Phillips Graduate University

Phillips Graduate University

M.A. in Psychology: Marriage & Family Therapy Art


19900 Plummer St

Chatsworth, CA 91311

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Arts in Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy/Art Therapy

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The program utilizes a systems approach to the understanding and treatment of human relationships, integrating marriage and family therapy practices, art therapy approaches, and the application of interpersonal neurobiology theory. An experiential learning environment prepares students for clinical practice. The interpersonal, cognitive, and emotional roles of art making, imagery and creativity for health and well-being are emphasized throughout the course of study. The faculty aim to inspire future mental health professionals to embody self-awareness, professional and personal integrity, and a commitment to relational responsibility.

About Art Therapy
Art Therapy is the use of art making within a therapeutic relationship. Through creating art and reflecting on the art product and process, a person can increase awareness of self, cope with stress, enhance cognitive abilities and enjoy the life affirming pleasure of making art.

About the Program
Our unique program, initiated in 1999, provides an interdisciplinary approach to learning contemporary marriage and family therapy. Students learn systemic marriage and family therapy models, art therapy practices, and interpersonal neurobiology approaches geared toward the master’s level clinician.

Our art therapy classes are small and allow for individualized teaching, yet art therapy students belong to a larger cohort of MFT students as well, which provides opportunities for extensive networking and the professional support systems critical to success in the field. Students also benefit from exposure to many instructors allowing them to glimpse diverse practice styles and areas of specialization.

Program Schedule Options
The M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy/Art Therapy is a 66 unit course of study offered in the fall or spring. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The program can be completed in two years/five semesters or in three years/seven semesters. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with their admissions advisor regarding the details of the program options and multi-program choices.

In the first year, the program involves two days of coursework - Tuesdays and one other weekday or Saturday. In the second year, coursework may involve two or three days depending on the student's schedule. Most students are eligible to begin practicum in the second semester, typically involving two days a week.

Students interested in the concentration option must apply to be accepted. Concentration students are not eligible to apply for Art Therapy Registration (ATR). Please contact an admissions advisor for more information regarding the concentration program.

Admission Requirements

Dual requirements in both psychology and art are required. 

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • 12 units of psychology coursework, which must include Abnormal and Developmental Psychology (all 12 units must be completed before enrolling in the program.)
  • 18 units of studio art, including drawing, painting, and a three-dimensional studio art course (a minimum of 12 units must be completed before enrolling in the program; grades for all prerequisites must be a grade of B or higher.)
  • Portfolio of 10 copies of artwork on 8.5" X 11" paper. Examples of drawing, painting, and three-dimensional work required. 
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (A "Grade Point Average Exemption" may allow admission for applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement.)

Career Paths
Our Art Therapy graduates pursue work in a variety of settings including:

  •     Inpatient Facilities
  •     Employee Assistance Programs
  •     Health Maintenance Organizations
  •     Community Mental Health Centers
  •     Business and Consulting Companies
  •     Schools and Head Start Centers
  •     Social Services Agencies
  •     Universities and Research Centers
  •     Courts and Correctional Facilities
  •     Private Practice


Phillips Graduate Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The Master of Arts degree in Psychology meets all academic requirements of the Board of

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

# of Credits Required: 61 or 63

Classification: Specialized Institution—Other

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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