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.

NEIU’s Counseling Department strives to remain committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout our scholarship, service, advocacy, leadership, mentorship and teaching. Therefore, we seek candidates who advocate for social justice and antiracist policies, and utilize culturally relevant teaching, clinical practice, research and service. We are dedicated to preparing counselors who are leaders and advocates in social justice and who will provide professional counseling services to adults, children, youth, individuals, couples, groups and families.

Application Process for Clinical Mental Health, Couple and Family, School, and Rehabilitation Counseling

Applicants can apply to a Counselor Education master's degree program through NEIUs online application system. The online application requires submission of the following:

  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended 
  • Current resume 
  • Two recommenders (applicants will be prompted to enter contact information for 2 professional recommenders)
  • Signed informed consent
  • Essay: In 500-700 words, please respond to the following prompts:
    • How do you see yourself aligning with NEIUs Counseling Department?
    • Please talk about your personal and/or professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for the specific counseling program for which you are applying (i.e., clinical mental health, couple and family, rehabilitation, or school).
    • (Optional): Additionally, if your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 and you would like to provide any additional information, you can include that here.

For school counseling applicants only (in addition to submitting the above application materials):

  • ONLY for applicants to School Counseling who hold a Professional Educator License (PEL): Copy of PEL
  • ONLY for applicants to School Counseling who do not hold a PEL: Evidence of taking the State and Federal Fingerprint Background Check. Review the instructions for submitting your background check results. If you are a DACA student, we recommend going through Scenario B exclusively, listed on the GCOE website under the Federal and State Fingerprint Background Check Instructions, or contacting the Associate Dean of College of Education at for more information.

Application materials will be evaluated in regard to an applicant's academic aptitude, relevance of career goals, cultural competence, and potential for fostering therapeutic relationships. Applicants who meet the minimum requirements in their specific program (i.e., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Couple and Family Counseling, School Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling) will be invited to attend an on-campus 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 available on the application portal (SLATE).

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 undergraduate GPAs below 2.75 will not be admitted. Applicants who have earned a graduate degree from an accredited university are exempt from this requirement.
  • Problematic or poor performance during the PAW will make an applicant ineligible for admission. 
  • Meeting the minimum academic 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

Admission decisions are based on the following:

  • Relevance of career goals
  • Aptitude for graduate-level study
  • Potential success in forming effective counseling relationships
  • Respect for cultural differences

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. If you are formally accepted into the program, the credits for the course will count toward your degree requirements. However, taking a course as a student-at-large does not guarantee admission to the program.