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Your academic advisor plays a key role in your education—whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student. Advisors not only know program requirements, but they also get to know you. They take time to learn about your interests and goals.

Advisors help you select the right courses for your program, and keep you on track toward fulfilling your degree requirements. They can help you navigate everything from registering for classes to selecting an internship.

Our four schools approach advising a bit differently, but the collaborative relationship between advisor and student is the same.

Responsibilities of Advisors
Expectations of Students

Undergraduate Advising

Your advisor is here to point you toward academic choices that will put you on the path to your career goals. From first year through senior year, you’ll meet with your advisor to go over your degree requirements and discuss your course selections. Before you sit down with your advisor, you can search through our complete course catalog.

  • Degree Requirements

    Bachelor of Arts (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

    • 120 credits
    • 90 credits earned in courses designated as liberal arts
    • Specific majors may have additional or more specific requirements
    • Cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.0


    Bachelor of Arts (College of Art and Design)

    • 120 credits
    • 51 credits earned in studio and art history required courses
    • 69 credits earned in general education and electives
    • Cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.3


    Bachelor of Fine Arts

    • 123 credits
    • 81 credits earned in studio required courses and electives
    • 42 credits earned in general education, liberal arts and art history
    • 57 credits must be earned at Lesley University
    • Cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.3


    Bachelor of Science

    • 120 credits
    • 60 credits earned in the liberal arts
    • Specific majors may have additional or more specific requirements
    • Cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.0
  • General Education Requirement

    All undergraduate students are required to complete a foundation of liberal arts courses. This exposes you to various disciplines and helps you develop general skills such as critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and writing.

  • Declaring a Major

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    You may arrive at Lesley with a chosen major, or declare a major after you’ve taken some coursework. You’re required to declare a major when you complete 60 credits. Education majors must choose a liberal arts major in addition to their Education major (for example, Elementary Education and History). Students choosing to major in Education, Art Therapy, or Counseling must declare their majors by October 15 of their sophomore year.

    College of Art and Design

    Most art and design students arrive with a major in mind. If you don’t, we’ll encourage you to try on a major in the first semester. You’ll probably be ready to declare a major by the end of the first semester, or at the latest, the end of the year. Choosing a major enables you to join a specific visual arts community, as the course of study becomes more focused each subsequent year.

  • Field Experience

    Field experience—applying your knowledge outside the classroom—is one of the touchstones of a Lesley education. That’s why we require all students to complete at least one field experience in their major in order to graduate. This could involve classroom teaching, an internship, or research with a faculty member. These experiences give you the opportunity to explore fields of interest and gain valuable professional experience.

  • Course Load

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    The prescribed four-year course load is five to six courses per semester (15–18 credits). Some students will take only four courses per semester, especially during the first year. However, to meet the minimum academic requirements of 120 credits, a student must average 30 credits per year.

    College of Art and Design

    The prescribed four-year course load is five to six courses per semester (15–18 credits). Some students may take only four courses per semester, however, to meet the minimum academic requirements of 123 credits, a student must average 30 credits per year, with one year of 33 credits.

  • Class Designation

    Class designation is determined by the number of credits you’ve successfully completed—not the amount of time you’ve spent at Lesley.

    First Year
    0 to 29.5 credits

    30 to 59.5 credits

    60 to 89.5 credits

    90 plus credits

Peer Advisors & Mentors

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Peer advisors raise awareness of academic policies, increase knowledge about the curriculum, and help students understand the importance of using Lesley’s academic resources.

Peer advisors are supervised by the Academic Advising Center, and provide support and assistance to students during pre-registration advising periods, add/drop periods, pre-advising workshops, and new student orientation sessions held during the summer and in January.

College of Art and Design

Academic advising is an interactive process in which students are assisted in the development, clarification and selection of artistic, educational, career and personal goals. The College of Art and Design Peer Mentoring Program is a peer support system for first-year students. Sophomores and juniors serve as mentors to provide guidance, advocacy, friendship and advice.

Bachelor’s Degree Completion

Lesley supports adult students in earning their degree. Adult students have some college experience but are restarting their academic careers after time spent working or caring for their families. The advising team at the Center for the Adult Learner specializes in helping you from initial planning to graduation day.

Contact your program's advisor for more information.

Graduate Advising

You have personal goals and career ambitions. Our advisors are here to support you as you work to achieve them. In addition to guiding your course selection, your advisor provides both academic and professional mentorship.

Graduate School of Education

The Graduate School of Education considers advising an important element of the teaching and learning process. Our advisors will support you throughout your academic experience, to help you define professional aspirations, refine educational goals, and complete important milestones along the path to graduation.

You’ll have two program-affiliated advisors: a professional academic advisor and a faculty mentor, each of whom provide guidance in different areas of your graduate school and professional experiences.

Professional academic advisors are the primary student liaison, facilitating all aspects of the advising process while offering advice on a broad range of topics including university policies, course selection and sequence, registration procedures, and Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) requirements. Faculty advisors help students define a clear pathway to their chosen career and guide them in that capacity throughout the program.

Faculty and professional academic advisors collaborate frequently, jointly advising students on their academic progress and providing information on support opportunities.

Students have access to our Advising Navigation Tool (ANT), an online complement to the guidance provided by their advisors.

Graduate School of Arts & Social Sciences

Our advisors in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences will help you meet the specific requirements of your program. Each program provides students with faculty and staff support aligned with the goals and outcomes of the degree. 

Your advisor will support you as you select classes and move toward program completion. Advisors provide career and professional advice and guidance along with academic support. Each program advisor can provide more detailed information on the support available.

Contact your program's advisor for more information.