hand painted and decorate masks

Art Therapy

Bachelor of Arts

Art Therapy majors at Ƶapp investigate the healing potential of the arts through self-reflective art directives, research and service learning in the community. In art therapy classes, students experience the healing nature of art making during discussions that focus on the history and development of the field, the therapeutic use of art media, and ways to help others through art. Students’ development of a non-judgmental approach toward art made by themselves and others enables an ability to support the use of art as a way to promote creativity and wellness. Graduates of the program often work in thehuman servicefield or pursue graduate school for art therapy.

Experience the Healing Power of Art

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  • Experiential Learning

    Art Therapy students practice directives that allow them to understand the transformative nature of art, including hands-on experiences, studio work, and portfolio pieces.

    Female student working on mixed media piece of art
  • Art for Wellness

    Our students participate in many different on-campus outreach opportunities through events with Art Therapy Club and wellness initiatives with Ƶapp's Counseling Center.

    Group of female students posing with finished art
  • Service Learning

    Participating in service through off-campus community engagement comes in many different shapes and sizes, including public mural work and study abroad trips.

    female student painting mural stops for a photo
  • Beyond the Gates

    Recent art program graduates traveled with faculty members to the Annual RedCan Graffiti Jam, which takes place on a Cheyenne River Lakota reservation in South Dakota.

    three female art program graduates pose for a photo in South Dakota
  • Connection

    Art for wellness is practiced by our students in a variety of populations and locations, including our students manning the craft tables with young participants at RedCan Graffiti Jam.

    a student colors with a young girl
  • Cultural Competency

    Art provides opportunities to engage across traditional barriers of cultures, languages, age, and race, providing a universal opportunity for artists and viewers alike to share in artwork.

    female student working together on art with younger girl
  • Internships

    Each art therapy major is required to complete an internship to provide them with experiential opportunities to facilitate art activities in the community and promote wellness through art.

    female student installs art
  • Professional Development

    Art Therapy students have the opportunity to present at a variety of professional art therapy conferences, allowing them to build upon both their presentation and networking skills.

    students and faulty pose at a conference
  • Facilities

    Whether students take courses in graphic design, studio art, photography, or ceramics, they’ll do so in top-of-the-line facilities that give them the best art education possible.

    female student working on campus signage

In the Classroom

The Ƶapp University Department of Art, Design, and Communication teamed up with the Erie Zoo for an “ExZOOberant Paint Party” in our art studio. The Jungle Crayon Fence surrounds the children’s play area as a memorable and fun piece of personality in the nearby Erie Zoo. Students and faculty from the Department of Art, Design, and Communication led the initiative to host a painting party to give new life to this iconic fence in the zoo area. The entire Ƶapp community was invited to join in the fun, with students, faculty, and staff helping paint more than 85 crayons with unique designs and names that all adhered to an animal theme. Ƶapp’s Department of Art, Design, and Communication students love opportunities to be creative in the Erie community, especially the chance to work on unique displays like the Jungle Crayon Fence!

two female students pose with paintbrushes in hand

Fast Facts

  • In 2016, Ƶapp’s program was ranked as one of the top undergraduate art therapy programs in the nation, according to Best Counseling Degrees, making Ƶapp’s the only program in Erie County to be recognized.
  • Students have the opportunity to travel abroad and volunteer in art therapy related service learning experiences.
  • The Ƶapp Art Therapy Club allows majors to get to know each other outside of classes and get involved in campus activities.
  • Students are required to take courses in art, art therapy, psychology, and sociology, building the abilities needed to support the use of art as a way to help others.
  • Focus solely on Art Therapy or add an additional major or minor in related art programs such as Art Education, Photography, Graphic Design or Studio Art.
  • Students have the opportunity and have presented at regional and national art therapy conferences supporting professional development.

    Consists of 21 credits as follows:

    • ACCT 101: Principles of Accounting (3 credits)
    • MGMT 120: Principles of Management (3 credits)
    • MKTG 162: Principles of Marketing (3 credits)
    • DANC 200: Intro. to Arts Administration (3 credits)
    • DANC 475: Arts Management Internship (3 credits)

    2 electives of the following, at least one 300-level course.

    • ART 128: Graphic Design Basics (3 credits)
    • COM 240: Digital Video Production (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Intro. to Social Media (3 credits)
    • ART 321: Intro. to Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 312: Communication & Social Responsibility (3 credits)
    • COM 314: Global Communications (3 credits)
    • COM 330: Web & Social Media Analytics & Strategies (3 credits) Requires COM 260 to be taken previously or concurrently.
    • ART 100 Drawing I (3 credits)
    • ART 122 or 123 Art History (3 credits)
    • ART 125 2-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • ART 126 3-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • Basic Level 2-D Studio (3 credits)
    • Basic Level 3-D Studio (3 credits)
    • Art Electives (2) (3 credits)
    • ART 122 Ancient to Medieval Art History (3 credits)
    • ART 123 Renaissance to 20th Century Art History (3 credits​)
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design (3 credits​)
    • ART 223 History of Modern Art (3 credits​)
    • ART 224 History of Photography (3 credits​)
    • ART 230 Graphic Design History (3 credits​)
    • ID 220 History of Interior Design (3 credits​)
    • ID 221 History of Architecture (3 credits​)
    • ARTH 125 Art Therapy I (3 credits)
    • ARTH 225 Art Therapy II (3 credits)
    • ARTH 325 Art Therapy III (3 credits)
    • PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology (3 credits)
    • ART 100 Drawing I
    • ART 102 Ceramics I
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design

    Required Courses

    • COM 101: Communication in Society (3 credits)
    • COM 102: Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Introduction to Social Media (3 credits)

    Course Choices (9 credits)

    • Students must take three additional courses within the Communication Department, two of which must be 300-level or higher.
    • ARTH 125: Intro to Expressive Therapies (3 credits)
    • PSYC 101: Intro to Psychology (3 credits)
    • One developmental psychology course (3 credits):
      • PSYC 241: Developmental Psychology: Childhood,
      • PSYC 242: Developmental Psychology: Adolescence, or
      • PSYC 142: Lifespan Development
    • Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
    • COM 210: Mindful Communication (3 credits), ARTH 275 (3 credits): Group Practices, or SOC 204: Diversity in Society (3 credits)
    • And a least two courses in creative fields or modalities with prefixes ART, ARTH, THEA, DANC, MUS (6 credits) (At least one should be a 200-level or higher)
    • ART 100 Drawing I (3 credits)
    • ART 125 2-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design (3 credits)
    • ART 220 Introduction to Graphic Design (3 credits)
    • ART 221 Digital Imagery (3 credits)
    • 3 Approved Graphic Design Electives (3 credits)
    • ART 106 Photography I
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design
    • ART 206 Intermediate Photography
    • ART 223 History of Modern Art
    • ART 224 History of Photography
    • ART 305 Digital Photography
    • ART 306 Color Photography
    • ART 400 Individualized Studio I

    Students who are majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Website Design in the Art Department. In contrast, Graphic Design majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Communication.

    Required Courses

    • ART 128: Graphic Design Basics (3 credits)
    • ART 221: Digital Imagery (3 credits)
    • ART 321: Introduction to Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Intro to Social Media (3 credits)

    Minor Electives Clusters (Choose one: if courses in the minor cluster are required for your major, please take the opposite cluster.)

    • ART 225: Computer Illustration Technology (3 credits)
    • ART 325: Intermediate Website Design (3 credits)
    • ART 326: Advanced Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 202: Contemporary Media Literacy (3 credits)
    • COM 240: Digital Video Production I (3 credits)
    • COM 330: Digital analysis & Strategies (3 credits)
    • THEA 110: Acting I (3 credits)
    • THEA 245: Script Analysis: From Page to Stage (3 credits)
    • THEA 290: Topics in Theatre History (3 credits)
    • THEA 401: Practicum (3 credits)
Post-Baccalaureate Certificates

    The advanced certificate in Art Education (K-12) is intended for students who have already completed a bachelor's degree in an art-related field. This certification is also for college graduates seeking an art (K-12) teacher certification in the State of Pennsylvania. Each certification requires a course sequence of study and clinical practicum experiences.