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

Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Art Therapy

Master of Arts (MA), on-campus or low-residency graduate program

Help others explore the therapeutic power of art making.

Drawing from your experience as a visual artist, discover art making’s potential to help others gain self-awareness and understanding. Through our art therapy program, study to promote healing through drawing, painting, sculpting, and other media. Train alongside world-recognized faculty in a national hub for mental health practice and research, and spend 1,150 hours in the field fostering well-being in individuals, families, and communities.

At Lesley University, you’ll continue to explore your identity as an artist while developing as an art therapist. You will build the foundational skills and experiences needed to become a licensed mental health counselor. Working within our cross-disciplinary community, build your expertise in the therapeutic applications for art making, while finding opportunities to collaborate with students working in diverse artistic disciplines, from drama to music to writing.

As you train for a career in mental health counseling and art therapy, build an understanding of the science that underlies human behavior. Learn how to address the changing needs of human beings across the lifespan. Research the artistic, physical, cognitive, neurological, and social development of individuals. Infuse this science with creativity and compassion to help others come to a place of wholeness and wellness.

Gain the skills and experiences needed to practice in a range of clinical settings. Master assessment strategies and develop treatment plans for different populations, development levels, and cultures. Tap into our vast network of field training sites throughout Greater Boston and across the U.S.

Graduate prepared for an impactful career in mental health clinics, psychiatric clinics, hospitals, schools, and beyond.

Graduate Program Inquiry Form

Program Structure

2- or 3-Year Program, Full-Time; On-Campus or Low-Residency Formats

60 Credits
Remote Learning for Fall 2020

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff come first. Due to COVID-related campus restrictions in Fall 2020, we are offering the on-campus version of this program remotely, in 15-week face-to-face courses that have been moved online for now. Instruction is both asynchronous and synchronous. Any program courses that were previously fully online will be taught in 8 week terms with asynchronous instruction.

Whatever the delivery mode, you'll get the same careful attention and support from our dedicated faculty and staff.

Please contact luadmissions@lesley.edu if you have any questions.

Summer 2020 Residency & Orientation

The well-being of our university community is always first. In keeping with federal and state health and safety guidelines related to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), we have decided to deliver the Summer Residency and Orientation for Expressive Therapies master's degree programs entirely online. This will impact low-residency and on-campus students in different ways.

Low-Residency Students: The low-residency orientation for incoming students will run online from July 13–31, 2020. Synchronous work will occur during the first and second week. Classes will continue in the Fall with a different course sequence. The on-campus residency has been moved to January 3–15, 2021. Students will receive more information about the residency in the fall. For questions, please contact Donna Socha

On-Campus Students: Campus-based classes have been canceled for the summer and are moving to an online format. Summer orientation will be delivered online from August 10–28, 2020. Synchronous work will occur during the first and second week. Students will receive more information in the coming weeks. For questions, please contact Gilda Resmini-Walsh.

art therapy rainbow chalk drawing

On-Campus Option

Become part of a community of artists and scholars in Cambridge while pursuing your degree. Gain in-person access to leaders in the field and benefit from Lesley’s professional network in and around Greater Boston and New England. Taking three to four courses per semester, immerse in rigorous study and complete your program within a two to three year sequence.

Best if you:

  • Live near Cambridge or are able to relocate
  • Enjoy the rigor of an intensive program and want to take advantage of internships in Greater Boston
  • Want face-to-face time with faculty and peers and to become integrated into campus life
  • Are not planning to work full-time during your studies
close up of hand drawing a mandela

Low-Residency Option

Participate in one 3-week summer residency per year on Lesley University’s Cambridge campus. Between residencies, continue your studies online with Lesley faculty and through supervised field experiences in your community. Your courses correspond with those of our on-campus program, and will be completed within three years.

Best if you:

  • Live at a distance
  • Enjoy the flexibility of online learning
  • Want to take fewer courses at a time
  • Would like to complete internships/research in your community

Lesley is not currently enrolling low-residency students who reside in Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, or Wisconsin. 

Field Training
Where Our Students Intern
Our field training experts will help you find an internship that will enhance your practice and further your career goals.
Licensure Information

Depending on your professional goals, where you reside or plan to practice, and the licensure requirements within that state, there are different pathways toward licensure or credentialing that may be relevant. In accordance with Lesley University’s institutional participation in SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) and with federal regulations, we strongly encourage prospective applicants who intend to pursue licensure in a state other than Massachusetts to visit the Lesley University Licensure and Credentialing webpage and review the “Licensure Information for Students and Applicants” document for their specific program.

Samantha Sundermeyer '14 with a sheep at Cultivate Care Farm
Art Therapy
Samantha Sundermeyer ’14

Art Therapy graduate Samantha Sundermeyer explores a new path to healing at Cultivate Care Farm, a seven-acre therapeutic farm designed to treat children, teens and adults struggling with an array of emotional, developmental, and psychological challenges.

Souhad Chbeir working in her studio
Art Therapy
Souhad Chbeir ’18

As a native of Lebanon, it was seeing the plight of Syrian refugees that drove Souhad to explore the social implications for the expressive arts. Now she’s seeking to transform her art therapy degree into a career empowering children who have experienced the trauma of war. “My first residency experience was nurturing, friendly, and inspiring. The energy of the group set me free. I have never felt this way in my career," says Souhad.

1,005
Counselors, therapists, and other mental health practitioners were trained at Lesley University in the last 5 years, making us the largest provider of training for licensed mental health counselors in New England.
#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.
22%
Careers in mental health counseling are expanding, with projections for a 22% increase in job openings from 2018 to 2028. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Careers
Jobs You Could Have
The field of mental health counseling is expanding rapidly, making this an exciting time to pursue graduate study. Common job titles for people with master's degrees in art therapy include:
Careers
Where Graduates Work
Massachusetts and Greater Boston have a large concentration of medical, healthcare, and mental health-related organizations. Graduates find careers in a range of places, including:

Faculty

Total approximate cost for this master's degree program.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Art Therapy
  • Tuition
    $1,190/credit x 60
    $71,400
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fees
    $2,180
    Materials Fees
    $350
    Registration Fees
    $320
    Mental Health Field Placement and Licensure Software Subscription
    $195
    Activity Fees
    $180
    Practicum Fees
    $140
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Merit Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship
    $-5,000
  • Total
Estimated Cost

The Division of Expressive Therapies awards merit scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $13,000. Other forms of financial aid may also be available.

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

Fall 2020:

For most of our graduate programs where delivery modalities have been changed, we are reducing those per-credit rates for the Fall 2020 semester. And many fees associated with a physical presence on campus will be reduced or eliminated. Learn more about graduate tuition and fees, including discounted Fall 2020 rates.

  • Tuition
    $1,190/credit x 60
    $71,400
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fees
    $2,180
    Registration Fees
    $360
    Materials Fees
    $350
    Mental Health Field Placement and Licensure Software Subscription
    $195
    Practicum Fees
    $140
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Merit Scholarship
    Merit Scholarship
    $-5,000
  • Total
Estimated Cost

The Division of Expressive Therapies awards merit scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $13,000. Other forms of financial aid may also be available.

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

Fall 2020:

For most of our graduate programs where delivery modalities have been changed, we are reducing those per-credit rates for the Fall 2020 semester. And many fees associated with a physical presence on campus will be reduced or eliminated. Learn more about graduate tuition and fees, including discounted Fall 2020 rates.

Apply Now

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Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal 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.