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Columbia College Chicago
FAQ: Minor in Arts in Healthcare

FAQ: Minor in Arts in Healthcare

What is arts and health?
What does the minor prepare me to do?
Who can take the minor?
How do I declare the Arts in Healthcare minor?
What is the curriculum?
What if I’m unsure about the minor? 

What is arts in health?

Arts in healthcare is a movement to incorporate the arts into healthcare settings. The arts are inherently therapeutic, so this movement seeks to harness these therapeutic qualities to improve the experience of patients, employees, and visitors. Research suggests that the arts not only impact people's moods but their physical and mental health; according to the Global Alliance for Arts in Health

“The arts have positive effects on quality of life and have been shown to foster mental, physical, and social benefits, including greater health literacy, fewer doctors' visits, reduced use of medications, lowered anxiety and depression, improved memory and socialization skills, and increased levels of independence in a variety of populations and settings.”

The Global Alliance for Arts in Health considers there to be five key areas of arts in health: patient care, healing environments, care for caregivers, community well-being, and education. Visit their web site for more information on these specific areas and for a complete definition of arts and health. 

What does the minor prepare me to do?

Bring Your Art into Healthcare

The Minor provides educational training for artists seeking to work in a healthcare environment as artists in residence or teaching artists. For example, an artist may come into a hospital and create a mural with young cancer patients, may play his or her intrument at patients' bedsides in a nursing home, or may perform a play in the lobby for consumers and employees of a healthcare organization. 

Artists typically have no preparation for performing, teaching, or using their art in such environments.  Our minor will prepare you to understand healthcare safety protocols, navigate through the healthcare system, and understand the cultural use of arts to assist in healing and recovery. This is achieved through 18 credits of coursework, including a one day/week practicum opportunity to use your art in a clinical setting.

The minor will also prepare students for artist in healthcare certification from the Global Alliance for Arts in Health, which is currently being developed. The Alliance hopes to create professional boundaries for artists hired in healthcare systems to ensure patient and practitioner safety.  Their goal is to require each artist to pass the exam before working in a healthcare setting.  

Prepare for a Career in the Creative Arts Therapies

The Minor introduces concepts relevant for students interested in pursuing master's degrees in the creative arts therapies—such as art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, and dance/movement therapy—and expressive arts therapies. 

Who can take the minor?

The program is most relevant for, but not limited to, undergraduate students in the School of Fine and Performing Arts studying dance, music, theater, art and design, photography, and interior architecture. 

How do I declare the Arts in Healthcare minor?

You enroll through your college advisor in the College Advising Center. You can select minors any time after you begin at Columbia, but most do so when they are juniors and seniors.

What is the curriculum?

Courses outside of the Creative Arts Therapies Department:

-ONE of the following courses that address art in culture (note: these could double count towards some Liberal Arts and Sciences core classes):

Anthropology of Performance (3 cr.)

Visual Anthropology (3 cr.)

The Artist in Society (3 cr.)

Social Objects: Exploring Material Culture (3 cr.)

-TWO advanced level courses in your primary artistic discipline (6 cr.)

Courses within the Creative Arts Therapies Department:

-Introduction to Creative Arts Therapies (1 cr.)

-Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy (1 cr.)

-Performance as Therapy (1 cr.)

-Arts in Health (3 cr.)*

-Arts in Health Practicum (3 cr.)*

TOTAL: 18 credits *Bolded courses to begin academic year 2014-2015 

What if I’m unsure about the minor?

Sign up for the department’s electives to sample the coursework. Also, minors are not required for graduation and can be "undeclared" at any time.