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Bethel's B.A. in Art Therapy is for students seeking an art major with a mental health emphasis. This degree helps students craft their own creative practices while gaining hands-on experience—using the lens of art and imagination to promote holistic wellness in diverse communities.

Why should I study art therapy?

Art therapy is a rapidly emerging field in the healthcare industry. From counseling to working with dementia and Alzheimer patients—new opportunities arise daily for our art therapy graduates. As you learn the fundamentals of art, psychology, healthcare, and education, you will garner the expertise to serve various communities as they cope with trauma, discover who they are, and grow into well-rounded human beings. 

What can I do with this degree?

The B.A. in Art Therapy at Bethel is the first undergraduate degree of its kind in Minnesota. By the time you graduate from Bethel, you will have all the requirements and experience needed for admission into any accredited graduate program in the United States. Not only that, but you'll stand out from other applicants with your studio experience, hands-on art therapy adjacent learning, and experience in psychology, education, and healthcare. 

Job opportunities are only increasing, as art therapists work in: 

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Children's Agencies
  • Nursing Homes
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Violence Shelters
  • Residential Treatment Centers
  • Private Practice

Alumni have continued on to graduate schools, including:

  • Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
  • Adler Graduate School

What skills will I develop?

  • Hands-on skills in painting, drawing, screen printing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, graphic design and video
  • Strong connections to the healthcare industry
  • Skills in teaching art and designing learning experiences, especially in field work designed for art therapy
  • Expertise regarding culture, art history and theory—which gives art therapy students an advantage as they apply for graduate school 
  • Experience in the larger healthcare landscape since art therapists often work in hospitals or long-term care facilities

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Incredible Internship Opportunities

One requirement of the Art Therapy program at Bethel is an internship arranged with settings such as museums, galleries, libraries, hospitals, clinics, and therapy centers to gain first-hand knowledge, experience and basic skills in the practice of art therapy. Here are some internship locations in the Twin Cities: 

  • Art and Aging, SOO Visual Arts Center and Walker Methodist Health Center
  • Artability, People Inc. Mental Health Services
  • Hospital Arts Program, Hennepin Healthcare
  • Creative Arts Therapy, Eastside Neighborhood Service

Earn awards, grants, and scholarships for your work

At the annual Raspberry Monday spring student art exhibition, the art department decorates students with a number of monetary awards, including the Raspberry Monday Award for the student with the best all-around performance; the Guy Chase Graphic Design Award for the student with the strongest graphic design work; the Jeff Koeningsberg Award for an exemplary art student; and the Purchase Award for artwork chosen by faculty to add to Bethel's permanent collection.

Interdepartmental Connections

Selected courses in psychology, education, and applied health sciences emphasize the way Art Therapy applies skills from multiple disciplines. This aspect of the major provides the possibility of hands-on experience and will help set our graduates apart from students coming from other schools that do not place the field into this context and develop any of these key ancillary skills.


students take art + design classes each semester


pieces in Bethel's permanent art collection

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