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Expressive Therapies

Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Music Therapy

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

Empower healing through musical expression.

Engage others in music making as a means to mental health and wellness. As a music therapy student, explore therapeutic
 applications for music and the creative process, as well as counseling theories and techniques. Receive mentorship from world-recognized faculty and prepare for careers in hospitals, inpatient and outpatient care facilities, community centers, schools, private practice, and community organizations.

There’s a spirit of creativity that runs through everything you’ll do in Lesley’s music therapy program, whether it’s designing interventions for children in crisis or researching the latest studies on trauma. Our program is designed to promote an inclusive, critically informed atmosphere in which intellectual development, research, and collaboration with artists, performers, and scholars from diverse disciplines can thrive.

Here, you’ll expand your identity as a musician while also building the foundational skills and experiences needed to become a licensed mental health counselor. You’ll explore the science underlying human behavior, psychology, development, and social dynamics, and integrate that knowledge with the creativity and the clinical music therapy competencies needed to guide others toward wholeness and self-empowerment.

Apply what you learn in a range of clinical settings throughout Greater Boston, the U.S., or abroad. Complete a total of two years of field training and internship experiences, supervised both on-site and in a small supervision group. Develop your critical stance and cultural awareness as a clinician who's both equipped and prepared to be a leader in the field and an agent of social change.

Graduate Program Inquiry Form

Program Structure

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

60 Credits
Remote Learning for Spring 2021 On-Campus Programs

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff come first. Due to COVID-related campus restrictions in Spring 2021, 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.

man walking in harvard square, cambridge

Cambridge, MA

A nexus for higher education and mental health counseling practice and research, each year 250,000 students arrive to Cambridge from around the globe. The intellectual and cultural capital runs deep, and so do your opportunities addressing barriers to wellness. From Lesley’s location, access innovative community, hospital, and school-based mental health programs.

expressive therapies music classroom

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. 

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.

Julianne Parolsi playing guitar

Music Without Borders

Julianne Parolisi '10 established the first music therapy practice on the Cayman Islands. “Music is so engrained in Caribbean culture. In a place where there’s still a stigma around mental health counseling, the arts provide a way in to help those in need.”

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 music 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: Music Therapy
  • Tuition
    $1,190/credit x 60
    $71,400
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fees
    $2,180
    Materials Fees
    $350
    Registration Fees
    $320
    MAP Tevera Fee
    $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. Learn more about graduate tuition and fees.

  • 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. Learn more about graduate tuition and fees.

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 2021–2022 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.