A Rigorous, CACREP-Accredited Master’s Program
The online Master of Arts in Counseling Program requires you to meet high academic standards so you can become an effective practitioner who works successfully with diverse clients.
As a student, you will gradually build your knowledge as you explore topics such as ethics, multiculturalism, advocacy, outreach, life span development, and evidence-based practice. The curriculum introduces you to many counseling approaches but focuses on psychodynamic theory and application, which examines the conscious and unconscious forces that may affect your work with clients.
The Counseling@Northwestern curriculum is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which evaluates counseling programs nationwide. Many states require you to earn a master’s degree from a CACREP-accredited program as part of the counselor licensure process.
Counseling@Northwestern offers two programs so you can earn your master’s degree no matter how much counseling experience you have. Both programs are offered full time and part time.
As a Bridge or Standard Program student, you may declare a Child and Adolescent specialization, which prepares you to work effectively with young people facing mental illness. Specialization courses are included in the total number of courses required to earn your MA in Counseling degree.
Before you can facilitate healing as a counselor, you need to fully understand yourself and how your background could affect the therapy you provide. Counseling@Northwestern offers two self-reflective experiences that help you understand what you bring to the counseling relationship to maximize your clinical efficacy with clients.
Hands-On Clinical Training
Clinical training is critical to your development as a counselor, and the Counseling@Northwestern curriculum gives you six full quarters of Practicum and Internship experience at suitable, faculty-approved sites. During each clinical experience, you will also complete relevant coursework and attend in-person immersions that support what you are learning at your field sites.
The 200-hour Practicum introduces you to the various responsibilities of a professional counselor. You will spend 50 hours working face to face with clients while supervised by a licensed counselor.
The 600-hour Internship enables you to assume all the functions and characteristics of a counselor as you continue to provide supervised, direct services to clients.
While enrolled, you will make two brief trips to Chicago, where you will continue to develop your counselor identity while strengthening your relationships with peers and faculty. The Group Dynamics Immersion prepares you to effectively lead and participate in group counseling sessions, while the Capstone Immersion Experience enables you to share your competencies and your overall counselor growth with your colleagues and other faculty members.