Lesley University

| Staff Writers

Lesley University was established when the Lesley Normal School merged with the Art Institute of Boston in 1998 after nearly a decade of women’s liberal arts education. By 2005, Lesley welcomed men as a private, co-educational teaching institution in the New England Collegiate Conference. Endowed for $172.7 million, Lesley University now educates around 1,800 undergrad and 7,700 post-grad Lynx under President Jeff A. Weiss’ leadership. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lesley’s 13.76-acre urban campus stands in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ fifth most-populous city. Named America’s 399th “Best College for Psychology” on Niche, Lesley is ranked the 197th best national university by the USNWR.

Lesley University Accreditation Details

Last reaffirmed in 2015 for 10 years, Lesley University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). This regional agency is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to certify colleges in six states, including Massachusetts. Although Lesley isn’t CACREP-accredited, relevant programmatic approvals are maintained with the following:

• Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
• National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
• American Art Therapy Association (AATA)
• American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)

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Lesley University Application Requirements

Classified as “selective,” Lesley University had a Fall 2015 acceptance rate of 69 percent. Entering the B.A. or B.S. programs is reserved for freshmen holding a state-approved high school diploma and GED equivalent. Admission relies on a strong college-prep curriculum with four years of English, math, and science. Carrying a cumulative GPA of 3.1 or better is generally required, but the average is 3.4. First-year Lesley students present a mean SAT score of 1160 and ACT score of 23.

Bachelor’s-level transfers are welcomed with a maximum of 90 credits from regionally accredited colleges and 2.5 GPA. International students have the extra step of passing the TOEFL with a minimum 80 iBT or 500 pBT score. Graduate admission for M.A. students will require finishing an accredited baccalaureate with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Scoring in the top 50th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test is preferred. Doctoral candidates need a master’s degree, minimum 3.5 GPA, 18 prerequisite credits, and counseling experience.

Lesley University has established an Early Action deadline of December 1st and Regular Admission deadline of February 15th for undergrads. Graduate psychology and counseling programs are open until May 1st. Please submit the Common Application form with:

• $50 non-refundable application fee
• Official transcripts from each school
• Test scores (SAT, ACT, or MAT only)
• Two letters of recommendation
• Personal statement of 900-1,500 words
• Digital portfolio of 20 images if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time bachelor’s students are charged $13,150 per semester. Studying at Lesley part-time costs undergrads $850 per credit. Room and board is estimated to add $4,785 and $3,090 respectively each semester. Undergrads also pay the $400 health service fee and $300 housing deposit for total annual cost of attendance at $45,265. M.A. in Counseling programs charge $975 per credit with a $40 registration fee per semester. The Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology bills slightly more at $9,914 each term.

The NCES reports that 98 percent of full-time Lesley Lynx receive financial assistance packages with an average worth of $9,765. Institutional awards, such as the Dean’s Scholarship, Opportunity Scholarship, Edith Lesley Wolfard Scholarship, and Urban Scholars Initiative, are bountiful. City Year Corps members and alumni receive 25 percent tuition discounts. Graduates could earn the Counseling and Psychology Fellowship for up to $12,000. Completing the FAFSA may open Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or Perkins and Stafford loan funding. Residents of the “Bay State” should apply for the MASS Grant, Massachusetts Part-Time Grant, and Herter Memorial Scholarship. Federal Work-Study jobs pay out bi-weekly paychecks too.

Psychology and Counseling Degrees at Lesley

Lesley University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences stands on Everett Street to award six academic programs in the Psychology & Applied Therapies Division. There are also online offerings like the B.S in Human Services and Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) like Mindfulness Studies. Thanks to the 9:1 student-faculty ratio, classes typically have 11 to 15 students for close interaction with doctoral-trained professors. Follow your interests in mental health with these Lesley degrees:

B.A. in Psychology

Featuring a 92 percent placement rate, the B.A. in Psychology is a 43-credit major giving Lesley Lynx the fundamental knowledge of behavior and mental processes for application in therapeutic settings. Undergrads could benefit from volunteering with Project Hope, interning at Franciscan Children’s Hospital, adding the Holistic Studies specialization, joining the Psychology Club, studying abroad from Oslo to Taipei, and more.

B.S. in Expressive Arts Therapy

Dually approved by the AATA and AMTA, the B.S. in Expressive Arts Therapy is a pre-professional, 49-credit major focused on integrating music, dance, theatre, creative writing, and fine arts into client-therapist relationships. Courses span from psychodrama to digital photography and personality therapy with 400+ practicum hours. There’s also a Five-Year B.S./M.A. option for saving 50 percent of graduate tuition.

B.S. in Counseling

Integrating at least 400 fieldwork hours, the B.S. in Counseling at Lesley University develops emotional intelligence within cognitive and behavioral study to springboard into top-notch graduate schools. The 49-credit major involves courses like crisis intervention, group dynamics, art therapy, and case management with an optional Honors Program. Students could also conduct service in Costa Rica and join the Child Homelessness Initiative.

M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Offering LMHC credentialing, Lesley’s M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling transforms full- or part-time students into reflective, ethical practitioners for addressing individual, family, or group therapy needs. The 60-credit curriculum offers four optional specializations in School and Community, Holistic Studies, Trauma Studies, or Professional Counseling with 1,300 hours of supervised field practicum at organizations like Cambridge Health Alliance.

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Delivered in Cambridge over two years full-time, the 48-credit M.A. in Counseling Psychology program allows Lesley graduates to earn licensure for clinical practice and/or prepare for doctoral study. Majors could add the School Counseling Specialization or Trauma Studies Certificate. Over 700 fieldwork hours are completed at partnering agencies, including McLean Hospital, Boston Public Schools, and AIDS Action Committee.

Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology

Consisting of 48 credits, the Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology is a three-year, post-master’s program focused in Transformative Leadership, Education, and Applied Research for utilizing science to enhance mental well-being. Cohorts commute to Cambridge one weekend each month to study strengths-based psychotherapies before their dissertation. Ph.D. candidates at Lesley University access cutting-edge labs like the Expressive Therapies Research Center.

Recommended article: 35 Best Master’s Degrees in Art Therapy, Ranked by Affordability

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