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How to Apply

Apply for one of our master's degree programs in Expressive Therapies.

Use these application requirements if you are applying for a 60-credit master's degree program in:

Clinical Mental Health Counseling:

  • Art Therapy
  • Dance/Movement Therapy
  • Drama Therapy
  • Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Music Therapy

If you are an international student, you'll have additional application requirements. Get the International Student application guide for this program here.  


Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Summer Start

Priority Deadline: January 15th
Regular Deadline: February 15th

The next available start term is Summer 2025 for our Expressive Therapy programs (Art Therapy, Dance/Movement, Drama, Music, Expressive Arts).

All completed applications are considered for merit scholarships.

If you wish to apply and be considered after the deadline, please contact Graduate Admissions at 617.349.8300 or email luadmissions@lesley.edu to discuss a late application.



Check the program of study for prerequisites.

Our graduate programs require that you have an undergraduate degree. And some programs have other prerequisite requirements such as specific coursework, a certification or license, or a master's degree in a specific field.

Check the program of study for the academic program you are interested in to see if there are any prerequisites. You can find the link to the program of study on the lesley.edu web page for the program.

You can also ask us at luadmissions@lesley.edu. We're happy to help!

Application Form

Application Form

Apply online for an Expressive Therapies master's degree program.

Create an account and password before you start your application. You can stop and save your application, and later return to complete it.

Apply Online for Summer 2024

Submit Documents

Submit Documents

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.

Official Transcripts

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.

If your degree is from outside of the United States, you will be required to submit a Foreign Academic Credentials Evaluation to demonstrate U.S. bachelor's degree equivalency. A bachelor's degree or U.S. equivalency to a bachelor's degree is required for all graduate programs.  

Evaluation Agencies

Contact one of these agencies to get your credentials evaluated:

You’ll need a document-by-document evaluation. Exception: Expressive Therapies master's degree programs require a course-by-course evaluation instead.

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. Please note that graduate programs will only accept three-year bachelor’s degrees from member institutions within the Bologna Process. However, certain licensure-track graduate programs may still require a four-year bachelor’s degree, even from a member within the Bologna process, so please check with your admissions counselor before applying.


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:

appstatus@lesley.edu or

Lesley University
Graduate Admissions Services
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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.

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.

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. Is there other information you think would help the admissions committee to understand you better? This could include:

  • Special interests
  • Publications
  • Academic achievements
  • Supervisors' reference
  • Unusual career path
  • Awards and honors
  • Special accomplishments
  • Leadership abilities

Writing Sample

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.

Current Résumé

Show relevant work, volunteer, or academic experience on your résumé.

Portfolio Requirements

Portfolio Requirements

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.

  1. Create a Slideroom account.
  2. In Slideroom, choose your specialization—Art Therapy, Dance Therapy, Drama Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, or Music Therapy.
  3. 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.
  4. Pay the 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 7 to 10 examples of your 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

    Submit videos to be viewed by faculty prior to the interview:

    • One prepared repertoire piece on primary instrument
    • Sing one prepared song with your own piano accompaniment
    • Sing one prepared song with your own guitar accompaniment
    • Feel free to share anything else that you feel would represent something about your relationship to music at this time, and your overall musicianship. Other instruments and music technology are most welcome.

    You may have different levels of competencies in guitar, keyboard, and voice and these musical requirements serve as an evaluation of existing skills so that faculty may make recommendations towards achievement of functional music skills needed for music therapy practice. If you have limited experience on one or more of these instruments, you are still encouraged to pursue admission.



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 Zoom.

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

    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. Also be prepared to:

    • Sight read chords and melody lines vocally and on piano or guitar.
    • Improvise on your instrument of choice and/or an interactive improv with the interviewers.

Contact Admissions

Contact Admissions