Master's in Counseling Degree

M.S. in Counseling: School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Concentration

National Louis University’s Master of Science in Counseling program is designed for students who are interested in working as a school counselor or clinical mental health counselor.

Consider getting your Master's in Counseling at NLU if you:

  • Are looking for a program that’s accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Want to work as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in a clinical mental health agency setting
  • Are interested in working in a school setting or pursuing your Professional Educator License (PEL) endorsed for school support personnel and school counselors
  • Are interested in working with diverse populations
  • Want to learn from faculty who have both academic and professional counseling experience
  • Would like to have a group of fellow students with whom you can build relationships during your course of study

Why Earn a Master's in Counseling Degree at NLU?

Since 1886, National Louis University has been preparing students for success in serving the needs of others. NLU provides a foundation for those who desire to contribute to the needs of their local and global communities through personal attention and coursework that’s both practical and proven. Today, with its founders’ community activism at its roots, NLU continues to carry out this legacy by educating students to help individuals and groups through counseling. Both clinical mental health counseling and school counseling concentrations options in this program are CACREP accredited.

A Convenient, Supportive Environment

NLU recognizes many students are balancing work and family while in school, so courses are scheduled to accommodate those important commitments. Graduate classes meet just one day or evening per week. Plus, NLU students begin the program with a group of colleagues who remain together throughout the course of study. This group offers a network of support and camaraderie from day one until graduation and beyond.

What You Will Learn

  • The many facets of being a professional counselor, including the importance of advocating for clients, and adhering to ethical and legal guidelines
  • A breadth of different counseling theories and skills including technological competencies
  • An appreciation of and opportunities to deepen self-awareness
  • How to understand people from a developmental perspective with consideration for client context, culture and diversity

In NLU's Master's in Counseling program, students also complete 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship, which provide opportunities to apply classroom-based knowledge in real-world settings.

Career Outlook

Employment of counselors is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018—faster than the average for all other occupations. Numerous job openings will occur as many counselors retire or leave the profession, and more individuals are willing to seek help. School counselors will see an expansion of their responsibilities, including preventive counseling and crisis management, which will also be likely to lead to increases in their employment opportunities. Clinical mental health counselors will also see an expanded job market as insurance companies increasingly approve reimbursement to counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. 

Professional Licensure

Completion of the Master of Science in Counseling program fulfills the educational requirements to be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certified Counselors examination to become a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and/or the State of Illinois’ exam to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

It also fulfills the educational requirements, along with two or more years of full-time supervised work experience in a clinical setting, to apply to take the State of Illinois’s upper-level exam to earn a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) license. To qualify to take the LCPC exam, you must have two years' work experience (3360 hours) in addition to the Master of Science in Counseling degree.

The state of Illinois recently changed naming conventions for teaching certification types. To view the complete list of name changes, click here

Prepare for the TAP at NLU

Want to become a school counselor? If so, you'll need to pass the ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), and NLU offers various options to help you get ready. This includes three-week intensive courses that feature a personalized learning plan and are designed to develop competencies necessary to pass the TAP. Register today!

Counseling Master's Program Admission Requirements

All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements as well as additional requirements specific to this program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at nl.edu/applyonline.

Get more information today about enrolling at NLU. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888.658.8632).



Please note: The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may change the state licensure and endorsement requirements at any time and without prior notice. Teacher candidates will be bound by the requirements in place when applying for licensure, not by the licensure requirements in place when beginning their program. That is, the state may specify that a new regulation is immediately applicable to all candidates with no provisions made for candidates who began their work on licensure under different regulations.

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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  • NORTH SHORE

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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  • LISLE

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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  • WHEELING

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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  • WISCONSIN

    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
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