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Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling


Established in 1974, the Master of Arts 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 a variety of settings, such as schools, early intervention programs, community mental health, inpatient psychiatric, medical, social service and wellness settings.

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 student's 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.

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 various patient populations, beginning in the first term of study.
  • Ongoing integration of theory and practice in classroom and clinical education settings.
  • Preparation to serve diverse populations.
  • Introduction to recent developments in neuroscience as relevant to the mind-body discipline of dance/movement therapy.
  • Dance/movement therapy culminating 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 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.

Admission Requirements

Background checks:
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.

February 1, 2022

Bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in all previous coursework.

Standardized Tests:


  • 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 to Drexel University, Application Processing, PO Box 34789, Philadelphia, PA 19101 or submitted through a secure electronic delivery service to 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 relationship.

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:
    Submit an essay (1–3 typed pages) addressing interest in and aptitude for dance/movement therapy and counseling, with reference to personal, service, and arts experience. Submit your essay with your application or through the Discover Drexel portal after you submit your application.


    Upload your résumé as part of your admission application or through the Discover Drexel Portal after you submit your application.

    Select candidates will be invited to participate in an on-campus audition and interview. International applicants will be invited to submit a recorded audition and participate in a video interview.

    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.

    Faculty will conduct in-depth in-person interview with applicant consisting of review of personal, academic, interpersonal, and creative aptitudes. For international applicants will be invited to submit a recorded audition and participate in a video interview.

    Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
    A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.

    Dance Experience
    Familiarity with at least two dance or movement forms, with five years of dedicated study to at least one form in a studio or academic setting. Improvisation, teaching, performing, and/or choreography experience preferred.

    Additional Requirements for International Applicants

    • 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:
    • 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) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An official score report must be sent directly to Drexel University Application Processing. The minimum TOEFL score is 90, and the minimum IELTS score is 6.5. For more information visit the Web site:, then click on TOEFL.
    • I-20/DS-2019 and Supporting Financial Documents (international students only): After confirming attendance to Drexel, students will receive an email from ISSS with instructions for applying for their i-20/DS-2019 and submitting supporting financial documents.

    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 program. The program can be completed in a minimum of two years (seven quarters) of full-time study, although some students may take longer to complete all requirements, or opt for a decelerated plan of study. 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.

    Clinical Practice

    Students engage in dance/movement therapy clinical education in three different settings during the course of the program. 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, with different patient populations and in different types of settings. 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).

    Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program Philosophy

    The below figure illustrates the intersecting values and principles that drive the program’s philosophy and theoretical framework: (1) dance/movement, (2) development and (3) systems. These values are surrounded by cultures (e.g., cultures of inquiry, education, practice, care).

    figure of ven diagram in which dance/movement, development and systems intersect

    This framework provides students with contextual lenses through which to organize an understanding of the complexities of their clients. A developmental and systems perspective recognizes therapy as a relationship process in which the person of the therapist is essentially involved. As a program, the DMTC program exemplifies this frame in the way the curriculum is conceptualized, how the courses are structured, the way the material is delivered and, most importantly, the way that interactions with students are approached.


    Dance and movement are core to teaching and practice within the program, recognizing that dance and movement principles themselves hold theoretical integrity for the education of our students and their clinical work. The program emphasizes that:

    • The bodily experience is primary in the life of human beings.
    • Movement is an ongoing process of change.
    • The interaction between the body (the somatic, physical self) and the mind (the psyche) is reciprocal and intricate. This dynamic is critical to well-being and health, and as such, is worthy of study.


    A developmental framework is germane to both DMT and counseling, supporting our students as they develop their professional identities. In particular, the program philosophy emphasizes that the development of knowledge coexists with (a) development of the self; (b) development of professional identity; and (c) development as a tool for understanding the clients for whom we care. We apply a developmental framework to the scaffolding of the curriculum and in clinical training.


    The curriculum emphasizes didactic and experiential learning to understand the systems of the body and the structural, physiological, neurological, emotional and developmental layers of influence of these systems through assessment and intervention. Students are encouraged to look at their self-as-a-therapist as influenced by larger systemic structures and how therapeutic treatment can be a collaborative process to dismantle systems of oppression. Students engage in experiential knowledge and interdisciplinary endeavors within broader systems of care. By understanding the broader landscape, students graduate to be social advocates within their clinical roles who can influence structures that perpetuate health care disparities and inequities.

    The DMTC program is designed to train students to graduate with the following competencies:

    1. Provide individual and group DMTC services across a diverse spectrum of recipient populations and ages, including assessment, evaluation and intervention.
    2. Utilize creative processes in therapeutic work and elicit healing properties of dance and movement within a given cultural context.
    3. Apply understanding of functional, relational, developmental, and expressive aspects of movement to support health and well-being.
    4. Exercise cultural humility to work with diverse populations, applying collaboration and advocacy with respect for differences and a commitment to social justice.
    5. Critically interpret and apply research and other scholarly literature in practice, relevant to DMTC.
    6. Effectively communicate, interface, and collaborate with other professionals and members of the public as part of clinical/community practice and advocacy.
    7. Demonstrate an understanding of systems of care and professional roles within systems.
    8. Demonstrate ethical sensitivity and consistent application of ethical principles and standards of practice.
    9. Use self-awareness, reflexivity, and self-evaluation for continued professional growth.

    News & Events

    CNHP Graduation Highlights and Awards


    Stack of graduation programs for Drexel UniversityThe weeks leading up to the Drexel’s 134th Commencement were full of celebrations. Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidates from across the College of Nursing and Health Professions attended a host of CNHP and Drexel University events to recognize their accomplishments. Our nursing co-op students held their pinning ceremony, the Nutrition Sciences Department, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Graduate Nursing hosted celebrations, the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows met virtually to recognize those who completed the year-long program and the Creative Arts Therapies held their day-long Colloquia where student presented of their work.

    Graduates wearing Drexel University caps and gowns at the College of Nursing and Health Professions graduation ceremonyOn the morning of June 9 at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and with a focus on equity and purpose, Dean Laura Gitlin, PhD, welcomed graduating students, faculty, families, friends and guests to the first in-person graduation since 2019 saying, “We have all chosen lives that are, and will continue to be, motivated by an innate desire to make life better–to heal, a responsibility to serve and an obligation to advocate for those whose voices are not always heard or who do not receive equitable access to care throughout their life course.”

    Gitlin asked for graduates to see their callings as a continuation or the College’s core values. “You have the obligation, opportunity and privilege to change the lives of individuals as well as systems of care—to develop new strategies, practices and policies in your respective fields and to address health inequities,” she asserted. She encouraged them to strive to provide person-centric care and to address what matters most to those for whom they care.

    Zainab During, a master’s nursing student in Quality, Safety and Risk Management and a member of the Board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, gave the student address. Born and raised in Sierra Leone, During used her own experience of civil war in her country to demonstrate what ambition and purpose will help one accomplish. “It is with that same mindset that I was able to thrive when I immigrated to the United States 13 years ago, with the goal of one day living the American dream,” she shared. “While this goal was abstract, it gave me hope and allowed me to continue nurturing my purpose,” During continued.

    A group wearing Drexel University caps and gownsShe closed by stating what an honor it is to be graduating with the class of 2022 who she knows will do great things. “My fellow graduates, as a result of the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes acquired during the courses of our different programs, it is a privilege to follow our purpose and be given the opportunity to shine in our respective career paths.”

    Gitlin introduced Melanie Cataldi, BS ’98, CNHP’s keynote speaker. Cataldi is a committed leader and collaborator for social justice with over 21 years of experience at Philabundance including founding the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK), a culinary arts workforce development training and employment program for adults who qualify for public assistance.

    An experienced community impact strategist and a member of the 2022 People of Purpose, Cataldi began her address by referencing author and “unshakable optimist” Simon Sinek who talks a lot about “Finding Your Why.” “Your why is the thing that you give to the world, the thing that makes you who you are; it’s the fundamental core of what inspires you. My “why” is that I’m a Defender of People,” she shared. She has a superpower—seeing the big picture with the ability to develop, protect, motivate and move people forward toward a common goal.

    Two females wearing blue and gold caps and gownsFollowing the themes spoken of by Gitlin and During, Cataldi talked about how interprofessional collaboration is the only way she sees to achieving both food and health equity. “The causes of health inequity are complex and interwoven. Anti-hunger organizations and affordable housing builders, public and private entities and academic institutions are all part of the solution,” Cataldi argued.

    Acknowledging the structural and social determinants of health, like housing, education, transportation, and food, Cataldi stated that most people would argue that food and shelter are key among those because they represent the most basic of essential needs. From Cataldi’s perspective, food equity is part of the struggle of overall health equity. Looking at the last two years, what touches one affects all with long-lasting and pervasive repercussions, and what we have done to alleviate these wide-reaching problems isn’t working.

    Two people wearing Drexel University caps and gownsBecause this work will neither be easy nor quick, Cataldi challenged our graduates to find their why. “I bet if I sat down with each of you, whether your focus is research or direct service, whether you studied nursing, health administration, health sciences, nutrition, hospitality management, culinary arts and food science, creative art therapies, counseling, physician assistance or physical therapy and rehabilitation science, we would find something that is congruent with making things better—for people, for families, for communities. It’s been my experience that really understanding your “why”, your superpower, and then leveraging that in collaboration with others, is the key to success in just about everything be it family dynamics, relationships in the workplace or reaching organizational goals,” concluded Cataldi.

    Below is a list of award winners from around the College.

    Dean's Awards

    Nicholas Eltman, Dean’s Achievement Award
    Melissa Fairfield, Dean’s Social Justice Award
    June Maloney, Dean’s Clinical Service Award
    Shel Myers, Dean’s Award

    RN-BSN and Graduate Nursing Departments

    Outstanding Graduate Award
    Amy C. Plotts
    Adriana Ava Banks
    Kaitlin Balbo
    Jillian Labatch
    Anne Anderson
    Vicki Zahos
    Pam Hughes
    Joncornel Kearney
    Sarah Kendall
    Stephanie Pileggi
    Theodore A. Klitus
    Erika Lockhart
    Jessa Adiletto Lassor
    Ashley Olszewski
    Amy Elisabeth Elliott
    Melissa Fairfield
    Jordan Troxell
    Amy Elizabeth Fafard

    Thia Jackson Baugh, Online Student Recognition (RN-BSN)
    Molly Laina Scott, Outstanding Achievement (RN-BSN)

    Kristin Feightner, Kathleen Jennings-Dozier Memorial Award
    Lindsey Ho, Joyce Lazzaro Lifelong Achievement Award
    Emily Shaw, Hahnemann Hospital Nurse Alumnae Association Award

    Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Department

    Dominic DeLaurentis, Clinical Education Award
    June Maloney, Dragon Service Award
    Brianna Wagner, Leadership Award
    Natalia Oliveira, Health Equity and Social Impact Award
    Drew Petersen, Scholarly Excellence Award
    Kerri Yacovelli, PT, MSPT, OCS, Clinical Instructor Award

    Creative Arts Therapies Department

    Ming Yuan Low, PhD, PhD Program in Creative Arts Therapies Teaching Promise Award and Leadership Promise Awards
    Brigette K. Schneible, PhD Program in Creative Arts Therapies Research Promise Award
    Natalia Alvarez-Figueroa, Rachel Haimovich, Jonathon Jenkins and Cynthia Jones, Clinical Supervisors Award Lana Sommers, MA Leadership Award
    James Lavino and Lydia Patselas, MA Artistry Award
    Zevi B. Koretz, MA Service Award
    Rachel Chang, Tahsina Miah and Carolina Millard, MA Clinical Excellence Award
    Elizabeth Allen, MA Culminating Project
    Briana Marsh, Nitasha Kang And Jennifer Willbanks, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award (JEDI)
    Angela Kodokian, Lana Sommers and Taylor A. Sparks, MA Overall Achievement Award
    Hayley Beck, The Dianne Dulicai Award for Dance/Movement Therapy

    Alpha Eta Honor Society, the National Honor Society for the Allied Health Professions
    Hayley Beck
    Angela Kodokian
    James Lavino
    Ming Yuan Low
    Tahsina Miah
    Brigette Schneible
    Lana Sommers
    Taylor A. Sparks

    Written by Roberta S. Perry

    African American history is American history


    Juneteenth banner with red, black and green stripes on the left and African-American Freedom Day, Juneteenth, June 19 on the right 

    June 19, 1865 marked the beginning of an era of great hope, uncertainty and struggle for newly freed enslaved people and for our nation. It is important to know our history—African American history is American history. We are a rich part of the fabric of this country who have changed the face of urban and American culture. African Americans, 157 years later, continue to be inspired and empowered to transform their lives and make an impact on society. The ability to have our stories told is vital!

    As Imani Perry wrote for The Atlantic, “Racism is terrible. Blackness is not.

    The work I do on the CNHP Board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and my involvement in other DEI initiatives is so very critical in combating discrimination and inequity. To dismantle systemic racism and to call out the injustices that continue today against African Americans and other people of color, we know for sure it is collective work that requires input, engagement, and commitment from all of us to go on righting the wrongs of society. I believe we are called to make changes, move forward and pave the way for the next generation. We must persist in our efforts to prevent racism and violence towards others. As we celebrate Juneteenth this year think of the lives that were lost and sacrificed throughout history, the progress we’ve made in guaranteeing equity and equality and the leaders who inspire us to face today’s challenges with strength and determination.

    “Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.”  —Barack Obama, Former U.S. President

    Written by Marcia Penn, MEd, director of special projects and member of the 2022 People of Purpose cohort

    Pride Month Recognition and CNHP's DEI Initiatives


    Two hands forming a heart wearing a rainbow wrist band in front of a Gay Pride flag.“The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why Gay Pride Month is June tell them ‘A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.’” – Brenda Howard

    The first Pride March in June 1970 commemorated the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City—six days of clashes between LGBTQIA+ protesters and law enforcement. Each June, Pride Month is a celebration of the impact that the community has had on history locally, nationally and internationally.

    Of interest to health care students and professionals, May 12, 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. John Fryer’s groundbreaking speech to the American Psychiatric Association urging the group to remove homosexuality from its list of mental health disorders. His bravery is one example of multiple such efforts, which resulted in removal of the diagnosis of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1973.

    Today, BRAVE, a CNHP LGBTQIA+ community group, co-created by professional staff, students, and faculty, provides support, shares resources and plans social activities of interest to participants. While we applaud and celebrate achievements such as the recent appointment of Karine Jean-Pierre, the first Black and openly gay White House Press Secretary, there are movements across the country to silence and vilify LGBTQIA+ individuals, including children who are questioning their gender and/or sexual identity.

    Despite such hateful actions, people flock to Pride celebrations, like the PHL Pride March and Festival in Philadelphia on June 5. Support and advocacy groups continue to spring up all around the world. At CNHP, BRAVE along with Creative Arts Therapists (CATs) of Color, CATs Unlearning Whiteness and a newly forming neurodiversity group, are reaching out to the broader college community. L Polarine, 2022, MA Art Therapy and Counseling, will be presenting Raising Voices: Exploring Collective and Individual Experiences of Transgender and Gender Diverse Adults through Community Artmaking and Brandi Brubaker Simmons, 2022, MA Music Therapy and Counseling, is presenting Supporting Transgender Individuals through Healthcare Experiences using Music Therapy: A Focus on Identity and Well-being at the 2022 CAT Colloquia.

    PAMA, Physicians Assistants Minority Alliance, was developed by Lena Ward, MS `19, PA-C, a clinical instructor in the Physician Assistant Department, to improve academic success and provide support for minority PA students. The college has dedicated resources to its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative which includes an assistant dean and a Board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Members of the DEI Board, who are selected annually for a two-year term, design individual projects meant to educate, influence and create awareness with college and University constituents. They support and express pride in all CNHP groups aiming to work for social justice and health equity.

    Senator Tammy Baldwin said “there will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are.” This is what CNHP is doing through the work of the board and the office of the assistant dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and in our classrooms and the care facilities where we practice. The DEI website offers resources and information about the board and the application process. CNHP faculty, professional staff and students are encouraged to apply.

    Written by Flossie Ierardi, MM, MT-BC, LPC, associate clinical professor emerita, Creative Arts Therapies and member of the Board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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