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Athabasca University

Master of Counselling

The Faculty of Health Disciplines offers a 36-credit, Master of Counselling (MC) program. The MC is a distributed learning, mixed delivery master's program designed to meet the graduate academic requirements for the career paths of professional counsellor or counselling psychologist. The program incorporates core and specialization courses to ensure that all learners attain competency in the fundamentals of counselling psychology.

We offer:

  • Master of Counselling: Counselling Psychology
  • Master of Counselling: Art Therapy* (Admissions to the Art Therapy program specialization are currently suspended. See note below.)

Learners in the Art Therapy specialization take their art therapy courses through the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute.

Counselling Psychology

The courses in the Counselling Psychology specialization are designed to meet the graduate course requirements for licensing as a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists. Learners from other provinces are responsible for checking their provincial regulatory body for licensure requirements.

Because non-thesis learners require a total of 72 psychology credits for registration in Alberta, learners who intend to seek registration as a psychologist in Alberta must have 36 credits in addition to the 36 credits in the Master of Counselling program. For learners without 36 undergraduate credits, options include:

  • taking additional graduate courses in GCAP;
  • taking undergraduate psychology courses from Athabasca University or another institution.

Art Therapy*

* Program suspended – Athabasca University and the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute have suspended admissions to the Master of Counselling: Art Therapy specialization. Current students are able to complete the program up to the suspension end date of June 30, 2024.

Learners in the Art Therapy specialization take art therapy courses through the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI). VATI was established in 1982 and is accredited by the Degree Quality Assessment Board of the Province of British Columbia. VATI offers a Graduate Level Diploma Program in Art Therapy. Learners in the Master of Counselling: Art Therapy (MC:AT) take core program courses through Athabasca University and then access specialization courses through VATI. The VATI courses are recognized for transfer credit into the Athabasca University MC:AT.

The MC:AT is designed to provide learners with both a solid foundation in counselling practice as well as specialized training in Art Therapy. Art Therapy provides individuals with an opportunity to explore personal problems and potentials through painting, sculpture, or drawing. The symbolic communication of emotions and experiences through art leads naturally into other more traditional verbal forms of counselling processes.

This program is offered under the written consent of the Minister of Advanced Education effective February 24, 2014, having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the minister. Nevertheless, prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (for example, acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies, or other educational institutions). Reconfirmed August 12, 2019.



Information effective Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021.

Updated December 03 2021 by laurab

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