Application Requirements

To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. A degree in psychology or human services is preferred but not required. Those from international locations planning to study in the U.S. on a student or temporary visa are not eligible for admission to the digital campus at this time.

CohortsEarly Decision DeadlinePriority Application DeadlineFinal Application DeadlineClasses Begin
September 2024
May 10, 2024
June 7, 2024
July 1, 2024
September 2024

Your completed application must include the following items:

  • Transcripts: Provide both unofficial and official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions or programs attended. You may upload your unofficial transcripts directly to the online application. Official transcripts should be sent electronically to or by mail to the following address:

    Application Processing Center
    PO Box 30096 011-001
    College Station, TX 77842

    If your degree was earned from a foreign institution, a course-by-course evaluation of that transcript may be required. Approved evaluations will only be accepted from WES (World Education Services) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators).
  • Letters of recommendation: Provide at least two letters from professional or academic references who can attest to your dedication to helping others and your ability to succeed in a challenging master’s program.
  • Resume or CV: Upload your current resume or curriculum vitae detailing any clinical experiences you may have.
  • Statement of purpose: Write a statement describing your interest in earning a graduate counseling degree online. Explain how your academic and/or professional background has prepared you to succeed in the program and how you will be an asset to the Northwestern community.
  • Supplemental essay: In a clear and concise way, write about a time in your life when you had to be courageous, as well as a time when you have juggled multiple priorities, and how you handled it. Your essay should be no longer than three single-spaced pages in 12-point type.
  • Test scores: Submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within the last two years if you completed your postsecondary academic work outside the United States. These scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to Northwestern University using institution code 1565 and object code 01. GRE scores are not required for admission to the program. Note: all students must be US citizens, DACA or permanent residents living in the United States throughout the program. Non-US citizens and students living outside the United States are not eligible for the program at this time.
  • Application fee: Pay the $95 application fee by debit or credit card within the online application. Please contact an admissions counselor before submitting your priority application in order to receive an application fee waiver.

Group Interview

After your application is complete, you may be invited to participate in a peer group interview with one faculty member and up to eight other prospective students that takes place in our online classroom.

During the interview, you should demonstrate strong communication and listening skills, self-awareness, empathy, self-reflection, and maturity. Let your personality show during all four stages of the interview: 

Questions about yourself:

Answer five or six fill-in-the-blank or hypothetical questions, such as “What is your biggest weakness?”

Case studies:

Discuss how you would handle a brief case study illustrating complex client problems.

Final reflections:

Share something that had an impact on you during the interview. This can be something you learned from a fellow interviewee or something you learned about yourself.

Questions for faculty:

Ask the interviewers any questions you have about the program.

To make the interview as successful as possible, ensure that you have a stable Internet connection, and choose a quiet location free of distractions.

Financial Aid

We encourage you to apply for financial aid when you complete your online application. For more information, visit our financial aid page.

Academic Expectations

Key Skills for Success 

The Counseling@Northwestern curriculum is rigorous and challenging, preparing you for the complex cases you will encounter as a clinical mental health counselor.

To succeed as a Counseling@Northwestern student, you will need to demonstrate the following key skills throughout your enrollment.   

Effective Writing

Counseling@Northwestern is a writing-intensive program, requiring you to clearly present your thoughts, perspectives, and research in written form. In addition to writing for academia, you should be proficient at writing for the arts and sciences, health sciences, and legal audiences. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with American Psychological Association (APA) Style (7th ed) because you will be required to adhere to this style for all writing assignments.  

Listening and Self-Reflection 

You will spend much of your time in the program listening to others, whether you’re attending face-to-face classes or working with clients at your placement sites. When others are speaking, we expect you to demonstrate active listening, in which you hear what is being said and then respond meaningfully. In addition to listening, the program requires you to be in constant self-reflection. You will take part in various self-reflective experiences that challenge you to confront your perspectives so you can work effectively with diverse people in need.

Social Skills 

The core of the counseling profession is positive social interaction, and we expect you to demonstrate strong social skills from your interview through graduation. You should act respectfully toward your professors, classmates, clients, and site supervisors at all times. As part of the program, you will take a group dynamics course and participate in a group dynamics immersion that will give you a firsthand look at the complexities of counseling multiple clients at once.

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact the admissions team at 1-844-684-6221 or