Established in 1974, the two-year master’s program in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling educates students for creative, responsive and effective therapy practice. This unique program addresses both the art and science of dance/movement therapy. The graduate work develops students’ personal, creative, cognitive, and movement resources so they can effectively engage in therapeutic movement relationships that facilitate access to these resources in their clients.
Dance/movement therapy is defined as the psychotherapeutic use of movement in a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical integration of the individual. The profession is positioned to meet an increasing interest in mind-body approaches to mental and physical health that have emerged in health profession circles and in the general public.
Upon graduation, students go on to work in schools, early intervention programs, community mental health, inpatient psychiatric, medical, social service, and wellness settings. Students also pioneer new frontiers in therapy application.
The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program's 90-quarter-credit curriculum is designed to meet the Pennsylvania Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) educational requirements. Be advised, however, that licensure requirements vary widely from state to state, and may change at any time. Therefore, if you are or will be interested in counseling licensure in the future, you are strongly advised to access and check the requirements for any state(s) in which you plan to work and practice. It is the students' responsibility to know and understand the requirements for any type of future licensure.
What you'll learn
The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program integrates dance and movement into a whole-person approach to mental health.
Students learn to apply the Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to the evaluation of individual and group functioning and to the design of therapy interventions. The program also recognizes the importance of the therapist's function on a treatment team and fosters students' abilities to communicate valuable knowledge that may not be available to the team through strictly verbal treatment approaches.
Key program components include:
- Collaborative education in a small dance/movement therapy student cohort.
- An educational environment vitalized by faculty member involvement in clinical practice, scholarship, and professional service.
- Supervised dance/movement therapy clinical education experiences in three different settings, with both children and adults, beginning in the first term of study.
- Ongoing integration of theory and practice in classroom and clinical education settings.
- Preparation to serve multiculturally diverse populations.
- Introduction to recent developments in neuroscience as relevant to the mind-body discipline of dance/movement therapy.
- Dance/movement therapy research and capstone project guided by a multidisciplinary advisory committee.
What makes the Drexel Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program unique?
- Learning enrichment derived from interaction with students and faculty from other creative arts therapy disciplines.
- Specialty elective coursework in medical applications of dance/movement therapy.
- Opportunity to enroll in dance classes and audition for the Drexel Dance Ensemble.
- You are part of the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions with access to various practice environments and educational facilities.
The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.
Visit the Compliance pages for more information.
As a student of the College of Nursing and Health Professions you will be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, child and elder abuse checks, drug test, immunizations, physical exams, health history, and/or other types of screening before being permitted to begin clinical training.
You will not need to submit documentation of these requirements as part of your application to the master’s program. Failure to fully satisfy these requirements as directed upon enrollment may prevent assignment to a clinical site for training. A background check that reflects a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may affect your ability to be placed in certain facilities, and later, to become board certified and licensed.
Completed applications due by April 1 for the following Fall. After April 1, applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
Bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
- Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
- Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
- If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
- Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions
- Familiarity with at least two dance or movement forms, with a minimum of five years dedicated study to at least one form in a studio or academic setting.
- Creative dance or movement improvisation experience.
- Teaching, performing and/or choreography experience preferred.
- Liberal Arts coursework, including coursework in Social Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Human Development or Anthropology).
- Volunteer or paid experience in a helping relationsip.
Three letters of recommendation required. At least two recommendations should be from current or former academic instructors. Letters of recommendation should be requested and submitted electronically through your online application.
Personal Statement/ Essay:
This 300-750 word typed essay that addresses interest in and aptitude for dance/movement therapy and counseling, with reference to personal, service and arts experience.
Select candidates will be invited to participate in an on-campus movement audition and interview. Due to the number of applications received, we are not able to schedule an audition/interview with every applicant.
Audition: The movement audition involves a group improvisational experience. We are primarily interested in how you communicate, express yourself and interact through movement. Applicants need not prepare anything. Those living overseas may submit videotape or DVD in lieu of movement audition. International candidates should request instructions about these requirements with admission materials and are advised to begin admission process early.
Interview: Faculty will conduct in-depth in-person interview with applicant consisting of review of personal, academic, interpersonal, and creative aptitudes. For international applicants, telephone interview or video chat may be substituted for in-person interview.
Required. Include relevant education, dance, work and service/volunteer experience.
A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.
- Transcript Evaluation: All international students applying to a graduate program must have their transcripts evaluated by the approved agency: World Education Services (WES), 212.966.6311, Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087, Web site: www.wes.org/.
- TOEFL: Applicants who have not received a degree in the United States are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An official score report must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. For more information visit the Web site: www.ets.org, then click on TOEFL.
- I-20/DS-2019 and Supporting Financial Documents (international students only): Please print, complete, and submit the I-20/DS-2019 Application Form (PDF).
International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
P.O. Box 8629
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629
215.222.8454, ext. 603
Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
3600 Market St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central
Application Link (if outside organization):
The MA in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling is a 90-quarter credit curriculum that can be completed on a two year full-time plan of study or a three year decelerated plan of study (per-term credit loads still meet university full-time minimums for financial aid eligibility). The majority of classes are taught in-person on Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions campus in Center City, Philadelphia with select classes offered online.
The coursework consists of both Dance/Movement Therapy-specific and general mental health counseling coursework. Dance/Movement Therapy-specific topics include:
- Theory and practice with child and adult populations
- Social and cultural foundations in dance/movement therapy
- Laban movement analysis
- Movement perspectives in human development
- Mental health applications of movement assessment
- Therapy relationship skills
- Group dynamics in dance/movement therapy
- Movement observation
Mental health counseling coursework covers theories and skills in:
- Human psychological development
- Psychopathology and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Social and cultural foundations in counseling
- Behavioral research
- Group dynamics in counseling
- Theories of counseling and psychotherapy
- Career counseling
- Clinical appraisal and diagnosis
- Professional ethics
- Foundations of Creative Art Therapies
Clinical experience is integrated with classroom learning, with students participating in two practicums and one internship throughout the course of the program. Students receive both individual and small group clinical supervision. For more information on the clinical education component of the Dance/Movement Therapy program, click on the "Clinical Practices" tab above.
A Culminating Project rounds out the curriculum. Second-or third-year students conduct a Culminating Project that integrates practice with theory and/or research. Under the guidance of their Culminating Project advisor, students design a project that explores aspects of both their respective Creative Arts Therapies discipline and counseling. Examples of Culminating Projects include development of a method, a community engagement project, research thesis or artistic project. Culminating Projects may be connected to a student's internship, but it is not a requirement. At the end of each academic year, students present their Culminating Projects to peers, faculty, friends and family at their respective program's Colloquium. Students are also encouraged to submit projects to regional and national conferences when applicable.
The Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling program is approved by the American Dance Therapy Association.
Students engage in dance/movement therapy clinical education in three different settings during the course of their two years of study. In both years individual clinical supervision is supplemented by small group mental health and dance/movement therapy supervision in the academic setting, a reflection of the program’s commitment to clinical supervision as a learning tool.
In the first year students are placed in two practicum experiences, one with children or adolescents and the other with adults. The student has the opportunity to observe and practice beginning therapy skills with the role modeling and support of an on-site dance/movement therapist.
Students are actively involved in the selection of their second year internship sites with respect to their individual learning needs and interests. The second year internship offers an opportunity for students to mature and specialize as clinical interns over the course of a full academic year. The student functions as an integral member of an on-site treatment team. Students participate in individual supervision with a dance/movement therapist holding the advanced credential of BC-DMT (Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist).