Art therapy is a mental health profession in which qualified art therapists facilitate client’s use of art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore emotions, resolve conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behaviors, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Art therapy is used in individual, group, and family assessment and treatment to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages including children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Art therapists work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, public and community agencies, schools, wellness centers and private practice.
A master’s degree and extensive post-graduate clinical experience are required for entry-level practice in art therapy. The Buffalo State art therapy minor is designed to introduce students to the profession of art therapy. Those students preparing for graduate study will be advised regarding the prerequisite undergraduate coursework required for admission to graduate art therapy programs approved by the American Art Therapy Association, the national professional organization that maintains the standards for education and training leading to the art therapist clinical credential and board certification.
This minor is open to all students who have completed at least one semester of full-time study at Buffalo State and who are in good academic standing (2.00 or better GPA).
Transfer credits: A maximum of 6 transfer credits are accepted toward fulfillment of the minor.
The Buffalo State art therapy minor requires 21 credits including three core courses in art therapy and four courses in related prerequisite electives. The following curriculum lists the core and their prerequisite courses.
Please note that prerequisite courses are selected as per advisement with the art therapy advisor. Students should seek faculty advisement prior to registration for each semester they are enrolled in the minor. Students planning on graduate studies in art therapy will be advised to take prerequisite courses that will fulfill graduate entrance requirements.
Other majors-only courses in psychology, exceptional education, and social work may fulfill the prerequisite contingent upon approval of the art therapy minor coordinator. Also note that the minor program of study may contain no more than three courses at the 100 or 200 level.
Total Required Credit Hours 21 cr
Required Core Courses in Art Therapy (9 cr)
ATS 320 Introduction to Art Therapy (Pre-requisite: Two Human Services courses - 6 credit hours. Options listed below)
AED 310 Art Media and Methods Exploration (Pre-requisite: One Visual Arts Studio course. Options listed below)
ATS 325 Arts and Special Needs (Pre-requisite: One Exceptional Education or Social & Psychological Foundations of Education. Options listed below)
Prerequisite Courses for ATS 320 (2 courses, 6 cr hrs)
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 311 Personality: Theory and Research
PSY 327 Adult Development and Aging I
PSY 340 Cognitive Psychology
PSY 355 Life Span Developmental Psychology
PSY 356 Child Development
PSY 357 Adolescent and Young Adult Development
PSY 388 Psychology of Death and Dying
PSY 411 Abnormal Psychology
PSY 416 Abnormal Child Psychology
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 320 Sociology of the Family
SOC 321 The African American Family
SOC 370 Sociology of Deviant Behavior
SOC 391 Sociology of Addiction
SOC 393 Sociology of Mental Illness
SWK 105 Interpersonal Relations
SWK 220 Introduction to Social Work
SWK 307 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (SWK majors only)
SWK 308 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (SWK majors only)
SWK 335 Mental Health and Social Work
SWK 346 Child Abuse and Neglect
SWK 425 Social Work with Families
Prerequisite Courses for AED 310 (1 courses, 3 cr hrs)
NOTE: Art History courses do not satisfy this requirement. The course must be studio-based, hands-on with art materials and media. Representative course listing below).
AED 100 Essentials of Visual Arts
DES 114 Workshop in Crafts
DES 220 Ceramics I
FAR 101 Drawing I
FAR 103 Modeling
FAR 210 Introductory Painting
FAR 240 Introductory Sculpture
Prerequisite Courses for ATS (1 courses, 3 cr hrs)
EXE 100 Nature and Needs of Individuals with Special Needs
EXE 245 Community Service with Individuals with Special Needs
EXE 314 Psychology of Individuals with Special Needs
SPF 202 Child Development and Education
SPF 311 Family Violence
SPF 353 Human Development, Early Adolescence
Total credit hours for Art Therapy Minor (21)
For more information or to schedule an advisement appointment, please call:
Art Education Department, (716) 878-4106 or contact:
Professor Lucy Andrus, MSEd, ATR
Coordinator, Art Therapy Minor
Upton Hall 411