Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.

Lesley University was founded in 1909 and is recognized as a nonprofit organization under Massachusetts law and as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Lesley University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Many individual programs are also accredited or endorsed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and other organizations.  See school-by-school accreditation information.

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education has given Lesley University degree-granting authority for the following degrees: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor, Master, Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts, and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in the fields of professional education and related educational services, general education, human services, mental health, management and organizational behavior, Associate in education and human services, Doctor of Philosophy in Expressive Therapies, Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies, and Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling and Psychology.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has implemented new legislation, specifically M.G.L. c. 69, s.31B, that requires each institution of higher education in Massachusetts to post on its website a copy of its audited financial statements along with a summary report of those statements.

In accordance with this new requirement, a copy of Lesley University’s audited financial statements may be found here (pdf).

The University’s summary report may be found here (pdf).

State Authorization

Lesley University is an approved SARA institution.  As described by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the SARA portal entity for Massachusetts, SARA is an acronym for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which is an interstate agreement that allows colleges and universities located in a SARA member state to offer online classes in other SARA member states without needing to obtain authorization to do so from each state individually.  SARA consists of a national network of member states, districts, and territories that agree to comply with the rules, policies, and procedures set forth by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

According to NC-SARA, membership in SARA includes 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and California is the only state that has not joined SARA.  Lesley is authorized to operate in California through its authorization process.  For more information about Lesley’s authorization in California, see the Additional State Approvals section.

  • Licensure and Credentialing Information

    Lesley University strongly encourages prospective applicants who intend to pursue licensure or credentialing to review the Licensure and Credentialing Information documents for the respective program of interest prior to applying to the program (in accordance with Lesley University’s participation in SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) and with federal regulations).

  • Complaint Process for Online and Low-Residency Students

    At Lesley, we attempt to resolve student complaints within our academic and administrative departments.  Online and low-residency students who have a complaint about a University process or procedure may submit a written complaint at online.resolution@lesley.edu. We'll forward the complaint to the appropriate academic or administrative department, and email you to let know that the issue is being reviewed. We'll attempt to resolve the complaint quickly.

    The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) reviews and evaluates student complaints regarding online and distance learning programs offered by Massachusetts-based institutions that are members of SARA.  Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using Lesley’s internal complaint process.  After exhausting this process, students may submit a complaint to the Massachusetts DHE.

    If you are located in Massachusetts or in a non-SARA member state or territory and your complaint is not resolved at the institutional level you may proceed to the DHE’s non-SARA consumer complaint form.

    If you are located in a SARA member state (other than Massachusetts) or territory and your complaint is not resolved at the institutional level, you may proceed to the DHE’s  SARA complaint form .  Please note that complaints about student grades and student conduct violations are expressly excluded from SARA review. 

    Information about complaint procedures is available in the “Additional State Approvals” section for enrolled students from California and other specifically stated programs that are operating beyond the scope of SARA.

Additional State Approvals

School-by-School Accreditation Information

  • Graduate School of Education

    All programs are encompassed under our institutional accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education. 

    Our Educator/Counselor Preparation and Professional Development Program is accredited under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)) Quality Principles. See CAEP annual reporting measures

    The Graduate School of Education is also affiliated with:

    • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
    • National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate Agreement
  • Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences

    All programs are encompassed under our institutional accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

    Accreditations for the Division of Counseling Psychology

    • Our Educator/Counselor Preparation and Professional Development Program is accredited under the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)) Quality Principles. See CAEP annual reporting measures

    Accreditations for the Division of Expressive Therapy

    • The Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Art Therapy Program is approved by the American Art Therapy Association.
    • The Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Dance Therapy program is approved by the American Dance Therapy Association.
    • The Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Drama Therapy Program is accredited by the North American Drama Therapy Association.
    • The Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Music Therapy Program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • College of Art and Design
    • All programs are encompassed under our institutional accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
    • Member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

Inquiries regarding Lesley’s accreditations and state authorization should be emailed to state.approvals@lesley.edu.