Art Therapy

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art Therapy

  • Commitment to art-making and serving others
  • Emphasizes the healing and therapeutic qualities of art
  • Internships in mental health, medical, educational, studio settings

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The Art Therapy curriculum is designed to meet the needs of those who are interested in a vocation that includes both a commitment to art-making and a commitment to serving others. Students are introduced to the human service profession of art therapy on a pre-professional level. While master's level art therapy training is focused on readiness for professional practice, undergraduate training differs by assisting the student in developing a strong base of necessary studio skills and knowledge of the behavioral and social sciences.

Accordingly, studio art courses are combined with behavioral and social science courses to offer a curriculum that fully prepares a student for graduate level studies in art therapy. Foundation classes also include introduction to Art and Healing, Approaches in Art Therapy and Art Therapy Applications. This program emphasizes the healing and therapeutic qualities of art for the clients served. Students are taught and guided by registered and board certified art therapists who are active clinicians and artists. Art therapy coursework is presented through hands-on experiences that encourage creativity as students gain knowledge of current trends in art therapy.

Additionally, students complete an art therapy internship under supervision of an art therapy professional. This experience serves as important exposure to the actual nature of the art therapy process.

More About This Degree

Dr. Barbara Parker-Bell
Associate Professor of Art

Stephanie Wise
Clinical Assistant Professor of Art

Steven Brower
Assistant Professor

Mark Webber
Assistant Professor
This is just a sample of our Visual Arts faculty - see them all!

The Art Therapy Studio is a multipurpose space that serves as traditional classroom, studio, and “therapeutic space.” The room is equipped with traditional art materials, easels, recycled and found objects, a sink and basic equipment to model spaces generally used by art therapy professionals. In addition the room contains a computer, scanner and state of the art printer for student/artists who use the graphic media as their means of expression. Finally , the room features a one way viewing room that can enable unobtrusive viewing of classroom processes for learning purposes.

Above all, the making of art remains central to the spirit of the Art Therapy program. Students leave Marywood University as capable artists and advocates of humanistic engagement with others through the artistic and therapeutic processes. The Art Therapy program will offer the student introductory, foundation studies in art therapy combined with studio courses. The program will integrate the arts and psychology with attention to social, spiritual and cultural dimensions, providing a solid base for graduate study in art therapy.


I cannot imagine a better place to work and utilize all the skills learned while at Marywood.

I graduated from Marywood University in May 2014 and currently work as a Communication Specialist for Mercy Volunteer Corps (MVC), a small non-profit organization based outside Philadelphia.  MVC places volunteers for one year of service in cities across the United States and South America.  Their mission is to support people who are poor and marginalized through the efforts of our volunteers, support teams, alumni, and staff. 

As a Communication Specialist, I am responsible for the marketing of their brand and their internal and external communications.  My responsibilities range from producing monthly newsletters to press releases on their new volunteer positions and service site expansions.  MVC is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, so I also work closely with the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy.  Working for Mercy Volunteer Corps as a graphic designer has given me many opportunities to expand my skills.  I work with some of the most wonderful people who are always supportive of my creative process and encourage me to continue learning through conferences, webinars, and other events.

I cannot imagine a better place to work and utilize all the skills learned while at Marywood.  Mercy Volunteer Corps is truly the dream job for me and I could not have gotten where I am without the support and guidance of the Marywood community!

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

  • Official SAT and/or ACT scores
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation

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B.A. Art Therapy

The undergraduate program in Art Therapy offers the student an opportunity to participate in a pre-professional art therapy education. Studio art courses are combined with behavioral and social science courses to offer a curriculum that fully prepares a student for graduate level studies in art therapy.

ART 110 Basic Drawing
ART 118 2-Dimensional Design and Color
ART 113* Art History I
ART 114* Art History II
ART 212 3-Dimensional Design
ART 215 A Figure Drawing
ART 218 Art in the Modern Era
ART 223 Basic Ceramics
ART 233 Painting I
ART 261 Sculpture I
ART 322 Foundation Portfolio Review 0
ART 322A,B,C Portfolio Review
ART 345 Painting II
ART 455 Professional Contribution/Exhibit
ART 481 Introduction to Arts and Healing
ART 482 Approaches in Art Therapy
ART 483 Art Therapy Applications
ART 484 Art Therapy Internship
ART XXX Studio Electives (Three 3-credit art studio elective)
ART XXX Art History Elective 3

Plus 2 Art Therapy graduate course electives or 2 additional Psychology electives

*ART 120 plus one additional art history course (excluding ART 113, 114, 430, 431, 432) may be taken as an alternate to ART 113 and ART 114.

Additional Psychology Requirements:

PSYC 251 Developmental Psychology
PSYC 431 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC xxx Elective
SOC 218 Anthropology (General Liberal Arts Requirement)