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Certificate in Somatic Studies


Somatic practices emphasize the unity of mind and body as experienced from within, and complement disciplines of inquiry that primarily study knowledge about the human body and mind. Though relatively new to Western thought, somatic practices are recognized in numerous ancient and contemporary cultures not only as beneficial to physical health, but also as methods for cultivation of mind and discovery of knowledge. Such experience may inform knowledge in such areas as biology, neuroscience, physics, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and religious studies. Somatic practices also have applied value in professions such as education, performing arts, athletics, medicine, and physical therapy.

The Certificate in Somatic Studies offers a diverse spectrum of movement experiences and techniques aimed at self-awareness and self-knowledge, rather than artistic public performance. With the coordinator’s approval a maximum of 3 units of course work from other disciplines may be applied to the Certificate in Somatic Studies.

Undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs offered by University College are offered through Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Business-related programs in University College are not accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).


Our advisors go the extra mile to help you navigate your path and needs. We will provide you with the tools to make each moment spent on your education as valuable as possible. Students will receive:

  • individual appointments with an experienced advisor;
  • career planning services to prepare you for opportunities after graduation;
  • a partner throughout your journey to ensure success.

Schedule an Appointment

We have suspended in-person advising appointments temporarily according to the university’s response to COVID-19. Students should not come to campus, but advisors are still available to help you by email, phone or Zoom.​​​​ 

Student advising is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. 

Lily Dollan

 Lily Dollan
Academic Advisor 

Rebecca O'Laughlin

 Rebecca O'Laughlin
Academic Advisor

Meet with Lily

Meet with Rebecca

required course work

Required Courses: 15 units

The program is composed of a minimum of 15 credit units of course work, including the required 2-unit course, Introduction to Somatic Practices (U31 285), an introductory survey of a variety of practices offered in the program, complemented by lectures on related disciplines such as biology, philosophy, and psychology.

Students choose an additional 13 units from the courses noted below according to individual interests and goals. With the coordinator’s approval a maximum of 3 units of other course work, including courses from other disciplines, may be applied to the Certificate in Somatic Studies.

  • Body Conditioning (U31 104)
  • Intro to Dance as a Contemporary Art Form (U31 106 )
  • Topics in Dance: Alexander Technique (U31 110)
  • Beginning T’ai Chi Ch’uan I (U31 115)
  • Beginning T’ai Chi Ch’uan II (U31 116)
  • Body-Mind Balance (U31 119)
  • Yoga and Relaxation Techniques (U31 120)
  • Dance Workshop (U21 157)
  • Authentic Movement & Body-Mind Integration (U31 176)
  • Languages of Movement Expression (U31 177)
  • Introduction to Pilates (U31 208)
  • Awareness Through Movement: The Feldenkrais Method (U31 209)
  • Contact Improvisation (U31 212)
  • The Experiential Body (U31 217)
  • Intermediate Yoga (U31 220)
  • Mind Body Movement: Yoga and Pilates (U31 221)
  • Introduction to Somatic Practices -- Required (U31 285)
  • Movement for Writers (U31 290)
  • Special Studies in Somatics (U31 385)
  • Teaching Creative Movement to Children (U31 411)
  • Topics in Dance: Dance/Movement Therapy (U31 423)
  • Applied Anatomy for the Performing Artist (U31 430)
  • Somatic Awareness Approaches I: Somatic Psychology (U31 433)
  • Somatic Awareness Approaches II: Methodology (U31 436)

Take a course today. Apply later.

At University College, students can take courses without applying to a degree program. If you are interested in taking a class to get to know University College, to fulfill credits, for professional development, or to follow a passion, the non-degree option is for you. Learn more.

admissions requirements

There are no formal requirements for admission to undergraduate certificates. Students should speak with an academic advisor regarding their preparation for specific certificates or courses.

U.S. Citizenship or Eligible Noncitizen

University College cannot sponsor an I-20 for any certificate program. International students are eligible to apply for a certificate program if they already hold a visa that permits part-time study. International students holding a B-2 or F-2 visa are only permitted to register for courses that are recreational or avocational.


University College is designed for students with adult responsibilities who may require part-time and flexible course schedules. Current high school students and recent graduates seeking a traditional WashU college experience should apply through the undergraduate admissions office:

application requirements

Application Deadlines

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and typically take four to six weeks. Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by the following dates:

  • SPRING 2021: DEC. 30, 2020
  • SUMMER 2021: APRIL 15, 2021
  • FALL 2021: JULY 15, 2021
Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed.

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Still have questions?

Program Coordinator: David Marchant | (314) 935-4476 |

Academic Advisor: Lily M. Dollan | (314) 935-3499 | LILY.M@WUSTL.EDU

Academic Advisor: Rebecca O'Laughlin | (314) 935-6742 | ROLAUGHLIN@WUSTL.EDU