Art Therapy

The Finlandia University Art Therapy program is for students who want to help others and who also love to create art.

Art therapy is a mental health profession that draws on the creative process to enhance the emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. An art therapy career requires understanding of the creative process and the healing potential of art, knowledge of human development, psychology, and counseling, and skills in visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms).

Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program that is built on the liberal arts General Education program. The Art Therapy major is designed to provide students with an integrated understanding of the role art plays in relation to human psychology. An Art Therapy degree lays the foundation necessary for students to continue on to a Masters Degree n Art Therapy which is the required degree for the field.


AATA – American Art Therapy Association

The American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (Association) is an organization of professionals dedicated to the belief that making art is healing and life enhancing. Its mission is to serve its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence, and developing and promoting knowledge in, and of, the field of art therapy.

The American Art Therapy Association is committed to allocating resources wisely to participate in collaborative partnerships with organizations in order to positively impact its membership and the profession of art therapy. The Association will form and continue collaborations with partner organizations that maintain common goals of integrity, credibility, and protection of the public.


Scholarship Opportunities


Finlandia believes it is important for the student to be exposed to the world. By fostering exchange relations with foreign learning institutions we are able to bring experts from around the world to teach on campus and offer students the opportunity to attend college overseas.

International Study Programs  International Admissions (906) 487-7208 |


What you will learn

Graduates will be able to:

  • Develop basic skills in interpersonal counseling and effectively initiate and maintain relationships with peers, clients, and supervisors.
  • Articulate the language of art with written, verbal, and visual skill sets.
  • Effectively document the creative process.
  • Integrate and evaluate ideas across socioeconomic, racial, and cultural differences.
  • Make observations, inferences, determine relationships, and draw conclusions in the preparation of psychological reports.
  • Listen, understand, and critique the principles of art.
  • Understand human psychological development, assessment, and evaluation, behavior modification, interviewing, and clinical psychology.
  • Demonstrative the ability to use creative approaches to problem solving.
  • Understand and analyze the relevance of art history, theory, and criticism from a variety of perspectives, including that of art history, linguistics, information theory, technology, and the social and cultural use of designed objects and systems.

Sample Courses (CORE)

  • Color and Composition
    Exploration of the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design and its applications. Dot, line, shape, field, texture, brightness, and color are introduced as basic and interrelated components in solving design problems. Color theories including the physics and psychophysics of color, and cultural and aesthetic considerations are discovered. Projects encourage students to express ideas in a visual context, while exploring the interaction of ideas and principles. Available fall semesters.
  • Sculpture
    Introduces the elements and principles of three-dimensional design through form development. Students discover materials and processes while developing an awareness of surface. Individual expression through unique objects and the production of multiples is encouraged. Available spring semesters.
  • Studio Practices in Ceramic Design
    Advanced problem solving related to the process of creating ceramics. The aesthetics of clay as an expressive medium are explored. Available spring semesters. Prerequisites: ARD 224 and ARD 360.

Career Opportunities

Art Therapist
Aggie PietilaAdministrative Assistant, SCASFinlandia Universityaggie.pietila@finlandia.edu906-487-7513
Jason OyadomariAssociate Professor of Biology & Interim Dean of Suomi College of Arts and SciencesFinlandia Universityjason.oyadomari@finlandia.edu906-487-7381

Arts & Sciences

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