2016-2017 Undergraduate Academic Catalog


Application Process

Students come to Lesley with a desire to make a difference; they leave prepared to impact the world. We seek students who demonstrate the creativity, knowledge, and skills that will allow them to thrive and achieve success in our academic programs, art studios, on-site at internships, and in study abroad opportunities throughout the world.

We admit qualified students regardless of race, religion, gender identity, gender expression, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability. Students may be accepted to the college for full-time or part-time study. In any given semester, a full-time student carries a minimum of twelve credit hours, with most students taking an average of fifteen credits per semester.

First-Year Students

Early Action

Application Deadline

Notification of Decision

Candidate's Reply Date


December 1

January 1

May 1

Regular Admission

Application Deadline

Notification of Decision

Candidate's Reply Date


February 15
Preferred Deadline

Rolling after January 15

May 1

January Semester

Application Deadline

Notification of Decision

Candidate's Reply Date
       December 1
* November 1 for international students
Within 3 weeks of
completed application
January 10



Fall Semester

Application Deadline

Notification of Decision

Candidate's Reply Date


May 1
Preferred Deadline

Rolling After January 15

June 1 or within 2
weeks of acceptance

January Semester

Application Deadline

Notification of Decision

Candidate's Reply Date


December 1
* November 1 for international students

Within 3 weeks of
completed application

January 10

First-Year Students

Students may apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Art and Design, or both!  We offer two admissions programs. The Early Action program serves students who wish to receive an early, non-binding admissions decision; the application deadline is December 1st.  The Regular Admission program is available to students who submit their application by the preferred deadline of February 15. Lesley uses the Common Application exclusively.  All first-year students must submit a completed application along with the following:

  • an official copy of the high school transcript or GED
  • official test scores: SAT I
  • one teacher recommendation – we will accept up to two
  • one counselor recommendation / Secondary School Report

Students applying to the College of Art and Design must also submit a digital portfolio of 12-20 pieces.

Successful candidates will be on track to graduate from high school or a program of home-schooled study with a total of at least 20 college-prep units including: 4 units of English; at least 3 units of math (must include Algebra II); at least 3 units of history/social science (must include U.S. History); and at least 3 units of science with a minimum of 2 lab courses. We strongly recommend that students take a fourth year of math, science, social science, and at least two years of a foreign language. Although not required, interviews or portfolio reviews are strongly encouraged.

Academic performance, rigor of curriculum, strength of portfolio, demonstrated motivation, along with commitment to community engagement form the basis of all admissions decisions.  Students offered admission for Fall 2016 presented, on average, an academic cumulative GPA of 3.4 based on a 4.0 scale, where A = 4.0 or on a numeric scale where A = 93-100, with 60 considered passing. The average ACT composite was 24; the average SAT composite was 1620, or 1170 on the new SAT scale.

We reserve the right to deny admission to any candidate determined by the Admissions Committee to be inadequately qualified to undertake Lesley's program of study.

Admissions decisions are "need blind," made without consideration as to whether a student is applying for financial assistance.  Guaranteed merit-based scholarships are available for both first-year and transfer students at the point of admission. Check http://www.lesley.edu/admissions/undergraduate/guaranteed-merit-scholarships/ for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding qualifications.

Transfer Students

A student who has completed secondary education and has taken or attempted coursework at another college or university may apply as a transfer student. The maximum number of credit hours that may be transferred into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is 90 credits. The maximum number of credits that may be transferred into the College of Art and Design is 66 credits.

Students must apply online using the Common Application for Transfer Students. All transfer applicants must submit a completed application along with the following credentials:

  • official secondary school transcript or high school equivalency (GED). Applicants with more than 60 earned college-level credits are waived from this requirement.
  • official college transcript from each institution previously attended
  • a recommendation from one college professor / the College Instructor Academic Evaluation
  • college catalog, or course descriptions, from each college attended, with all completed courses clearly marked. Students who have earned college credit from an institution outside of the U.S. must have their transcripts translated by a credential evaluation service and forwarded to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Agencies include: World Education Services; the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

As a general rule, accepted transfer students present a 2.5 or higher cumulative grade point average in previous college-level work.

Students applying to transfer into the College of Art and Design must submit a digital portfolio of 12-20 pieces with first-year foundation studio skills clearly demonstrated.

Transfers between CLAS, LUCAD, & LCAL

A student who wishes to transfer from LUCAD to CLAS or vice versa should first meet with his/her academic advisor to clarify his/her academic status and transcript and rationale for transferring.  He/she should then petition the Dean of the school he/she wishes to transfer to. Upon approval, the student is referred to the appropriate Director of Academic Advising to complete the process.

A traditional CLAS student who wishes to transfer to LCAL should first meet with his/her academic advisor to clarify his/her academic status and transcript and rationale for transferring.  He/she should then petition the AVP for Adult Learning.  Upon approval, the student is referred by the AVP to the appropriate academic advisor or coach (this includes professional advisors in 13 Mellen, BHCC advisor, or THLH/eLIS) and/or Division Director.

An LCAL student who wishes to transfer to CLAS traditional status should first meet with his/her academic advisor or coach to clarify his/her academic status and transcript and rational for transferring. He/she should then petition the CLAS Director of Academic Advising.  Upon approval, the student is assigned to the appropriate Division Director and/or academic advisor.

Bachelor's Degree Completion Programs Taught on the Cambridge Campus

Admissions Requirements:

Application – Online at www.lesley.edu/bachelors-degree-completion/apply

• Official Transcripts

1. High School Transcript/G.E.D.

Applicants with less than 60 earned college credits must submit an official high school transcript or an official copy of their Graduate Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.). Transcripts must be original documents bearing the official high school stamp and date of graduation. Documents must be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in envelopes sealed by the granting institution.

Students with academic credentials from outside the US must submit a translated, official, course-by-course evaluation.

2. College-level Coursework Submit official transcripts of all college-level coursework.  Transcripts must be:

• Conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities

• Original documents bearing the official institutional stamp

• Sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in envelopes sealed by the sending institution.

• Students with academic credentials from outside the US must submit a translated, official, course-by-course evaluation.

NOTE: Catalog course descriptions from granting institutions may be required prior to credits being successfully transferred to Lesley University.

• 1-2 Page Written Personal Statement Use narrative form and address the questions found at www.lesley.edu/admissions/adult-bachelors/personal-statement

• Resume – Submit a current resume that reflects academic and professional qualifications

• Proof of English Language Proficiency Required for all applicants whose native language is not English. www.lesley.edu/bachelors-degree-completion/admissions/non-native-english-speakers

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions works with students to complete their application file. Once all admissions requirements are met, the completed application is then presented to the Admissions Committee for review. Admitted students are assigned a professional Academic Advisor in the Center for the Adult Learner. The Academic Advisor will review prior learning experience and discuss the student's goals. Up to 90 transfer credits may be applied toward Lesley’s campus-based/hybrid 120-credit degree programs. Students may also earn up to 45 transfer credits by documenting college-level knowledge gained via life and work experience, through our Prior Learning Assessment course (PLA). Our full-time academic advisors work with students from initial degree planning through to graduation!

Community College Partnerships

Lesley University partners with local community colleges to provide pathways to bachelor’s degree completion. Associate’s degree holders from specific local community colleges can transfer their 60 earned credits into a corresponding bachelor’s degree program offered by Lesley University and taught online, at Lesley University’s Cambridge campus, or on the community college campus.

Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs on the Bunker Hill Community College Campus

Lesley University offers three bachelor’s degree completion programs on the Bunker Hill campus:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Studies– non-licensure program

Admissions Requirements:

  • Students interested in pursuing one of Lesley University’s degree completion programs at Bunker Hill should have completed, or are in the process of completing, a corresponding Associate’s degree program at Bunker Hill Community College (www.lesley.edu/bachelors-degree-completion/bunker-hill/) or from another community college.
  • Students must have a 2.5 or higher cumulative academic grade point average (GPA) in their Bunker Hill program
  • Apply online at www.lesley.edu/bachelors-degree-completion/bunker-hill/apply/
  • Send your official Bunker Hill Community College, and other official community college transcripts to: Office of Undergraduate Admissions Lesley University 29 Everett Street Cambridge, MA 02138
  • By earning your Associate’s Degree, you should have completed 60 college-level courses and therefore will not need to submit an official high school transcript or GED
  • If any college credits are earned in an institution outside the US, please have the official transcript translated.

Admitted students with an associate's degree will receive 60 transfer credits toward their 120-credit Lesley bachelor’s degree (transfer credit decisions are based on Lesley’s transfer policies). Additional transfer credits may be considered on an individual basis. International students will need to submit the materials listed in the section on “International Students.”

Online Programs

Lesley University offers select majors online. These majors include:

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences:

  • BS, Business Management
  • BS, Human Services
  • BA, Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Humanities
  • BS, Psychology.
  • MS, Management

College of Art and Design:

  • BS, Design for the User Experience

Please refer to the department sections in the catalog for specific degree requirements.

To apply for an online program, students should submit the following:

  1. Completed application: http://www.lesley.edu/admissions/online-programs/apply-online
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges and or universities attended
  3. High school transcript (unless you are transferring at least 60 credits
  4. Personal statement
  5. Résumé

International Students

International applicants must apply by November 1 for the January semester and meet the same deadlines as U.S. first-year or transfer students for September.

In addition to the credentials required for first-year and transfer applicants, an international student must also submit:

  • Proof of English Proficiency: To ensure a student’s ability to participate successfully in the Lesley curriculum, students whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency through one of these four options:
  • Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), or 80 (internet –based test) is required. For reporting purposes the Lesley University code for TOEFL is 3483.
  • Official IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5 or higher is required. To submit IELTS scores, contact the center where you took the test and request an official Test Report Form be sent to Lesley.
  • Official  Cambridge English Exam.
    • Taking the Cambridge English Exam at the "Advanced" level and achieving a score of "C1" will satisfy the English language proficiency requirement.
  • ESL Program Partnerships in Boston

We have thee English as a Second Language (ESL) program partnerships in Boston where you can attain English proficiency and satisfy the English language requirement for our programs.  You must provide proof of successful completion of one of the programs, and a letter of reference from the program coordinator or teacher in support of your English capabilities at the college level.

1. ASC English in Boston

Successful completion of "Level 5" within ASC's English language curriculum will satisfy the English language requirement for undergraduate applicants.

2. Boston International Academy

Undergraduate Applicants: Successful completion of "High Advanced I Level 4" within the curriculum will satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

3. English Language Centers in Boston

Undergraduate Applicants: Successful completion of "Advanced Level" within the English curriculum will satisfy the English proficiency requirement.

Applicants who graduate from high school, secondary school, or associate’s degree programs taught in English may qualify to have the English proficiency requirement waived. If this is not noted on your transcript, please request a letter from your school, college, or university stating that English was your language of instruction. Financial aid is not available for international students; however, international students may be considered for merit scholarships. Admitted students who intend to enroll must submit a certification of finances from a bank stating that sufficient funds are available to cover the cost of a Lesley education.

An I-20 form, which is required for obtaining a U.S. student visa, will be provided after the student has been accepted and has submitted both the certification of finances and the required enrollment deposit signifying their intent to enroll. The certification of Finances must be dated and submitted no earlier than three months prior to the start of the student’s first semester so as to be a current reflection of funds.

Home-Schooled Students

In addition to the other application requirements, home-schooled students must present the admissions committee with either a degree from an accredited secondary school, or successfully complete a state secondary school equivalency examination (GED), or demonstrate they have met the requirements of their home state with respect to graduation.

Part-time Degree Students

Part-time degree students apply for admission in the same manner as full-time students, and are subject to the same admissions policies.

Visiting Students

We welcome students who have already begun their college careers and who wish to study at Lesley as full-time non-matriculating students for either one or two semesters. In order to continue at Lesley for more than two semesters, a visiting student must complete the transfer application process and be formally admitted into a degree program.

Applicants must complete the Visiting Student Application and submit the required $50 application fee along with the following credentials:

  • official high school transcript or high school equivalency unless they have earned more than 60 college credits
  • official college transcript from each institution previously attended
  • personal statement
  • students interested in the College of Art and Design must present a digital portfolio of 12-20 pieces
  • international students must demonstrate English language proficiency as stated earlier

The preferred deadline for admission as a visiting student for September is May 1; the preferred application deadline for visiting students interested in joining us for the Spring semester is December 1. Applications will continue to be accepted after these dates on a space-available basis. Visiting students are not eligible for financial aid

Part-time Non-matriculating Students

Students who are interested in taking coursework on a part-time basis and who are not, at this point, working toward a Lesley degree must contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in order to register for less than 12 credit hours. Students interested in this option should contact Undergraduate Admissions as early as possible before the beginning of the semester but no later than one week before the start of classes.

Students will be asked to complete a short admission form and to submit transcripts of any college coursework they have completed. If they have not completed any college level coursework, they must submit their high school transcript or equivalency.

A student may take no more than 15 credits before initiating an application for admission to a degree program.

Reactivated Applications

Any student who applied to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or College of Art and Design previously but did not enroll is able to reactivate his/her file within two years of the original date of application. This means that a student does not have to resubmit all the necessary documentation since the original application is still on file.  We suggest that a student have a personal interview with a member of the admissions staff. During that conversation we will determine if any additional information is necessary.

Admission Decisions


This category grants the applicant admission by means of an official letter of acceptance. Admission permits the applicant to enroll as a degree candidate. Formal admission is contingent upon successfully meeting all admissions criteria.

Traditional full-time students admitted with an underload of four courses:

Based on review of an applicant’s work in the classroom, and to ensure success in a student’s transition to Lesley, the Admissions Committee may recommend that a student be admitted but enroll with an underload of four courses in their first semester.

Conditionally Admitted:

Applicants who are conditionally admitted must meet the condition(s) as stated in their letter of admission. If they fail to meet the condition(s), they may not be allowed to enroll, will not be allowed to continue in their program, or graduate from Lesley University.

NOTE: International students who meet all academic criteria for admission but have not yet met the University’s English Language proficiency requirement may be admitted with the condition of demonstrating and meeting our English language proficiency requirement. A student has up to one full year to meet the requirement, options for doing so are listed in the "International Students" section above.

Not Admitted:

Applicants who do not meet the admission criteria will receive an official letter of notification. Applicants who have been denied admission must wait one year before reapplying for admission.

Deferred Admission:

Accepted applicants can defer their start term to most programs for up to one year by submitting an Enrollment Contract and deposit where a deposit is required. All accepted applicants will have their documents retained in the Office of Admissions for twelve (12) months. An accepted applicant who fails to enroll within one year is required to submit a new application, and supporting materials. Applicants must keep the Office of Admissions informed, in writing, of their plans for enrollment.

Awarding of Advanced Credit

Transfer Credit

Degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits for graduation. Students can transfer a maximum number of 90 credits into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and 66 credits into the College of Art and Design. Transfer credits are accepted from regionally accredited colleges/institutions.

We send a tentative credit evaluation to all students with their acceptance letter. In determining which credits may transfer, every effort is made to match courses with their Lesley degree equivalents.  Only college-level courses with grades of C or better are eligible for transfer credit. Courses taken for a pass/fail grade will be eligible for transfer only if it can be documented that the pass signifies a grade of C or better.

Your credit evaluation provides an estimate of the number of credit hours and semesters needed to complete your degree program at Lesley. These calculations are the result of dividing the number of credits you have left to complete by the average number of credits taken during a typical semester at Lesley (15).  This is an estimate only.  It will take you longer to complete your degree if you take less than 15 credits each semester.  Course availability, prerequisites, timing of scheduled courses, completion of the MTELs for Education majors, and required internships/field placements may also increase the amount of time it takes you to complete your degree.


15 credits = 2nd semester freshman

30 credits = 1st semester sophomore

45 credits = 2nd semester sophomore

60 credits = 1st semester junior

Advanced Placement (AP) / International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination Credit

College credit may be requested by students achieving scores of four or five on appropriate College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. AP scores of 3 or better will be awarded credit in the AP Studio Arts Exams. This credit can be applied to either required or elective courses. Students who complete the IB Diploma may receive up to 18 credits, the equivalent of one semester of work. Additionally, students who do not pursue the full Diploma may receive three units of credit for each higher level IB examination with a score of 4. If the score is 5 or better, six credits will be awarded.

CLEP Credit

College credit may be requested at the point of admission by students who present scores of 50 or above on appropriate College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams. This credit can be applied to either required or elective courses. Students may transfer up to 30 CLEP credits into their degree program.

American Council on Education Credit

The University supports the awarding of transfer credits to those students whose training has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). The evaluation and approval of these credits towards the students’ degree programs will be based on the recommendation from ACE in consultation with the Center for Academic Advising and the Registrar’s Office.

Additional Placement Procedures

All undergraduate students at Lesley University must meet competencies in writing and mathematics. A review of college coursework, SAT/ACT, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores will be used to determine students' placements in writing and mathematics courses. If a student feels his/her course assignment may not provide appropriate challenge, he/she may choose to sit for a writing and/or mathematics exam, administered by Lesley, to determine placement.

We also recognize that students may have had experiences or developed life skills related to their future careers or college-level learning outside formal classroom settings. For this reason, accepted degree candidates may participate at the point of matriculation in the University's Prior Learning Assessment Process (PLA) in order to document and evaluate for academic credit past experiences that occurred between high school graduation and prior to enrolling at Lesley.

Earning a Second Bachelor’s Degree

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution may apply for admissions to a program leading to a second degree of the same level provided the following requirements are met:

  • The major field selected is demonstrably different in curricula and objectives from that of the first degree.
  • The applicant must meet the requirements for acceptance into selected fields (i.e. portfolio review for BFA admission).
  • Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in their original bachelor’s degree.
  • A maximum of 90 credits will be transferable from the first degree; the emphasis in determining transferrable credit is to fulfill General Education requirements. Credits taken at two-year or four-year schools after the first degree was awarded may be considered in the 90 transferable-credit maximum. Official transcripts from all schools attended are required.
  • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and CLEP exams that meet the minimum score requirements may be counted toward transferrable credits, but only official score reports submitted via the College Board or IB programs will be accepted.
  • Students may not use units gained through Credit for Prior Learning options unless they are earned at Lesley. These units will be counted among the 90 transferrable credits.
  • All new credits toward a second bachelor’s degree at Lesley University must be residential credits. Once admitted to Lesley University, a second bachelor's student may not take course work at another institution and transfer it back to Lesley University.
  • Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree must meet all undergraduate academic standards; second bachelor’s student who fail to maintain minimum academic standards will be subject to academic review.
  • Certain programs may require higher GPAs and prerequisite course work. Please check with the appropriate department for more information.
  • Second bachelor's students must meet major department requirements from the catalog under which they were officially admitted. Students have ten (10) years to graduate under that catalog.
  • Students in a second bachelor’s degree program will be eligible for semester honors and/or Latin Honors if they meet the published criteria.
  • Students in a second bachelor’s degree program are not eligible to apply for a dual-degree program at Lesley University.

Dual Enrollment Programs / Articulation Agreements

Students who come to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the College of Art and Design through dual enrollment programs or an articulation agreement must satisfy various course requirements as described in each specific plan of study / agreement. More information about dual enrollment programs and articulation agreements is available from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.