An Online Experience That Fosters Your Development as a Counselor

The counseling profession is personal and hands-on, and so is the process of developing clinical mental health counselors. Counseling@Northwestern has been carefully designed by The Family Institute at Northwestern University to give you a rigorous yet intimate experience that prepares you to define your Northwestern Direction as an effective practitioner.

“It’s amazing how one can develop rapport and relationships with students teaching online. It’s not a necessity to be lecturing face to face in a traditional classroom to do that. . .I thoroughly enjoy teaching online.”


Take a Northwestern Direction Online:

The Northwestern Direction is a path you take to define yourself and your career as you pursue your master’s degree at Northwestern University.

Lasting Connections That Lead to Ongoing Networking Opportunities

Building relationships is a key skill for counselors, and Counseling@Northwestern gives you myriad opportunities to connect with diverse faculty and classmates during and outside of classes. Each week, you will attend live class sessions with an average of 10 students taught by expert Northwestern professors. You will also meet with your peers and professors for study sessions and office hours through the online campus.

Our online learning environment enables you to tap into our unique growth mindset so you can achieve your goals no matter how much counseling experience you have, and no matter where you live in the United States.

“I had no idea I would form these amazing and supportive relationships. While I initially thought the drawback to an online class might be a lack of interaction and limited opportunity to cultivate friendships; this has not been the case at all. In fact, my circle has widened to include colleagues of various backgrounds.”


Online Campus:

Attend classes, study sessions, office hours, and social events such as happy hours and meditation classes.

Challenging Coursework That Reinforces Key Theories

As a professional counselor, you will work with people from diverse backgrounds, so it’s important to learn, observe, and practice many theoretical approaches. Our faculty work with experienced video producers to translate their on-campus courses into compelling online assignments that reinforce the theories you learn in class. You can use our mobile application to complete coursework from anywhere, with or without an Internet connection.

“We discussed many widely used counseling approaches and explored how they align or differ from other theoretical orientations, as well as conceptualize cases using a number of these theories. This has helped me to become a more flexible counselor with the ability to integrate tools from various schools of thought to meet the needs of my clients.”


Roundtable discussions: Explore diverse viewpoints as you watch faculty discuss key topics with aspiring counselors.

Evaluate different counseling approaches as you observe and analyze client-counselor interactions.

Self-Reflective Practice:

Discover how your identity could affect your counseling as you participate in group discussions and attend in-person events.

Online and In-Person Experiences That Boost Your Awareness

To be an effective counselor, you need to know more than theoretical approaches: You also need to know yourself. Your experiences, biases, and personality dimensions impact the therapeutic services you provide, and it’s important to address any factors that could influence or interfere with your counseling.

“The level of reflective practice that we have is above anything I’ve ever seen. Research shows that people who burn out are those who don’t have this reflective practice.”


Reflective practitioner supervision: Explore the facets of your identity that could affect your counseling during weekly group supervisor trainings.

Two in-person immersions: Develop your counselor identity as you explore group dynamics and present your original research to peers and faculty in Chicago.

Visit our curriculum page to learn more.

Student Support:

Take advantage of our vast support network, available from the moment you inquire about the program through after you graduate.

Services That Enhance Your Experience as a Student and a Clinician

Prospective Students

As you explore which counseling master’s program is the best fit for you, our admissions team will provide detailed, personalized information to help you make your decision. If you choose to apply, we will walk you through each step of submitting your best application.

Share your goals with a personal admissions counselor who will answer your questions when it’s most convenient for you

Gain program insights during live online information sessions, including panel discussions with currently enrolled students.

Current Students

“I chose Counseling@Northwestern due to the program’s mission, vision, and values and how they aligned with my own. The program helped enhance these personal and professional values through the faculty, academic curriculum, and especially the endless amount of available resources.”


Once you enroll, our student support team will give you a tour of the online campus so you feel confident using the technology when classes start. As you progress through the program, you will work with a number of professionals who are here to make your experience successful.

A placement specialist helps you find Northwestern-approved placements that are located in proximity to your community.

A technical support specialist is available to provide live assistance during each of your weekly class sessions.

An academic adviser helps you choose a class schedule that reflects your interests and meets the program requirements.

A counseling librarian shows you how to locate academic resources as you complete your weekly coursework.

Stand Out in your Field with LinkedIn Premium Career

As a student in Counseling@Northwestern, you will receive access to LinkedIn Premium Career to help you showcase your new mental health counseling skills and gain exclusive insights that other applicants may not have. Your membership includes the following tools and resources:

  • The ability to send InMail messages directly to job posters and recruiters
  • Insight into who’s viewed your profile in the last 90 days
  • Applicant Insights to see how you compare to others
  • Access to in-demand skills through LinkedIn Learning
  • Instant access to salary insights and career data
  • Interactive interview preparation to practice for job interviews
  • Resume review by an expert coach


After completing the program requirements, you will become a lifelong member of The Family Institute and Northwestern University alumni communities. You can choose to attend our on-campus commencement ceremony before going on to pursue licensure and employment as a self-reflective, empathetic clinical mental health counselor.

Get feedback on your resume and cover letter, and enhance your interviewing skills with our career services team.

Network with thousands of accomplished alumni who could connect you with opportunities nationwide.