Counselor Education admits students twice a year, in January and August. The deadline to submit a complete application for the spring term is Aug. 15. The deadline to submit a complete application for the fall term is March 15. Counselor Education deadline dates differ from other Northeastern M.A. program deadline dates.
Application Requirements for Clinical Mental Health, Family, Rehabilitation, and School Counseling
Applicants to the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health, Family, Rehabilitation, and School Counseling programs must submit the following to Graduate Admissions and Records, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625-4699. Applicants must also attend the Pre-Admission Workshop (PAW) as part of the application process:
- Application for Admission to Graduate Programs (print out) or use the online application (with $30 application fee)
- Counselor Education application (Print a hard copy of the application, complete and sign it. The completed application may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, it may be mailed to Graduate Admissions.)
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended OR transcripts sent electronically to Northeastern Illinois University through Parchment or E-Script (transcripts CANNOT be sent to a personal email address).
- Two letters of recommendation (may be emailed to email@example.com)
- Current resume (may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- A two-page essay, typed and double-spaced (instructions are on Page 2 of the Counselor Education application). The essay can be substituted for the Statement of Goals on the Graduate College application. (may be emailed to email@example.com)
- Mandatory attendance at the Pre-Admission Workshop (PAW). The PAW involves applicants participating in a series of group discussions facilitated by Counselor Education faculty. Dates and times to attend a PAW session are located on Page 2 of the Counselor Education application. Failure to attend the PAW will defer your application to the next application deadline.
- Copy of current Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) (ONLY for applicants to School Counseling who hold the PEL)
- Evidence of taking the state and federal Fingerprint Background Check (ONLY for applicants to School Counseling who do not hold a PEL)
- Optional: GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores may be submitted by applicants with a lower GPA and/or as one measure in support of exceptionality. General Test only. Northeastern's Institution code is 1090; the Department/Major Field code is 3802.
Approximately two weeks after the application deadline, Counselor Education emails applicants reminding them of their PAW date. Please contact the Department at (773) 442-5550 if you applied to the program but have not been contacted regarding your PAW confirmation.
For Clinical Mental Health, Family, and Rehabilitation Counseling:
No prerequisite courses.
For School Counseling:
An Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) meets the requirement.
Applicants to School Counseling who do not hold a PEL are required to complete four of the seven courses listed below. These courses can be taken as a student-at-large or prior to practicum if admitted. However, taking these courses does not guarantee admission into the program:
- BLBC 440 Methods Teaching ELL in Diverse Classrooms
- SPED 404 Survey of the Field of Sped OR SPED 509 Methods I: Spec Curriculum in Special Ed
- LTCY 402 Issues in Literacy Instruction OR LTCY 501 Literacy Instruction in Elementary Grades
- LTCY 502 Ltcy Instruction Content Areas Secondary Grades OR LTCY 513 Ltcy Instr for Middle Level
A note for all School Counseling applicants: Effective immediately, scores of the basic skills test (Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), ACT Plus Writing, or SAT) are no longer required at the time of application. Instead, if admitted to the school counseling program, a passing score for one of the above-mentioned exams is required at the start of the semester before you can begin Practicum.
Minimum Standards for Admission to the Program
Graduate Admissions and Records has established a minimum grade point average of 2.75 for undergraduate degrees. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 will not be admitted unless their overall application suggests areas of exceptionality. Applicants who have earned M.A. degrees are exempt from this requirement:
- An applicant with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 may consider submitting GRE scores with a verbal reasoning and analytical writing scores within the 50th percentile as a measure of exceptionality.
- Problematic or poor performance during the PAW will make an applicant ineligible for admission.
- Meeting the minimum requirements is no guarantee of admission.
- Admission to the Counselor Education Department is competitive. It is possible for an otherwise acceptable applicant to be denied admission due to the competitive strength of the applicant pool. The number of applicants that can be admitted to the program is limited. Those not selected for admission may reapply only once.
Admission decisions are based on the following:
- Academic: Undergraduate GPA/Advanced Degree; Essay (writing sample)
- Experience: Recommendations; Work/Volunteer Experience
- Interpersonal: Pre-Admission Workshop (PAW); Spontaneous Writing Sample
- Exceptionality (optional): GRE (other test results)/Other Factors
Eligibility to Enroll in Classes
Once you are officially admitted to your program, you may register for classes during online registration periods. Those who have not yet been reviewed for selection may take only one course before being admitted: COUN 401 Professional Orientation and Legal/Ethical Practices (Clinical Mental Health, Family, School) OR COUN 433 Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling (Rehab). If you are formally accepted into the program, the credits for the course will count towards your degree requirements. However, taking a course as a student-at-large does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants admitted to the fall semester may begin taking classes in the summer semester.