2016-2017 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Lesley University

The Mission of the University

Lesley University engages students in transformative education, through active learning, scholarly research, diverse forms of artistic expression, and the integration of rigorous academics with practical, professional experience, leading to meaningful careers and continuing lifelong learning. Lesley prepares socially responsible graduates with the knowledge, skills, understanding and ethical judgment to be catalysts shaping a more just, humane, and sustainable world.

Core Values

Inquiry Lesley University is devoted to academic excellence through active teaching, engaged learning, and individual student development. We design and deliver innovative, interdisciplinary academic programs that value inspired teachers, curious learners, relevant scholarship, and real-life application.

Community Learning is an individual and collective endeavor that involves students, educators, families, and communities. We believe in the power of collaboration and its impact on personal and social development.

Diversity Our community respects, values, and benefits from the individual, demographic and cultural differences of our students, faculty, and staff. As an academic community, our creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving approaches are shaped by this diversity. Through their varied learning experiences, Lesley students develop the tools to effectively interact with diverse populations and strive for social justice and equity.

Citizenship Higher educational institutions have a responsibility prepare their graduates to participate in the cultural, political and economic life of their community, nation and world. This democratic ideal is reflected in Lesley’s academic environment that encourages scholarship, freedom of expression, and the open exchange of ideas.

In a Unique Tradition

Lesley's reputation for educational innovation began in 1909 with founder Edith Lesley's vision of schools transformed by teachers trained to be dedicated and creative professionals. She guided her school well into the 1930s, aided first by her sister Olive, and later by the woman who succeeded her as principal, Gertrude Malloch.

The school was a continuing success. As professional teacher education was increasingly recognized for its importance, Lesley College was incorporated in 1942 as a non-profit institution of higher education under the direction of a board of trustees. In 1943, the name Lesley College was adopted. Guided by its first president, Dr. Trentwell Mason White, the college received its undergraduate accreditation and later established a graduate school in 1954.

From its beginnings, the college has prided itself on its ability to offer high quality, experientially-based education relevant to the needs of students and society. In its early years, Lesley developed a national reputation for the quality of its teacher education programs. Starting in the 1970s, the college began to develop other programs to prepare students for professional careers.

The College of Art and Design was founded in 1912 as the School of Practical Art, one of the nation's first private studio schools. Renamed the Art Institute of Boston in 1967, it merged with Lesley College in 1998 and was renamed the College of Art and Design in 2013. In September 2000 Lesley College changed its name to Lesley University to more accurately reflect the variety and scope of its academic programs. At that time the undergraduate women's college reclaimed the name Lesley College. In May 2004, the Board of Trustees voted to admit men to Lesley College. After a thoughtful strategic planning process in 2012, Lesley College was renamed, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). All programs continued to be based on the original traditions of creative instruction and artistic expression, connections between the liberal arts and professional preparation, integration of academic and field-based learning, and commitment to excellence.

Our current professional and liberal arts majors provide a range of academic paths to prepare professionals who are skilled in working to improve the situations of others and whose lives exemplify confidence, compassion, and civic engagement. Its mission is to ensure that every graduate is a high achiever. At Lesley University high achievement in undergraduate education occurs within an active liberal arts learning community, founded upon teacher preparation, professional studies, passionate inquiry, active citizenship, and experiential learning.

Over the last century, Lesley University has continued to increase its national reputation as an educational leader. The president and faculty are themselves leaders, many of them of national and international stature, within their fields of specialization. As noted scholars, they play an active role in creating the academic innovations that a Lesley education has come to represent. As involved professionals, the faculty are immersed in shaping the course of education well into the twenty-first century. The faculty are equally committed to the personal and professional development of the students under their tutelage. Their expertise and dedication are two crucial components of the Lesley experience. A Lesley University degree is a respected badge of academic accomplishment distinguished by experience, vision, and dedication.

The Boston/Cambridge Advantage

Lesley University is an urban academic village within the bustling community of Cambridge and a T-ride away from Boston. Like a village, Lesley can be a self-contained place in which to live and work, with the special warmth and informality that one finds only in a small community.

Yet, it also has the unparalleled advantages of being located in the midst of a major political, technological, business, and cultural center. The Boston metropolitan area is the site of the largest concentration of colleges and universities in the United States. Lesley shares Cambridge with Harvard and MIT. Other neighboring institutions include Tufts, Brandeis, Wellesley, Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University, and many more. These institutions form a world-class intellectual community in which Lesley students can fully participate.

The city's cultural life is one of great distinction and variety, offering museums, theatres, concert halls, galleries, libraries, bookstores, cafés, restaurants, clubs, lectures, and sports events for every taste and inclination. The rolling hills and spectacular mountains to the north and the breathtaking shoreline of Cape Cod to the south give Lesley a context of great natural beauty and seasonal diversity. Lesley's own campus life is immeasurably enhanced by the riches of Cambridge and Boston, and Lesley students have always enjoyed and profited from moving back and forth between their own close-knit community and the exciting urban world around them.

Schools of the University

Lesley University is comprised of four schools: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The College of Art and Design , The Graduate School of Education; and The Graduate School of Arts & Social Sciences. Descriptions of the Graduate Schools can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is an intellectually engaging teaching and learning environment. CLAS is animated by superior faculty/scholars and student-citizens whose work ethic and passions for learning and doing redound in opportunities to excel throughout their lives in this country and abroad. Early access to faculty expectations, robust and coherent programs of study, compelling intellectual engagement with ideas, faculty and student peers, are hallmarks of CLAS. Intensely engaging classes permit individualized learning and collaborative pedagogical approaches in academic programs that systematically provide richer, deeper, broader and more meaningful knowledge and career opportunities. In CLAS, faculty mentors and professional advisors help create innovative and highly structured career networks that provide students with deeper insights and pathways to careers, and graduate and professional school.

In CLAS early engagement in learning---reading, discovery, curiosity, debate, research and experiential applications, whether in science or neuroscience---positively influence student success, faculty happiness and an improved experience across the liberal arts and sciences, pre-professional and professional programs. Our curriculum strengthening reflects that belief. Our course syllabi, assessment programs, and program reviews build upon this vision. Indeed, our CLAS strategic and implementation plans privilege these assumptions. Within and across CLAS to the College of Art and Design (LUCAD), our goal is beyond training; our goal is to educate students for lives and careers and the generation of new knowledge, used to lift others out of poverty and despair. Across the undergraduate colleges, the newly integrated Visual Arts and Humanities curriculum will dazzle students. Similarly, both teacher education candidates and students with aspirations to enter PhD programs immediately or enter the world of work, will do so armed with foundational knowledge of their disciplines, applied learning within and across programs of study, and a life-long curiosity for learning and engaged citizenship.

Our Business Management majors will benefit from strong specializations, for example in Entrepreneurship, International Business, Marketing, Sport Management, Not-for-Profit Management, or Brand Design and Marketing, and be better positioned to expand their reach as Lesley alumnus.  All said, the new curriculum innovations and field immersion experiences in ethics, executive leadership, marketing, product ideation, micro businesses, conflict resolution, and emerging global markets; and strong offerings in Neuroscience, Biology, Visual Arts, Humanities, and the Social Sciences will lead to greater student confidence in liberal arts education at Lesley University.

Toward a Future of Excellence

Students are offered the opportunity to develop academic and professional skills in an environment that supports and promotes intellectual development and individual growth. Along with the students enrolled in the B.F.A. program at the College of Art and Design, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students live and study in a setting of 1,900 on-campus undergraduate students. Additionally, as part of a larger university that includes graduate programs, we offer students the resources of a major higher education institution of 5,000 students while providing the advantages of a small college community. Students have access to the faculty and courses of the University's various schools, including the opportunity to develop creative and independent programs of study that challenge and support their learning goals and plans. The decision to maintain a small college setting reflects the conviction that our community educates students in a unique way, and the commitment that every Lesley student be perceived, and know, that s/he is a vital member of the college.

Running through the rich diversity of the college is a pervasive and unifying theme: what you do matters. The philosophy endorses the notion that each student should be encouraged to strive for one's personal best. The curriculum and community is informed by one guiding purpose: to provide all Lesley students with an exceptional opportunity to make an impact through the development of leadership skills, creative problem solving, and solid theoretical and hands-on preparation to influence the communities and people with whom they will work.

Degree Programs

Twenty degree programs lead to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. These programs combine liberal arts and professional study with practical field experience that begins in the very first year. Students choose or create majors that integrate or combine liberal arts coursework with the theoretical and practical foundations of professional preparation in their chosen field. Students also have the opportunity to explore new areas of academic study through elective courses, independent study, and experiential learning.

In conjunction with the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, there are five accelerated programs available to students: the B.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the B.S./M.A. program in Art Therapy, the B.S./M.A. program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, the B.S./M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and the B.S./M.A. in Expressive Arts Therapy. In conjunction with the College of Art and Design there is a B.F.A/B.S. program in Design and Business Management. In conjunction with the Graduate School of Education there are B.A./M.Ed. programs that prepare students to teach in four licensure areas. See specific program sections of this catalog for a more detailed explanation of the curriculum and degree requirements.

College of Art and Design

Lesley University College of Art and Design is a professional college in an intimate environment that integrates studio practice and visual culture in the teaching and making of art and design. The College offers seven fully accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in: Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Photography; Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History and Fine Arts; two-year Advanced Professional Certificates in: Animation, Illustration, and Graphic Design; plus many other double majors and minors available to its students. Additionally, two Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degrees: one full residency MFA in Photography and one low-residency program in Visual Arts. The College of Art and Design also offers a Dual Degree BFA/M.Ed. in Visual Art Education for Initial License as Teacher of Visual Art (Grades PreK-8 or 5-12) for students interested in becoming artists as well as licensed visual art teachers in public schools (PreK-8 or 5-12). Students can begin M.Ed. coursework while completing their BFA degree. 


Lesley University is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a non-governmental, nationally recognized organization whose affiliated institutions include elementary schools through collegiate institutions offering post-graduate instruction. Particular College of Liberal Arts and Sciences programs are also approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education and have an interstate NASDTEC agreement.  The College of Art and Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Academic Resources

While we value the intimate nature of the community we build with each incoming class, we are nevertheless committed to providing a network of academic resources whose quality is consistent with that of a much larger academic institution. Lesley students have access to the facilities of the University at-large as well as to the riches and resources just beyond our door. The position of our close-knit community at the heart of one of the world's most prestigious academic centers allows us to have the best of both worlds.

College of Art and Design Library

The College of Art and Design Library supports the teaching, curriculum, and creative inquiry of students and faculty at Lesley University by actively collecting and curating resources in the fields of fine arts, art history, illustration, design, animation, digital filmmaking, and photography and other related subjects. In addition to a circulating book and DVD collection of more than 12,000 titles, the Art and Design Library offers a specialized journal collection – including BaselineApertureCommunication ArtsCinefexJABJuxtapoz andMcSweeney’s. Furthermore, the Library provides access to more than one million high-quality digital images in the ARTstor Digital Library and hosts the Visual Resources Center whose curator is on-call for all questions about using, finding, and creating digital images. A small but growing collection of unique artists’ books is also available for in-library study.


Lesley University Libraries

The Lesley University Libraries consist of two facilities: the Sherrill Library (on the Brattle campus) and the John & Carol Moriarty Library (on the Porter Square campus). Both locations provide high-quality collections and information services as well as computing workstations and a variety of study spaces in support of the University's research mission and integration of academic and field-based learning.

Whether coming to the library via the Web or through the front door, students and faculty find friendly professional staff ready to help. Lesley librarians assist the Lesley community by telephone, email, text and chat, in the library or in classes, on campus or online. They teach students to search for high-quality resources, integrate them into their assignments, and cite them properly to avoid plagiarism. They also help faculty integrate information literacy learning outcomes into their courses and assignments.

Thanks to Lesley’s participation in consortia and library networks, students have borrowing privileges at 15 other libraries in the Boston area, and may request materials from libraries throughout Massachusetts.

For more details about the Lesley University Library mission, please see:


Sherrill Library


The Sherrill Library serves as the University’s main library as well as a joint library for Lesley University and Episcopal Divinity School. Sherrill Library provides students with a variety of environments for solo studying or collaborative work. All of the public workstations in Sherrill are dual-boot Macs with the full suite of applications available in the computer labs across Lesley’s campuses. The Sherrill Library houses over 140,000 print titles and many print journal subscriptions in addition to a growing list of electronic resources (including journals, ebooks, and streaming media). The various collections at Sherrill are strong in all curricular areas, with an emphasis on education, psychology, human services, management, environmental studies, and expressive arts therapies, as well as religion, biblical studies, and Episcopal Church history. On the Lower Level of the Library building, the Teaching Resources Collection houses a unique collection of teaching resource materials and an excellent juvenile literature collection.

John & Carol Moriarty Library


The Moriarty Library supports the teaching, curriculum, and creative inquiry of students and faculty at Lesley University by actively collecting and curating resources in the fields of fine arts, art history, illustration, design, animation, digital filmmaking, and photography and other related subjects. In addition to a circulating book and DVD collection of more than 12,000 titles, the Moriarty Library offers a specialized journal collection – including Baseline, Aperture, Communication Arts, Cinefex, JAB, Juxtapoz andMcSweeney’s.  Furthermore, the Library provides access to more than one million high-quality digital images in the ARTstor Digital Library and hosts the Digital Imaging & Scholarship Services whose librarian is on-call for all questions about using, finding, and creating digital image and for supporting digital initiatives. A small but growing collection of unique artists’ books is also available for in-library study.

Lesley University Archives

The mission of the University Archives is to preserve the history of Lesley from its founding in 1909 to the present. Located in the Sherrill Library, the Archives collects Lesley’s historical documents and memorabilia and makes them available for research by the Lesley community and members of the public. Collections include manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, and the papers of former faculty and administrators. Historic publications include Lesley course catalogs, handbooks, yearbooks and student newspapers. Visitors to the Archives receive assistance in finding and viewing materials, conducting research, and learning about the history of Lesley University. The Archives Web site offers information about collections and services, and features on-line exhibits chronicling Lesley's history (http://www.lesley.edu/library/archives/).

For more information about the library, students may visit the library Web site at www.lesley.edu/library, or our admissions page at http://research.lesley.edu/Library_Admissions.

Information Technology

Information Technology maintains 6 computer labs and 3 open use computer areas for use by all Lesley students. Each site contains Macintosh and Windows compatible computers, full internet access, and black and white printing. Some locations include scanners for electronic duplication of images or documents. Information on the locations as well as the resources in each of the computer labs and open use computer areas can be found by visiting: http://intrastage.lesley.edu/it/labs/technology. Entrance into all of the computer labs and open use computing areas requires an up-to-date Lesley University photo ID card.

The Mollye Lichter Block Computer Lab is open 24 hours a day to all Lesley students. Both Macintosh and Windows compatible computers with full internet and email access along with laser printing are available. It is located on the third floor of Doble. Entry to the Lab requires an up-to-date Lesley University photo ID card.

The Center for Academic Achievement

The Center for Academic Achievement encourages students to take advantage of its academic support services. The Center’s staff includes faculty who specialize in writing, reading, second language issues, research methods, and learning differences (LD/ADD). The staff also includes approximately 45 peer tutors from graduate and undergraduate programs. The Center provides assistance with writing, reading, math, library research, study skills, and organizational skills. Students work on specific course requirements such as papers, projects, presentations, and exam preparation. Tutors work with students one-on-one as they exchange ideas, make use of feedback, and develop new skills. Additionally, selected tutors work with students to prepare for the Communications and Literacy subtests of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL).

Tutoring on-campus is available to students currently enrolled in classes in Lesley’s degree-granting programs. Tutorials are offered on a by-appointment basis during daytime, evening, and some weekend hours. To find out more about the Center’s services, call 617.349.8459, or stop by the Center for Academic Achievement, 11 Mellen Street Cambridge.

All students in off-campus or low-residency degree programs may access online tutorial services. Consult the submission guidelines from the center’s services page: http://www.lesley.edu/academic-achievement/tutoring/.

Lesley Center for the Adult Learner (LCAL)

The Lesley Center for the Adult Learner offers adult students a built in support system to assist them in earning a bachelor’s degree while balancing ongoing work and personal responsibilities. While adult students, if their schedules are flexible, have the option of pursuing all academic programs listed in this catalog, Lesley University also offers multiple options for adult students who have transfer credits and are returning to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, courses may be taken at any Lesley location and/or through any format. Academic Advisors who specialize in working with adults will assist each student in making the best determination of programs based on their goals and life circumstances.

Degree completion and flexible options include, but are not limited to the list below.  Depending on program offerings, courses may be taken on the Cambridge Campus, off campus, online, or in hybrid formats.  For details students should refer to the full descriptions of the programs in this catalog or contact the Division Chair for program requirements.

BA or BS, Liberal Studies--Individually Designed

BS, Early Childhood Studies (Non-Licensure Program)—offered on campus and at Bunker Hill CC

BS, Human Services—offered on campus and online

BS, Business Management—offered on campus, online, and at Bunker Hill CC

BA, Psychology—offered on campus, online, and at Bunker Hill CC

BA, Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Humanities---offered online

See majors in the catalog for details.