2023-2024 Graduate Academic Catalog

Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences

Welcome to the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences (GSASS) at Lesley University!

Within GSASS you will find vibrant academic units that include: the Department of Counseling and Psychology, the Department of Expressive Therapies, the MFA in Creative Writing, and Mindfulness Studies. A hallmark of each unit is an intentional commitment to the preparation of effective practitioners and innovative leaders who possess the knowledge, skills and commitment to enact meaningful change in their professions and in the larger society. Increasingly GSASS embraces mindfulness in our approach to teaching, applied scholarship, and our curriculum.

GSASS faculty uphold the conviction that teaching, learning and clinical training exist in, and must respond to, the changing social, political and economic environment in which students and graduates live and work. All of our programs are crafted to promote an atmosphere that supports creativity and intellectual development, to stimulate scholarly and research collaboration among students and faculty, and to create and sustain working partnerships with professional and community organizations. Moreover, the School honors the life and professional experiences of students by encouraging them to take agency of their learning and incorporate their unique perspectives and backgrounds into their courses of study.

Within the Department of Counseling and Psychology students can pursue graduate studies that equip them to become a therapist with proficiency in a broad range of specializations such as trauma studies, school adjustment counselors, children's or adult mental health. The doctoral program in Counseling and Psychology: Transformative Leadership, Education, and Applied Research is designed for licensed professionals to further develop their skills and pursue targeted paths of inquiry and leadership.  Our Department of Expressive Therapies provides students with the wide ranging options of becoming therapists with credentials in any one of five artistic modalities--Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance Therapy, Drama Therapy or Expressive Arts Therapy. Within Expressive Therapies we also offer the doctoral degree to students seeking to deepen their scholarship and leadership capacities. Students can pursue an MFA in Creative Writing with a strong interdisciplinary foundation. We are also the first school in North America to offer a graduate program in Mindfulness Studies.

GSASS embraces diversity both domestically and internationally. Our global affiliations include our landmark interdisciplinary programs in Guyana and Nicaragua, internship opportunities spanning 5 continents, a number of faculty with ongoing international scholarly projects abroad as well as projects with diverse populations at home, and many international students on campus.

I encourage you to become fully engaged with the variety of rich resources of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences and its expert faculty, committed staff, and remarkable network of professional and community organizations. As you do, I trust that your experience at Lesley University will be truly transformative.

Meenakshi Chhabra

Associate Dean and Head of Mental Health