2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Dual Degree Art Therapy

Bachelor of Science/Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Art Therapy*

Please note: Both the undergraduate and graduate degrees are awarded at the completion of the joint program.

* Students interested in these dual degree programs must speak to the Undergraduate Expressive Arts Therapy Coordinator, Dr. Nancy Jo Cardillo.

The Dual Degree Program in Art Therapy is an honors level program designed for exceptional students. The integrated B.S./M.A. program is developed for students who are interested in accelerating their educational experience in a program combining the curriculum of the undergraduate art therapy major and a graduate program in Art Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

The program is designed for students who demonstrate a high level of maturity, academic potential and visual art proficiency. This integrated program demands that students be able to achieve the academic rigor of graduate education and be grounded in visual arts technique and materials by the time they reach their junior year (55-65 credits) of traditional undergraduate study. Students in this accelerated program must be able to achieve a level of introspection and cultural awareness necessary to engage in clinical work at a relatively young chronological age.

The dual degree graduate licensure program (60 credits) is approximately 2 years beyond the 4 year undergraduate program due to 2 years of required graduate level internships. Students may earn up to 24-27 graduate credits while still taking undergraduate courses; all undergraduate requirements should be completed by the end of the fourth year of undergraduate study or 120 credits. For more details speak to the coordinator of Art Therapy or the Chair of Psychology and Applied Therapies. All students interested in applying should attend one of the twice yearly information sessions offered by the Division of Psychology and Applied Therapies and must meet individually with the Dual Degree Coordinator.

Qualified students express interest early in their art therapy program, are reviewed by the faculty and if recommended, apply by late September of their junior year (approximately 55-65 credits). They must be accepted for admission by the Expressive Therapies Division, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences. This deadline may be altered for students who transfer to Lesley.

The qualities looked for upon admission include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to empathize and be compassionate within a therapeutic environment
  • Demonstrated psychological strength to work with different clinical populations
  • Well-organized, independent, motivated, takes initiative
  • Ability to handle complexity
  • Works well under stress
  • Ability to integrate theory and practice
  • Demonstrated conceptual literacy
  • Willingness to take creative risks in studio work
  • Proficiency and disciplined commitment in art making
  • Evidence of a range of experience using a variety of art materials and processes

Students are advised jointly until the end of the undergraduate program by the coordinator of the undergraduate Art Therapy program and a graduate school advisor designated for the dual degree program.

Admissions Criteria for Dual Degree Art Therapy Candidates

Typically students will apply for the Master's program in the fall of their junior year (around 60 completed credits). Transfer students may follow an alternate timeline with a late December or early January application. At least half of the prerequisite courses and credits listed below (including psychology and studio art) should be completed by the time of application.

  1. 3.3 GPA required at the time of application

  2. 12 credits in psychology, including Understanding Psychological Diagnoses and Developmental Psychology with grades of B or better

  3. 18 credits of studio art courses mostly complete by fall of junior year

  4. A Portfolio submitted online with 15 slides of their artwork. The slides should represent a variety of media, including two- and three-dimensional works demonstrating the applicant's technical abilities and the range of their self-expression.

  5. One 3 credit course in Principles of Art Therapy or an art therapy course that includes the history and survey of the profession, different theoretical approaches to art therapy, and its application to various populations.

  6. 3 letters of academic support from undergraduate faculty advisor or the Art Therapy undergraduate program coordinator, or from core faculty in your division in consultation with the Art Therapy program coordinator. One of these letters of recommendation should be from an internship site supervisor or work supervisor in human services setting.

  7. Successful completion of an admissions interview and review process through the Expressive Therapies Division.