Distance Learning Program


For people living further away from Toronto, we offer a Graduate Level Diploma in Art Therapy Distance Learning (DL) Program. While the majority of the program is delivered online, it includes 176 hours of mandatory in-person, on-campus classroom learning through two 2-week intensive semesters.

As with the onsite program, the DL program includes 3 components: 16-months of accelerated full-time coursework, 700 hours of practicum, and a research project (thesis or practice-based major project). Students have up to two years after the last date of coursework to complete the practicum and research project components. Typically, the full program takes approximately 2-3 years to complete.

Most courses in the DL program are delivered asynchronously through an online learning platform, where students access weekly course materials and participate in learning through recorded lectures, videos, readings, discussion forums, and sharing of reflections and artwork. A number of courses are delivered synchronously via Zoom, including the Group Art Therapy Experiential course throughout the 16 months of coursework. 

Both onsite and distance learning programs at TATI are cohort-based. This means that each cohort of students progress through the 16 months of coursework together. 

The DL program is offered once per year (January start date), and we accept 10 students per DL program cohort.

Through a curriculum that includes a wide range of topics, we offer training for students to integrate art practices with theories and skills in psychotherapy with individuals, groups, adults, children, youth, older adults, couples, families, and diverse communities.

The TATI curriculum is delivered by art therapists, mental health practitioners and scholars with a diversity of experiences and outstanding contributions in their fields, as well as a shared commitment to ethical practices and social transformation in therapeutic arts-making. The program emphasizes arts-based collaboration and self-reflexivity in practice and research, grounded in critical reflection and application of theories. Students and the teaching team (instructors, supervisors, research advisors) actively co-create supportive learning environments both in the classroom and in the field, engaging in knowledge production and capacity-building that foster professional advancement, personal growth, as well as contribution to community well-being.

The TATI Graduate Level Diploma in Art Therapy Programs are recognized by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) for both the academic and clinical experience (practicum) components. Completion of the TATI program meets the education requirement for registering with the CRPO. Please see here for further information on CRPO application and registration requirements.

TATI is also an approved training program by the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA). Students may join CATA for student membership. Graduates from TATI may apply for professional membership. With the completion of additional requirements, professional members may also apply to become registered members of CATA. For more information about CATA membership types please see the association’s website.

Residency: Distance Learning students must be residing in Canada for the duration of the program due to limitations with providing liability insurance for practicum placements outside the country. The Distance Learning program is intended for students who live at least 100km from our campus in Toronto or who cannot attend Saturday classes for religious reasons. 

International students: At this time, we are regrettably not able to accept applications from international applicants. For more information please see the notice below – https://tati.on.ca/distance-learning-program/#InterInfo

Distance Learning students are responsible for securing their own transportation to and accommodations in Toronto, and the costs of these, for the onsite intensive semesters.

Info Sessions:

Online information sessions are held before each admissions period and are hosted by TATI instructors, practicum staff, and administrators to share information about art therapy, the TATI program, and application process, and to answer questions.

Past Info Session:

January 2025 program admissions
Friday May 10, 2024
12:00-1:30 ET via Zoom

If you missed the info session for January 2025 admissions, please feel free to reach out to us over email at contact@tati.on.ca with your questions. The next info session will be held in early 2025 ahead of the admissions period for September 2025 onsite program admissions. Please check back closer to then to register to attend.

Distance Learning

For further details including course descriptions, please see the Distance Learning Program Calendar.

In order to access TATI’s remote learning platform and join classes via Zoom, students need to have stable internet connection, a computer with camera and microphone, a camera or mobile device to photograph artwork, and preferably a private space and headphones for attending class (required for Group Art Therapy Experiential to ensure confidentiality for all classmates). Students will also need to have Zoom installed on their computer or device. For more details about using Zoom, please see the Zoom New User Guide.

  • Group Art Therapy Experiential
  • Theories and Ways of Knowing in Psychotherapy Practices
  • Practicum Preparation
  • The History and Development of the Profession of Art Therapy
  • Ethics and Art Therapy
  • Principles of Group Therapy Process 

At TATI in Toronto, over 11 days (Monday to Friday, Sunday to Friday)

  • Introduction to CBT and DBT in Art Therapy
  • Trauma-Informed Art Therapy (Part 1)
  • Art Therapy with Older Adults
  • Medical Art Therapy
  • Advanced Studio: Therapeutic Puppetry
  • Art Therapy and Mindfulness
  • Group Art Therapy Experiential
  • Cultural Humility and Art Therapy
  • Child and Adolescent Development and Art Therapy
  • Art Therapy and Mental Health
  • Art Therapy, Spirituality, Grief and Loss
  • Art Therapy in Diverse Settings
  • Trauma-Informed Art Therapy (Part 2)
  • Group Art Therapy Experiential
  • Family and Couple Therapy
  • Indigenous Issues, Health and Art Therapy
  • Research Methods in Art Therapy
  • Art Therapy Assessment Methods
  • Art Therapy in Diverse Settings
  • Advanced Studio: Eco-Art Therapy

At TATI in Toronto, over 11 days (Monday to Friday, Sunday to Friday)

  • Group Art Therapy Experiential
  • Digital Art Therapy
  • Art Therapy for Eating and Body Image Concerns
  • Group Clinical Supervision 
  • Advanced Studio: Art Hives
  • Public and Private Practice in Art Therapy: Finding, Attaining & Creating Employment as an Art Therapist

*subject to changes for each cohort – this is to give a general idea of semester dates for the Distance Learning program.

Semester 1

16 weeks of remote instruction 

January to April

One week break in March

Asynchronous instruction via an online learning platform, with some live components over Zoom.

Semester 2 (on-site)

11 days of on-site instruction

Early/mid May

Monday-Friday of week 1 and Sunday-Friday of week 2, classes 9:30am-6:30pm (one hour lunch break each day).
Semester 3 16 weeks of remote instruction
July/August to November

One week break in late Aug/early Sept

Asynchronous instruction via an online learning platform, with some live components over Zoom.

Semester 4

16 weeks of remote instruction
December to April

Two breaks: one week in December, one week in March

Asynchronous instruction via an online learning platform, with some live components over Zoom.
Semester 5 (on-site) 11 days of on-site instruction

Late April

Monday-Friday of week 1 and Sunday-Friday of week 2, classes 9:30am-6:30pm (one hour lunch break each day). 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition Fee: The total tuition for the program is $18,800.00.* Tuition is paid in four installments, each in the amount of $4,700. Tuition payments are due at the beginning of each 4 month quarter of the 16 months of coursework.

*The above tuition fee amount is effective as of January 2025. It does not affect the tuition fee for students enrolled/beginning program sooner than January 2025.

Thesis/Major Project Advisement Fee: An additional fee of $1,300.00 is required when students begin their thesis or major project, usually at the end of coursework.

Program Extension: The completion due date of all practicum hours and the thesis or major project is 2 years from the last day of semester 5. If students do not maintain contact with the program and progress in practicum and/or thesis/major project after coursework, and the two-year completion due date has passed, the student will be recorded as inactive in the program. If at or after this time the student would like to continue practicum and/or thesis or major project, they must pay a fee of $200 in order to reinstate their active student status in the program. For details please see Current Student & Alumni.

The Toronto Art Therapy Institute is registered as a career college under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 and receives no government funding. Tuition fee paid is eligible for the T2202 tuition certificate.

We are not registered with the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Important Dates

The application periods for September 2024 and January 2025 admissions are now closed. The application deadlines for our next round of admissions will be announced in the fall or in early 2025.

Due to our review timeline and process we do not accept late applications. Incomplete applications are kept on file for one year and can be transferred over for completion during another admissions period within the year, by request.

Prerequisites and Application Process

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a recognized university:
    • A major, minor, or courses taken in fine or studio arts is highly preferable.
    • A major, minor, or courses taken in relevant areas of studies relating to the care profession or human services is highly preferable, such as psychology, equity studies, social work, child and youth studies, disability studies, education, and health studies.
    •  If bachelor’s degree is not in one of the above areas of studies, professional or volunteer experiences in support or facilitation roles in mental health settings, social services, or community-based programs will also be considered.
  2. Must have consistent and ongoing engagement with arts-making through academic, professional, personal, or community-based practices.
  1. Applicant opens an applicant file with us by completing the application intake form (purple button on this page →  “click here to open an applicant file with us.”). This form can be completed anytime. Please open a file with us before having any application related documents sent in.
  2. Applicant submits all required application documents (please see next section below) and application fee by the specified deadline.
  3. The admissions committee will review all completed applications.
  4. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a virtual interview with the admissions committed.
  5. Admission decisions will be communicated to all applicants at least two months before the program start date. 

1. Official academic transcripts

Electronic copy of the official transcript(s) emailed to us directly from the academic institution(s) or via a secure third party service (e.g. MyCreds) to contact@tati.on.ca. If an e-copy is not available, please have your transcript(s) couriered to our office at 8 Prince Arthur Avenue, Suite 200 (2nd Floor), Toronto ON, M5R 1A9.

If you are currently in the final semester of your bachelor level degree and your transcript does not yet list a degree conferral/graduation date, we also require a letter emailed to us directly from your university’s registrar’s office or from a departmental academic advisor to confirm your completion or imminent completion of all requirements needed to graduate. If this applies to you, please note that you will be required to have an updated transcript with graduation date sent to us prior to enrollment/program start if you are offered admission.

If your degree was completed outside Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom, we require a degree equivalency certificate from an organization such as WES or ICAS.  If your original transcript is in English, a simple degree equivalency certificate along with the original transcript is enough. If your original transcript is in a language other than English, please select the “course-by-course” analysis/translation service. Transcripts from academic institutions outside of the above countries without equivalency certificates/ course-by-course translations will not be processed.

If English is not your first language and you have not previously completed post-secondary studies with English-language instruction, please provide English proficiency test results.

 2. Three reference letters:

Two professional and/or academic reference letters from individuals who can comment on your suitability for art therapy training and practice from the perspective of a supervisory role in relation to you, the applicant.

One character reference letter from an individual who can comment on your suitability for art therapy training and practice, but is not a family member or close friend.

All three letters must be signed and emailed to us directly from the individuals writing the letters. Please have your reference letter writers complete the following linked PDF reference form and email it to contact@tati.on.ca

 3. Statement of Interest:

  • Describe how your lived experiences contribute to your interest in pursuing art therapy as a profession.
  • Describe how your education, professional training, and/or volunteer involvements might prepare you for training in art therapy.
  • Describe why you wish to pursue art therapy training specifically at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.

 Maximum 5 pages double-spaced.

 4. CV or resume

Applicant’s up-to-date CV or resume. 

 5. A portfolio of your artwork

  • 10 images of artwork created by the applicant, and selected to demonstrate ongoing engagement with arts-making, personal creative and reflective process, and range of medium.
  • Include a brief statement for each image in regard to your reflections on the creative process and the image.

Please combine all images into one PDF file with the statements (other file formats not accepted).

TIP: Canva is a free online tool with which you can create compositions of images and text, and save as a PDF: https://www.canva.com/

6. Signed PDF application form

Click the “Download the PDF Application Form” button on this page to access the form. It is a fillable PDF.

7. Non-refundable $180.00 CAD Application Fee

Applicant will receive payment instructions when the application file is opened. Application will not be processed unless all documents are received and application fee is paid by the specified deadline.

Please begin by opening an applicant file with us by filling out the application intake form (purple button on this page →  “click here to open an applicant file with us”). This form can be completed anytime. Please open a file with us before having any application related documents sent in. 

Transcripts and reference letters can be submitted up to two months in advance of the application deadline. 

All remaining documents must be sent to us by the applicant, in a single email with the subject line Application: First name Last name to contact@tati.on.ca, within the specified application window.

Please do not combine all the application items into one file. We require each document as a separate file for our processing system.

Application period opening and closing dates for 2024/2025 programs are as follows:

Program/Start Date

Application Period Opening Date

Application Period Closing Date (Deadline)

On-Site Program – September 2024 start

February 1, 2024

February 15, 2024

by 12pm ET (noon)
On-Site Program – January 2025 start May 31, 2024June 14, 2024
by 12pm ET (noon)
Distance Learning Program – January 2025 start

May 31, 2024

June 14, 2024
by 12pm ET (noon)

Prospective applicants may open an application file with us at any time by completing the application intake form (purple button on this page,  “click here to open an applicant file with us”).

Reference letters and transcripts can be submitted up to two months ahead of the application deadline, after the applicant has opened a file with us.

Main application packages are accepted during the two-week application window for each corresponding program start date, as detailed above. All application documents and payment of the application fee must be received by
12pm (noon) ET on the application period closing date in order for the application to be processed.


Thanks so much for everything… I am currently making a living as an art therapist at 6 different worksites (including groups and individual sessions with people with addictions, brain-injured clients, survivors of domestic violence, children and teens who have witnessed domestic violence, and people with severe mental illness) and I am always looking to expand my practice — I am currently proposing seniors groups at the various local retirement homes. I’m working in Lindsay, Sutton, Port Perry and Port Hope.
I cannot tell you what a difference my time at TATI has made in my life, and how grateful I am to you, and to all my instructors and supervisors.
I am so proud to say that I am an art therapist.
In 2013 The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General awarded me a Victim Services Award of Distinction for textile art project with survivors of domestic violence in Kawartha Lakes.

Annalisa Danowski

Read more student testimonials.

International Students

Important update: TATI is not able to accept applications from international applicants until further notice, due to a federal government decision in January 2024 regarding the cap on international study permits. For more information please click here to read our notice.

Language Requirements:

If you apply to either the On-Site or Distance Learning programs at TATI, TATI reserves the right to request a successfully completed language proficiency test. Language test scores are reviewed in combination with academic credentials to determine your admissibility to TATI.

You may meet our English-language requirements if you have successfully completed one of the following:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

  • Computer: 220
  • Paper: 560
  • iBT: 83

IELTS: International English Language Testing Service

  • Score in Academic: 6.5

Degree Equivalency Certificate

If your degree was completed outside Canada, the United States, or the United Kingdom, we require a degree equivalency certificate from an organization such as WES or ICAS. Transcripts from academic institutions outside of the above countries without equivalency certificates will not be processed.

International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS): www.icascanada.ca

World Education Services (WES): www.wes.org/ca


As with the on-site program, students are required to complete 700 hours of practicum and a thesis or major project in order to qualify for graduation.