Art Therapy

Do you want to help people using the therapeutic power of art and creative expression? Then consider a major in art therapy. At Alverno, you’ll learn how to facilitate creative art experiences to help people enhance their physical and emotional health and well-being — to explore emotions, relieve stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem, foster independence and more.

A master’s degree, post-educational professional experience and state certification is required to practice art therapy, and Alverno’s bachelor’s degree in art therapy will start you on the path toward this rewarding career.

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In the classroom

In this major, you’ll study the foundations of art, including form and space, analytic and expressive drawing, 2D and 3D design, ancient to modern and contemporary art history, design in technology, and grant writing for the arts, along with art therapy history, theory and approaches, media and methods, and psychology courses such as life span development.

You’ll thrive in small classes led by dedicated faculty mentors who have deep experience in art therapy. We curate learning to meet your individual needs, connect you with people in the field and help you set personal goals. You are not just a student to us — you are the future of art therapy and a lifetime member of our community.

Beyond the classroom

Build your facilitation and leadership skills by working with individuals and groups in residential care, schools, community-based programs and assisted living and long-term care facilities. As early as sophomore year, you’ll begin four semester-long field experiences, where you’ll be mentored and supervised by experienced and credentialed professionals. Your responsibilities will grow with every experience, and by your third field placement, you’ll be in charge of planning and facilitating your own creative arts group. Your required field experiences prepare you for a 20-hour-a-week practicum during your senior year.

You can also compete in annual juried art competitions, become involved in Alverno’s Artourage student organization and participate in local and national art therapy and expressive therapy conferences.

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Karina, art therapy major

The art therapy program, especially the instructors and my Alverno sisters, have helped me to grow into a more mindful, compassionate, confident and strong person. This is a sisterhood that wants to see each other thrive and succeed in their pursuits.

Art + The Alverno Difference

We create women leaders who are ready to succeed and shatter ceilings. At Alverno, you'll find an empowering, supportive environment that helps you achieve your best. Employers are often impressed by Alverno graduates’ ability to answer questions thoughtfully, think critically, synthesize information and integrate diverse perspectives — all essential skills in art therapy.

Instead of letter grades, we focus on your personal development and real-world skills — equipping you with the communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills you need to thrive. Our learning approach is centered around the 8 Abilities, which will set you apart from the crowd.

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