The Department of Counselor Education offers an 18 credit-hour program (six courses) leading to the Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling (CFC). The CFC certificate program provides specialized training for counseling students and counseling professionals interested in learning how to apply evidence-based systemic theory, assessment, and intervention to their work with individuals, couples, and families. Licensed mental health professionals in Illinois may be eligible to transfer up to nine credit-hours. Students who complete the CFC program are eligible to accrue hours of supervised clinical experience and complete the National Marriage and Family Therapy Exam as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the State of Illinois. Additional information regarding licensure as an LMFT can be found at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Applications for the Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling program are accepted for spring, summer, and fall semesters. An application is reviewed only if all application materials are received by Graduate Admissions by the deadline date for the semester applied for.

Application Requirements

Applicants who are not current Counselor Education students must have a degree in counseling or a closely-related mental health degree from an accredited university program that meets the academic and clinical requirements for licensure as a master's level mental health professional, and submit the following to Graduate Admissions. Applications are accepted for spring, summer and fall semesters:

The Counselor Education application, resume, essay and Informed Consent can be emailed to if these materials were not uploaded through the online graduate college application portal.

For applicants who are current Northeastern Illinois University students in Clinical Mental Health, Rehabilitation, or School Counseling, submit the below application to your faculty advisor for signature and then to Graduate Admissions,, by the application deadline:

For additional information regarding the application process for the CFC, or if the links are not working, please contact the Department at (773) 442-5550 or email

Curriculum for the Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling program

Core Courses:

  • COUN 420 Introduction to Family Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 421 Advanced Marriage & Family Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 431 Couple and Family Systems Study (3 cr)
  • COUN 432 Couples Counseling & Human Sexuality (3 cr)

Elective Courses. Choose any two of the following:

  • COUN 415 Children & Youth in School & Family Systems (3 cr)
  • COUN 425 Addictions Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 429 Psychopharmacology (3 cr)
  • COUN 434 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disability (3 cr)
  • COUN 438 Trauma & Crisis Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 439 Case Conceptualization & Treatment Planning (3 cr)
  • PSYC 406 Aging & the Family (3 cr)