Contact Information

Northeastern Illinois University
Department of Counselor Education
4th Floor, Lech Walesa Hall, Room LWH 4073
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625
(773) 442-5550

You may also contact Dona M. Wisniewski, Pre-program Advisor/Program Administrative Assistant, at


Can I take courses as a non-degree seeking student?

Counselor Education allows non-degree seeking students to take courses as a student-at-large under certain circumstances, such as completing deficiencies for licensure or complementing your graduate degree (no more than 3 courses will be approved). Some of the courses in the Department are not open to non-degree seeking students. To request approval, complete the form. Authorization to enroll in courses as a non-degree seeking student in Counselor Education does not constitute admission to any of the Department's programs. Students wishing to pursue a master's degree in counseling must make formal application to Graduate Admissions. Non-degree seeking students can enroll only in courses for which they have been authorized by this Department.

Can I apply if my undergraduate degree is not in counseling or a related field? 

Yes. Counselor Education students come from a wide range of educational backgrounds and occupations including business, education, medicine, social work, law, religion, the arts, computer technology, engineering, math and science, and other diverse fields.

When are application deadlines?

The application deadline for applying to a master's degree in counseling program is March 15 for fall applications and Aug. 15 for spring applications. These dates differ from other graduate program application deadlines. View more information about the application process.

Are GRE scores required to apply?

GRE scores are not required to apply.

What time are classes typically offered?

Counselor Education is considered an evening program, with courses meeting in the late afternoon and early evening.

Can this program be completed on a full-time basis?

The university gives a student 6 years in which to complete a graduate degree.  We tell our counselor education students to give themselves at least 3 years to complete the degree on a part-time basis.  While most of our students complete the degree in 3 years, the degree can be completed full-time in 2-2 1/2 years. 

How many credits is the M.A. in Counseling programs?

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Couple and Family Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and School Counseling each are 60 credit hour programs. 

What are the class sizes?

Class sizes for foundation courses are capped at 20. Class sizes for clinical courses are capped at 10, 12, or 15. Class sizes for Research is capped at 15. Class sizes for Practicum and Internship courses are capped at 10.

Are classes in person or online?

Classes are offered in an array of formats including in person, remote learning, online, and hybrid (a combination of in person and remote learning/online).

What is the cost of the program?

Please refer to the graduate tuition rates section

Are the counseling programs accredited?

All M.A. in Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).View more information on accreditation.

Can I be in a certificate program while I am working on my M.A.?

Students currently admitted to a master’s degree program in counseling may also be admitted to a certificate program

Can I be admitted to two graduate programs simultaneously?


Does financial aid cover the tuition and cost of required courses for the graduate certificate programs?

Financial aid does not cover the cost of graduate certificate programs.

Is it necessary to attend an accredited counseling program  to become a counselor?

While it is not necessary to attend an accredited counseling program to obtain counselor licensure, the benefits of graduating from an accredited counseling program, i.e., CACREP accredited,  will become increasingly important.  Note that graduate-level counseling degrees must be accredited by CACREP in order to practice in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.  In addition, a CACREP accredited counseling program focuses specifically on professional counseling as opposed to psychology, social work, or education.

What are some examples of employment settings for your recent graduates?

Clinical mental health counselors are employed in settings such as community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, counseling clinics, crisis and trauma centers, court services, university counseling centers, private practice/group practice, and business and industry.