling Practica consist of 700 hours, 350 of which are direct client contact, plus 60 hours of clinical supervision. Assignments include a progress report and integrative paper/minor art therapy project. The counselling practica should be arranged so as to meet student's desired Professional Association requirements.
    Co-Requisite Courses (27 Credits) Co-requisites are normally completed while in the program but may be: (1) completed prior to admittance, (2) used toward another degree, or (3) fulfilled with equivalent transfer credits. Co-requisites must be completed at the graduate level.
    Six Psychology/Methodology Courses:
    Choice of: PPSYC587 Life Span Development, or PPSYC5896 Spiritually-Informed Develop. Psychology
    PPSYC5812 Abnormal Psychology
    PPSYC585 Basic Psychotherapy Skills
    PPSYC583 Professional Ethics for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Care 3
    Choice of: SSC5710 Inquiry, Research and Evaluation, or SSC571 Research Methods
    PPSYC584V Theories of Counselling/Psychotherapy 3
    Three Spiritually-Informed/Theology-Related Courses
    PPSYC581 Intro to Psychotherapy and Spirituality 3
    SSC589 Theological Reflection in Professional Practice: An Introduction
    One of: SSC511 Introduction to Theology, or SSC5540 Spirituality: From Contemplation to Action
    Therapy (0 credit, co-requisite)
    40 hours of personal therapy with an approved certified counselor or psychotherapist is considered a minimum during training in order to provide an opportunity for students to address personal issues as they relate to their professional development as an art therapist. A letter from the therapist is required, stating dates of therapy, whether this was individual or group therapy, and the number of hours provided.
  • Admission Requirements
    1. Master's Degree from an institution of higher education approved by a Canadian provincial authority, or the demonstrated educational equivalent, in the area of health sciences, theology, social work, occupational therapy, counselling, healing arts, education, psychology, fine arts and the expressive arts, or the humanities and human sciences. The Master's degree must have included a thesis or capstone project. Grade average minimum must be 72%/B/3.0.
    2. The academic ability to engage in graduate education; academic background in counselling and/or some experience in a helping role are desirable.
    3. Background experience in the fine arts, studio art, and the artistic creative process.
    4. Evidence of commitment and ability to integrate spiritually-informed training into professional practice.
    5. Upon successful admission to the Program, students will be required to produce a Security Clearance/Vulnerable Sector Check.

    Application deadline:

    February 1 for Canadian and Permanent Resident applicants. November 1 for international applicants and applicants applying for a Baccalaureate equivalency review (equivalency fee $225); if equivalency is granted, applicants then pay the normal application fee.


    Applicants will attend an admission interview as part of the application process. Intake interviews will reflect on the applicant's learning goals and determine the applicant's appropriateness for admission to the program.

    Orientation and first core course:

    Upon admission, students are expected to register for the St. Stephen's College Orientation Day. One of the co-requisite courses, Intro to Psychotherapy and Spirituality, takes place the week following Orientation Day.

**Note: The Post-Master's Art Therapy Diploma is conferred by St. Stephen's College, not by the University of Alberta. For more information, see our About Graduate Studies at SSC and Institutional Charter pages.