Art Therapy program

Undergrad minor

Use art to improve wellbeing

Learn the practice of art therapy where the visual arts such as drawing, painting, sculpture and other art forms are used to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

UWL’s Art Therapy Minor is a co-disciplinary field of study with psychology. The program is not a licensure program. If students intend to become an art therapist, the minor provides a foundation to apply to art therapy programs elsewhere.

Careers in art therapy

UWL's Art Therapy Minor serves to complement UW-La Crosse majors. It is a popular minor among psychology majors who want to explore art therapy as another method of treating patients. While the program does not provide licensure to become an art therapist, it provides the right foundation to apply to art therapy programs.

Art therapists work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, K-12 schools, educational institutions, community programs and other settings to help people address health and well-being, according to the American Art Therapy Association.

What distinguishes UWL's art therapy program?

Art therapy course

In addition to courses in art and psychology, a licensed art therapist teaches a course every other year. In ART 350 students explore art therapy theories, art therapy assessments, and the historical use of art therapy materials and media.

Low student to faculty ratio

A low student-to-faculty ratio provides individualized mentorship and a rich sense of community in courses.


Art studios and classrooms offer students a dynamic creative environment for learning and feature a mix of new and traditional approaches to ceramics, digital art & design, drawing, metals, painting, photography, sculpture and more.

Sample courses

ART 350 The Practice of Art Therapy As the theoretical orientation course in the art therapy minor, the class addresses current issues in the field of art therapy. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, students will explore art therapy theories, art therapy assessments, and the historical use of art therapy materials and media. Prerequisite: PSY 204 or PSY 212. (Cross-listed with ART/PSY; may only earn credit in one department.) Consent of department. Offered Occasionally.

PSY 404 Counseling and Personality Theories A comprehensive conceptual review of theories of psychotherapy and counseling with a focus on the processes of change. The theories examined include the psychodynamic, person-centered, gestalt, cognitive-behavioral, Adlerian, existential, and group therapy. This course focuses on the presentation of a transtheoretical analysis of these major theoretical views and methods used in psychotherapy. The course emphasizes the pragmatic and integrated qualities of major theories of psychotherapy and counseling. Prerequisite: PSY 100 or PSY 212; PSY 204; PSY major or minor, criminal justice minor, at risk child/youth care minor, or art therapy minor. Offered Fall, Spring.

ART 216 Introduction to Ceramics This is a studio course which explores the process and materials of ceramics. The course begins with hand building techniques. The end of the semester focuses on throwing on the potter's wheel. Throughout the course the student will experiment in clay, glazes, and surface decoration. Lect. 2, Studio 4. Offered Fall, Spring.