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.

Program Structure

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

60 Credits
Souhad Chbeir working in her studio

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.

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

At this time, residents of Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon are not eligible to enroll in our low-residency master's degree programs in Expressive Therapies. All others may apply.

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

Completion of this program provides the pre-licensing educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with all requirements and regulations if you are seeking licensure in another state. You may use our licensure worksheet (PDF) to help conduct your own assessment.

$65,499
The average salary for graduates with a degree in mental health counseling.
#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.
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
    $1,130/credit x 60
    $67,800
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fees
    $2,180
    Materials Fees
    $350
    Registration Fees
    $320
    Activity Fees
    $180
    Practicum Fees
    $140
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

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

  • Tuition
    $1,130/credit x 60
    $67,800
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fees
    $2,180
    Registration Fees
    $360
    Materials Fees
    $350
    Practicum Fees
    $140
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate 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.

Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2018–2019 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.