Arts in health, also referred to as arts in medicine, is a field dedicated to supporting and enhancing health through creative experiences. This field integrates literary, performing, visual arts, and design into healthcare and public health contexts. Research indicates that the integration of the arts into our health systems can improve both individual and population-level health measures and outcomes
Around the world, the international arts in health movement represents a rediscovery of the links between body, mind, and spirit—and of the power of interdisciplinary collaboration between the creative and medical arts. Arts in health recognizes and advocates the role of imagination and creativity in developing and maintaining health.
Arts in health professionals provide patients, family members, caregivers, and other health-related populations with opportunities for creative expression when they need it most. Similarly, artists partner with public health professionals and community leaders to create a culture of health.
Learn more about the field by visiting What is Arts in Medicine?
Artists in health and arts therapies play distinct and complementary roles in a healthcare setting. An artist in residence in a healthcare setting is a practicing, professional artist in an artistic discipline such as visual art, music, dance, theatre or writing. An arts therapist is a mental health professional who utilizes an artistic discipline for a psychotherapeutic purpose. The expertise of an arts in health professional is to facilitate a creative process using their artistic discipline in a healthcare or community setting. The expertise of an arts therapist (i.e. dance therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, or music therapy) is to assess, treat and evaluate an individual using their artistic discipline of training to facilitate a psychotherapy session.
The primary distinction between the two disciplines of the Arts Therapies in contrast to Arts in Health, also known as Arts in Medicine, is the objective of engaging a patient, loved one, or clinician. An arts therapist engages a client for therapeutic goals and objectives serving as an integrated, interdisciplinary healthcare practitioner. An arts in health professional engages an individual for the purpose of making art together to enhance health and uplift the body, mind and spirit through the experience of making art. While an arts in health professional such as an artist in residence is also an integrated team member in a healthcare setting, they do not serve the healthcare team in a clinical capacity nor do they make mental health assessments or set psychotherapeutic objectives. An artist in residence has the clear and pure task of facilitating creative process; and making art. The arts therapist establishes therapeutic goals with the client; and continually engages the creative process with the aim of meeting stated goals.
These same distinctions hold true in a community setting or in public health settings where an arts in health professional may also engage the public in creative experiences for the purpose of enhancing wellness or communicating health messages. Both fields, Arts in Health, and the Arts Therapies are complementary and necessary for preserving and creating healthy communities.
Check out our video gallery to see some examples of arts in health in action!
Online Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine: $660 per credit hour; $23,100*
Online Graduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine: $660 per credit hour; $7,920*
Online Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health: $580 per credit hour; $6,960*
*Tuition estimates are based on cost per credit hour and do not include University of Florida student fees. Additional fees may apply.
Costs are the same for out-of-state and international applicants. Our tuition is the same flat-rate anywhere in the world.
Federal financial aid is available at the University of Florida for Master's students only. Please visit FAFSA.gov to apply for federal financial aid as early as possible. Graduate Certificate students do not qualify for federal financial aid. Please review the tuition and financial aid information in the admissions section to learn more about affording an investment into your education. Students must apply/update their applications every year.
Students seeking financial aid for summer courses must be sure to contact UF Student Financial Affairs (https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/) to check enrollment requirements (number of registered credits required to qualify for aid) and complete the Summer aid form. Click here for more details on summer aid.
The UF Center for Arts in Medicine offers partial scholarships to applicants with an upper-division 3.6 GPA or higher on their latest full-degree. If you have not already spoken with our admissions coordinator, please please complete the appointment request form to learn more and apply.
You might also ask if your employer or affiliated organization offers continuing education funding.* You can also explore private loans, such as Sallie Mae—a private loan organization that provides funding for graduate studies.**
*Please note that State of Florida Employees may not use State Agency Employee Tuition Fee Waivers for our program. Our program does not qualify for UF EEP.
**Link to Sallie Mae is provided solely for your reference. The University of Florida does not endorse any specific lending organizations.
We offer a Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine, as well as two Graduate Certificates (GC), one in Arts in Medicine and one in Arts in Public Health. You can read more details about each of our graduate offerings by clicking here. The application steps for each differ slightly so please click here for information about how to apply. You are invited to contact us to submit your specific questions and set up an appointment to speak with us over the phone or through video conference.
MA in Arts in Medicine: 2 Years
GC in Arts in Medicine: 10 Months
GC in Arts in Public Health: 10 Months
MA in Arts in Medicine: 35
GC in Arts in Medicine: 12 (can transfer toward MA)
GC in Arts in Public Health: 12 (can transfer toward MA)
MA in Arts in Medicine: 1 of our top 3 arts in health training programs or 1 year supervised pro/volunteer experience
GC in Arts in Medicine: same as MA
GC in Arts in Public Health: Masters of Public Health or 1 grad-level intro to public health course
MA in Arts in Medicine: $660 p/credit hour = $23,100 tuition + UF fees, FAFSA Eligible
GC in Arts in Medicine: $660 p/credit hour = $7,920 tuition + UF fees, NOT FAFSA Eligible
GC in Arts in Public Health: $580 p/credit hour = $6,960 tuition + UF Fees, NOT FAFSA Eligible
MA in Arts in Medicine: Hands-on experience happens in the core curriculum through Creative Practice Assignments that expand your creative facilitation repertoire. The Arts in Medicine Practicum where you find a local hospital, clinical, cultural, or community site to facilitate arts experiences for wellness (using any medium). And finally, in the Arts in Medicine Capstone where you complete a research study or assessment of an arts in health program of your choice (such as the program you created or joined during practicum)
GC in Arts in Medicine: Hands-on experience happens through Creative Practice Assignments and the Arts in Medicine Practicum only
GC in Arts in Public Health: Hands-on experience happens through Creative Practices Assignments and the Arts in Public Health Practicum where you utilize your understanding of public health principles to create or join an existing local partnership with public health professionals and artists (of any medium) to enhance new or existing public health initiatives through the arts
MA in Arts in Medicine: Core Curriculum, Arts in Medicine Practicum, Research & Evaluation, Arts in Medicine Capstone, Advance Professional Seminar, and a minimum 4 electives to hone and specialize your practice
GC in Arts in Medicine: Core Curriculum and Arts in Medicine Practicum only
GC in Arts in Public Health: Core Curriculum and Arts in Public Health Practicum only
The University of Florida and the state of Florida Board of Governors defines a Graduate Certificate program as a formal collection of courses that together form a coherent program of study offered through an academic unit. A Graduate Certificate is a recognition of the acquisition of knowledge and skills in a given field of study. A Graduate Certificate is an academic credential granted by the University of Florida. As such, all Graduate Certificates must follow the requirements of admission, successful completion of approved graduate-level coursework, application to receive the credential, and enrollment during the term in which the certificate is awarded and posted to the transcript.
The field of arts in health, also known as arts in medicine, does not have any legal/official licensing, certification, or accrediting requirements at this time. Rather, a Graduate Certificate from the University of Florida serves as a valuable credential proving your advanced study in this field to employers, partners, funders, and participants. A Graduate Certificate will provide you with valuable experience to advance or develop your arts in medicine or arts in public health practices.
Our graduate program is originally designed to be fully online. The Center intentionally chooses to teach online as the best way to allow students to stay embedded in their current communities. By learning remotely, students can begin to develop their creative practice and careers right away without the need to relocate. Our courses are asynchronous meaning there are no set course meeting times; learning happens any time, anywhere. Deadlines for course assignments and weekly discussion boards can be found in the syllabus at the beginning of each semester.
The University of Florida uses Canvas as its e-learning platform. Canvas is the standard LMS (learning management system) use by most institutions of higher learning. Students have 24/7 access to courses through their Canvas dashboard. Each 8-week or 16-week course includes:
Each assignment comes with its own preset deadlines as listed in the syllabus at the beginning of each term. Students are responsible for learning materials each week that are available 24/7 and completing assignments according to weekly deadlines. Assignments include regular creative practice, weekly discussion boards, academic essays, and presentations. Students also have full-access to Office 365, Microsoft Teams collaboration software, and thousands of scientific, academic, and arts journals through the UF libraries online.
While courses are completely asynchronous and there are no required "class meeting times," there are extra-curriculuar opportunities to attend live presentations, networking, orientation, graduation, and other events online or in-person will be made regularly available to our students and alumni.
Bi-weekly phone calls with faculty are included in the practicum course. Students may also choose to interact with other students via phone or Skype during group projects. These are scheduled with student availability in mind. Students in practicum or capstone courses will also schedule themselves to complete hands-on practice in their local communities at a site of their choosing which will require a consistent weekly time commitment during those semesters.
The Graduate Practicum requires all of our students (MA or GC) to undertake 12 weeks of hands-on arts in health work with a population of interest at a physical, or virtual, self-selected site. The goal of the practicum is for students to apply the knowledge of arts in health gained during the first semester; including academic theory, history, and evidence along with an understanding of professional proficiencies. Student enter the course with a fully devloped proposal to integrate the arts into a healthcare, or community‐based, hands‐on practice. Students are expected to choose their own site(s) and act as a facilitator or overseer of arts activities within the Practicum.
On‐site practicum activities may include facilitation of individual or group art activities, public performances or events, or other arts activities as proposed by the student and approved by the Center for Arts in Medicine (CAM) faculty, course instructor, and on‐site supervisor. The AIM Graduate Practicum course runs over 16 weeks. The practicum hours should be completed over 12 weeks. Students should plan to begin the hands‐on practicum work facilitating the arts to participants at the site no later than the fourth week of the course.
Praciticum students develop and implement hands-on arts in health programming in their own communities. #RealWorldExperience
The Capstone course requires students (MA only) to design their own final research or evaluation project; a hands-on learning experience that serves as the culmination of the Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine degree. The Capstone includes a project that students undertake and an assessment of that project, which can be either research or evaluation. In the capstone, students may choose to take an active role as an artist facilitator or they may take a more administrative role as a project director. The Capstone course will span 16 weeks, including completion of the final paper.
Prior to undertaking the Capstone, students register for the Capstone Proposal course. During that eight-week course, students develop the Capstone plan, undertake an exhaustive literature review, and write the Capstone Proposal. They then typically have eight weeks before beginning to work on details of their plan, which may require IRB approval if human research is undertaken.
While the MA in Arts in Medicine is a nonthesis degree program, the Capstone is equivalent to a thesis in that it asks students to undertake a significant project and conduct an equally significant assessment of that project. Within the Capstone Proposal and Capstone courses, students enjoy tremendous support from faculty and peers. At the completion of Capstone, students have prepared themselves to achieve their professional goals. Final Capstone papers are retained in the UF Libraries.
Capstone students develop and implement a research study or evaluation of arts in health programming. #RealWorldResearch
Fall Cohort Deadline: MA or GC Arts in Medicine applicants starting in the Fall (August), must submit by May 1.
The early-decision deadline is March 15.
Spring Cohort Deadline: MA or GC applicants starting in the Spring (January), must submit by October 1.
The early-decision deadline is August 15.
Summer Prereq/Electives Deadline: MA Arts in Medicine or GC Arts in Public Health applicants starting with coursework in the Summer (April/May/June) must submit by March 15.
Applicants will receive a decision about 3 - 4 weeks after the nearest deadline. For more information, contact the Graduate Programs Admissions Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or request more information.
Your recommendation letters are an excellent opportunity for others to attest to your attributes, skills, and competencies. Of particular interest are recommendation letters from those who have witnessed your work ethic, professionalism, academic performance, creative/artistic skills, and/or arts-in-health activities.
For the strongest application, we recommend the following types of recommenders, both former and current:
Please do not submit recommendations from relatives, friends, peers, clients, or those under your supervision, care, or instruction.
You should ask at least three people (Master of Arts) or two people (Graduate Certificate) who can speak to your various skills to write your letters of recommendation. If possible, at least one of those people should be a faculty member who can speak to your academic abilities. Contact these people early, and stay in touch throughout the process and ensure they are aware of the deadlines. If you are concerned about a letter of recommendation not arriving before your preferred deadline, please contact us.
These letters take time to write, and many faculty members are often writing for several students. Contacting your references early ensures they will have time to write you an in-depth letter of recommendation.
The writing sample should demonstrate your proficiency in writing and your command of the English language. The admissions committee will gauge your potential for succes in a rigorous graduate program that involves reading and writing at an advanced level.
Applicants should submit a single piece of long-form writing such as a research paper, essay, article, report, or proposal. The ideal writing sample has either been graded, proofread, published, submitted to an organization, peer-reviewed, and/or adheres to other professional or academic standards. There are no word count minimums or maximums, please submit your best work.
Your portfolio allows you to showcase your creative, technical, professional, and other proficiencies that demonstrate your potential as an arts in health professional. In general, this document should be a slide show, approximately 10 to 15 slides long, with snippets, images, screenshots, and thumbnails on each slide. Each slide should include a title and description of the work you're showcasing and may include a link to a video, full-text document, or audio recording hosted on a cloud file-storage service like Google Drive, DropBox, or One Drive; or media-hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or SoundCloud. All work in the portfolio should be originally produced by you or facilitated by you (work done by patients, students, community members, performers, etc. under your direction).
Applicants to our program will build careers in the field of arts in health. Careers for arts in health specialists and professionals are varied and include roles such as artists, administrators, entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers, advocates, researchers, and educators. Additionally, established professionals in a broad range of fields may use our program to expand their existing healthcare, public health, arts in health, community engagement, mental health, advocacy, education, development, or social-entrepreneurial practices. Whether you're a recent graduate, switching careers, expanding your horizons, or using your retirement to help others, your portfolio will demonstrate your aptitude for creativity and professionalism. Your portfolio gives our admissions committee a "highlight reel" to holistically assess your current or potential contributions and collaborations within the field of arts in health and ensure our program is a good fit for your goals.
All applicants must hold a regionally accredited Bachelor's degree, in any major/concentration, or an international equivalent. Additionally, the following programs have specific prerequisites respectively:
MA or GC in Arts in Medicine Prerequisite
GC in Arts in Public Health
Please review the application procedures in the How to Apply section.
The online programs in arts in medicine or arts in public health are designed to help professionals develop careers that engage the arts to enhance individual and/or community health. At this time, there are no credentialing or certification requirements for arts in health professionals. However, training for professionals is essential and employers are looking for evidence of appropriate training and experience, particularly related to patient safety, creative facilitation, interdisciplinarity, and professionalism.
Additionally, our students learn important entrepreneurial skills such as planning, proposing, evaluating, and sustaining programs so they may develop their own practices and careers in communities without existing programs. Other students easily incorporate the valuable transferrable skills earned in our program into their own existing or parallel career paths. Our programs can unlock arts-in-health-focused opportunities within education, research, advocacy, philanthropy, policy, social, public health, and healthcare work.
Arts in health is a wide-ranging discipline with career opportunities in both the private and public sectors. Graduates of our program can gain employment and/or create new arts programs within a range of settings. Professionals in this field may work as artists in residence or as arts in health or arts in public health/community administrators, researchers, advocates, entrepreneurs, or educators. Alternatively, you may choose to expand your current career or professional practice by incorporating the arts in support of physical, mental, or community health. Roles for arts in health professionals are available in:
In a 2012 survey of the top 25 employers in the field, 100% of respondents reported having paid staff in their arts in health programs. The programs employed an average of 2.14 full-time and 2.4 part-time administrative staff members, an average of 1.0 full-time and 4.0 part-time staff artists (with benefits), an average of 15 contracted artists (without benefits), and an average of 11 paid visiting artists. Ninety-four percent of employers reported a need to expand their administrative staff, while 88% reported the need to expand their salaried or contracted artistic staff. More were seeking salaried artistic staff members than contracted artists. Eighty-nine percent of employers reported that they would be more inclined to hire administrative or artistic applicants who have an academic degree in arts in medicine.
Networking and employment opportunities can be found through the US-based National Organization for Arts in Health, as well as through global field networks such as the UK-based National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and ARTS HEALTH Early Career Research Network.
In 2020 the U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT ranked the University of Florida as No. 6 among public universities in the United States. In 2014, the UF Center for Arts in Medicine established the first online Master’s degree program for Arts in Medicine in the United States. Our history and reputation as arts in health leaders began with our first undergraduate courses offered in 1996. Our evidence-based practice and administration models stem from the work of our sister clinical program at UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine which started in 1990.
Your education with the Center for Arts in Medicine will demonstrate your intentionality and commitment to interdisciplinary exploration. Completing our program conveys a scientific and holistic understanding of how the arts positively contribute to health and well-being; a knowledge backed by peer-reviewed evidence, time-tested practice, and advanced methodologies.
The faculty at the UF Center for Arts in Medicine have decades of experience and have received over $3 Million in grant funding to support research and public engagement from organizations and agencies such as ArtPlace America, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Institute of Health, Americans for the Arts, etc. You can learn more about their work here: http://arts.ufl.edu/CAM/GraduateFaculty/
Our alumni do amazing work in the field of arts in health and continue to grow the field around the world. You can learn more about their work here: https://arts.ufl.edu/cam/StudentStories.
The following data is based on various surveys of the field of arts in health in the United States. Dollar amounts are in USD.
Developing a sustainable career in the arts requires both creativity and a spirit of entrepreneurship. We prepare you to maximize your potential by equipping you with the experience, skills, and evidence needed to work as an arts in health professional. Our students graduate with the confidence to negotiate and secure dignified compensation.
Each 3-credit, 8-week course requires approximately 16 hours of active time per week. However, this time will vary depending on the individual.
The Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine program can be completed in 5 to 6 semesters (about 2 years) when students follow the defined course sequence. This sequence includes enrollment in fall, spring, and summer semesters. If students choose to vary the course sequence, that time would be extended.
The graduate certificate programs can be completed in 3 semesters (about 10 months).
Yes, you can complete the program on a schedule that meets your needs by taking fewer classes per semester. However, you must take the core courses in the required sequence.
Please be advised that MA students using financial aid, and who extend their time in our program beyond 6 semesters, may affect their financial aid disbursements. All MA students using US federal financial aid should always consult their financial aid advisorbefore choosing their course schedule. This will ensure the satisfaction of any particular credit-hour requirements for financial aid.
Our Arts in Medicine courses are 8-week terms (accelerated half-semesters), with the exception of Arts in Medicine Practicum and Arts in Medicine Capstone, which are 16-week, full-semester courses.
This module is designed to prepare students and professionals to begin the UF Center for Arts in Medicine’s online graduate programs, including the Master of Arts (MA) in Arts in Medicine, the Graduate Certificate in Arts in Medicine, and the Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health. Through this module, students come to understand the basic concepts that shape the field of arts in medicine and become familiar with the basic applications and professional opportunities available. This 20-hour online course can be used to satisfy the pre-requisite for admission into the online MA and GC in Arts in Medicine. You can read more about this course by clicking here.
For more information, contact us at (352) 273-1488 or submit an online request.
The Arts in Health Summer Intensive is designed to provide students and professionals at all levels of experience with a comprehensive overview of the field, including its theoretical foundations, professional opportunities, and scope of practice. The program includes two weeks of on-site programming at the University of Florida and a set of online modules designed to be completed prior to the program. This program can be used to satisfy the pre-requisite for admission into the online graduate program.
The Arts in Health Summer Intensive is an intensive training program for artists, caregivers, administrators, students, educators, and others who wish to explore the roles of the arts in healthcare fields and settings. Participants may choose the arts clinical practice or administration track. Both tracks include workshops in the history, philosophy and physiology of art and healing, experiential workshops in the visual arts, music, dance, theatre and writing, workshops in compassion fatigue and self-care, facilitating the arts at the bedside, arts in healthcare program implementation, administration, and grant writing, research, and practical bedside arts experience with the Shands Arts in Medicine program. The intensive now includes new online modules, including Patient Safety, Understanding the Experience of Illness, Healthcare Culture, and Healthcare Communication.
For more information, click here.
The Arts in Health Research Intensive is a five-day residential program presented by the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine and the UK Arts Health Early Career Research Network. It provides a rich introduction to the evidence base around the arts in health and the fundamentals of evaluation and research. No research experience is necessary, and scholars at every level are welcome. This intensive alternates being hosted annually between the United Kingdom and Florida (Florida: Even-numbered years, UK: Odd-numbered years). This program can be used to satisfy the pre-requisite for admission into the online graduate program.
This course is suitable for anyone with a background or interest in the arts, healthcare, community health or social care, and research, and who wishes to learn more about the field and meet others who share their interests. Program participants will:
For more information, click here.
To be considered for the online Graduate Certificate in Arts in Public Health, students must meet the following criteria: