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The University of Tampa’s B.A. in Art with a Pre-professional Concentration in Art Therapy program is a well-rounded educational experience that immerses students in the theory and practice of therapeutic arts. Students learn how to use the creation of art to resolve emotional conflicts and prepares them to enter an accredited master’s program, which is required to become a registered art therapist.

Art therapy is a vehicle for communications that uses art for its medium, and it is used in a variety of ways, from veterans with PTSD to children with autism. It can be used as an alternative or supplement to pharmaceutical therapy, and as a tool to encourage self-confidence and self-efficacy in diverse populations from schools and mental health programs to detention centers.

Students in UT’s art therapy program will learn art applications, techniques and assessments to connect with people who struggle with verbalizing their feelings to help them cope in daily functioning. Students engage in experiential learning through our internship program, which offers the opportunity to work with children or adults in a variety of service sites including the centre4girls, Focus Academy, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa General Hospital, Creative Clay and Pyramid Inc.

Art therapy is a mental health profession, which can include additional registration and board certification through the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Graduates from UT’s art therapy program have gone on to successfully complete master’s programs that are accredited by the American Art Therapy Association, at colleges including Florida State University, Marywood University and George Washington University.

Topics of Study

  • drawing
  • ceramics
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • printmaking
  • art history
  • children's art
  • adolescent art
  • general psychology
  • child psychology
  • statistics and experimental methods
  • theories of personality

Minor in Therapeutic Art

The University of Tampa also offers a Minor in Therapeutic Art, which provides a wide perspective on the healing aspects of art making, focusing on how art works with children and adults in diverse settings. Education in therapeutic arts can be beneficial to students who desire to gain general knowledge and skill in creative health and art in wellness practice.

The applications of therapeutic arts are vast – students in any major can use the foundations of art and wellness to create a more versatile professional identity. A school teacher or child care provider working with developmentally challenged children may encourage art making to help diminish a communicative gap and increase positive coping skills. A nurse or child life specialist may use art with a patient to help ease their stay at a hospital, a city developmental planner may use therapeutic elements in designing a community arts program. A doctor, scientist or office manager can use art for employees or in their own self-care in order to increase creative thinking and decrease stress in the workplace.