2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Dual Degree Options in Expressive Arts Therapy*

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

Bachelor of Science /Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy

Please note: Both bachelor and master degrees are awarded at the end of the dual degree programs. 

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

The Dual Degree Programs in Expressive Arts Therapy are honors-level programs designed for exceptional students. The integrated B.S./M.A. programs are developed for students who are interested in and capable of accelerating their educational experience in a program combining the curriculum of the Undergraduate Expressive Arts Therapy major and a graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Therapies. Two dual degree programs exist:  the Expressive Arts Therapy program and the Dance/Movement Therapy program for students who have taken the Dance/Movement Therapy specialization and have significant previous dance experience.

The programs are designed for students who demonstrate a high level of maturity, academic potential and arts proficiency. Essentially honors programs, they demand that students be able to achieve the academic rigor of graduate education by the time they reach their junior year of traditional undergraduate study (55-65 credits completed). Students in these accelerated programs must be able to achieve a level of introspection and cultural awareness necessary to engage in clinical work, potentially at a relatively young chronological age. Qualified students who express interest early in their expressive art therapy program, are reviewed by the faculty and if recommended, must apply by late September of their junior year (55-65 credits already completed). They must be accepted for admission by the Expressive Therapies Division, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences. This may be altered for students transferring to Lesley with a late December/early January application.

These dual degree graduate licensure programs (60 credits) are 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 Dual Degree Coordinator, 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. 

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

  • Ability to empathize and be compassionate within an educational and 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
  • Proficiency and disciplined commitment to an arts practice
  • Evidence of a range of experience using a variety of art forms

Students are advised jointly until the end of their undergraduate program by the Coordinator of the Dual Degree Expressive Arts Therapy program and a Graduate School Advisor designated for the dual degree program.

Admissions Criteria for Dual Degree Expressive Arts Therapy Candidates

Students will apply for the Master’s program in the early fall of their junior year (approximately 55-65 credits completed). Transfer students may follow an alternate timeline with a late December or early January application.  At least half of all prerequisite courses listed below (and most of the Dance/movement specialization courses, if chosen) should be complete at the time of application.

  1. 3.3 cumulative GPA required at time of application
  2. 3 credits in Understanding Psychological Diagnoses and 3 credits in a Developmental Psychology course with grades of B or better
  3. 12 credits of arts courses
  4. Evidence of proficiency in some form of creative expression – this should be presented either as a video clip of dance/movement performance (for dance/movement specialization), and for the integrated arts program, a video clip of dramatic, music, or dance performance, a slide show portfolio of visual art work, and/or a collection of poetry or examples of creative writing. Applicants should have a basic familiarity with the full experience of the creative process in at least one art form.  See coordinator and graduate school admissions website for specific details.
  5. 3 letters of academic support including the undergraduate Expressive Arts Therapy Program Coordinator, or a recommendation from core faculty in your division in consultation with the Expressive Arts Therapy Program Coordinator.  A letter of recommendation from an internship site supervisor or work supervisor in human services setting is required.
  6. Successful completion of an admissions interview and review process through the Expressive Therapies Division, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences.

Licensure/Certification Information:

When students graduate from our MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Expressive Arts Therapies or Dance/Movement Therapy Specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy and Mental Health Counseling they have met the educational requirements* for both Expressive Arts Therapy registration (REAT) by the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) or Dance/Movement Therapy registration (R-DMT) by the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) as well as licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Massachusetts (LMHC).

(*IEATA requires 100 hours of personal expressive arts therapy. This may be done as individual or group expressive arts therapy, not including personal process as required in Master’s classes or course work. One’s expressive arts therapist cannot be the same person as their supervisor, teacher or head of training program. Lesley does not provide this service, this must be completed outside of Lesley’s requirements.)

Note: Students pursuing licensure must have their program of study approved by the Program Advisor in the Division of Expressive Therapies.