Bridge to Counseling Program

No matter how little academic or professional counseling experience you have, you can make a difference as a mental health counselor through our Bridge to Counseling Program. Unique to The Family Institute at Northwestern University, the Bridge Program gives you a strong foundation that eases you into our rigorous curriculum so you can fully grasp graduate-level concepts.

If your undergraduate degree is not in psychology or a related field, you lack paid or volunteer counseling experience, or you are interested in a deeper orientation to the counseling field, you are encouraged to apply to the Bridge Program.

The Counseling@Northwestern admissions committee will make the final decision about which program you should enroll in, should you be admitted.

The Bridge Program features the same 24-course sequence as the Standard Program, with an additional introductory, three-course quarter that orients you to the key theories, concepts, and applied aspects of the field. The program can be completed on an accelerated full-time, traditional, or part-time basis.

California regulations require the equivalent of at least two quarters of coursework in order to begin your Practicum season. Therefore, California residents are only eligible for admission to the traditional and part-time tracks. 

Sample course schedules for each track can be found below:

Bridge Program: Accelerated Track
Bridge Program: Traditional Track
Bridge Program: Part-Time Track

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Bridge Program: Accelerated Track Sample Course Sequence (Seven-Quarter)

QuarterCourse Title
Bridge477-6: Introduction to Clinical Practice
Bridge478-6: Introduction to Clinical Interviewing
Bridge479-6: Current Topics in Counseling
1480-6: Counseling Methods: Skills for Counseling and Psychotherapy
1416-6: Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy
1483-6: Ethics and Legal Issues in Counseling
1486-6: Supervised Practicum
2481-6: Counseling Methods: Strategies for Counseling and Psychotherapy
2426-6: Assessment of Counseling (Adult/Child)
2412-6: Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
2487-6: Supervised Practicum
3482-6: Counseling Methods: Outreach, Prevention & Advocacy
3Required Human Development Course
3415-6: Psychopathology in Counseling
3488-6: Supervised Practicum
4484-6: Cultural Diversity in Counseling
4411-6: Individual Systems: Psychodynamic Viewpoints
4Required Specialization Course
4489-6: Supervised Internship
5422-6: Foundations of Family, Marital and Couples Counseling
5406-6: Research Methods in Counseling
5452-6: Theory & Technique of Substance Abuse
5490-6: Supervised Internship
6427-6: Career Development
6485-6: Advanced Topics in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
6Elective
6491-6: Supervised Internship
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Bridge Program: Traditional Track Sample Course Sequence (10-Quarter)

QuarterCourse Title
Bridge477-6: Introduction to Clinical Practice
Bridge478-6: Introduction to Clinical Interviewing
Bridge479-6: Current Topics in Counseling
1416-6: Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy
1484-6: Cultural Diversity in Counseling
2452-6: Theory & Technique of Substance Abuse
2426-6: Assessment in Counseling (Adult/Child)
3483-6: Ethics and Legal Issues
3411-6: Individual Systems: Psychodynamic Viewpoints
4480-6: Counseling Methods: Skills for Counseling and Psychotherapy
4415-6: Psychopathology in Counseling
4486-6: Supervised Practicum
5Required Human Development Course
5481-6: Counseling Methods: Strategies for Counseling and Psychotherapy
5487-6: Supervised Practicum
6412-6: Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
6482-6: Counseling Methods: Outreach, Prevention & Advocacy
6488-6: Supervised Practicum
7Required Specialization Course
7422-6: Foundations of Family, Marital and Couples Counseling
7489-6: Supervised Internship
8406-6: Research Methods in Counseling
8Elective
8490-6: Supervised Internship
9427-6: Career Development
9485-6: Advanced Topics in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
9491-6: Supervised Internship
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Bridge Program: Part-Time Track Sample Course Sequence (13-Quarter)

QuarterCourse Title
Bridge477-6: Introduction to Clinical Practice
Bridge478-6: Introduction to Clinical Interviewing
Bridge479-6: Current Topics in Counseling
1416-6: Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy
1484-6: Cultural Diversity in Counseling
2426-6: Assessment in Counseling (Adult/Child)
2452-6: Theory & Technique of Substance Abuse
3411-6: Individual Systems: Psychodynamic Viewpoints
3427-6: Career Development
4Required Human Development Course
4422-6: Foundations of Family, Marital, and Couples Counseling
5Required Specialization Course
5412-6: Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
6483-6: Ethics and Legal Issues in Counseling
6415-6: Psychopathology in Counseling
7480-6: Counseling Methods: Skills for Counseling and Psychotherapy
7486-6: Supervised Practicum
8481-6: Counseling Methods: Strategies for Counseling and Psychotherapy
8487-6: Supervised Practicum
9482-6: Counseling Methods: Outreach, Prevention & Advocacy
9488-6: Supervised Practicum
10Elective
10489-6: Supervised Internship
11490-6: Supervised Internship
11406-6: Research Methods in Counseling
12485-6: Advanced Topics in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
12491-6: Supervised Internship

See the full list of course descriptions.

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