Experience the healing power of art.

 Art Therapy majors at Mercyhurst investigate the healing potential of the arts through self-reflective art directives, research and service learning in the community. In art therapy classes, students experience the healing nature of art making during discussions that focus on the history and development of the field, the therapeutic use of art media, and ways to help others through art. Students’ development of a non-judgmental approach toward art made by themselves and others enables an ability to support the use of art as a way to address goals and problems. Graduates of the program often work in the human service field or pursue graduate school for art therapy.

Fast Facts

  • In 2016, Mercyhurst’s program was ranked as one of the top undergraduate art therapy programs in the nation, according to Best Counseling Degrees, making Mercyhurst’s the only program in Erie County to be recognizedStudents have the opportunity to travel abroad and volunteer in art therapy related service learning experiences
  • Students have the opportunity to travel abroad and volunteer in art therapy related service learning experiences
  • The Mercyhurst Art Therapy Club allows majors to get to know each other outside of classes and get involved in campus activities

  • Students are required to take courses in art, art therapy, psychology, and sociology, building the abilities needed to support the use of art as a way to help others

  • Focus solely on Art Therapy or add an additional major or minor in related art programs such as Art Education, Photography, Graphic Design or Studio Art

State Authorization

This program may fulfill a portion of the requirements leading to licensure within this field. Please visit the State Authorization webpage to review the requirements for licensure by state or program.


Because of the emphasis we place on experiential learning, each art therapy major is required to complete an internship to provide them with opportunities to witness and encourage art making as a transformation. Students will be given oversight and support during the internship experience.


Sophomore review is an opportunity for students to reflect upon their first two years of art education. They do so by creating a portfolio of their work that includes an artist statement of intent.


Whether students choose to take courses in graphic design, studio art, photography, or even ceramics, they’ll do so in top-of-the-line facilities at Mercyhurst, ensuring they’ll receive the best art education possible.


Contact Us

Heather Denning, M.A., ATR-BC, ATCS, LSW
Program Director, Art Therapy
Office: Zurn 121A
Phone: 814-824-2212