Professor Mary Ellen Ruff talks with two students at a table. Graphic: Art Therapy Program, Columbian College seal


healing the mind and body

Through the therapeutic power of art.


Art Therapy Program


A GW Art Therapy student coloring a painting


The GW Art Therapy Program combines the expressive use of drawing, painting and sculpture with psychotherapeutic concepts to aid in healing the mind and body. Founded in 1971, the fully accredited program is one of the first of its kind in the United States. It offers a rare combination of international partnerships, internships and trauma training while providing practical experience through its Art Therapy Clinic. The program also supports students' artistic pursuits, with frequent exhibits in a modern gallery space.

Students learn through hands-on training guided by our faculty, who are all credentialed art therapists with expertise in clinical practice and research. The academic program offers master’s and combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees that facilitate professional licensure upon graduation.


Onward GW: COVID-19 Updates


What We Offer


Bo Hundley, MA '20

Bo Hundley

MA '20

“Not only has this program provided me with a deeper understanding of the field of art therapy, but it has helped me to foster a deeper understanding of myself. By cultivating more self awareness and strengthening my own identity as an aspiring art therapist, I feel better equipped to enter into the helping profession with confidence.”

Art Therapy by the Numbers


Graduate employment rate


Service hours per year conducted by Art Therapy students


Internship sites in psychiatric, educational, medical and community settings

More Program Outcomes

Graduate Employment Rate: 94.4% (2020), 92.9% (2019), 95.8% (2018)
Student Retention Rate: 85.0% (2020), 96.4% (2019), 96.4% (2018)




"24,000 service hours per year conducted by art therapy students" with a graphic of a paintbrush and board.

CAAHEP manages the ACATE accreditation process.