AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsArt Therapy Degree Online

Online Art Therapy Degree

Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy Online

Impact lives with the power of art, mindfulness, and contemplative practice from anywhere in the world with Naropa’s online art therapy degree.

Program Overview

Naropa’s online BA in Art Therapy combines each student’s artistic process with the study of traditional and Eastern psychology. Naropa’s deeply mindful approach will help students grow as artists as they explore the healing power of art. 

Naropa’s is the only Buddhist-inspired accredited university in the country that offers an enriching curriculum grounded in art therapy, visual arts, contemplative psychology, and studio practice.

The Art Therapy program is dedicated to innovation in the artistic process and in approaches to teaching the psychology of transformative art therapy.

The online BA in art therapy offers students opportunities to partner with their local communities to provide socially relevant learning in art therapy in order to integrate community-oriented skills through internship courses.

Naropa’s holistic education puts mindfulness at the core of its curriculum. This valuable tool approaches art, relationships, and self-knowledge through courses like Buddhist Psychology and Contemplative Ceramics.

A graduate mentor will guide you through your major in art therapy, serving as a sounding board, coach, and support. Naropa’s art therapy mentorship program prepares undergraduates for both their near and far future.

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Quick Facts

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Program Format

Naropa University’s undergraduate program is a four-year, fully accredited Bachelor of Arts program. The Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy online is a remote 51-credit major, which consists of an in-depth liberal arts education, with both traditional and progressive approaches to the behavioral sciences taught by expert faculty. The art therapy degree online blends the intellectual and experiential traditions of Eastern and Western perspectives. Students will also delve into a strong introduction to art theory, visual arts studio education, and community-based service learning opportunities.

The program cultivates an educational and experiential foundation to go deeper into art therapy by continuing your education in Naropa’s Graduate School concentration in Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling or another art therapy graduate program. 

Course Spotlight

Art Therapy Theory & Applications

This course provides a comprehensive overview of art therapy’s literature, theories, and practices across diverse client groups. Students explore relevant topics addressing art therapy’s role in mental health, expressive therapies, and community-based settings. Emphasis is placed on understanding the art therapist’s role and responsibilities. A significant focus is placed on nurturing students’ personal commitment to exploring their own creative processes. 


A Bachelor of Arts degree (120 credits), consists of a Core Curriculum (24 credits) and at least one major, as well as minors and/or elective courses of the student’s choosing.

The Online Art Therapy Major has 51 credit hours. 

Online Art Therapy Major Requirements

  • COR-110E Writing: Thinking and Being(3)

  • COR-340E Capstone I(3)

  • ART-371E Installation and Ritual(3)

  • ART-365E Handbuilding and Ritual in Ceramics(3)

  • ART-125E Introduction to Drawing(3)

  • ART-200E The Contemplative Artist(3)

  • ART-215E Watercolor(3)

  • ART-245E Introduction to Painting: Realism(3)

  • ART-301E Reconceptualizing Art History(3)

  • ART-340E Contemporary Art History 1945 to Present(3)

  • ATH-330E Art Therapy Theory & Applications(3)

  • ATH-430E Art Therapy: Studio Methods(3)

  • PSYB-314E Psychology of Mindfulness Meditation(3)

  • PSYB-325E Awakening Compassion: Working with Others(3)

  • PSYB-345E Developmental Psychology(3)

  • PSYB-371E Personality Theories(3)

  • PSYB-415E Maitri: Working With Emotions(3)

  • PSYB-420E Psychopathology(3)

  • ART-440E Warrior Artist: Risk and Revelation in Studio Art(3)

  • COR-440E Capstone II(3)

  • ART-440E Warrior Artist: Risk and Revelation in Studio Art(3)

  • COR-440E Capstone II(3)

Why Choose Naropa?

Introspective Approach

Naropa's online art therapy degree acknowledges the importance of the heart and spirit in addition to the mind. The deeply introspective undergraduate curriculum is designed to promote healing for students, their prospective clients, and the global community.

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Internship Opportunities

Having a remote education does not mean fewer opportunities at Naropa. We offer internship placements for remote undergraduate students within their communities, where they can collaborate to deliver socially impactful education in art therapy. For graduates, the Internship is a powerful, collaborative opportunity to synthesize their contemplative art therapy education.

Online Accessibility

Naropa offers students across the country and all over the world the chance to get a Bachelor of Arts without having to leave home. You will explore the healing power of art by creating your own vibrant, at-home studio with our art therapy degree online.

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How this Program Prepares You

Solid Foundation

Students in this program gain a strong foundation, paving the way for a comprehensive undergraduate understanding of art therapy, the therapeutic qualities of art, and experiential appreciation for contemplative studies related to art, psychology, and social needs. 

Welcoming Community

As one of the country’s few undergraduate art therapy programs paired with a graduate art therapy program, the Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy Online holds a distinctive position, offering valuable mentorship opportunities. A dedicated graduate mentor will guide you on your journey through contemplative art therapy, serving as a sounding board, coach, and unwavering support. 

Career Readiness

Naropa internships help you develop your professional experience and performance by providing unique opportunities to engage with your home communities.
After finishing their senior internship, 43% of students with a bachelor’s degree in art therapy secure employment.

What You'll Learn

Foundation in Studio Art Therapy

Follow in the footsteps of art therapy pioneers.

Preparation for Advanced Studies

Experience thoughtful guidance that propels you ahead in your graduate studies.


Learn to practice introspection in order to help others.

Self-Awareness as an Artist

Foster self-assurance and integrity in your roles as both an artist and an art therapist.

Relational Skills

Refine communication skills through hands-on learning in diverse settings.

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Career Opportunities with a Art Therapy Degree Online

Graduates of Naropa’s Art Therapy degree online will be able to choose from different career paths. They will be prepared to pursue a master’s degree in studio art, art therapy, counseling and mental health fields, as well as careers as art instructors, caseworkers, art coaches, mental health workers, recreation specialists, and more. In addition, the knowledge of art therapy and visual literacy learned in the program can prove beneficial in various professional spheres, including marketing, human resources, journalism, and both web and product design fields.

Portrait picture of Naropa graduate Jennifer "Fern" Deininger.

Jennifer "Fern" Deininger

Hear from a Graduate


I know that when I finish the [art therapy] program here at Naropa, I will be set up for and have a lot of advantages when entering grad school.

FAQs About the
Art Therapy Degree Online

An online art therapy degree from Naropa not only broadens your horizons but also unlocks numerous career possibilities. Upon successful completion of Naropa’s Art Therapy Degree Online, you’ll be prepared to pursue advanced degrees in fields such as art therapy, studio art, counseling, and mental health.
The difference between online and on-campus art therapy programs might revolve around different course contents, which may arise due to format-oriented considerations. However, both include a complete 51-credit major. Naropa offers students the opportunity to obtain a quality education even if they are not able to relocate to our Colorado campus.
Some of the art therapies you will learn at Naropa include ceramics, drawing, and watercolor painting, among others.
The Naropa Bachelor of Arts in Art Therapy Online is not a typical art therapy program. Being the West’s founding school for contemplative education, Naropa integrates mind, body, and soul in a holistic education aimed at transforming students, communities, and the world. Experience an education tailored for remote learning through a contemplative approach and valuable internship opportunities.

Learn More About the Program

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with your counselor

Rachel Thompson

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions 

Prospective students with last names A-G

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with your counselor

Jenna Priest

Undergraduate Admissions Counselor

Prospective students last names H-Z

Ready to Apply?

Admission Requirements

Academic excellence and the willingness to carry out introspective work are highly valued at Naropa University.

Learn more about admission requirements and the application process for first-time and transfer students. 

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  • Students with a 3.0 GPA or Higher
    Applicants with a strong academic record are welcome with minimal requirements.

  • Students with Less than 3.0 GPA
    If your academic record hasn’t been the strongest, but you wish to apply to Naropa, we strongly encourage you to submit your application. Contemplative practice matters to us just as much as academic excellence.

  • Transfer previous college credit
    We allow you to transfer 60 or more credits from previous institutions. Apply as a transfer student by submitting an official college transcript as part of your application.

Discover all requirements for first-time and transfer students at our admission requirements page.

Embracing a culture of inclusion and diversity, Naropa University warmly welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures, regardless of their origins.
We eagerly anticipate the distinct contributions you will make to our vibrant and friendly community.
Explore further information on the application and admission process for international students.

Costs and Financial Aid

Naropa University strives to improve access to education for a broad spectrum of students. Visit our page on undergraduate expenses and financial support to discover information about tuition, grants, scholarships, and available financial aid options.  
Our cost calculator can help you estimate your potential expenses during your time at Naropa.

Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are a great way to help with the costs of going to school. Naropa University offers an array of scholarship opportunities to undergraduate students. Students may be eligible to receive scholarships through their admissions application, by applying for scholarships, or by being nominated for a scholarship. For more detailed information about the different scholarships available and how to receive them, please review our undergraduate scholarship page.
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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.