Applications for our on-campus and low-residency programs in Expressive Therapies are reviewed in two rounds based on the following application deadlines:
Priority Deadline: January 15
Regular Deadline: February 15
We encourage you to submit a complete application by the Priority Deadline for earlier scholarship and interview consideration. We may review applications on a rolling basis after February 15 if space permits.
Check your program page for prerequisites.
Our graduate programs require that you have an undergraduate degree. Some programs have other prerequisite requirements, such as coursework, certification or license, or master’s degree in a specific field.
Apply online for your Expressive Therapies master's degree program.
Create an account and password before you start your application. You can stop and save your application, and return to complete it later.
You'll need to submit the following supporting materials.
You can send the documents separately, but we won't be able to make an admissions decision until we've received everything.
Have each institution where you earned an undergraduate or graduate degree send us your official transcript.
If your transcript is not in English, provide a notarized translation of it.
If you’re enrolled in a degree program when you apply, submit your transcript of the courses you’ve taken to date. Submit your final official transcript once you’ve completed the degree program.
Your transcripts need to be:
- Conferred by regionally accredited colleges or universities
- Original documents bearing the official institutional stamp
- Received by Graduate Admissions Services in envelopes sealed by the sending institution, or sent electronically directly from the institution
Send transcripts to:
Graduate Admissions Services
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Foreign Academic Credentials Evaluation
A credential evaluation helps us understand the courses you’ve taken, the grades you’ve earned, or the degree you’ve received from an institution outside the United States.
Get an independent credential evaluation of your transcripts to determine U.S. equivalency.
You’ll need a document-by-document evaluation. Exception: Expressive Therapies master's degree programs require a course-by-course evaluation instead.
Contact one of these agencies to get your credentials evaluated.
- World Education Services
- Center for Educational Documentation
- Educational Credential Evaluators Inc.
- Global Credential Evaluators
If you’re submitting a foreign academic credential evaluation, unofficial transcripts are acceptable for your transcript requirement if official transcripts were provided to the evaluation agency.
3 Letters of Recommendation
Include 3 recent recommendations from those you’ve worked with closely in an academic or professional setting.
- At least one of your recommendations should come from a present or former supervisor.
- If you’re in school, or are a recent graduate, one recommendation should come from a professor.
- We don’t accept recommendations written by friends or family, or that were written more 2 years before your application date.
Within your online application form, include the names and emails of the people writing your letters of recommendation. They'll receive an email from you with an electronic recommendation form, and they can upload a letter if they choose.
English Language Proficiency
We want you to be successful in your program. If your native language is not English, we require that you provide proof of your English proficiency.
You can show your proficiency in one of these ways:
- We require a minimum score of 105 on this test.
- Minimum score of 80 on the Internet test.
- Submit your score. Use Lesley University’s CEEB code: 3483.
- A score of 6.5 or higher
- Contact the center where you took the test. Request that they send your official Test Report Form to Lesley University.
- C1 Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)
- C2 Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Partnerships
We have partnered with several language schools to help you meet the English requirement. Complete the curriculum at one of the schools, at the specified level.
Then, get a letter from the program coordinator or teacher. The letter should explain that your English is proficient for college-level study.
Here are our partner schools and levels we require:
- ASC English in Boston
Complete Level 5.
- Boston International Academy
Undergraduate Students: Complete High Advanced I Level.
Graduate Students: Complete High Advanced II Level.
- Boston University Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP)
Complete Level 7 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Embassy English
Complete Level C1.
- FLS International
Complete Level 15.
- Stafford House International
Complete Level 6.
English Language Requirement Waiver
If English is not your native language, but you’ve graduated from a school or program that was taught in English, you may qualify to have the language requirement waived.
If it’s not noted on your transcript, request a letter from your high school, college, or university stating your language of instruction was English.
Written Personal Statement
Your written personal statement gives us insight into your motivation, purpose in pursuing a degree program, writing skills, and communication style. It’s an important part of our review process.
Write a 750–1250 word personal statement.
Use narrative form and address the following questions.
Reflect on your personal and professional history. What has influenced your professional growth and has contributed to your decision to apply to this Lesley University program?
What are your long-term professional goals (new directions, opportunities, interests, skills, professional renewal, and work advancement), and how do you think this Lesley University program would help you to meet them?
Is there other information you think would help the admissions committee to understand you better? This could include:
- Special interests
- Academic achievements
- Supervisors' reference
- Unusual career path
- Awards and honors
- Special accomplishments
- Leadership abilities
In addition to your written personal statement, your graduate program in expressive therapies requires a separate writing sample.
Your writing sample should be a previously written, research-based paper. It should show your ability to think critically, synthesize information, and write at an academic level. It can be on any topic and should be 3-5 pages long, double spaced. If you have written a longer paper, please submit an excerpt.
Show relevant work, volunteer, or academic experience on your résumé.
You'll need to include a digital portfolio with your application. The specific portfolio requirements depend on your specialization.
Submit your artwork or video clips via Slideroom.
- Create a Slideroom account.
- In Slideroom, choose your specialization—Art Therapy, Dance Therapy, Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, or Music Therapy.
- Upload your work. Add the title, size, date, and medium for each image. Film, video, or new media shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes. Cue it to a 5-minute section you want us to view.
- Pay the $12 fee.
Art Therapy Specialization
- Submit 15–20 digital images of your artwork.
- The images should represent a variety of media, including 2- and 3-dimensional work that demonstrates your technical abilities and the range of your self expression.
- Website URLs are not an acceptable format for the portfolio submission.
Dance Therapy Specialization
- Submit a video with 3–5 minutes of dance footage cued to the section you want us to view.
- You may substitute the video with a website link for this specialization.
- The video can include a dance piece that you choreographed, or a pre-existing piece.
- We strongly encourage Improvisation, with or without music.
Drama Therapy Specialization
If you are unable to come to campus for an interview, the program will inform you if you'll need to upload anything to Slideroom. In most cases, this is not a requirement.
Expressive Arts Therapy Specialization
Submit a portfolio of artwork in one or more art forms, such as:
- Digital images of visual art work
- A video of dance, drama, or performance-based art work
- Audio or video of a music performance
- Poetry or creative writing submission
Music Therapy Specialization
If you are invited to interview and unable to come to campus, the program will request that you upload videos of your musicianship via Slideroom. At that time, we'll let you know the types of videos to upload.
All 5 of our expressive therapies master’s degree programs require an interview with faculty members, in person in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We’ll contact you to schedule the interview once your application is complete. If you live far from Cambridge, we’ll conduct the interview via phone or Skype.
Drama therapy and music therapy applicants have specific requirements for their interview.
Drama Therapy Applicants
You’ll participate in an improvisational interview.
Music Therapy Applicants
For your 30-minute interview, prepare to talk about your interest in music therapy and mental health counseling, your relationship with music and arts in health, and why you’re choosing Lesley University.
You’ll also be asked to play music. Prepare to:
- Sing a song of your choice, and accompany yourself on piano and guitar.
- Sight read chords and melody lines on a song, on piano or guitar.
- Improvise on your instrument of choice.
You may have different levels of competencies in guitar, keyboard, and voice and we can discuss that in the interview.
If you can’t attend an interview, submit an audio or video clip in Slideroom cued to the section you want us to view.