Art Therapy (BA)

Major

5-year Program

The bachelor’s degree in Art Therapy at NDMU provides the foundation to pursue a rewarding career in one of the newest specializations within the helping professions. Core classes in art and psychology introduce concepts in human development and psychological theories as well as techniques for counseling and creating art. Through hands-on learning which includes a final practicum, successful graduates are prepared to pursue graduate school, a requirement for becoming a professional art therapist.

art therapy student sitting in front of artwork

Program Locations

Features of the Art Therapy Program

  • Integration of Knowledge & Skills – essential courses in art and psychology paired with research opportunities prepare you for graduate school
  • Art Therapy Courses – directly introduce the theory and practice of art therapy
  • Partnerships for Experiential Learning – nonprofit and school partnerships provide practicum opportunities to practice pre-professional skills while also helping the community
  • Professional Development – exhibit your work, build connections, and develop the leadership and communication skills valued by employers
  • Social Responsibility – an emphasis on current social justice issues provides opportunities to co-design art-based activist programming on campus and within the community

Faculty

Four-Year Plan

Sample program of study for the art therapy major. Consult with an advisor in making academic plans as many courses are offered on alternating years.

Fall Spring

First Year

NDMU 100 - Perspectives in Education

4

ART 121 - Art History/Renaissance to 1950s

3

PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology

4

MAT 215 - Basic Statistics (prereq to PSY 210)*

3

Art 101 - Drawing I

3

ART 162 - Digital Photography

3

ART 142 - Painting I

3

Literature Requirement*

3

ENG 101 - College Writing*

3

Foreign Lang (103 or higher)* / 9 cr of Foreign Lang

3

[17 credits]

 

[15 credits]

 

Second Year

PSY 210 - Research

4

PSY 207 - Pyschopathology

3

PSY 205 - Theories of Personality

3

ATP 201 - Introduction to Art Therapy

3

ART 103 - Three-Diminsional Art or
ART 102 - Color and Design

3

PSY 233 - Human Development

3

100/200 Level Philosophy*

3

Natural Sciences Requirement*

3 or 4

200 Level Religious Studies*

3

ART 247 - Ceramics or
ART 2XX Mix Media

3

[16 credits]

 

[15/16 credits]

 

Third Year

PSY 306 - Theories and Techniques of Counseling

4

PSY 409 - Psychometrics

3

ATP 310 - Art Therapy: Theory and Practice

3

ART 2XX - (Mixed Media) or
ART 247 - Ceramics

3

300 (or 400) Philosophy (w/Values designation)*

3

ART 330 - Theory: Crit & Contempo Art

3

History Requirement*

3

300 (or 400) Religious Studies (w/Values designation)*

3

Physical Education*

1

Oral Communication Requirement*

1

ART 102 Color and Design or
ART 103 Three-dimensional Art

3

General Elective

3

[16 credits]

 

[16 credits]

 

Fourth Year

Cross-Cultural Requirement*

3

ATH 470 Practicum in Art Therapy

4

Gender Requirement*

3

Studio Art Elective (from select list)

3

General Elective

3

General Elective

6

General Elective

3

ART 440 Senior Seminar

3

Studio Art Elective (from select list)

3

   

[15 credits]

 

[16 credits]

 

Must select TWO elective at the advanced level in painting, drawing or photography:
ART-201 Drawing II (offered ODD years Fall)
ART-202 Painting II (offered ODD years Fall)
ART-301 Drawing III (offered Spring)
ART-302 Painting III (offered Spring)
ART-321 Life Drawing I (offered every other Spring)
ART-421 Life Drawing II (offered every other Spring)
ART-363 Color Photography (offered Fall every 3rd year)
ART-364 Studio Photography (offered Spring every 3rd year)

* Some courses meet more than one general education requirement.

Note: Depending on the level of foreign language proficiency, three to nine credits are required.

Five-Year Art Therapy Dual-Degree Program

The Dual-Degree Art Therapy program is an accelerated pathway for qualified students to earn both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from NDMU in just five years.

Students accepted into the accelerated Art Therapy program complete the entire BA in three years, by taking 18 credits per semester, plus Winterim and summer term courses. Eligible students who meet the requirements to continue directly for the MA will enter the graduate program in year four, and complete the master’s degree in year five.

Sample 5-Year Plan

Fall Winterim Spring Summer
First Year
NDMU-100 (4) Gen Ed (3) ART-121 (3) Gen Ed (3)
PSY-101 (4)   MAT-215 (3)  
ART-101 (3)   ART-162 (3)  
ART-142 (3)   Gen Ed (9)  
Gen Ed (3)      
Second Year
PSY-210 (4) Gen Ed (3) PSY-207 (3) Gen Ed (3)
PSY-205 (3)   ATP-201 (3)  
ART-102 or 103 (3)   PSY-233 (3)  
Studio Elective 1 (3)   ART-247 or 2XX Mixed Media (3)  
Gen Ed (3-4)   Studio Elective 2 (3)  
    Gen Ed (3)  
Third Year
PSY-306 (4)   PSY-409 (3) ATP-470 (4)
ATP-310 (3)   ART-247 or 2XX Mixed Media (3)  
ART-102 or 103 (3)   ART-330 (3)  
Gen Ed (6-8)   ART-440 (3)  
    Gen Ed (6)  
Fourth Year
ATP-501 (3) ATP-503 (3) ATP-507 (3) ATP-511 (3)
ATP-502 (3)   ATP-508 (3) ATP-510 (3)
ATP-504 (3)   ATP-509 (3) ART-XXX Grad Experience (3)
ATP-505 (1)   ATP-506 (1)  
Fifth Year
ATP-515 (3) ATP-516 (3) ATP-517 (3) ATP-XXX Art Social Justice (3)
ATP-514 (3)   ATP-519 (3) ATP-XXX Career Counseling (3)
ATP-513 (3)   ATP-601 (3) ART-XXX Grad Experience (3)
ATP-512 (1)   ATP-518 (1)  

Graduate School

Upon successfully completing a bachelor’s degree in art therapy, graduates will have the foundation courses needed to apply for a graduate program. In order to become a professional art therapist, a master’s degree is required. For more information about becoming a professional art therapist, visit the American Art Therapy Association.

MA in Art Therapy at NDMU

Our graduate art therapy program is offered in a full or part-time format. It builds on the foundation of the bachelor’s program with a curriculum designed to meet Maryland state licensure requirements as well as national art therapy educational standards. The program has just begun the process of accreditation.

Internship placements are an essential part of the program, allowing you to steadily advance your clinical skills and complete clinical hours that may apply toward state licensure requirements.

Accelerated 5-Year Program

Those that qualify may also pursue an accelerated pathway to earn both the BA and MA in Art Therapy at NDMU in just five years.

Alum
Nia Willis
Toggle between the photo and the story

Awareness of the World Around You

Alum, NDMU Class of 2019 Art Therapy (BA)

"Before coming to NDMU, I never really noticed how much being aware of your world (socially, politically, environmentally, etc.) impacts each individual. As a future art therapist, knowing how various aspects of our world intersect will aid in the service and care that I give to patients and clients." What's Next: NDMU - Gradate School Art Therapy

Read story

Research

One of the hallmarks of the rich educational environment at NDMU is the opportunity to participate in research in your field of interest. Our annual Nancy Kreiter Student Research Day provides the perfect forum to showcase your hard work with a formal research presentation to the NDMU community.

Practicum Experience

In the fourth year, art therapy majors take everything learned and apply it through a supervised field placement. More than an internship, the practicum experience integrates theory, science, and practice. It is an opportunity to take the skills and concepts learned in class and apply them within a real-world setting, which is explored through a final research paper and presentation, including an art-based workshop for faculty and peers.

Practicum placements are tailored to your interests and can include working with diverse patient populations across all age groups.

Art Therapy majors may also choose to mount a senior exhibition of their work, emphasizing their development within the major and the narrative power of art.

Examples of Practicum Placements

Art Therapy Careers

Art therapy as a profession integrates mental health and human services to enrich lives. It encompasses active art-making, the creative process, applied psychological theory, and the human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.

Professional art therapists, including those licensed in Maryland, work in a variety of settings helping clients manage behavior and addiction, reduce anxiety, reconcile emotional conflict and much more.

Employment Settings

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Veteran's Clinics
  • Private Practice
  • Psychiatric & Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Community based settings
  • Senior Communities

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