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.
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.
Priority: January 1, 2023
Regular: February 1, 2023
Bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in all previous coursework.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Interview: 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.
A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.
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.
- 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) 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: www.ets.org, 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.
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).
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:
- Provide individual and group DMTC services across a diverse spectrum of recipient populations and ages, including assessment, evaluation and intervention.
- Utilize creative processes in therapeutic work and elicit healing properties of dance and movement within a given cultural context.
- Apply understanding of functional, relational, developmental, and expressive aspects of movement to support health and well-being.
- Exercise cultural humility to work with diverse populations, applying collaboration and advocacy with respect for differences and a commitment to social justice.
- Critically interpret and apply research and other scholarly literature in practice, relevant to DMTC.
- Effectively communicate, interface, and collaborate with other professionals and members of the public as part of clinical/community practice and advocacy.
- Demonstrate an understanding of systems of care and professional roles within systems.
- Demonstrate ethical sensitivity and consistent application of ethical principles and standards of practice.
- Use self-awareness, reflexivity, and self-evaluation for continued professional growth.