2019-2020 Graduate Academic Catalog

PH.D. Program in Expressive Therapies - Low Residency 45 credits

When Lesley's Expressive Therapies Program was established in 1975, it was one of the first ever to train professionals in this emerging, creative, and vital field. More than 30 years later, the program is the largest of its kind in the world, and continues to push the boundaries of expressive therapies knowledge and training.

Lesley University's Ph.D. in Expressive Therapies, low-residency model, makes it easier for expressive therapy professionals to develop scholarship that expands the knowledge base in the expressive therapies.

Program Overview

Lesley University's cohort-based model supports the continual development of arts therapies approaches, providing doctoral-level education for expressive therapists who strive to be leaders in the field, continuing to research, teach, and promote well-being and healing using arts therapies. Unique in its concept, the program provides an accessible forum that empowers individuals to further their knowledge and abilities to positively transform individuals, and the world.

The 45-credit, post-Master's low residency program involves three summer intensive residencies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for approximately three weeks each summer, with continued coursework throughout the academic years on-line and through email, peer group meetings, phone, and videoconferencing. Students are expected to devote approximately 15 hours per week toward doctoral study.

The program of study is structured by year, with a blend of online and residency hours. Each doctoral year includes a 9-credit residency seminar, followed by two online 3-credit doctoral seminars. Each course is broken down into sections designed to address specific competencies.

The program requires a minimum of 4 years for completion. On-campus residency is required only for years 1 through 3 of the program, with dissertation attempted after successful completion of year 3.

Program Prerequisites

  • An earned master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Certification or registration in one of the expressive therapy modalities (art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, poetry therapy, expressive therapy, psychodrama).
  • Demonstration of good communication skills in the English language, both written and oral, at a level appropriate to doctoral study.
  • Demonstration of satisfactory performance on the GRE or the MAT examination. The Lesley University CEEB number is 3483 for the GRE and 1214 for the MAT.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years of professional experience as an expressive therapist.

Program of Study

Doctoral Year 1 (15 credits)

GEXTP 8008Residency I


GEXTP 8011Doctoral Seminar I


GEXTP 8012Doctoral Seminar II


Doctoral Year 2 (15 credits)

GEXTP 8009Residency II


GEXTP 8013Doctoral Seminar III


GEXTP 8014Doctoral Seminar IV


Doctoral Year 3 (15 credits)

GEXTP 8010Residency III


GEXTP 8015Doctoral Seminar V


GEXTP 8016Doctoral Seminar VI