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Art Therapy Undergraduate Programs in the United States

by Elise Freeman

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for art therapists is expected to increase by 17 percent over the coming years. As the baby-boomer generation reaches older ages, they will need recreational therapists of all kinds to help alleviate symptoms of age-related injuries and disease. Undergraduate programs certified by the American Art Therapy Association prepare students to work in this growing field.

Ursuline University

This program, located in Ohio, offers an art therapy undergraduate major. One major advantage for Ursuline students is the option to choose between two tracks: one that leads to a Bachelors of Arts degree in art therapy, and one track for the bridge program leading to a Master of Arts degree. Art, psychology and art therapy are all intertwined in either educational track. Students gain hands-on experience and training for their future work in the field.

Marywood University

Marywood's AATA certified program is located in Pennsylvania. This undergraduate program in art therapy trains students to be pre-professional art therapists. Courses are offered in art and healing, approaches in art therapy and art therapy applications. Students get valuable work experience through internship training with a supervised professional in the field. This art therapy program stands out because the professors are also board-certified therapists, who are both active clinicians and artists.

Lesley University

Lesley University is an attractive choice for art therapy students because of its small size. The incoming freshman class is typically around 320 students. The art therapy major includes 55 credits in courses that prepare students to work in childcare settings, school programs or social-service agencies. Because this school also has a graduate program in art and expressive therapies, undergraduate students can choose to continue on to earn a Master of Arts degree.

University of Wisconsin - Superior

The undergraduate program at this university is unique because students earn a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in art therapy. So students get to major in art therapy but receive a strong foundation through education in psychology, research in art therapy, developmental creative functioning, expressive arts for change and even studio art. Fascinating electives are also available, such as ecopsychology art and meditation, ceramics and printmaking. This school also has a graduate program in art therapy.

About the Author

Elise Freeman has been a writer and researcher for eight years. Freeman's research in psychology has been publicized on the Huffington Post, "USA Today," NPR, and "The Washington Post." She has also worked with The New York Times Bestsellers and some of the leading researchers in the nation. Freeman's specialties include science, education, travel and more.

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