Art Therapy (Major)

Art Therapy Department

Cathy Goucher, MA, ATR-BC, LCPC, LCPAT, Chair and Undergraduate Program Director

Degrees offered



Main Campus

The NDMU Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy represents study related to one of the newest, unique specializations in the helping professions. The Program of Study includes the study of studio art, photography and art history, and a psychology curriculum stressing a sequence of counseling, therapy, and developmental psychology classes. A practicum in the student's senior year will provide a clinical experience orientation.

The BA in Art Therapy was designed to promote and support the advancement of women in a field in which many women express interest and where state and regional need is growing in hospitals, schools, and community health endeavors.

Students who enroll in the bachelor’s degree Program of Study should plan to pursue the master’s degree toward credentialing at NDMU or another university in order to meet local and national requirements for practice in the field.  

Required Core Courses for Major in Art Therapy (Credits)

ART-101 Drawing I (3)
ART-102 Color and Design (3)
ART-103 3-D Design (3)
ART-121 Art History - Renaissance to 1950s (3)
ART-142 Painting I (3)
ART-162 Digital Photography (3)
ART-228 Mixed Media (3)
ART-247 Ceramics (3)
ART-330 Theory: Criticism & Contemporary Art (3)
ATP-201 Introduction to Art Therapy (3)
ATP-310 Art Therapy: Theory and Practice (3)
ATP-470 Practicum in Art Therapy (4)
MAT-215 Basic Statistics (3)
PSY-101 Introductory Psychology (4)
PSY-205 Theories of Personality (3)
PSY-207 Psychopathology (3)
PSY-210 Research (4)
PSY-233 Human Development (3)
PSY-306 Theories & Techniques Counseling (4)
PSY-409 Psychometrics (4)

 Additional information on the Master of Arts in Art Therapy

The co-ed Master of Arts in Art Therapy meets a regional and national need for more practitioners in one of the important contemporary helping professions. Students may enroll in the 64-credit Program of Study on a full- or part-time basis. The Program focuses on engagement with theory and processes of Art Therapy. Study weaves together counseling and psychological theory and techniques toward distinct art psychotherapy practices. Study includes advanced courses in painting, ceramics, sculpture, and photography. Courses are offered in on-ground and hybrid formats. In addition, substantial clinical hours are required at off-site internships. Art therapists serve in a number of hospital, school, and community health settings. 

The Program received approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission in Fall 2017 and began educating students in Fall 2018.

The University anticipates pursuing accreditation status for this program when eligible in 2021. The course of study is aligned with state licensure requirements and national educational standards required for credentialing.

Four-Year Plan

Below is a sample Program of Study for full-time Art Therapy Majors. Students should consult with the Program Coordinator for their academic plans as many courses are offered on alternating years.

First year      
NDMU-100 Perspectives on Education and Culture 4 ART-121 Art History Renaissance to 1950s 3
PSY-101 Introduction to Psychology 4 ART-162 Digital Photography 3
MAT-215 Statistics 3 ART-142 Painting I 3
ART-101 Drawing I 3 General Education Requirements 9
General Education Requirements 3 Foreign Language Requirement
[17 credits]    [18 credits]  
Second year      
PSY-210 Research Methods 4 PSY-207 Psychopathology 3
PSY-205 Theories of Personality 3 PSY-233 Human Development 3
ART-103 Three-Dimensional Art 3 ART-247 Ceramics  3
     OR ART-102 Color and Design      OR ART-228 Mixed Media  
ATP-201 Introduction to Art Therapy 3 General Education Requirement 9
General Education Requirements 3 [18 credits]
[16 credits]    
Third year      
PSY-306 Theories and Techniques of Counseling  3 PSY-409 Psychometrics 3
ART-102 Color and Design 3 ART-330 Theory: Criticism & Contemporary Art 3
     OR ART-103 Three-dimensional Art ART-228 Mixed Media 3
General Education Requirements 9/11      OR ART-247 Ceramics
[15/17 credits]   ATP-310 Art Therapy: Theory and Practice  3
  General Education Requirments 3
  [15 credits]
Fourth year      
Studio Art Elective (list below) Studio Art Elective (list below) 3
ATP-470 Practicum in Art Therapy 4 ART-440 Senior Seminar recommended, not required 3
General Euducation Requirments 6 General Education Requirments 6
[13 credits] [12 credits]  

Must select TWO elective at the advanced level in painting, drawing or photography:

ART-201 Drawing II (offered ODD years Fall)
ART-202 Painting II (offered ODD years Fall)
ART-301 Drawing III (offered Spring)
ART-302 Painting III (offered Spring)
ART-321 Life Drawing I (offered every other Spring)
ART-421 Life Drawing II (offered every other Spring)
ART-363 Color Photography (offered Fall every 3rd year)
ART-364 Studio Photography (offered Spring every 3rd year)

Participation is Senior Art Exhibit is expected.



ART-101 Drawing I

Introduces the fundamentals of free-hand drawing and explores a variety of materials, techniques and subject matter such as still life, landscape and the human form as students identify individual areas of interest and artistic expression. Informal slide presentations and class critiques will expose students to the diversity of drawing and its manifestations in contemporary art and culture. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts and Artistic Expression. [3 credits]

ART-102 Color and Design

Introduces the fundamental elements and principles of color and design as a communicative tool. The course is designed for students with limited studio background and explores a wide variety of mediums and techniques as students develop technical virtuosity and personal aesthetic. The concepts and design strategies explored in this course can be applied in related areas of computer design, interior design and fashion design. Fulfills the General Education Requirement in Fine Arts. [3 credits]

ART-103 Three-Dimensional Design

Explores the sculptural organization of form in three dimensions through the use of a wide variety of materials such as found objects, paper, wire, wood, clay and metals. Projects are developed that consider the relationship of  the sculptural object to its perception in time and space. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts and artistic expression. [3 credits]

ART-121 Survey II: Western Art from the Renaissance through the 20th Century

Introduces seminal works of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and architecture made in Europe and the United States from 1400 to the 1900s. Identifies regional styles and follows the evolution of subject matter and technique over the centuries. Considers the impact of changes to artistic training and patronage, as well as
political and social change, on attitudes about art and artists. Students will examine significant original artwork from this period firsthand in area museums, including the Renaissance and Baroque collections at the Walters Art Museum and the modern and contemporary collections at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts and artistic expression. [ 3 credits ]

ART-142 Painting I

Introduces the fundamentals of oil and acrylic painting. Through an exploration of traditional and contemporary techniques of painting, students will develop their powers of observation and artistic expression. Informal slide presentations and class critiques will expose students to the diversity of painting and its manifestations in contemporary art and culture. Fulfills the General Education Requirement in Fine Arts. [3 credits]

ART-162 Digital Photography I

Introduces the fundamentals of digital imaging using Adobe Creative Cloud with an emphasis on camera vision. Through assigned readings and classroom discussions, students also will gain a critical perspective of the impact of digital imaging on photographic practice. Fulfills general education requirement in fine arts and artistic expression. [3 credits]

ART-201 Drawing II

Builds on the skills gained in ART-101 and provides a progressive investigation of personal expression. The course emphasizes an evolution from traditional methodologies toward contemporary nonrepresentational approaches to the making of art. Prerequisite: ART-101 or ART-204, or permission of the instructor. [3 credits]

ART-202 Painting II

Builds on the skills gained in ART-142 and provides a progressive investigation of personal expression. The course emphasizes an evolution from traditional methodologies toward contemporary nonrepresentational approaches to the making of art. Prerequisite: ART-142 or ART-204, or permission of the instructor. [3 credits]

ART-228 Mixed Media

Students explore the place of materials in contemporary art practice and methodology. Focusing on an interdisciplinary approach to art making and process students synthesize skills gained in 100-level course work and explore interrelations between drawing, painting, print making, photography, and 3D approaches, experimenting with a wide variety of non-traditional materials. Students are encouraged to use their area of emphasis as point of departure for pushing the boundaries between media and forming their own visual vocabulary. Methods include directed studio time, art historical lectures and critiques. Prerequisites: ART-101, ART-142. [ 3 credits ]

ART-247 Ceramics

Provides practical study of elementary principles and problems in creating ceramic art. Technical study of glazes, clay and methods of firing. [3 credits]

ART-301 Drawing III

Provides students with the opportunity to identify and develop their specific conceptual, aesthetic and technical areas of interest within the context of advanced drawing. Prerequisite: ART-101, 201, 204 or permission of instructor. [ 3 credits ]

ART-302 Painting III

Provides students with the opportunity to identify and develop their specific conceptual, aesthetic and technical areas of interest within the context of advanced painting. Prerequisite: ART-142, 202, 204 or permission of instructor. [ 3 credits ]

ART-321 Life Drawing I

Provides individualized instruction in the study of the nude with special emphasis on observation, movement, proportion, figural composition and pictorial space. All sessions will include short and sustained poses. Prerequisite: ART-101 or permission of instructor. [ 3 credits ]

ART-330 Theory, Criticism and Contemporary Art

Presents an overview of the history and development of art theory and criticism from antiquity to the present. The course explores a wide range of art forms and ideas from traditional art to controversial contemporary art
and art censorship. With the knowledge gained through the study of aesthetic evolution, students will assess the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, and formulate critical judgments and aesthetic positions of their own. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts and artistic expression. [ 3 credits ]

ART-363 Color Photography

Studies the aesthetics of color photography. Lectures and demonstrations cover techniques and issues related to digital, film and alternate processes. Group discussions and critiques will focus on the development of color vision, the psychology and effective uses of the unique characteristics of color photography. Lecture plus lab. [ 3 credits ]

ART-364 Studio Photography

Practices photographic lighting using continuous and strobe lights, as well as portable flash. Artistic and professional procedures using 35mm as well as departmental 4x5 view camera systems are covered. Topics include studio and location assignments such as still life and portraiture, culminating in a portfolio. H31 [3 credits]

ATP-201 Introduction to Art Therapy

Explores the discipline of Art Therapy through a critical theoretical framework along with examining empirical evidence while providing an overview of Art Therapy as a discipline. The discipline of Art Therapy, its influences, its history, the nature of the discipline, and applications to clinical practice will be explored. This course will also focus on the developmental and healing aspects of art and the creative process, as well as an understanding of the basic principles of how our unconscious thoughts reach expression in images rather than words that can be used in clinical practice. Students will engage in art making experiences as a means to explore the creative process and its relationship to the psychological and emotional self and to understand the relationship of art making to the treatment process. Prerequisites: PSY-101. [3 credits]

ATP-310 Art Therapy Theory and Practice

Engages students in tangible exporation of the symbiotic, therapeutically significant relationship between art and psychology through didactic instruction and art-based experientials. Professional art therapists working in a variety of settings in the region will serve as guest lecturers, providing clarity as to the therapeutic needs of their clients, goals of Art Therapy with these populations, and demonstrations of their approaches. Materials and methods will be emphasized throughout the course and synthesized with supporting pschological theory and practice relative to the treatment populations explored. Development of empathic responsiveness and self-awareness through experiential learning, small group and dyadic collaboration, and written and art-based self-reflection will be central. Prerequisite: ATP-201. [3 credits]

ATP-470 Practicum in Art Therapy

Provides professionally supervised art therapy field experience opportunities for advanced students who have met prerequisite coursework identified within the major. Engages student in an initial assessment of goals related to the field of art therapy and possible graduate study, facilitating identification of a placement that might best provide for the individuals' aptitudes and interests. Serves as an outcomes course for the art therapy major. As such, through the creation of a capstone research paper and presentation, professional portfolio, ethics paper, and assessment of skills, students will integrate and demonstrate mastery of their comprehensive knowledge and skills comprising the discipline of art therapy. Requires student to meet academic and background requirements for chosen placement and to attend a seminar in addition to work within the practicum site. Students will accrue a total of 200 hours within
the practicum site.

Prerequisites: ATP-201PSY-305, PSY-207, PSY-210, ATP-310, PSY-306 and technical standards as evaluated by the Program Director; senior art therapy major, consultation with program director. Not open to liberal arts majors; minimum grade of C must be earned in this course. [4  credits ]

MAT-215 Basic Statistics

Introduces the basic ideas of statistics: descriptive statistics, central tendency variability, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, multinomial experiments, contingency tables and analysis of variance. A statistical software package is used. Designed for students in a variety of fields that rely on regular statistical analysis in decision-making. Fulfills general education requirement in mathematics. Prerequisite: Placement in MAT 215 or successful completion of MAT 100 or MAT 103 is recommended. [3 credits]

PSY-101 Introductory Psychology

Examines psychology's perspective on human behavior through many human experiences: learning and memory, perception, motivation and emotion, personality, social interaction, normal and abnormal behavior, and human development. Draws from experience and fosters application to the students' own lives. This is a foundational course, and it meets prerequisite requirements for most psychology courses. Fulfills general education requirement in social science and thinking critically and analytically. Lecture and lab. [4 credits]

PSY-205 Theories of Personality

Explores the structure, processes and development of personality from major theoretical perspectives, including psychoanalytic, neoanalytic, humanistic, behavioral, social behavioral and trait approaches. Emphasizes the comprehension, application and contrast of theories of personality and the enhancement of the student's critical thinking skills. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]

PSY-207 Psychopathology

Considers and studies intensively the wide range of disordered behaviors from the different scholarly perspectives that comment on "abnormality." Explores the nature of abnormality; the relationships between body and mind, and brain and behavior; and the significance of abnormal personal patterns to human relationships. Prerequisites: PSY-205, PSY-210. [3 credits]

PSY-210 Research Methods

Introduces the basic methods of research design and report writing in the behavioral sciences. Descriptive, correlational and experimental research strategies will be discussed. Students
design original research and select appropriate data analyses. Ethical issues in each type of research design will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: MAT-215 and PSY-101 or CRM-101 or SOC-101. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [4 credits]

PSY-233 Human Growth and Development

Explores the principles of developmental psychology from infancy through adulthood and includes general consideration of developmental tasks through the lifespan. Prerequisite: PSY-101. [3 credits]

PSY-306 Theories and Techniques of Counseling

Introduces counseling perspectives, models, ethics and counseling skills for students interested in the helping professions. Surveys major theoretical paradigms and emphasizes mastery of basic communication skills useful in interpersonal relations settings. All students participate in lectures, class demonstrations, role playing and peer practice by using depart-mental counseling suites. This is the foundation course for PSY-406 Advanced Therapeutic Techniques. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-205, and PSY-207 and Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. [3 credits]

PSY-409 Psychometrics

Provides opportunities for students to learn the theoretical and statistical principles related to the construction and use of psychological tests. Students will learn the standard administration, scoring, and interpretation of a borad battery of standardized cognitive and psychological assessment instruments. Students will become aware of the ethical issues related to cognitive and psychological testing. Student will be required to complete a clinical psychological assessment report analyzing and interpreting psychometric data. This course serves as an upper level research course. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-205 and PSY-207 and Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. [4 credits]