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

Department of Counseling and Integrated Programs (formerly known as the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling)

  • Prepare for a promising life-long career in the field of counseling
  • Satisfy your passion to build healthier communities: one individual and family at a time.
  • Develop into a culturally competent counselor, advocating for diverse client needs
  • Gain extensive real-world experience while training with expert faculty practitioners
  • Complete your Masters in a campus-based or online modality with a 2-week residency

Our Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares clinicians to provide culturally sensitive therapeutic services in a wide range of clinical settings. Train with experienced counseling professionals and social justice activists. Our graduates are empowered and equipped to be agents of change for individuals, families, groups, communities, and society.

Accreditation and Recognition

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.

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 learning environment is collaborative and community-oriented, bringing together rigorous coursework with real-world experience.

Cohort Learning, Format, & Support

The Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program can be completed in two different modalities: on ground campus-based or online with residency requirements. Students can complete the program in a time frame that best fits their needs: 2-year full time, 3 or 4-year part-time on campus, or 3-year online with residency.

Our belief is that a cohort model enhances a student's academic development and successful completion of their program. This cohort model emphasizes collaboration, connection, and camaraderie. Students within the same cohort or entry point take classes together throughout the entire program. Our program is strength-based in the ideals of Adlerian encouragement, empathy, and genuine care, with the expressed purpose of supporting the personal and professional growth, interests, and focus of each student. 

Upon graduation, students 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). These organizations provide opportunities for professional development, leadership, and peer support.

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 clinical 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.


Adler’s MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body which is a requirement for licensure in many states. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for licensing exams and to meet the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Students wishing to seek licensure are strongly encouraged to research the requirements to sit for licensure for each state or province in which they wish to practice. 

Graduates of the program are also eligible to take part in the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, after successful passage of the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and completion of required experiences.  

In particular, 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 and supervised experiences.


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 TRICARE system
  • Government agencies
  • Private practice

Program Outcomes

The MA. In Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program surveys students, graduates, site supervisors, and employers to obtain useful information about the program on a regular basis. The following are the most recent program outcomes collected from 2018-2019 academic year:

  • 211 students are currently enrolled in this program.
  • There were 31 graduates from this program in the last academic year.
  • Based on a 5-year maximum program completion period, the graduation rate of this program is 88%.
  • The first time pass rate for this program in the last academic year was 98%.
  • Our latest alumni survey conducted in spring 2019 reported nearly 92 percent of respondents being employed within a year of graduation.

Click here for the 2017-18 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Progam Annual Report.
2018-2019 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Annual Report (in construction).