Become a self-reflective clinical mental health counselor with our CACREP-accredited curriculum. We offer several options to fit your background and lifestyle, including accelerated, traditional, and part-time tracks and a Bridge to Counseling Program for students new to the field.
A Collaborative Online and In-Person Experience
Counseling@Northwestern is a highly collaborative program. You will connect with your peers, professors, and other counseling professionals during online classes, in-person immersions, and clinical training experiences near your community.
Reflect on your strengths and experiences as you study key concepts alongside other students with diverse perspectives.
Provide direct counseling services to clients in need using knowledge gained during online classes and in-person immersions.
Celebrate your development by attending Counseling@Northwestern’s traditional Purple Shirt event and graduation ceremony.
Clinical Field Placement
In-person clinical experience is a cornerstone of the preparation we provide students in the master’s in counseling online program. While enrolled, you will complete both a Practicum and an Internship totaling 800 hours of real-world, in-person skill development.
When it is time to start your field education, our field placement team will help you identify Northwestern-approved sites where you can work with clients in need. You will complete your clinical placements during six consecutive terms to gradually build your skills as you earn your online counseling graduate degree. Each placement is supervised by a licensed counselor who provides ongoing feedback. Your professors and classmates will also provide valuable insight as you reflect on your clinical experiences during weekly classes.
While enrolled in the master’s in counseling online program, you will visit Chicago for two immersion experiences that provide in-depth training while enabling you to bond in person with your peers and professors.
During the first immersion, you will explore group dynamics, taking turns leading groups and being led by your classmates. Your leadership style will begin to take shape as you learn how to effectively facilitate group counseling sessions. Shortly before you earn your online counseling graduate degree, you will complete a capstone immersion that takes the place of comprehensive exams. As you present the competencies you have learned while enrolled, you will make the transition from student to aspiring practitioner who is prepared to pursue licensure and employment in the field.
Meet Our Faculty
As you pursue your online counseling graduate degree, you will learn directly from Northwestern University faculty who are practicing counselors dedicated to your development as a clinician. Our faculty will enrich your learning with their diverse perspectives and interests, which include sport psychology, neurocounseling, substance abuse, and practice with members of the LGBT community and other specific populations. As your professors weave their real-world experiences into the curriculum, you will become even better prepared to address mental health problems in diverse clients in your community.
Throughout your time in the online master’s in counseling program, our faculty will connect with you during and outside of class, and both online and in person, to build relationships that will last well into your career.
Mental Health Counselor Careers
The online Master of Arts in Counseling Program from The Family Institute at Northwestern University will prepare you to become an effective mental health counselor who works with clients from a variety of backgrounds. Some counselors work with clients affected by addiction disorders; family, marriage, and couple issues; or behavioral issues in children and adolescents.
Becoming a mental health practitioner allows you to make a difference in the lives of your clients. Mental health counselor jobs may be available in a variety of settings, including:
- Community mental health centers
- Inpatient/outpatient clinics and hospitals
- Research institutions
- University student services
- Career services
- Private practice