Pre-Art Therapy (BA)

Where the creative process meets the healing process.

Available as
Bachelor of Arts
4 years
Fort Wayne
Available Concentrations
2-D Painting, Drawing, Printmaking; 3-D Sculpture, Ceramics, Metals; Photography
Pre Art Therapy student smiling.

Why Study Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a calling at the intersection of creativity and human services. By engaging clients in the creative process — whether making art or interacting with it — art therapists help develop and enhance the mental, emotional and physical well-being of people in all age ranges. Because it can unlock emotional expression by facilitating non-verbal communication, art therapy is especially beneficial in cases where traditional psychotherapy has been ineffectual.

To become an art therapist, you’ll need a master’s degree in art therapy, counseling, psychology or a related field and art therapy certification from the Art Therapy Credentials Board.


Career success rate for our pre-art therapy graduates over the past four graduating classes (2019-2022)


Art galleries on campus


Median salary for therapists

Why Study Art Therapy at Saint Francis?

The University of Saint Francis designed its pre-art therapy program to prepare you for success in graduate school. With elements of studio art, social work, and psychology, our robust, hands-on curriculum builds a foundation in human development and behavior, encourages your artistic talent, and hones your counseling techniques.

Built on Franciscan values of faith and reason, your entire Saint Francis academic experience will prepare you to serve people of all backgrounds as an ethical, compassionate mental health professional.

Hands-On Learning Experiences

Hone Your Skills With a Creative Concentration 

You’ll graduate with an impressive portfolio of artwork in one of three art mediums/concentration areas: 3-D Art, 2-D Art, or Photography.

Apply Your Skills Through Internships & Service

As you study art therapy, you’ll gain experience in community and professional settings through internships and service learning.

Campus and Community

Your passion for the creative arts and desire to enter the mental health profession might spark your interest in clubs, activities, and professional organizations such as:

  • American Art Therapy Association
  • Artists in Action
  • Campus Ministry
  • Cougars Care
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Dead Artists Society
  • f/8 Photo Club
  • Get Psyched! (student-led psychology club)
  • Jesters of the University of Saint Francis
  • Mudslingers Ceramics Club
  • Pencil Pushers Sketch Club

Graduate School and Art Therapy Certification

Saint Francis pre-art therapy students pursue master’s degrees in areas such as art therapy and counseling, applied behavioral analysis, and school psychology at institutions such as:

  • Edinboro University
  • Springfield College
  • St. Mary of the Woods
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Ursuline College

The University of Saint Francis offers several graduate and doctoral programs in the mental health disciplines.

Careers in Art Therapy: Where You’ll Find Our Graduates

Art Therapists
Art therapy certification/licensure can lead to counseling, therapeutic and other clinical positions in a range of settings, from school districts and social services agencies to healthcare facilities and rehabilitation centers.

Art Educators
After they study art therapy, some graduates pursue teaching certification (such as through Saint Francis’ Transition to Teaching program) and become art educators in grades PreK-12.

Mental & Behavioral Health Positions
With the social work and psychology background you’ll build in the pre-art therapy bachelor’s program, you can find work as a mental health counselor, recreational therapist, or related positions.

Learn more about what makes life at Saint Francis so special.