Expressive Therapies

Expressive Arts Therapy

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Create healing through the arts.

You’re passionate about the arts and want to use that passion to help others. Discover how you can guide people through the creative process to find solutions to mental and psychological problems.

Blend the study of psychology with music, visual arts, dance, drama, and creative writing. Learn how to engage people in the arts and channel their self-expression toward improved patterns of thought and behavior. You'll blaze a trail as you grow into a career as a mental health counselor, hospital music therapist, grief counselor, mindfulness coach for stress management, and many more possibilities.

Lesley University is a pioneer in expressive arts therapy education. Guided by internationally recognized practitioners, you’ll develop a solid foundation in human development, research, and therapy techniques while continuing to explore your identity as an artist or performer.

Your courses will examine artistic expression through a cultural, historical, and global lens. And you’ll have access to the College of Art and Design studio courses and to our Lunder Arts Center.

You’ll put your learning into action during internships in a range of settings, including community arts centers, schools, shelters, and rehabilitation centers. With hands-on guidance and support from our expert faculty and mentoring clinicians in the field, you’ll gain experience and grow your skills at places such as the Franciscan Hospital for Children, Artists for Humanity, the Cambridge Public Schools, McLean Hospital, Horizons for Homeless Children, Massachusetts General Hospital, and more.

You can also apply for our dual-degree program to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Craft Creative Combinations
As an Expressive Arts Therapy major, you can pursue a second major or one of our 45+ minors—in art & design or a liberal arts subject—to expand your career opportunities.

Forge your own path with a creative combination:
Gain Skills & Expertise
Here's a taste of what you'll do in our Expressive Arts Therapy program.
students playing instruments

Small College, Big University

Within the dynamic environment of a larger university, you'll receive the personalized education of a small liberal arts college of 1,400 students. You'll benefit from the largest network of licensed mental health counselors in New England—with more than 1,000 Lesley counseling graduates in the last 5 years alone. Our undergraduate- and graduate-level faculty can help you explore how to use the arts to heal through the innovative Expressive Therapies field, which Lesley founded over 40 years ago.

Students dance in a brightly lit studio.

Dance/Movement Specialization

The Dance/Movement Therapy Specialization is designed for Expressive Arts Therapy majors who want to expand their knowledge base to include body-oriented and movement centered approaches, and for those students interested in the dual degree program in Dance/Movement Therapy.

Your course offerings span improvisational, classical, and holistic forms of movement with an emphasis on emotional and physical well-being. All students in this specialization must complete the program requirements for the Expressive Arts Therapy major as well as the 11-12 credit specialization.

Learn More About Our Dance/Movement Therapy Specialization

$47,922
The average salary for professionals with a degree in mental health counseling in New England (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)
#1
Massachusetts is the best state in the nation for mental health care according to Mental Health America, with excellent access to care for both youth and adults.
11%
Careers in mental health counseling are expanding, with projections for an eleven percent increase in job openings in New England over the next ten years. (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)
Careers
Jobs You Could Have
The field of mental health counseling is expanding rapidly, making this an exciting time to pursue this area of study. Common job titles for people with bachelor's degrees in expressive arts therapy include:
Careers
Where You Could Work
Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area has a large concentration of medical, healthcare, and mental health-related facilities and organizations. Graduates find careers in a wide range of places, including:
drone photography of cambridge
Cambridge is our campus. Boston is our neighbor.

Whether you're pursuing art therapy, counseling, or another major in psychology or applied therapies, you'll take classes on our three beautiful Cambridge campuses near Harvard Square. You'll discover the Cambridge and Boston area—a dynamic hub of professional opportunity, service work, culture, and fun few other cities can match. And, you'll build your résumé and make connections through internships with some of the most prestigious healthcare and community organizations in Greater Boston.

Faculty

Approximate cost, before financial aid, for 1 year of attendance in this undergraduate program.
Expressive Arts Therapy
Housing Options
Compare the cost of the program for students who live on campus in a residence hall with the cost for commuter students.
  • Tuition
    Fall Tuition
    $14,250
    Spring Tuition
    $14,250
  • Fees
    Activity Fees
    $250
    Materials Fees
    $150
    Registration Fees
    $80
    Lab Fees
    $40
  • Room & Board
    Double/Triple/Quad Room
    $9,860
    Housing Deposit
    $300
    Meal Plan
    $6,370
    Health Service Fees (required for resident students)
    $800
  • Total cost before financial aid
Estimated Cost

Merit Scholarships & Financial Aid

It’s our goal at Lesley to break down financial barriers so that students who want to learn here, can learn here. That’s why we offer generous, customized aid packages for students based on their individual needs. In fact, in the fall of 2019, 98% of incoming Lesley students received some level of financial aid. Learn more about Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Tuition & Fees

Other fees may apply. Review all undergraduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

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

Housing Options
Compare the cost of the program for students who live on campus in a residence hall with the cost for commuter students.
  • Tuition
    Fall Tuition
    $14,250
    Spring Tuition
    $14,250
  • Fees
    Activity Fees
    $250
    Materials Fees
    $150
    Registration Fees
    $80
    Lab Fees
    $40
  • Room & Board
    Double/Triple/Quad Room
    $9,860
    Housing Deposit
    $300
    Meal Plan
    $6,370
    Health Service Fees (required for resident students)
    $800
  • Total cost before financial aid
Estimated Cost

Merit Scholarships & Financial Aid

It’s our goal at Lesley to break down financial barriers so that students who want to learn here, can learn here. That’s why we offer generous, customized aid packages for students based on their individual needs. In fact, in the fall of 2019, 98% of incoming Lesley students received some level of financial aid. Learn more about Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Tuition & Fees

Other fees may apply. Review all undergraduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

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

Apply Now

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.

Approximate cost, before financial aid, for 1 year of study in this undergraduate program. Tuition and fees are for the 2019–2020 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.