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Center for Arts in Medicine

Arts In Medicine: Online Graduate Program

FAQs Frequent Questions

What graduate certificates and degrees are available?

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 a phone appointment to speak with us over the phone or through video conference.

What are some differences between the graduate offerings?


MA in Arts in Medicine: 2 Years
GC in Arts in Medicine: 10 Months
GC in Arts in Public Health: 10 Months

Credit Hours

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

Practical Experience

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

Professional Skills & Career Preparation Curriculum

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

What is arts in health?

Arts in health, also referred to as arts in medicine, is a diverse, multidisciplinary field dedicated to transforming health and the healthcare experience through the arts. The field integrates literary, performing, and visual arts and design into a variety of healthcare and community settings for therapeutic, educational, and expressive purposes.

The arts are now being used within healthcare institutions worldwide. The international arts in medicine movement represents a rediscovery of the links between body, mind and spirit and of the unity between the creative and medical arts. It recognizes and advocates the role of the imagination and creativity in developing and maintaining health. Specific applications may include:

  • Bringing the arts into the hospital environment through exhibitions and/or performances.
  • Providing arts activities and workshops for patients, family members and staff.
  • Artists facilitating creativity with patients on an individual basis.
  • Workshops for health maintenance for healthcare givers or other healthy or non-hospitalized participants.

Under the broad umbrella of arts and health, several disciplines have emerged.  The creative arts therapies were established between the 1930’s and 1960s in the United States; and arts in medicine, also commonly referred to as arts in healthcare or arts in health, began to emerge as a discipline in the 1980’s. A third discipline, arts in public health, is emerging as well in alignment with the national and global priority to enhance population health through wellness and prevention.

Professionals and services in arts in medicine provide patients, their family members, caregivers, and other health-related populations with opportunities for creative engagement and expression that support health and well-being.  The discipline serves as an adjunct to medical care, utilizing evidence-based arts practices to support health, healthcare, and wellness. While the arts can contribute to healing in a holistic sense, professionals in the field do not make claims that art can heal illness or replace medical treatment.  Artist in health professionals are not clinicians, and they are not healers.  Artists in healthcare are highly skilled and trained professionals who are adept at facilitating arts practices and navigating the healthcare environment.  They understand patient safety and work in partnership with health professionals and health systems to compliment healthcare.  Similarly, artists in public health partner with public health professionals to enhance the efficacy of health promotion programs.

What's the difference between arts in health and the arts therapies?

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.

What is a Graduate Certificate?

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.

What is the cost of tuition?

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.

Is financial aid available? What about in the summer?

Federal financial aid is available at the University of Florida for Master's students only. Please visit 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 ( 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.

Time Commitment
How long is each course?

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.

How quickly are students able to complete the programs?

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).

Can I complete the program part-time?

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 if you extend the program length and you are on financial aid, your disbursements may be affected. We suggest you first consult your fiancial aid advisor before choosing an extended course path to be sure you meet the credit-hour requirement of your financial aid package.

How many hours should I expect to devote to coursework each week?

Each 3-credit, 8-week course requires approximately 16 hours of active time per week. However, this time will vary depending on the individual.

Career & Entrepreneurship
How can I apply these programs to my career?

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.

What kinds of career opportunities exist for arts in health professionals?

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 programs within hospitals, non-profit organizations, rehabilitation centers, community health centers, academic institutions, studios, museums, assisted living centers, etc. Professionals in this field may work as an artist in residence in a healthcare or community health setting, or as an arts in health administrator, researcher, public health advocate, freelancer, or educator. Jobs for arts in health professionals may be available in: 

  • Hospitals
  • Health clinics and private practices
  • Non-profit arts organizations
  • Community centers
  • Senior centers and long-term care centers
  • Human and social service agencies
  • International non-governmental organizations (NGO’s)
  • Public health programs
  • Universities

While the prevalence of arts in health programs is increasing steadily, arts in health is still an emerging discipline and developing a lucrative career requires creativity and entrepreneurship. Those who seek to work as professionals in this field may find employment with an existing program, or may start a new program, add an arts in health initiative to an existing organization, or enhance the efficacy of their current health or community practice with the arts.

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 staffs, while 88% reported the need to expand their salaried or contracted artistic staffs. 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.  

A 2010 national survey investigating pay scales in the field found that, while some artists were paid as much as $120/hour, the median hourly pay rate at the time was $31-40/hour. Arts in health administrators were similarly compensated at an average hourly rate of $21-$30. A 2016 survey of arts in health programs in the state of Florida found an average pay rate of $35 per hour for artists. 

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.

What does an arts in health practice look like?

Check out our video showcase here to see some examples of arts in health practices:

What reputation will my University of Florida education convey?

In 2020 the U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT ranked the University of Florida as No. 7 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 pioneers in the arts in health field goes back to 1996, and our sister clinical program at UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine started in 1990.

Your education with the Center for Arts in Medicine will demonstrates your intentionality and commitment to interdisciplinary exploration, an awareness of the value of arts to health and well-being in society, and an advanced understanding of arts in health evidence, practice, and 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. Our alums do amazing work in the field of arts in health and continue to grow the field. You can learn more here:

Program Structure
Are there any live components to the programs?

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.

Otherwise, courses are completely asynchronous and there are no required "class meeting times." Students are responsible for learning materials each week that are available 24/7 and completing assignments according to weekly deadlines.

What support services does UF offer online students?
  • UF Career Connections – This career resource guide provides degree-seeking students access to full and part-time opportunities, internships, co-ops, information sessions, workshops, career fair information, networking opportunities, mock interview options, career planning appointments, and so much more.
  • 24/7 Tech Support – The e-Learning Help Desk and e-Libraries Help Desk sites are always available to answer any questions you may have.
  • If you have differences in ability or needs that require special accommodations, please visit to learn how UF can help.
  • Students can make appointments with online tutors at the UF Writing Studio to receive help with their written assignments:
What is the practicum?

The Arts in Medicine (AIM) Graduate Practicum provides students with opportunities to undertake hands-on work with a particular health related population at a clinical or community site. The goal of the practicum is to give students the chance to apply their knowledge of arts in medicine academic theory and understanding of professional proficiencies to healthcare, or community‐based, hands‐on practice. Students are expected to act as a facilitator 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.

What is the capstone?

The Capstone provides an opportunity for students to design their own ultimate challenge and hands-on learning experience as the culmination of their MA in Arts in Medicine degree. The Capstone includes a project that they 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.

DEADLINES: What are the application deadlines?

Fall Deadline: For MA or GC applicants starting in the Fall (August), you must submit your application by June 1st. 

The early-decision deadline is the first week of April.

Spring Deadline: For MA or GC applicants starting in the Spring (January), you must submit your application by October 1st.

The early-decision deadline is the first week of September.

Summer Deadline: For MA (only) applicants starting in the Summer (April/May/June) you must submit your application by March 1st. 

The early-decision deadline is the first week of February.

Applicants who submit before the early-decision deadline will receive an admission decision about 3 weeks after submitting a complete application. For more information, contact the Graduate Programs Admissions Coordinator at or request more information.

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS: Who should submit recommendation letters for my application?

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:

  1. Professors, instructors, or academic advisors
  2. Employers, supervisors, or managers
  3. Volunteer supervisors
  4. Academic/Professional/Volunteer mentors
  5. Community leaders

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.

PORTFOLIO: I'm applying to the Master's program. What should I include in my portfolio?

Your portfolio allows you to showcase creative, technical, and other proficiencies that may demonstrate your potential as an arts in health professional. Careers in the field of arts in health are varied and include roles such as artists, administrators, entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers, advocates, researchers, and educators. Others may embark on our program to expand their existing healthcare, public health, arts in health, mental health, advocacy, or social-entrepreneurial practices. Your portfolio should demonstrate your aptitude for creativity or professionalism and may include any of the following:

  • Arts in Medicine Portfolio: A single PDF or PowerPoint document that showcases experience in the field of arts in health. You may include samples of work reflecting achievements in an arts in medicine career. You may include artistic works produced for the healthcare environment, published papers, program materials, successful grant applications, other digital work samples, etc.
  • Artistic Portfolio: A single PDF or PowerPoint document that showcases creative proficiency. Visual artists may submit up to 10 digital images of personal artwork; creative writers & playwrights may submit up to 20 pages of writing; dancers, actors, musicians, performers, and multimedia artists can submit up to 5 YouTube / Vimeo / DropBox / OneDrive / Google Drive links to digital video and/or audio files and/or performance posters/programs.
  • Administrative Portfolio: A single PDF or PowerPoint document that showcases professionalism in your prior career or volunteer experiences, including responsibilities, performance, objectives, accomplishments, awards, successful grant applications, etc.
  • Combined Portfolio: A single PDF or PowerPoint document that showcases a few pieces of each type of portfolio listed above. If including creative pieces, please limit the total pieces to less than half as many as suggested above.
PRE-REQUISITES: Are there any prerequisites to the online programs?

Yes. You may satisfy the pre-requisite in a variety of ways:

  • Completion of the Introduction to the Arts in Medicine in a Global Context course at UF with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Completion of at least one week of the Arts in Medicine Intensive program at UF
  • Completion of the Arts in Health Research Intensive
  • A minimum of one year of professional / volunteer experience as an artist or administrator in the field of Arts in Medicine
  • Completion of the “Creating for the Health of It” online module
  • Other experience as determined appropriate by the Center’s director

Please review the application procedures in the How to Apply section.

What is the “Creating for the Health of It” online module?

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 module can be used to satisfy the pre-requisite for admission into the online graduate program.

For more information, contact a Graduate Programs Advisor at (352) 273-1488.

What is the Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive Program?

The Arts in Medicine 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 Medicine 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 artsmusicdance, 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.

What is the Arts in Health Research Intensive Program

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:

  • explore the development and scope of the field 
  • learn about psychological, physiological, social and behavioral effects of arts participation on health
  • discover research and evaluation methodologies 
  • discuss practicalities and issues in carrying out research 
  • engage in group-based debates, activities and presentations
  • develop a research plan

For more information, click here.

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