Preparing socially responsible  
counselors for empowerment,  
advocacy, and transformation.

Preparing socially responsible
counselors for empowerment,
advocacy, and transformation.

Master's in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  • Meet the growing need for mental health counselors—and help build healthier communities.
  • Earn your degree in two years of full-time study or choose a flexible part-time program.
  • Flexible learning options with daytime, evening, weekend, online, and blended formats.
  • Gain extensive hands-on experience with a unique focus on socially responsible practice.

Our Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares clinicians to provide culturally sensitive therapeutic services to individuals, groups, and families in a wide range of settings. Train with Adler’s faculty of practitioners, trailblazers, and social justice activists whose visionary work in specialties as diverse as child and adolescent counseling, addiction counseling, gerontology, and equine psychotherapy is reshaping the field.

Our distinctive practitioner-focused program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which recognizes programs that meet or exceed the highest standards for counselor preparation. With a comprehensive theoretical curriculum and supervised clinical field experiences, we excel at preparing future clinicians for certification as National Certified Counselors (NCC), licensure in Illinois as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and licensure of other states with appropriate advisement and adjustment to the curriculum.

Through Adler’s Counseling Student Association and our Chapter for the Chi Sigma Iota International Society, students have many opportunities to connect and develop their professional identities. Our learning environment is collaborative and community-oriented, and brings together rigorous coursework with real-world experience focused on creating positive social change—all led by experts in the field.

Adler University is a nationally recognized pioneer in graduate education, training clinicians who work to build and maintain bridges across social, economic, cultural, racial, and political systems through their practice.


Our innovative program is designed to prepare clinical mental health counselors to serve diverse populations in both the public and private sectors. They work in a range of settings, including:

  • Social service agencies
  • Behavioral health care organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Substance abuse treatment centers
  • Military and government agencies
  • Government agencies
  • Private practice
  • Integrated delivery systems

Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the following credentials:

  • The Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in the state of Illinois.
  • The Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential in Illinois, upon completing all necessary post-graduate training. Students interested in applying for licensure elsewhere should work with their faculty advisors to plan their curriculum accordingly.
  • The National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, as well as sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) before graduation.

Professional Development &Training

Gain the knowledge and skills to create real change with small, collaborative classes taught by leading practitioners and scholars in the field. Our diverse faculty brings together classroom learning with individualized mentorship and hands-on professional experience.

Unique to our institution is the Social Justice Practicum, a nonclinical experiential practicum completed by all Adler University students to cultivate the skills for becoming agents of social change. Working with our network of hundreds of community partners, students develop the practical knowledge and understanding of what it means to engage with communities and be a socially responsible practitioner.

Students also complete extensive field training, which provides opportunities to apply theory, hone counseling skills, and formulate treatment strategies with clients in a variety of hospitals, clinics, mental health centers, community organizations, and government agencies. Throughout their fieldwork, students receive close mentorship and clinical supervision by faculty. This training consists of a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship, typically at the same site.

Cohort Learning, Format, & Support

Our program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study or through a flexible part-time program. Classes are available in traditional classroom, weekend, evening, online, and blended (partially online) settings. Additionally, as part of Adler’s Department of Counselor Education and Counseling, students have the opportunity to take course electives in a wide range of clinical topics offered within the department.

When you enroll, you join a cohort or group of students who will take classes together throughout the course of the program. This cohort model emphasizes collaboration, communication, connection, and camaraderie among students.

Our program environment is characterized by Adlerian encouragement, empathy, genuine care, and good will, with the expressed purpose of supporting the personal and professional growth of each of our students based on their interests and professional focus.

Upon graduation, you will become a member of the University’s Alumni Association, which along with our Office of Alumni Affairs, provides extensive ongoing networking and professional development opportunities.

Students can also join the International Honors Society, Chi Sigma Iota, and the Adler Counseling Student Association (ACSA). Both organizations provide opportunities for professional development, leadership, and peer support. Click here to read the ACSA newsletter.

Program Outcomes

The following are the most recent program outcomes. On a regular basis Adler surveys students, graduates, site supervisors, and employers to obtain useful information about the program.

  • 136 students are currently enrolled in this program.
  • There were 68 graduates from this program in the last academic year.
  • The completion rate for this program in the last academic year was 98 percent.
  • The first time pass rate on the National Counselor Exam for 2017 was 92 percent.
  • According to our latest alumni survey conducted in 2017, nearly 86 percent of respondents report being employed within a year of graduation.