Undergraduate Programs

Pre-Art Therapy

North Park University’s pre-professional track for art therapy will give you a solid foundation for your applications to competitive art therapy graduate programs around the country. The pre-art therapy track should accompany a major—most often art or psychology—where you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the mind and the therapeutic nature of creating art.


Pre-art therapy students are advised by faculty from Art Department, often Kelly VanderBrug, as well as psychology professor Kezia Shirkey. They’ll work with you about your particular interests in art therapy, help you stay on track throughout your program at North Park, and make sure you are prepared for your applications and interviews for art therapy school.

Course Sequences and Activities

We recommend you take the following courses alongside your major and Core Curriculum requirements to prepare for art therapy schools and a career in art therapy. Some courses may also meet major/Core Curriculum requirements. For full course descriptions and major requirements review the academic catalog.

Recommended Core Courses

  • Drawing I
  • Two Dimensional Design
  • Three Dimensional Design
  • 12 semester hours of Studio Art Electives
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Human Life Span Development or Educational Psychology (required only for students desiring to work with children in schools)
  • Personality


  • An internship in art therapy is strongly recommended

Candidates for MAAT programs submit portfolios of at least 15 works of art. Some programs want to see strength in a variety of media (three) while others want a more focused artistic development in one or two areas of studio work.