The field of creative arts therapy is now widely recognized as an essential component of health care in our society. Creative arts therapists integrate modalities of music, drama, the visual arts, and dance/movement into the practice of psychotherapy in a variety of clinical settings. These include psychiatric, rehabilitation, and general hospitals; nursing homes; group homes; outpatient psychotherapy clinics; special education; and private practice.
The New School's certificate program in Creative Arts Therapy (CAT) is both didactic and experiential, grounded in the latest developments in psychology and mind-body healing. Our curriculum is unique in that it encourages students to work in more than one artistic modality in developing therapeutic insight and mastery. It integrates mind-body techniques such as creative visualization, guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, and therapeutic touch with more traditional arts therapy and psychodynamic approaches. Fieldwork opportunities are available in diverse clinical settings.
The New School certificate attests to completion of the program of study described below. It is not a professional certification or registration. Professional credentials are awarded only by the several art therapies associations. The New School does not currently offer job placement services. Our graduates commonly find employment in recreation/activity therapy programs and other mental health services positions.
Louise Montello, Coordinator
The Certificate Curriculum
The Certificate in Creative Arts Therapy is awarded for successful completion of a nine-course sequence in one of four tracks, culminating in a clinical fieldwork experience. Each track emphasizes a particular modality—Art, Music, Drama, or Dance/Movement therapy. Students are required to take at least two courses in other modalities outside their track for an enriched learning experience.
Courses can be taken for certificate approval on either a non-credit or undergraduate credit basis. When registering, you must specify your certificate status in order for a course to count toward completion of the certificate. Non-credit students who register for certificate status receive grades of AP (Approved) or NA (Not Approved). Certificate approval for credit students requires an acceptable letter grade. Academic requirements may vary from course to course but are always the same for non-credit and credit students registered for certificate status. Transcripts are available in either case.
The certificate program is intended to be a two-year program (two courses per term, including one summer term), but this time frame may be modified with permission from the coordinator. All courses must be taken at The New School for Public Engagement. The HEGIS code is 5299.00.
See Certificates for general policies governing New School certificate programs.
Individual courses may be taken by students not enrolled in the certificate program if space is available.
Program of Study
Required Psychology Courses: Theories of Personality (NPSY3401) and Abnormal Psychology (NPSY3501). Both courses are prerequisites for the clinical fieldwork.
Creative Arts Therapy Courses
- Choose a track: Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Drama Therapy, or Dance/Movement Therapy
- Take four courses in your track, including the introduction training course (parts 1 and 2, if set up in two parts)
- Take two CAT electives chosen from courses in the other three tracks
- Go to the university course catalog for an complete list of CAT course offerings.
Students pursuing the certificate must apply to the certificate program and be accepted into the program prior to registering for classes. CAT certificate students cannot register online; they must meet with an advisor each semester and register in person with a certificate registration form signed by the program coordinator. For more information, call 212.229.5567 or email CATinfo@newschool.edu
The distinguished faculty of the CAT certificate program includes internationally recognized leaders in the fields of art, music, drama, and dance therapy. Scroll to the bottom of the Visual and Performing Arts faculty page for biographical information about our faculty members.
Current Semester Course Offerings
See all courses of the Creative Arts Therapy curriculum
The certificate program in Creative Arts Therapy is ideal for undergraduate students seeking careers in the field, as well as for health, social work, and education professionals and creative artists seeking to integrate expressive therapy techniques into their professional or personal lives.
Prospective students must complete at least 30 college credits prior to applying for the certificate program, including at least two courses in music performance, drama, or studio art and at least two courses in psychology, human services, or counseling, or they must have equivalent professional experience.
Individuals who do not meet either prerequisite but can demonstrate motivation and ability may be admitted provided they arrange to complete the prerequisite coursework in conjunction with their Creative Arts Therapy certificate courses. (Required certificate courses cannot also count as part of the 30 prerequisite credits.)
Individual courses, except the fieldwork, are open to students who meet admission requirements, whether or not they intend to complete the entire program. Note: Certificate approval cannot be awarded retroactively to noncredit students. Students who require an official record or transcript must register as certificate or credit students.
How to Apply
Submit the completed application form with copies of your college transcripts, to Dr. Louise Montello, coordinator of the Creative Arts Therapy program. The deadline for submission is at least three weeks prior to the first day of the term in which you wish to start your courses.
Once admitted, you must make an appointment for course advising before you register. Please direct all questions about eligibility and admission procedures to the coordinator: call 212.229.5567 or email email@example.com.
- Download the Application Form and instructions. (You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the registration form. If you don't have Acrobat Reader on your computer, you can download it for free from the Adobe website.)
- Return the completed form and other requested documents to:
Dr. Louise Montello, Coordinator
The New School Creative Arts Therapy Program
72 Fifth Avenue, Room 522
New York, NY 10011
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for noncredit students is charged per course. Course tuitions are published with course descriptions in the catalog. Tuition for credit students (matriculated and nonmatriculated) is charged per credit point. For more information see Tuition and Fees.
Nonmatriculated students who think they may need to take certificate courses for undergraduate credit should contact the coordinator of academic services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.229.5615.