Examinations

The Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) is a national exam taken for Board Certification and, in some cases, needed for state licensure.

The testing is done in two ways: the standard paper-and-pencil option and the computer-based option.

While ATCB does not provide or endorse study materials, we do offer a preparation guide to assist prospective examinees.

Standard Paper-and-Pencil Exam

The standard paper-and-pencil test is held annually in conjunction with the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) conference. It is administered at or near the AATA conference site, and on the same date in several other cities across the U.S. Please refer to the map below for the 2018 testing sites. The fee is $235 or $260, depending on time of application. Note that the November 3, 2018 exam will be the last paper-and-pencil based ATCBE administration. Beginning in 2019, the ATCBE will be offered via computer-based testing (CBT) only.

August 31, 2018 is the early deadline to apply for Board Certification and take the paper-pencil administration of the ATCB Examination on November 3, 2018. The final deadline is September 28, 2018. ATRs applying for Board Certification by the August 31 deadline save $25 off the regular fee of $260.

Unless you are approved to take the ATCB Examination for licensure in New York, New Mexico, Maryland or Kentucky, the only way to test is by first obtaining the Registered Art Therapist (ATR) credential. If you are not already an ATR, your complete ATR application packet must be received in the ATCB National Office no later than August 1, 2018 if you intend to apply for Board Certification by September 28 and take the ATCBE on November 3. Individuals planning to test for state licensure must be approved to test by their state's licensure board.

The 2018 administration of the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) is scheduled for November 3, 2018 in the following cities:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Hartford, CT
  • Louisville, KY
  • Miami, FL (AATA Conference)
  • New York,NY
  • Rochester, NY
  • Seattle, WA

Computer-Based Testing (CBT)

The computer-based test is offered during several windows of time each year at over 500 designated testing centers throughout the U.S. Beginning in 2018, the fee is $275.

In 2018, the testing windows and associated deadlines are:

Testing Window

Application Deadline

March 5 - 17, 2018

February 2, 2018

June 4 - 16, 2018

May 4, 2018

September 4 - 17, 2018

August 3, 2018

November 5 - 17, 2018

October 5, 2018


If you are a current ATR seeking Board Certification, simply complete the correct application by clicking on the link below. Prior to applying, please review the ATR-BC Application Handbook and Official Preparation Guide.

Apply for Board Certification (ATR-BC)


Please note that no examinee may take the ATCBE more than 3 times in any 12 month period, whether for board certification or licensure. Individual states may have further restrictions regarding re-testing for licensure applicants.


Test By Exception

Test By Exception is available for candidates wishing to have the examination administered outside the regularly scheduled time frame. The administration fee for Test By Exception is $300 in addition to the regular examination fee. As part of the application for Board Certification, the candidate must provide the specific reason for the request. The candidate must provide three (3) dates that they are available to sit for the examination that are at least sixty (60) days later than the date of the request and must include the names of local community colleges and/or universities at or near the requested test location. The ATCB will evaluate the request for accommodation and render a decision within thirty (30) days of receipt.

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