The Best Undergraduate Degrees in Art Therapy Ranked by Affordability

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Here you will find the list of the best schools offering undergraduate degrees in art therapy.

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Are you interested in combining your love of art and your interest in psychology into a career in art therapy? Art therapy degrees combine the practice of art and the study of psychology into a discipline that allows clinicians to engage with clients to enhance mental, emotional, and physical health and healing. To learn more about the field of art therapy visit the American Art Therapy Association’s website.

Top 10 Undergraduate Degrees in Art Therapy Ranked by Affordability

Rank School Location
1 West Liberty University West Liberty, WV
2 Converse College Spartanburg, SC
3 Southern Adventist University Collegedale, TN
4 Finlandia University Hancock, MI
5 Piedmont College Demorest, GA
6 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
7 Lesley University Cambridge, MA
8 Bethany Global University Bloomington, MN
9 Marian University Indianapolis, IN
10 Alverno College Milwaukee, WI
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Graduates can use their bachelor’s degree in art therapy to pursue entry-level jobs providing direct services to children, individuals, and families such as working in summer camps, residential treatment centers, nursing homes, homeless shelters, hospice care, social service agencies, prisons, and even hospitals. Art Therapy has been shown to promote healing among diverse populations suffering from a range of mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. Many graduates also go on to pursue careers as artists and art teachers.

Additionally, earning a bachelor’s degree in art therapy will put you in a position to be competitive for graduate programs in art therapy. Graduates will also be well prepared to pursue graduate studies in related fields such as mental health counseling, and counseling psychology. In order to work professionally as a registered art therapist, you will need to have your Master’s degree in Art Therapy from an accredited institution to meet state licensing requirements. See our list of The Best Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy for an overview of accredited graduate degrees in art therapy.

Methodology: To develop this ranking, we used the Institute of Education Sciences’ College Navigator to gather a list of schools that offered an art therapy program as a bachelor’s degree. Data was gathered for the tuition of full-time undergraduate students along with the percent of first-time students receiving financial aid. Schools were then ranked on affordability.

  1. West Liberty University
    Location

    West Liberty, WV

    The College of Arts and Communication at West Liberty University offers a Bachelor of Science in Creative Arts Therapy. The degree is designed to train students in the theory and practice of art and psychology in promoting physical, mental, and emotional health and healing. Students will learn how creative expression can support and enhance communication in a variety of settings with diverse populations. Coursework includes general studies, art studio courses, and coursework in psychology.

    Introduction to Art Therapy; Developmental and Comparative Stages in Art; Art Therapy Studio; Art Therapy Literature and Symbolism; Art Therapy Internship and Observation; Art Therapy Assessments and Techniques; Drawing; Design; Printmaking; Watercolor Painting; Ceramics; Art History; Personality Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; and Psychology of Adulthood and Old Age.

  2. Converse College
    Location

    Spartanburg, SC

    A Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy is available at Converse College. The program focuses on giving art therapy students an overview of the profession and field of art therapy with focused study in behavioral sciences and the visual arts. Students will complete an art therapy internship in either a clinical or educational setting. Graduates will be well prepared to secure employment in a helping profession and/or pursue a graduate degree (Master's or Ph.D.) in art therapy or a related field. Converse College reports that 90% of their Art Therapy graduates have successfully secured placement in the graduate program of their choice.

    Introduction to the History of Western Art; Drawing; Painting; Ceramics; Survey of Art Therapy; Art Therapy Perspective: Understanding Children's Art; Art Therapy Methods; Art Therapy Internship; Abnormal Psychology; Theories of Personality; Human Growth and Development; and Counseling and Psychotherapy.

  3. Southern Adventist University
    Location

    Collegedale, TN

    Southern Adventist University offers a Bachelor of Arts with an Art Therapy Emphasis. The program is designed for students who plan to pursue a graduate program in art therapy, and students will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of work to support their application process to graduate school. Courses focus on integrating studio arts with the behavioral sciences. Students at Southern Adventist University will engage in coursework grounded with a Christian perspective.

    Introduction to Art Therapy; Professional Practices; Art Appreciation; General Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Social Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Personality Theories; Fundamentals of Counseling; Introduction to Youth Ministry; Christian Ethics; Drugs and Society; Issues in Adolescence; Group Processes; Family Counseling; and Aging and Society.

  4. Finlandia University
    Location

    Hancock, MI

    A Bachelor's Degree in Art Therapy is offered at Finlandia University. Coursework is designed to support students in learning how art and human psychology can be interconnected. Students who enjoy engaging in art and who value helping others will find this program to be a good fit. In addition, the general education program that all undergraduate students complete, the Art Therapy major focuses learning and skill development on areas including how the creative process can enhance and promote healing; lifespan development; visual art; and interpersonal counseling skills.

    Drawing Foundations; Color and Composition; Painting Fundamentals; Human Factors and Ergonomics; Introduction to Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Lifespan Development: Children and Adolescents; Introduction to Counseling; History and Systems; Design and Culture; Topics in Psychology; Research Methods in Psychology; and Experimental Psychology.

  5. Piedmont College
    Location

    Demorest, GA

    Piedmont College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy. Students in the program will develop artistic skills and a foundation in the theory of psychology. Students will learn to use art to work with and support diverse populations of individuals experiencing mental, developmental, emotional, cognitive, and/or physical challenges. Graduates of the program will be prepared to enter a graduate program in counseling.

    Drawing; Two Dimensional Design; Three Dimensional Design; Painting Studio Courses; Art History: Prehistory to Renaissance; Art History: Renaissance to Present; Art Criticism Senior Exhibition Capstone; Research Methods and Statistics; Human Growth and Development; Exceptional Child; Introduction to Counseling; Abnormal Psychology; and Internship in Human Services.

  6. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Indiana Wesleyan University offers an undergraduate degree in Pre-Art Therapy. The degree combines Art and Psychology courses to prepare graduates to pursue a graduate degree in Art Therapy or a related field. Students will learn to apply art skills and counseling skills in a therapeutic setting. In this integrated program, students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty in both the Fine Art Program and the Psychology Program.

    Drawing; Ceramics; Sculpture; Representational Painting; Abstract Painting; Modern Art; Art Enrichment; General Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Child Development; Adolescent Growth and Development; Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences; Psychology of Abnormal Behavior; Theories of Personality; Theories of Counseling; Techniques of Counseling; Introduction to Art Therapy; Learning and Motivation; Family Systems Therapy; and Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling.

  7. Lesley University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    A Bachelor of Science in Art Therapy is available at Lesley University. This Art Therapy program emphasizes a commitment to supporting students in gaining and using a multicultural perspective in their professional practice of using art to help people grow and heal. Students will have the opportunity to complete internships working with children and adults in diverse settings under the supervision of program faculty. With coursework in human services; psychology and art, graduates of the program will be prepared to enter a Master's level program in Art Therapy and/or Expressive Art Therapies.

    Lifespan Development; Principles of Art Therapy; Abnormal Psychology; Research Methods in the Social Sciences; Art Therapy with Specific Populations; Studio-Based Art Therapy; History of Photography; Multicultural Photography; Drawing Intensive; Introduction to Painting; Introduction to Sculpture; Foundations and Systems in the Helping Professions; Concepts and Skills in Professional Practice; Introduction to Statistics; Cross-Cultural Psychology; Theories of Personality; Introduction to Counseling; and Social Policy.

  8. Bethany Global University
    Location

    Bloomington, MN

    Bethany College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Professional Art Therapy. Students in the program take courses in studio art and psychology and have the opportunity to focus in areas including; ceramics; drawing; painting; and sculpture. The Department of Art offers students the opportunity to network with nationally recognized arts in the central gallery as they develop their own unique style and focus.

    Basic Design; Introduction to Photography; Printmaking; Themes in Contemporary Art; General Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Counseling; Techniques of Psychological Evaluation; Theories of Personality; Social Psychology; Human Sexuality; Behavior Modification; Introduction to Infants, Children, and Youth with Special Needs.

  9. Marian University
    Location

    Indianapolis, IN

    A Bachelor of Arts in Expressive and Therapeutic Arts is offered at Marian University. Students will take their love of art and their interest in psychology and merge it to support others in self-exploration and healing. Students in the program have the opportunity to choose from a variety of electives with diverse courses including printmaking; bookmaking; fiber arts: puppetry; contemporary culture; introduction to poetry; and world music. With a diverse set of courses to choose from graduates of the program will have the theory and knowledge to pursue graduate studies in art therapy, expressive arts, or a related field.

    Basic Drawing; Design; General Psychology; Human Development; Intercultural Communication; Women Artists Through History; Therapeutic Arts in Service-Learning; Program Design and Grant Writing; Techniques in Creative Process; General Psychology; Human Development; Abnormal Psychology; Intercultural Communication; and Interpersonal Communication.

  10. Alverno College
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Alverno College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy. This undergraduate degree in Art Therapy trains students to use their natural artistic ability and interest in helping people to work directly with supporting children and adults from various backgrounds. Students will have valuable hands-on experience working with diverse populations in a range of field placements. In the students senior year they will have an intensive and focused 20 hour-a-week internship to strengthen skills and gain valuable professional experience.

    the Milwaukee Catholic Home; the Donna Lexa Arts Centers; Islands of Brilliance; the Milwaukee Center for Independence; the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center; Saint Marcus Lutheran School; and Alexian Village.

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