Expressive Therapies

Expressive Therapies

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), low-residency doctoral program

Apply research and creativity to spark individual and societal change.

Transform individuals and communities through creativity, scholarship, and collaboration. Enhance your practice and become a leader in expressive therapies through this low-residency doctoral program, which interweaves artistic expression and inquiry with a focus on research. Join with Lesley’s world-recognized faculty and other committed professionals to expand the theory and practice of expressive therapies, exploring new opportunities for research and global impact.

Lesley University’s doctoral program in expressive therapies provides you with the opportunity for in-depth study, artistic growth, and professional development regardless of your arts therapy specialization.

Guided by your own interests and experience, you’ll conduct relevant research and contribute new scholarship to the field. Whether you’re looking to further your career in higher education or become a leader in an arts therapy discipline, our program is designed to help you meet your goals.

The low-residency model provides a convenient format that allows you to expand your knowledge base in expressive therapies, while accommodating your work schedule and personal life. Complete a 3-week on-campus residency for three summers. During the residency, you’ll meet with your faculty advisor, attend seminars and classes, design research projects, and collaborate with other doctoral students. Between residencies, continue your work from home while staying connected with your faculty advisor and peers via online class sessions.

Program Structure

Low-Residency Doctoral Program

45 Credits
brattle campus class discussion outside
Low-Residency Format

Participate in one 3-week summer residency on Lesley University’s Cambridge campus for the first 3 years of your program. Between residencies, continue your studies online with Lesley faculty, devoting significant weekly time toward doctoral study. Your fourth and final year is dedicated to off-site, independent work on your dissertation.

At this time, residents of Georgia, Kentucky, and Oregon are not eligible to enroll in our low-residency PhD programs. All others may apply.

Shaun McNiff speaks about his career in expressive therapies
Pioneers in the Field

Established over 40 years ago, we were the first graduate program in the U.S. to train professionals in this emerging field. Today our program is the largest of its kind and remains at the forefront of innovation. Our reputation and outstanding faculty—all practitioners in the arts—are what attract students from around the world.

"Experiential learning gives each of us our unique voice and vision, and the more experiences our graduates have, the more confident they become.”
Shaun McNiff, Professor, Expressive Therapies
man walking in harvard square, cambridge

Cambridge, MA

A nexus for higher education and mental health counseling practice and research, each year 250,000 students arrive to Cambridge from around the globe. The intellectual and cultural capital runs deep, and so do your opportunities addressing barriers to wellness. From Lesley’s location, access innovative community, hospital, and school-based mental health programs.

PhD in Expressive Therapies
Myriam D. Savage ’15
Mimi began her career as a Hollywood actress. Now the NADTA Southern California chapter president and UCLA Social and Emotional Arts program educator finds herself on the other side of the camera, empowering women to tell their stories. Through her research at Lesley, she investigated narrative inquiry techniques by inviting young women adopted from foster care to record their own “personal PSAs.” In this way, girls who had no platform or voice were able to advocate for themselves in their own words.
Careers
Where Graduates Work

Faculty

Program Cost Description
Total approximate cost for this PhD degree program.
Expressive Therapies
  • Tuition
    $975/credit x 45
    $43,875
  • Fees
    PhD Matriculation Fee
    $11,960
    Registration Fee
    $440
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

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Total approximate cost for this PhD degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal, state, and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.