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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



If you are a healthy adult between the ages of 18 and 60 years and a member of the Drexel community (students/ faculty or staff) we would be delighted to have you join our research.   The research, which is sponsored by Drexel University Office of Faculty Development and Equity, requires about one hour of your time in our onsite creative arts therapy studio, and involves working with art materials and verbally sharing your experiences with us. You will also be asked to share a very small saliva sample before and after the research. The research poses minimal stress and no prior artistic experience is required.

If interested please email Dr. Girija Kaimal at or Ms. Kendra Ray at


In July, resident Graduate Art Therapy faculty Donna Kaiser, PhD, Yasmine Awais, and Michele Rattigan presented at the 45th Annual American Art Therapy Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  Also presenting were recent graduates of the art therapy program: Jessica Drass ‘12, Elizabeth Kimport ‘13, Sarah Manley ‘12, and Gretchen Tucker ‘13.  In addition, Elizabeth Kimport was awarded the Gladys Agell Award for Excellence in Student Research.  Kimport is the first Drexel graduate to have received this prestigious award.


Mike Mahoney, MA Music Therapy ’11 helped Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia cancer patient Tom Gillin create the viral ‘Bald So Hard’ video featured on Today in September.

“Tom had the idea to put together a video that would feature as many people as he could gather from around the hospital,” Mahoney, who works as a music therapist at CHOP, said. “He had a ton of ideas about funny scenes to shoot, but he needed the music to match the visuals, so he reached out to me for that.”

Gillin wanted the video to show people the cancer experience from a different angle, and educate the public about what it was really like for him. Gillin and Mahoney came together on the lyrics at first and then Mahoney oversaw the recording of the song.

Drexel Art Therapy alumna Abbien Crowley, MA ’06 also helped Gillin with the video. Gillin shot the video with his iPhone and received help from CHOP’s media department to edit the shots together.

“I think he landed on a different sort of inspiration with his video, because of his unique personality and vision,” Mahoney said. “It was a huge project, and he just never let up until it was finished.”

The experience of making the video and having it show up in the media was overwhelmingly positive for the patients and hospital staff. Mahoney said the video succeeded in bringing together people of all different roles, including doctors, nurses, social work, child life, environmental services, and media, plus the creative arts therapists. “It was great fun for us, and a great analogy of how we try to come together around our patients every day!”

Mahoney has been working as a music therapist at CHOP since August 2011. He uses musical means to help patients and their families feel better about being in the hospital. One way he does that is by allowing a patient to express the story he/she is compelled to tell, in the vocabulary that fits best. “Tom told his story though his very ambitious music video, using a vocabulary that includes lots of humor and cool modern music,” he said.

For other patients, Mahoney said he may provide experiences that support a patient's development, like offering musical stimulation to an infant confined to one room for several months, or leading a music therapy group where patients can meet and interact musically, allowing them to connect with other kids while they're away from school.

While there are no plans for another music video in the immediate feature, Mahoney continues to act as a resource for the patients.

“In the meantime, I'm always excited to help patients' expression happen on a smaller scale -- in patient rooms and playrooms, and sometimes recorded on the family's iPad,” Mahoney said.

by Helen Nowotnik ‘14

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