Licensure

Northwestern’s online Master of Arts in Counseling Program prepares students to become strong clinical mental health counselors.

Both Northwestern University’s on-campus and online Master of Arts in Counseling Program are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If you want to become a licensed clinical mental health counselor, which is required for clinical practice, you must hold a graduate degree in counseling in order to take either the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE).

Graduation from a CACREP-accredited program is the first step but does not guarantee eligibility for licensure in all states. Licensure requirements vary from state to state, with some requiring more clinical field placement hours and/or coursework than CACREP standards. You will need to take your state’s licensure exam and complete the necessary number of post-graduate supervised clinical hours in order to be fully licensed. Once students have enrolled in the program, Northwestern will work with them to meet their field placement hour requirements and discuss any postgraduate coursework requirements in their resident state. Every effort is made to help students meet licensure requirements in their state(s) of practice.

Resources for each state’s licensing board can be found below: