Art therapy student coloring with pastels

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Pre-Art Therapy Overview

Designed with a foundational focus on art and psychology, the pre-art therapy program will help you utilize art in therapeutic ways to assist individuals in expressing their thoughts and feelings. The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) requires a master’s degree as an entry-level degree for practicing art therapists in the United States. Saint Mary-of-the-Wood College’s pre-art therapy degree program prepares students to meet the requirements for admission into art therapy graduate programs, including SMWC’s nationally recognized master of arts in art therapy program, through a robust and cohesive curriculum.


What is pre-art therapy?
Pre-art therapy is the study of therapeutic art methods. With a combination of art classes and psychology, the pre-art therapy program at SMWC will help you to develop skills as you continue your journey to be an art therapist.

Why get a degree in pre-art therapy?
In addition to helping others express themselves, art therapists serve in a variety of settings, such as mental health centers, medical and cancer treatment programs, nursing homes, schools and art centers. Whether you wish to help children or adults, a career in art therapy can give you personal fulfillment while achieving your goals.

What can you do with a degree in pre-art therapy?
The curriculum in the pre-art therapy program at SMWC is intentionally formed for students to continue their educational journey to become fully certified art therapists. The study of art therapy can take you to a variety of workplaces. From nursing homes to after-school programs, several options exist to serve as an art therapist.

What is the average annual salary of someone with a pre-art therapy degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the American Art Therapy Association has about 5,000 members in the United States. With a master’s in art therapy, average annual earnings are $51,000, according to

What support and resources are provided at SMWC?
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) provides exceptional, personalized learning resource services to encourage student success. The LRC offers help with a range of academic support services, including a writing center, tutoring, college success courses and more.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is routinely ranked by US News and World Report among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and the Best Value Schools. Our departments are also routinely ranked for their individual degree programs.
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