Art Therapy Course Descriptions

59 credits:

ART 111   Basic Drawing
3 credits
A development of the concepts of awareness and perception of form in nature, in the drawings of major artists, in one’s personal life experience and in that coming from diverse cultures. Both a disciplined set of skills and imagination are emphasized. Students use basic drawing tools and materials to apply knowledge of composition with line, value, texture, space relationships, perspective, and the emotional quality of drawing. A studio-intensive course in drawing that will focus on awareness and perception of forms in nature and developing skills needed to render such forms on paper. This is a required course for all art majors.  Previous art experience is recommended.

ART 201   Design
3 credits
A study of design theory, its evolution, and the elements and principles of design. To apply the theory, students create two-dimensional designs in a variety of media. Fundamental visual communication methods are studied and applied. This is a required course for all art majors, and a preferred art core course for communication majors.  Previous art experience is recommended.

ART 202   Basic Painting
3 credits
Prerequisite: ART 101 or ART 103 or ART 111 or ART 201
An introduction to basic painting concepts through varied media: pastels, watercolors, oils, and/or acrylics. Students examine techniques, color theory, composition, and the application of these by the masters. They will explore a variety of approaches to painting and use a creative process in expressing ideas in paint.

ART 203   Introduction to Graphic Arts
3 credits
This studio course develops core concepts and skills in graphic design, technology, and file management while engaging in projects that utilize industry-standard computer applications. Students will focus on compositions that integrate text and image into vehicles of effective communication. The course will examine the role of the computer in art and graphic design, and foster insights into design theory. This is a required course for all art majors, and a preferred art core course for communication majors. Previous art experience is recommended.

ART 211   Basic Sculpture
2–3 credits
Prerequisite: ART 101 or ART 103 or ART 201
A studio course exploring three-dimensional form in space and its history. Students first develop awareness of such forms in space, and then perceptual and technical skills in bringing together ideas and materials in three-dimensional form.

ART 212   Basic Ceramics
2–3 credits
Prerequisite: ART 101 or ART 103 or ART 201
A studio course exploring the medium of clay and its history. Students learn the methods of constructing three-dimensional forms in clay through hand-building techniques, as well as decorating and glazing their forms. Wheel-throwing techniques are presented for those wishing to experiment, but are not required.

ART 235   Women Artists Through History
3 credits
An introduction to the accomplishments of women artists throughout history, contributions that are often overlooked in mainstream art history books. The course will survey the entire history of art and will cover female artists who have made a unique, significant contribution to the visual arts.

ATH 201   Introduction to Expressive and Therapeutic Arts
3 credits
Through a variety of readings, research, art activities, discussion, and creative journaling, students will experience the fundamental processes of the expressive and therapeutic arts. An emphasis on self-study will aid students in exploring personal goals, expectations, and career choices regarding application of these processes to fields of art, health care, social services, elder care, education, and business.

ATH 203   Basic Therapeutic Skills
3 credits
Prerequisite: ATH 201
This course explores various theories and experiential techniques used in the therapeutic environment.  Consideration will be given to the appropriate application of techniques and materials specific to the expressive and therapeutic arts, as well as examine the professional and ethical requirements of the client-therapist relationship.

ATH 305   Techniques in Creative Process
3 credits
Prerequisite: ATH 201, ATH 203
This course provides a continuation of the directed self-study process and builds a strong foundation for self-awareness and professional helping skills. Through exploration of a variety of expressive mediums, students will learn to observe, reflect, share, and evaluate their creative experiences.  Skill will be developed in creating safe, therapeutic environments, supportive of emotional, physical, spiritual, and cultural aspects of well-being for self and others.

ATH 311   Art Curriculum and Methods in Early Childhood and Elementary/Middle Schools
2 credits
This course provides an opportunity for aspiring art therapists to synthesize their studies with art education. Students will apply learning theories to the aesthetic dimension of education focusing on approaches to art, culture and the environment as catalysts for teaching. Majors will use art concepts and processes to make possible meaningful art experiences for sequential levels of learning within the K–elementary framework of school systems.

ATH 315   Fieldwork I and Seminar
3 credits
Prerequisite: Permission
This course provides fieldwork opportunities in approved community agencies, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities.  The course entails weekly attendance in discussion and processing held on campus in addition to the fieldwork placement.  Observation techniques and development of a professional portfolio will be a focus.

ATH 400   Senior Seminar in Expressive and Therapeutic Arts
3 credits
This is a capstone course that provides direction for students as they integrate classroom learning with practice. Students will reflect and demonstrate personal growth gained throughout their college career via presentation of a personal philosophy, conclusion of a portfolio and other preparation for professional employment, and production of a community arts project.

ATH 410   Program Design and Grant Writing
3 credits
Prerequisites: ATH 315, ATH 415
Due to the fact that expressive and therapeutic arts are still quite new to professional therapeutic settings, practitioners often need to educate possible employers and develop their own programs.  As a foundation for these entrepreneurial skills, students will explore a wide range of literature in the field of expressive and therapeutic arts, create an extensive resource bibliography and demonstrate skill in the basics of grant writing.

ATH 415   Fieldwork II and Seminar
3 credits
Prerequisite: ATH 315
This course provides a continuation of ATH 315. The student participates in other fieldwork settings to gain more experience.  Along with weekly attendance on campus for discussion and processing, the student will develop planning and evaluative techniques, prepare a professional resume, and continue development of the portfolio.

ATH 435   Fieldwork III and Seminar
3 credits
Prerequisite: ATH 415
Building on the experiences acquired through ATH 315 and ATH 415, the student further broadens experience with client populations.  Seminars will address professional topics; provide opportunities to refine acquired skills; discuss ethics, communication, client care, case or program management; and continue development of the portfolio.

PSY 101   General Psychology
3 credits
An introduction to the science of psychology through a survey of the biological, intra-psychic, and social bases of behavior. Major topics include cognition, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, personality, behavior disorders, and social elements of behavior.

PSY 105   Human Development
3 credits
A survey of the changes that occur during the entire lifespan as people develop: physical, motor, cognitive, moral, and social–emotional. Developmental theory and research data are critically considered. Application of existing knowledge about the variables that affect the course of development is emphasized.

PSY 211   Abnormal Psychology
3 credits
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 105
This course explores the major types of psychopathology to include anxiety disorders, personality disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, organic brain disorders, substance-related disorders, somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, mental retardation, adjustment disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, impulse control disorders and delirium, dementia and amnestic disorders. Emphasis is given to the issues surrounding classification, etiology, and treatment.

3 credits from the following:

ART 370   Fiber Arts: Stitchery
3 credits
Emphasis on stitching techniques.

ART 371   Fiber Arts: Weaving
3 credits
Emphasis on loom weaving, spinning, felting and various hand techniques.

ART 372   Fiber Arts: Puppetry
3 credits
Emphasis on experience in making different types of puppets.

ART 373   Fiber Arts: Dye Applications
3 credits
Emphasis on different resist and printing processes.

ART 374   Fiber Arts: Leather
3 credits
Emphasis on leather working procedures.

3 credits from the following:

COM 302   Intercultural Communication
3 credits
This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture, which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music, and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity in general. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.

COM 324   Interpersonal Communication
3 credits
The course examines the basic principles and theories of interpersonal communication. Students study and practice basic principles for effective interpersonal communication. Study includes language, perceptions, values, culture, nonverbal communication, and self-concept and listening and their effects on communication.

3 credits from the following:

PSY 202   Social Psychology
3 credits
Prerequisite: PSY 101 or PSY 105
An investigation of the influences of social factors on individual behavior, the role of social cognition when people interact, interpersonal and group dynamics, and application of social–psychological research data to various situations.

PSY 308   Theories of Personality
3 credits
Prerequisites: PSY 101, PSY 105
A survey of major theories of personality functioning, covering such areas as the nature, determinants, development, structure, motivational bases, and dynamic operations of the human personality. Examples of theories from the following areas are treated: psychodynamic, behavior and learning, cognitive, humanistic–phenomenological, trait, and Eastern. Each theory is critically analyzed in terms of its assumptions, logical cohesiveness, research support, and applications.

0 credits:

ART 010, 020, 030, 040   Art Exhibition Attendance
0 credits
A requirement featuring exhibition attendance as fulfillment of an art major requirement. Students must attend and show evidence of at least one art exhibition per year as a pre-art or art major. (CR/NC grade only.)


Fun Fact

Average cost of tuition at Marian is $24,300, whereas the national average is $33,716 (Source: Marian University Office of Institutional Research, June 2014; National Center for Education Statistics,

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45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


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