Counseling Graduate Programs in Illinois

There are several institutions in Illinois that award counseling graduate degrees. Take a look at five institutions with programs in this field, and find out about admissions requirements, courses, and other options.

Students can pursue master's degrees in areas like clinical mental health counseling and school counseling, doctoral degrees in rehabilitation counseling, or post-masters and graduate certificates. Upon graduation, work can be found in settings like hospitals, social service agencies, or school systems.

School Comparison

Of the five schools we'll look at in Illinois, two of the schools are public institutions and offer in-state tuition rates to residents. Find out more about the average graduate tuition rates as well as locations.

Institution Location Average Graduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)*
Chicago State University Chicago, IL $8,776 (in-state) / $13,978 (out-of-state)
Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL $30,287
Bradley University Peoria, IL $15,930
Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL $13,982 (in-state) / $22,551 (out-of-state)
Concordia University - Chicago River Forest, IL $15,360

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

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Illinois Schools with Counseling Graduate Programs

Chicago State University

Students can earn a Master of Arts in Counseling in either clinical mental health or school counseling at Chicago State University. A master's thesis is an optional part of either program. The master's program is intended as pre-doctoral preparation in counseling psychology and counselor education. Students will take courses like Microcounseling and Personality Appraisal. Potential students will need at least a 3.0 GPA from the last 60 credits of undergraduate work; however, those with a 2.75-2.99 GPA can be accepted on a provisional basis. Admissions requirements include official transcripts, six prerequisite courses, and a faculty interview.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology has a Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Required classes for this degree include Medical Aspects of Disability and Applied Group Counseling. Students will need to meet the below criteria for acceptance into the program:

  • Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and 18 credits in psychology or a related discipline
  • Professional statement
  • Three recommendation letters
  • College transcripts
  • Personal interview

The institute also offers a PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling, which allows students teaching opportunities through course instruction and supervising master's level students. Students will need a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling with one year of relevant work experience. Other requirements include a 3.0 GPA, three recommendation letters, and a personal statement.

Bradley University

Bradley University offers two Master of Arts in Counseling degrees: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Professional School Counseling. Students in both programs will take courses such as Loss and Grief Counseling and Human Growth and Development. Interested students will need a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA from the last 60 credits earned; otherwise, students with a lower GPA may be accepted on a conditional basis. The application process involves a $40 fee, official transcripts, admissions essay, two recommendation letters, and standardized test scores. Including a resume is optional except for students applying for assistantships.

The university also offers a post-master's certificate in school counseling that consists of 12 credit hours. Students will take courses like Ethics and the Law. Students can also complete a graduate certificate in clinical mental health, which is also a 12-credit program. Coursework includes Loss and Grief Counseling and Crisis Intervention Counseling. Both certificate programs require a master's degree in counseling or a similar discipline.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University has four Master of Arts in Counseling degrees: Clinical Mental Health, Family, School, and Rehabilitation. The Rehabilitation degree requires 48 credits for graduation, while the other three require 60. Each program consists of evening classes that are held once a week on campus, along with hybrid and online courses. Applicants will need a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 GPA or above. They will also need to submit transcripts, a goals statement, two recommendation letters, and a $30 fee.

Concordia University - Chicago

Students can pursue a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Concordia University - Chicago. They can enroll in a traditional or online program to complete their 60 credits needed for graduation. Prospective students should provide the following as part of the application process:

  • Online application
  • College transcripts
  • Objective statement
  • Two recommendation letters
  • 12 related undergraduate credits with at least a C grade

Students can choose from schools that offer master's degrees, PhDs, or post-master's certificates as part of graduate programs in counseling. Most of the programs require a 3.0 GPA for acceptance into a graduate program.


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