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Master's in Counseling Degree

M.S. in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Florida campus)

National Louis University’s master of science in counseling program is designed for students who are interested in working as a clinical mental health counselor.

Choose NLU's master's in counseling degree program if you:

  • Want to work as a licensed professional counselor in a clinical mental health agency setting
  • 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



  • 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.

Mission Statement

The mission of the NLU counseling program is to train highly competent and humane individuals who are interested in working in clinical mental health agencies in urban, suburban, small town, and rural areas. The faculty is committed to providing experiential opportunities for students that link research and theory with hands-on experiences aimed at promoting personal, scholarly, and professional development. The counseling curriculum prepares individuals to become licensed professional counselors. Students will be trained to be diversity-sensitive counselors with expertise for working in an increasingly global society.

In pursuit of this mission, the program has the following goals and outcomes:

Program Goals

The program faculty design the program and individual courses in such a way as to:

PG 1: Provide students with the academic training and professional experiences needed to develop counseling knowledge and skills, including technological competencies as a professional counselor.

PG 2: Provide students with opportunities for self-reflection, and to impress upon students the necessity of continuing education, as well as the need for ongoing personal self-awareness and growth.

PG 3: Instill in students an appreciation for the worth of each individual, a developmental perspective on human growth over the lifespan, and an awareness of the importance of context, culture, and diversity.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

At the completion of the master’s degree in counseling, students will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to apply code of ethics and legal standards in the profession.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply the multicultural competencies in diversity, multiculturalism, and advocacy.
  3. Describe and apply theories of individual and family development across the lifespan.
  4. Describe and apply theories and models of career development, counseling and decision-making.
  5. Describe, compare, contrast and apply major counseling skills and approaches to practice.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to select and utilize assessments for diagnostic and intervention planning purposes.
  7. Describe, compare, contrast and apply major counseling theories to practice.
  8. Demonstrate effective group leadership through the application of theoretical foundations and techniques of group counseling, process and development.
  9. Demonstrate awareness of personal characteristics and behaviors that influence the counseling process and engage in ongoing personal and professional self-evaluation and implications for practice.
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of evidence-based, ethical, and culturally relevant research in advancing the counseling profession.


Professional Conduct

Students are expected to adhere to professional standards outlined by the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics. Additionally, students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior:

  • Interpersonal interactions with others
  • Appropriate self-awareness and self-evaluation
  • Openness to professional feedback and supervision
  • Ability to resolve problems effectively and professionally

Students who fail to demonstrate professional behavior may be subject to a variety of university interventions. Outcomes may include advisement, remediation, or dismissal from the program. Students will receive feedback regarding personal, academic and professional strengths, weaknesses, and performance as they progress through the program.


Diversity Statement

The master of science in counseling program is committed to the achievement of excellence and diversity for its students, faculty, and staff. The program is committed to recruiting and educating students who reflect the diversity of the community they serve. Program curriculum is oriented to promoting an understanding and respect for multiple perspectives that are represented in today's world.

Completion of the master of science in counseling program fulfills the educational requirements to become a licensed professional counselor.

In the state of Florida, licensure by examination requires: 

  • Master's or doctoral degree and coursework as required by the state in the content area
  • Supervised clinical internship, practicum or fieldwork
  • Two years of supervised clinical experience in mental health counseling
  • Passing score on the national clinical exam
  • Completing a board-approved 8-hour continuing laws and rules course
  • Completing a 3-hour course on HIV/AIDS from an approved CE center

Laws and rules can be found at

NLU recognizes many students are balancing work and family while in school working towards their counseling degree, so courses are scheduled to accommodate those important commitments. We meet you were you are with a synchronous online program that combines the intimacy of a real classroom with the convenience of online learning from wherever you want, or need to be.  The program offers a network of support and camaraderie from day one until graduation and beyond.

Employment of counselors is expected to grow by 13% between 2016 and 2026—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. Clinical mental health counselors will see an expanded job market as insurance companies increasingly approve reimbursement to counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists.

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.

  • A completed application, available at
  • Official transcripts from all institutions where a degree was earned. Official e-transcripts are acceptable and must be sent directly from the issuing institution to
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Professional resume.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) for undergraduate level work toward the bachelor’s degree earned for unconditional admission. Admission with 2-course review may be approved for a grade point average below 3.0 for all undergraduate work.
  • Proof of English language proficiency is required if English is not the applicant’s native language and/or the applicant’s high school degree was earned outside the U.S. This requirement may be waived if the applicant has proof of completion of a high school degree for undergraduate admission, or a bachelor’s degree for graduate admission, at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction. Learn more about proof of English language proficiency.
  • Personal/professional goal statement with specific personal and professional goals and a self-appraisal of specific strengths and challenges.
  • A minimum of three professional letters of recommendation, addressing topics/questions as established and periodically revised by the faculty. Letters of recommendation must be written by individuals who know the candidate from an academic or professional perspective and are able to comment on the candidate’s capacity for undertaking graduate studies.
  • Interview with a member of the program admissions committee.
  • All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements, as well as additional requirements specific to this master's of counseling program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at

All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements, as well as additional requirements specific to this master's of counseling program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at

Get more information today about enrolling in one of NLU's degree programs. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888-658-8632).

For this Florida-based program, fees are $759 for master’s.


    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
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    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
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    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
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
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