Your professional education in expressive arts  therapy begins here.

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Expressive Arts Therapy Master’s Program with EGS

Since 1998, we have provided California’s only fully integrated intermodal, interdisciplinary education for Expressive Arts Practitioners. The Institute offers an accredited Master’s in Expressive Arts Therapy with a low residency European study component, in cooperation with the field leading European Graduate School (EGS).

The EGS Master’s Program

The EGS Expressive Arts Therapy Master’s Program is a modular system of coursework designed for persons seeking an initial or additional graduate degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. As a module provider for the European Graduate School, Switzerland, we offer a one weekend per month program that will fit around your working schedule. Our weekends consist of all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and are designed to meet the high standards of EGS, and to fully prepare students to apply for the credential of REAT (Registered Expressive Arts Therapist) with IEATA.

The European Graduate School

The European Graduate School is a fully EU accredited university, which offers a low residency MA in Expressive Arts by virtue of students completing their modular coursework at the Institute in San Diego, and attending three 22 day summer sessions (one for each year of the San Diego Program) on the campus of the university in Saas Fee, Switzerland. Those course years may be done concurrently or sequentially.

The Institute Coursework

The Modular Program in San Diego consists of three Modules that take place over two school years. Students attend experiential intensive weekends of hands-on intermodal and polyaesthetic skills training in the five major art disciplines: visual arts, poetry, drama, dance, and music. Training takes place in both studio and natural environments. Our adult learning model uses a lively mix of lecture, discussion and group and individual art-making designed to teach to the body, mind and spirit of the student artist.

Students are given lists of required and suggested readings, and are assigned a reaction paper for each intensive. In addition, students are responsible for a research project and paper in each of the Modules.

Intensives include time for group dynamics where the learning community examines issues of growth, healing and transformation brought forth in the art making process. As students progress, intensives also include supervision of the students’ work at practicum sites.


Thesis writing begins after students have successfully fulfilled all coursework requirements for level one and two. Students will be advised by an institute-approved supervisor that provides all necessary research seminars and writing support to complete the master’s thesis for EGS. Students may meet up to 5 half-day seminars in group, and will also receive support as necessary upon an individual basis.

Advanced Supervision 

During the thesis writing year, students continue a once-monthly meeting  (4 hours) of advanced group supervision, designed to support their ongoing practicum and professional practice. Along with the thesis

Prerequisites and Requirements

  • Applicants must complete our prerequisite Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy or provide transcript of comparable expressive arts therapy experience. A Bachelor’s degree in the fields of human services, studio art, or humanities/liberal arts is preferred. Students who are within 40 credit hours of completing their BA may be eligible for admissions through the ACCESS exam program. Contact admissions for details.
  • Students in good financial and academic standing at the institute are always accepted into EGS, but must make a pro forma application to the European Graduate School concurrent with application to the institute.   Please contact them for details.
  • note: EGS fees and tuition are separate from, and in addition to, the fees and tuition paid to the Expressive Arts Institute.


The Institute requires 600 hours community based practicum work, to thoroughly ground the student in hands on practice. (465 of those hours serve to fulfill the EGS modular requirement). As little as five hours a week will allow the student to develop valuable skills in facilitation while fulfilling the practicum requirement. Individual and group supervision is provided. Where might you work? A partial list of practicum sites can be found here.

Method Specific Traning

Individual expressive arts training allows the student to experience individual sessions in the Expressive Arts Model with an institute approved expressive arts trainer. 18 hours total are required for graduation.

Master Art Studio

The student artist must undertake 60 hours of instruction per year with a master artist in an art discipline selected by the student are required for graduation.

How to Register?

Contact us by phone (619) 239-1713, or email  to ask questions or register for the next introductory course. Check the events listing for the date of the next introductory course.

Online Course

Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy & Coaching

Founding Director Dr. Judith Greer Essex uses her 25+ years experience to help you rediscover dance, music, drama visual art and poetry as resources for living a richer, more rewarding life. Live like you mean it!

expressive arts therapy intro course

Your professional education in expressive arts therapy begins here!

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