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Creative Arts Therapies Department

Innovative Courses Taught By Field Leaders

Internationally recognized faculty train culturally aware and culturally sensitive therapists dedicated to serving a diverse client base.

Creative Arts Therapies Department

Innovative Courses Taught By Field Leaders

Internationally recognized faculty train culturally aware and culturally sensitive therapists dedicated to serving a diverse client base.

Creative Arts Therapies Department

Innovative Courses Taught By Field Leaders

Internationally recognized faculty train culturally aware and culturally sensitive therapists dedicated to serving a diverse client base.

Creative Arts Therapies Department

The Department of Creative Arts Therapies provides students with the most comprehensive and the highest-quality education in their respective creative arts therapy discipline.

Through an integrated blend of classroom, experiential and practical learning in the field, students learn side-by-side with future colleagues in the other creative arts therapy specialties.

Program courses are taught by faculty that are national leaders in their respective fields. Students take advantage of Philadelphia’s lively arts community, which nourishes the artist, dancer and musician within and enables you to continue practicing your art form while pursuing graduate study.

The Department and Diversity

As a community of learners, Drexel’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies is committed to cultivating a diverse and dynamic student population. We are interested in, and enriched by, diversity, including but not limited to: culture, race, ethnicity, gender identification and expression, socio-economic class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, learning styles, and political perspectives. We value these identities, shaped by experience, which support empathetic understanding and enlivened critical thinking in and outside of the classroom and in field placements.

Here in this community, we are aware of our past and present shortcomings and deficiencies. We understand that our programs, like the society in which we live, have too long habitually failed to provide just and plentiful opportunities and resources to all people, a perpetual misstep that has resulted in recurrent exclusion for some and disproportionate inclusion for others. We strive for an expansion of diversity. We recognize, embrace and proclaim that it is only by welcoming all people that we may reach our full, and true, potential as an educational community.


The Department of Creative Arts Therapies offers three Master of Arts degrees: Art Therapy and Counseling, Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, and Music Therapy and Counseling. The 90 quarter-credit curricula can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. We encourage full-time enrollment, yet part-time study can be arranged.

We also offer a PhD in Creative Arts Therapies, an innovative and unique research degree for art therapists, dance/movement therapists, and music therapists who are interested in focusing their careers on scholarly pursuits and academic leadership in their specific discipline.

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling
Engage in art therapy at a prestigious health center aligned to a school of fine arts.

Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy Counseling
Integrate dance and movement into a whole-body approach to mental health.

Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling
Study in the only music therapy program housed within an academic health center.

PhD in Creative Arts Therapies
Earn your PhD in a culture of creativity, innovation, initiative, and support.

Post-Master's Certificate in Art Therapy

Post-Master's Certificate in Dance/Movement Therapy

Post-Master's Certificate in Music Therapy

Creative Arts Therapies Faculty

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News & Events



After months of planning, collecting abstracts, a blind review and a selection process, Improbable Dialogues: Interprofessional Mixed Method Research Collaborations went off without a hitch on June 19, 2015.  The event was hosted by Nancy Gerber, PhD, Director of the PhD Program, and Joke Bradt, PhD, an associate professor, both in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies as a Mixed Methods International Research Association Regional Conference. 

The purpose of the event was to bring together researches from multiple disciplines to create new opportunities for collaborative research. It seems the goal was met.  “The wonderful thing that I saw, which was the goal of the conference, was that each session had two presenters whose topics may or may not have been directly related to each other, but what emerged was this amazing potential for collaboration,” said Gerber.

The presentations were as diverse as the speakers; some are Drexel University faculty, students, and alumni, and others came from as far as Nigeria.  The disciplines included creative arts therapy, medicine, public health, and education. 

The conference served as a meeting ground for people to come together and share ideas from their philosophical and theoretical perspectives, and then share their methodological approach using mixed methods to see what kinds of possibilities would emerge from those interactions.  “Numbers and narratives don’t always go together, and yet we’re looking in some cases to try and make sense out of that data in order to provide more holistic and in depth understanding of a particular phenomenon.  The purpose of mixed methods is that we understand not just the numbers, but why the numbers,” said Gerber.

“The association is very interested in those countries that are in more remote parts of the world where they can’t get out or they might be financially challenged, or not have the resources, yet they have some outstanding universities and scholars there who might be interested in this research,” said Gerber.  Two other regional conferences were held this year, one in San Antonio, TX and one in Japan.  The 2016 international conference will be held in the UK, and 2017 regional conferences are slated for Istanbul, Paris, and South Africa.  


On May 2, 2015, Drexel University hosted the Drexel 100, inducting 17 new members into its prestigious alumni “hall of fame.” Since its launch in 1992 as part of the celebration surrounding Drexel’s 100th anniversary, the Drexel 100 has continued every two years to bestow the highest level of recognition to a small, select group of graduates whose lifetime achievements have made their alma mater proud. These achievements may be professional, civic or in service to the University, but all have brought great honor to the Drexel community.

Drexel 100Induction into the Drexel 100 is especially meaningful because it represents recognition by one’s peers. New members are elected once every other year by the current Drexel 100 membership. This year, Robert Lifshin and Sandra Sheller were among the esteemed inductees.

Robert Lifshin graduated from the Goodwin College of Professional Studies in 1958. Lifshin is a retired manager in the chief maintenance engineering division of the Veterans Administration, where he held responsibility for Veterans Administration Hospitals in six states. Previously, he had been chief engineering officer of the VA Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida. He began his career working at VA Hospitals in upstate New York and Washington, DC after serving in the US Army in World War II. A dedicated supporter of students at Drexel University, Lifshin established and supports three endowed scholarship funds – all bearing the name of his late wife, Genevieve. The Robert and Genevieve E. Lifshin Endowed Graduate Fellowship Fund for Students in Civil Engineering ($10,000), The Robert and Genevieve E. Lifshin Endowed Fellowship Fund for Biomedical Engineering Students ($10,000) and The Genevieve E. Lifshin Endowed Scholarship Fund for Nursing Students ($10,000), which awards financial assistance in the form of scholarships to deserving students enrolled in a nurse education degree program in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Drexel 100 - Sandra ShellerSandra Sheller earned both her MCAT (2004) and CE (2005) from the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Sheller is an active civic leader, philanthropist and dedicated volunteer at Drexel University. Sheller is also a Licensed Professional Counselor, art therapist and family therapist working as coordinator of Divisional Mental Health Training for the Salvation Army of the Greater Philadelphia Area. At Drexel, she serves on the College of Nursing and Health Professions Dean’s Advisory Board, and is an assistant clinical professor in the Creative Arts in Therapy Graduate Program. In addition, she is a fellow at the Center for Non-Violence and Social Justice at the School of Public Health. In 2014, The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center was named in honor of Sheller and her husband.

Congratulations to all of this year’s inductees, and thank you for your incredible contributions.


  • Al Rundio, PhD, associate dean for Post Licensure Nursing Programs has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing. He will be inducted at the annual Academy meeting in fall 2015. Rundio has also been unanimously elected to a three-year term as a Trustee of the Inspira Medical Center Woodbury Hospital Board, effective immediately.


  • Girija Kaimal, PhD, an assistant professor in the Creative Arts Therapies Department, is the 2015 recipient of the American Art Therapy Research Award, the largest cash prize awarded by the American Art Therapy Association. This award, which is aimed at encouraging research among professional art therapists, is for Dr. Kaimal’s research on health outcomes of visual self-expression, done in collaboration with Juan Muniz, PhD and Stella Volpe, PhD of the Department of Nutrition.

  • The Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department proudly introduces two new Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residents, Rachelle Green and Casey Sullivan.  Both residents started working for Drexel Physical Therapy Services on June 1 and will be treating patients in at the Recreation Center, Parkway Health & Wellness and the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services.

  • David Ebaugh, PhD, clinical professor in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department and Noel Goodstadt, PT, associate clinical professor in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department, received the Faculty Recognition Award from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at the Commencement and Honors Celebration on June 10.  Ebaugh and Goodstadt were recognized for many years of dedicated and inspiring teaching in a hands-on laboratory environment, and for the highest course and instructor ratings within the School. 

  • Margo N. Orlin, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences (and alumnus) has received the American Physical Therapy Association’s Catherine Worthingham Fellow Award. Orlin is known within and outside the profession as an exceptional practitioner, advocate, academician, and researcher. The Catherine Worthingham Fellow designation—FAPTA—honors individuals whose contributions to the profession through leadership, influence, and achievements constitute frequent and sustained efforts to advance the physical therapy profession.


  • Nyree Dardarian, MS, was awarded the Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award for the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dardarian was also chosen as one of Today’s Dietitian Magazine as one of the “10 Incredible Registered Dietitians Who are Making a Difference”.

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