Art Therapy Schools & Programs in Canada

Below is a list of graduate and undergraduate schools and programs in Canada. If you know of any schools or programs that should be added to the list, please leave a comment below. We’ll check out the school and add them to the list if appropriate.

Graduate Schools and Programs in Canada

Calgary, AB, Canada

Prairie Institute of Expressive Arts Therapy
Available: Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate Program, Advanced Diploma in Arts Therapy
Contact: Carmen Richardson – Director
Address: 1528 12th Avenue SW – Calgary, AB T3C 0P9
Phone: 403-245-5553 ext 15

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

St. Stephen’s College
Degree: Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality (art therapy specialization)
Contact: Ara Parker, MA, BCATR, RCAT :: Faculty Lecturer in Art Therapy :: Associate Chair, Art Therapy Program
Phone: (780) 439-7311 ext 32
The MPS (Art Therapy Specialization) program is an approved art therapy training program with The Canadian Art Therapy Association and graduates are able to apply their degree towards the process of registration as an art therapist. This requires additional supervised post-graduation hours. Graduates may also have the option of registering with other professional counselling bodies in addition to CATA. It is the student’s responsibility to consult directly with their preferred registering association(s) and to plan their course of study accordingly.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Concordia University
Degrees: Masters of Arts (MA) in Creative Art Therapies: Art Therapy, Drama Therapy and Music Therapy Options, Graduate Certificate in Music Therapy
Contact: The Department of Creative Arts Therapies
Address: 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West,VA-264, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8
Phone: 514-848-2424 x4790

Nelson BC

Kutenai Art Therapy Institute
Post-baccalaureate Art Therapy Diploma Program
Address: 191 Baker Street, 2nd Floor; Nelson BC V1L 4H1
Phone: (250) 352-2264
Toll free: 1-800-580-6388
The Kutenai Art Therapy Institute (KATI) is dedicated to the belief that the creative process is healing and life enhancing. The Institute offers art therapy services to children, youth and adults, an accredited two year post-baccalaureate Art Therapy diploma program and professional development opportunities in expressive arts therapies and ecological identity. The KATI program integrates Art Therapy theory, practice and research.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Art Therapy Institute
Art Therapy training program
Contact: Executive Director: Dr. Helene Burt, D.A., RCAT, ATR (Doctorate of Arts in Art Therapy, NYU)
Address: 66 Portland Street, Suite 103, Toronto, ON, M5V 2M8
Phone: (416) 924-6221
Email: no email address available.
As noted in the comments, they are also offering an online art therapy program (aka distance learning). You can find more information about that here.

Creative Integrative Arts Therapy Training Program
Address: 468 Queen St. E. Suite LL01; Toronto, ON Canada
Tel: (416) 539-9728

West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Art Therapy Institute
Contact: No name available
Address: 350 –1425 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V7T 1B9
Phone: 604.926.9381
15-month FT Art Therapy Diploma Program and an Advanced Diploma / Distance Art Therapy Program. View their website for more details.

Additional Art Therapy Related Programs in Canada

Vancouver, BC Canada

Langara College
Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate Training Program
Contact: Ofir Gabay
Address: 100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V5Y 2Z6
Phone: 604.323.5925
Visit website
Description: Langara College offers an exceptional Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate program. It has been the only integrative arts-based therapy training in BC for over 6 years. Graduates have gone on to practice as an Expressive Arts Therapist within a range of educational, clinical and community settings.

As a public college, Langara prides itself on the quality of education we offer and the experience and expertise of our instructors. All programs must go through a rigorous approval process before being offered to the public to ensure that our students expectations will be met and that the industry will recognize our graduates as fully prepared, qualified experts.


  1. Jocelyn says

    Will there ever be an Art Therapy school in Manitoba?
    The more I learn about it, the more I want to be a part of this growing profession.

    • Nancy Bruyere says

      Check out Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy. WHEAT will begin offering diplomas in art and drama therapy in 2016. Check out the website. There are other wonderful things going on at WHEAT already (August 2015).

  2. David says

    I have recently begun learning about art therapy as a profession. I was curious as to what I might need for entry into the master’s program? I have a 4year bachelor’s degree in Community Design form Dalhousie University, a partially completed 2 of four year bachelor’s degree in fine arts from N.S.C.A.D and have taught English as a second language in South Korea. What steps might I require to apply and complete the art therapy program at the master’s level? Any comments would be greatly appreciated..

    • says

      Hi David, pretty much every program I have seen in Canada, you need a bachelor’s degree to pursue a diploma/Masters in art therapy. Most of them do not care what the concentration of the degree is, but require a minimum (anywhere from 3-6, sometimes specific, psychology courses) and sometimes they require you to have actual studio credits as well (which it sounds like you have). I believe St Stephens requires the art therapy students to have a BFA. Just check with them. Some of them require experience in a teaching, therapeutic or counselling environment; some recommend it but do not consider it mandatory. I have researched each of the programs at great length and they all have slight variances, so I would just check the admissions requirements in the various schools and contact them to see if your particular degree would be accepted. As for registration with the CATA, they require a diploma or Master’s degree from a recognized institution (you can find the list on their website) plus a certain number of professional hours and supervised hours logged. But you can practice as a professional art therapist following completion of your diploma/degree, while you are working towards registration. :) Hope that helps. (This is just my findings through research, I’m not a professional and don’t speak on behalf of any institution or licensing body.)

  3. Anna Gadek says

    I am professional artist,trained in Poland(years ago),
    In Canada I took several courses in decorating,silk painting color therapy and feng shui.I realy would like
    to be art terapist,but my education from Poland is not an equivalent with BA which is required for taking that course .What can I do to be able to study that?
    Is there any other training or school for undergrads?
    Please help me to find out.Thank You.My regards.


  4. says

    Wondering what you know or think about the Haliburton/ Fleming College Certificate program for Expressive Arts therapy?

  5. chinacheapmall says

    terapist,but my education from Poland is not an equivalent with BA which is required for taking that course .What can I do to be able to study that?
    Is there any other training or school for undergrads?
    Please help me to find out.Thank You.My regards.

  6. Brycie says

    Not listed is Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in Nelson, B.C. Canada – it’s a very good school with an excellent program! I would recommend it to anyone looking to persue a career in art therapy. It is a very small school with more freedom to look at international students who meet equivalent requirements to BA. Look into it – the woman who runs it is very reasonable and provides her students with an high quality education. The program is a two-year diploma, with distance option.

  7. says

    The Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI) will begin offering a distance learning graduate program beginning in January of 2012. So if you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia or Poland or anywhere else on the planet, you can receive the excellent training offered. You will be personally supervised via Skype and be qualified as a professional Art Therapist with a graduate diploma after completion of the requirements. Here is the link:

  8. Sheryl Tablan says


    Can you please update the coordinates for:

    Graduate Art Therapy Schools & Programs in Canada

    Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Concordia University
    Contact: The Department of Creative Arts Therapies
    Address: 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West,VA-264, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8
    Phone: 514-848-2424 x4790

    Masters of Arts (MA) in Creative Art Therapies: Art Therapy,Drama Therapy and Music Therapy Options

    Graduate Certificate in Music Therapy

  9. Carly says

    I was very interested in Concordia’s Art Therapy program and was curious as to know how subsidized is the program? If I want to pursue it right after college, would it be financially possible to pay for undergraduate student loans while pursuing this degree? What are other universities that are heavily subsidized?

    – Carly

  10. says

    Hi: please check info on Canadian Art Therapy Schools. It needs some updating. See the website of the Canadian Art Therapy Association / Training. e.g. The Vancouver Art Therapy Institute has moved to Grandville Island, in Vancouver. other schools in BC, two in Alberta, etc.
    Someone asked about whether there is a training program on the East Coast. I am in the process of starting a branch in Halifax (serving the east coast). This would be a collaboration with the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute (KATI) in Nelson BC. According to plan we hope to start with the first cohort by the end of August 2012

  11. Carol says

    I am a graphic designer and have been in the industry for 13+ years, however would like to look at becoming an art therapist.
    Does anyone have any information as to how I can do this? I have been reading that you need university first, however I have 3 college diplomas that have to count for something?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you, Carol

  12. Dao says

    Hi !

    I would like to hear some experiences or opinions from people that got their training at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI).

    Also, I would like to know wich programs include psychoanalytical bases in their approach.

    Thanks a lot !

  13. says

    Please include St. Stephen’s College, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to your list of schools. There are only 2 schools in Canada currently offering Masters Degrees in Art Therapy: Concordia in Montreal (listed by you already) and St. Stephen’s in Edmonton. Our program (approved by CATA) is called a Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality-Art Therapy Specialization (MPS) I am the new Associate Chair of the program and am available for any questions and inquiries. Many thanks!

    Ara Parker, MA, BCATR, RCAT
    Faculty Lecturer in Art Therapy
    Associate Chair, Art Therapy Program
    Phone: (780) 439-7311 ext 32

  14. Claire Richard says

    I am looking for some help in finding out whether or not this Art therapy can be taught online or if there is any courses i may take online..Very interested in the field but nothing near me. Can anyone out there help me,
    thank you

  15. Laura says

    If you attend a Canadian school such as Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI), are there a lot of hoops to jump through to come home to the US after attending VATI and practice Art Therapy? The Institute says that it follows the guidelines of the American Art Therapy Associations.

    • says

      To my understanding it’s relatively easy. Did you check the website of the AATA? The CATA states they will offer any specially designated programme offered in the US. I’m assuming it’s probably the same vice versa.

  16. says

    Dear Sir,
    I am working as a general pratitioner in pakistan for the last 25 years as an allopathic doctor.Besides this Iam also doing practice in clour therapy –through wter.
    I trated many patients of epilepsy Psychosis,Hepatitis B & C,Enteric fever,Degue fever.I passed a diploma course in colourse in colour therapy. Now a days I am working of a thesis COLOURS CAN CHANGE THE pH OF THE HUMEN BODY. I want to do pHD in your institute on this TOPIC.
    With Regards

  17. seema says

    i am from india and i am interested to do art therapist course and then open a centre in my country …i am already counsellor working in a school..
    is there any course which i can do online…???
    please help..

  18. says

    Please include the BC School of Art Therapy, located in Victoria, BC, Canada, in your list. We provide two programs: Post-Bachelor Diploma in Art Therapy and Post-Master’s Certificate in Art Therapy.

    Christel Bodenbender
    Webmaster of BC School of Art Therapy

  19. Melanie says

    Athabasca University – Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology – they have a Masters of Counselling: Art Therapy Specialization program. They are an open university, so its all online, with yearly face-to-face intensive seminars!

  20. kyrsta says

    I am curious to hear about internship opportunities for art therapy students in Vancouver BC.

  21. Alicia hendrick says

    Curious if any one knows if any of these schools offer an art therapy distance learning program?

    • says

      KATI offers one (Kootenai Art Therapy Institute). It’s located in Nelson, BC, but they offer their program by distance. With the exception of two or three mandatory in-person workshops per year, the rest is done completely by distance, including clinical hours. May want to check that out?

  22. says

    Please include the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy, located in Victoria, BC, Canada, in your list. The institute is providing art therapy training under the guidelines of the Canadian Art Therapy Association, with courses in Thailand, Japan, as well as workshops in Canada.
    Graduating students become professional clinical art therapists with the option to become members of CATA.

    Christel Bodenbender
    Webmaster of Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy

  23. Esther K. says

    I am Tanzanian. I am looking for a course in Poetry Therapy. Is there any institution that has it?

  24. sara says

    Can I assist in art therapy, I am an impressionist artist who would like to help. I am in Canada, willing to relocate to a warm climate.

  25. Alexis says

    For the art therapy institute in Toronto do you need university level to get in ? or can you be at college level?

  26. pearl says

    Athabasca University – If I could turn back time I would choose their Master’s of Counselling with focus/specialization in Art Therapy done in tandem with VATI
    Attended KATI – LOVED it, outstanding school – it gives you a post grad diploma – master’s equivalency – most jobs out there want the ‘master’s of counselling or MSW – even to do art therapy

    • says

      I am also drawn to KATI. If I ever do decide to go the art therapist route that would be my school of choice, so perhaps Master’s first?

  27. Jen says

    Hi there,

    Has anyone heard about the Adler School of Professional Psychology? They have a campus in Chicago and one in Vancouver. The Vancouver campus recently launched their MA in Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy just this year.

    • says

      I have heard of it, yes. I don’t know anyone who has taken the Art Therapy designation but I do know a couple of people who studied counselling psychology there. One of them loved it and the other said they were far less about community and social justice and more about keeping up appearances than they would have the public believe. That’s the extent of my knowledge. They do seem to have a pretty comprehensive programme though, curriculum-wise.

  28. Sarah R says


    I have a few questions that hopefully someone can answer. I’m a Canadian living abroad and I’m thinking of returning to Canada to do an education in Art Therapy. I’m wondering if CATA accredited Art Therapy programs are recognized abroad. For example, if I come to Canada and go to the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute for the program there, will I be able to use that education if I am to return to Sweden or elsewhere in Europe?

    Second question is this: I have a bachelors degree in Sociology with a minor in Philosophy, but I read somewhere that in Canada, you need to have a degree in Social Work, Counselling/Therapy, or Fine Arts in order to be accepted into an Art Therapy program. Is this true?

    My final question: What’s the difference between a training diploma/training program/post-graduate diploma and a masters degree? Would it make a big difference to obtain a masters degree rather than a training diploma, or will both open the same doors to be able to practice art therapy as a career?

    Thanks so much in advance for your help!


    • says

      Hi Sarah,

      I can answer some of this, as a Canadian person, through my own research.

      1) Check with whatever country you are planning to practice in. I think generally speaking your education would be honoured if it follows the same or a similar curriculum as that in your country of choice/residence. For example, in Canada, even though only programs from North America (and possibly Great Britain/Australia) transfer directly into CATA for certification/registration, they will honour many programs internationally providing they meet the same requirements. So yeah, check with the country you are interested in working in. One thing I noticed about Sweden is that if you plan on working there, but receive professional credentials (ie. in a helping profession) abroad, even if you have work experience they still require you to go back into clinical supervision to ensure that you are working at the same standard they expect, and also, I would imagine, to orient you to the language, culture, and professional environment of Swedish organizations.

      2) No, it is not true that you need one of those degrees. Some programs do require that, but most of them will allow any degree providing you have certain psychology courses (intro to psych, personality psych, learning psych, social psych, developmental psych, abnormal psych, etc; some just list some ideas and you can choose your own, while other programs are very specific in what courses they require you to have); in some cases they also do require a certain number of studio art credits (normally somewhere around 12-18, or 4-6 courses), in a broad range of disciplines (painting, drawing, sculpture, print, 3D, digital, video, etc). If you check with the websites of the schools you are interested in they will always have admission requirements posted, and if you don’t get the info you need you can email and ask them directly.

      3) To my understanding, at least here in Canada, there is no real difference, professionally speaking. I think the main difference is that if you plan on moving forward into a PhD, you would probably want to go the Master’s route, as a diploma will not get you there. If, however, you simply want to become an art therapist and are happy with that, and just doing miscellaneous trainings on the side as they come up on topics that interest you, then a diploma would be perfect. It really just comes down to personal preference, the way I see it. However…be sure to research you country of residence (or where you hope to work), and also the types of jobs you plan on applying for. What are their requirements? That might give you a better idea of which path to pursue.
      For example: a Master’s programme will usually have a thesis component as well as the clinical hours to complete. However, so do schools such as the Kootenai Art Therapy Institute (KATI), who only reward diplomas but also have a thesis component as well as clinical hours and supervision.

      Hope this all helps! Good luck in your search.

      Best wishes,

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