2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

General Education at Lesley University

The general education program at Lesley University is designed to reflect what our faculty believe it means to be an educated person in today’s complex and rapidly changing world. Courses are arranged according to a set of ten relevant 21st century outcomes that reflect Lesley’s mission of promoting community, justice, and sustainability.  

To achieve each outcome, students choose from a menu of courses that address the specified outcome. Advisors will help students select courses based on their academic interests and personal and professional development goals.  The program also requires students to explore a breadth of inquiry traditions from the major liberal arts disciplines in order to understand the many ways of asking questions and constructing knowledge.   The program culminates with students selecting an interdisciplinary, project-based course (3 credits) in which students reflect on the outcomes and apply them to a big contemporary problem.   

The revised general education program is required for all students who enter Lesley in fall 2021 and beyond. It does not apply to any students who enrolled in Lesley prior to Fall 2021. 

General Education Outcomes


  1. Analysis: Critically analyze, interpret, and evaluate written, oral, and visual texts.   
  2. Communication: Construct written, oral, and visual texts through the iterative process of editing and revision, in order to communicate a message to an audience.   
  3. Collaboration: Develop teamwork and leadership skills to engage in diverse partnerships.    
  4. Quantitative Reasoning: Evaluate quantitative arguments and their visual representations in order to reason and solve problems.  


  1. Inquiry Methods: Question, research, and critically evaluate information, using methods from the three liberal arts disciplinary frameworks. 
  2. Ethical Reasoning, Social Action, Civic Engagement: Apply ethical frameworks to engage in social and civic action.   
  3. Examining Power & Inequity:  Critically explore societal, political, and cultural systems to challenge power, privilege, and oppression.   
  4. Local & Global Connections: Examine self and community within the globalized world through explorations of political, cultural, and linguistic diversity.   
  5. Create, Perform, Design: Create and critique original work to express, inquire or inspire.   
  6. Human Relationships to the Natural and Physical World: Examine the complex and interdependent relationship between humans, our societies, and the Earth. 

Introductory Course Placement

Students may demonstrate they have met introductory-level course requirements and have a "sufficient base of knowledge" in Humanities, Science and Math, or Social Sciences through such vehicles as AP credit or previous college courses. Students are also eligible to place out of English Composition (CWRIT 1101) through an AP score of 4 or higher. All students are required to complete Writing and Literary Arts (CLITR 1100). Students with a mathematics SAT score below 510 must satisfy a quantitative reasoning requirement prior to their math requirement. Students with AP credits for studio art or pre-college art classes may qualify for studio elective credit.

All other students will be advised into the appropriate introductory-level courses to prepare them for advanced breadth and depth of study in the liberal arts disciplines. Visual art students will be enrolled in mandatory foundation courses the first year of study.

Academic and Artistic Freedom Policy for Students:

Lesley University supports an atmosphere of academic and artistic freedom in all artistic and scholastic endeavors, and believes that the suppression of free speech or artistic expression is unacceptable where educational inquiry is encouraged. Within such an educational framework, no idea or expression can be forbidden unless it is in violation of federal, state, or local laws. Individual statements and philosophies expressed by students in their work, whether displayed on campus or in the community, should be taken as the statements and philosophies of individuals, not as University sanctioned ideas. In the same spirit, the University encourages an attitude of respect toward all student work, and will take disciplinary action against theft or violation of student artwork or projects.