2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Experiential Learning

From Lesley University's founding, when Edith Lesley and her colleagues brought their life experiences to develop the Lesley School for training Kindergarten teachers, Lesley has embraced the core intentions of integrating theory with practice and learning from doing.

What is unique about this “experiential learning” today is that it is integrated into the student’s overall program of study. All students complete their General Education requirements, the academic requirements of their major, and the experiential learning component of their major. In this way, all Lesley undergraduates are realizing Edith Lesley’s vision of integrating theory and practice.

There are several modalities of experiential learning available to students (the specific requirements for each major can be found in the Majors section of the catalog):


An internship is a structured, supervised, credit-bearing work experience designed to enrich and complement the students’ academic program. By interning, students are able to examine their field of study in depth and develop clear career goals. Internships provide students with a greater level of professionalism, opportunities to develop networking and self-promotion skills, to learn new techniques, and gain industry knowledge. Most important, students gain practical skills that can be applied directly to future professional goals.

Students from all majors are required to complete internships. In CLAS, many first-year students engage in an introduction to field experiences; internships are available during the sophomore, junior and senior years. In LA+D, internships are generally completed during the end of sophomore year or throughout junior year. Internship sponsors benefit from the internship arrangement by having the on-site technical skills and expertise provided by the student interns. Students receive supervision from both site supervisor and faculty representative, thereby allowing students opportunities to gain a greater understanding of a current field of interest from both academic and professional perspectives.

Study Abroad

Study abroad cultivates understanding of the social, cultural, economic, political, and technological forces that shape today's global society, while also building self-knowledge and appreciation for multiple perspectives. While abroad, students engage in meaningful cultural exchanges and language-learning. They build confidence and analytical skills. The experience also enhances creativity, as well as career potential.

For more information, visit https://lesley.edu/life-at-lesley/global-education/study-abroad. Or contact the Study Abroad Office at studyabroad@lesley.edu.


LA+D Domestic Exchange and Residencies

Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) New York Studio Residency Program: Qualified students who are interested in participating in the AICAD New York Studio Residency Program (NYSRP) may contact the Advising Office for assistance in submitting an application. The program is located in DUMBO Brooklyn, New York. Participating students receive individual studio spaces at the NYSRP, weekly critique sessions, and a diverse seminar/visiting artist program that includes a comprehensive introduction to the New York art world. The School of Visual Arts provides off-site administrative services for the NYSRP including digital printing facilities, access to the SVA library and student identification cards. Students earn sixteen credits and a letter grade towards their undergraduate or graduate degree.

Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Mobility Program: Schools in the AICAD consortium offer students an exchange opportunity, which allows them to attend another member school for one semester. Interested students should contact the Academic Advising Office for assistance with the application process

Community Service

The Office of Community Service (OCS) seeks to educate students about the social and political issues affecting Cambridge and surrounding neighborhoods, the impact these issues have on people and communities, and how community-based organizations are working towards solutions. The OCS does this by connecting students with a wide range of opportunities to engage in the community and explore strategies to work toward social change. While engaging in the community, students learn alongside one another and reflect together on these experiences during on- and off-campus programming.

For more information, visit https://lesley.edu/students/organizations-activities/community-service.