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Pre-Art Therapy (BA)

Prepare for an effective career in art therapy by developing your skills to interact, care for, and heal others through the arts.

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Art Program

Why a Pre-Art Therapy (BA) Degree?

A Pre-Art Therapy degree combines art practices and psychology to set you up for further study of art-therapy and counseling at the graduate level. Course concentrate on art and design concepts, art history, psychology, the foundations of art therapy, social studies, and professional preparation, all while building your skills in various art mediums.

Pre-Art Therapy (BA) at Cairn

Biblical Integration

Integrate and apply a biblical worldview to artistic expression and psychology.

Career Preparation

Form the foundation needed to perform effective art-therapy for future clients.

Campus Community

Join in on student-led art-making workshops, exhibitions, and a strong on-campus arts community.

Experienced Faculty

Learn from professors and visiting artists who teach from their areas of expertise.

Academic Opportunity

Study in a vibrant art-making community centrally located between Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C.

Honors Program

Join the Honors Program and dive deeper into a personal topic of interest.

more Details

Get an inside look at our Pre-Art Therapy Program

There are over 70 unique programs at Cairn to choose from! Not sure if this is the best program for you? Here are some more details to help you decide.

Required Credits: 126

Curriculum Highlights:

    • ART 121 Foundations of Design
    • PSY 221 Social Psychology
    • PSY 324 Cognitive Psychology
    • ART 371 Foundations of Art Therapy
    • ART 471 Art Therapy Application/Technique

Creative arts therapist

Marriage and family therapist

Nurse practitioner 

Social worker


Rehabilitation Therapist

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Connect With Us

1 %
of students who apply for financial aid receive funds
$ 1
In possible merit scholarships available for each student
1 +
scholarships and awards available

An Affordable Education

While the cost of a Cairn University education is competitive with similar institutions, we realize you may need financial assistance to take this journey.  You are not alone. 97% of our full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance. 

Meet Our Faculty

Matt Stemler

Matthew Stemler

Associate Professor, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Matt Stemler teaches drawing, painting, foundations of design, typography, Adobe Photoshop, and digital photography at Cairn. He also writes curriculum to further develop the visual arts program and organizes exhibits in the Connie A. Eastburn Gallery.

As a practicing artist, his installations use engineered structures and delicate effects to create contemplative spaces. Many of his sculptural objects are accented with mechanical components that resemble a farmer’s inclination to tinker, adjust, and invent. He also draws in charcoal and colorful combinations of watercolor with chalk pastel. These drawings investigate mark-making through layers of diverse textures and forms. His work has been featured in venues such as the James A. Michener Art Museum, The Myrtle Gallery, Square Halo Gallery, Art in City Hall, the Eastern State Penitentiary3 Museum, and the LGTripp Gallery. His pieces can also be viewed at

Cayla Belser

Cayla Besler

Instructor, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ms. Cayla Belser teaches courses in foundation courses and graphic design. Throughout her career, Ms. Belser has worked in several fields ranging from a greeting card company, local animation studio, a variety of art education programs, as well as working in the mental health community. Her varied experiences in the art industry have given her a plethora of inspiration that she endeavors to apply to each project that she works on. In her freelance career, she has had the opportunity to work with many clients including Highlights for Children magazine; Values Magazine, Holy Family University; Bucks County Community College; and multiple children’s book authors.

Alongside her illustration and design career, she has recently added counseling and art therapy to her skill set. During her time at counseling site in northeast Philadelphia, Cayla pioneered group art therapy sessions for adolescents, focusing on building self-esteem and communication skills. In the future, she is interested in finding ways to incorporate art therapy into college settings as a form of creative expression as well as building self-awareness.

What Our Students Have To Say

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Savannah Luce

I have been greatly blessed with professors that care, critique, and encourage me in the Art Therapy program. The program encourages personal growth in one's own artistic philosophy while also stressing the importance of understanding the philosophies of psychology and how the two relate and function together."

Apply Now

Ready to take the next step? You can apply today!