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You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.


Online | Master of Arts | Counseling & Integrated Programs

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Overview

Program Overview

Adler University’s online Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares clinicians to practice social responsibility through providing therapeutic services in a diverse range of clinical settings.

Our innovative program is designed to prepare clinical mental health counselors to serve diverse populations in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, our 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.

Online Modality

Online Instructional Modality

The online modality of our Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed for students who want to complete the program in a distance learning format. All courses will be delivered online using the university’s learning management system.

In addition to online engagement and learning, four courses will have face-to-face teaching and evaluation components required prior to entering practicum, which will be conducted during a 5-day residency week during the first and second years. The courses include:

  • Counseling Skills (First-year Residency)
  • Counseling Multicultural Communities (First-year Residency)
  • Group Counseling (Second-year Residency)
  • Treatment Planning & Intervention (Second-year Residency)

COVID-19 Update:
Adler is closely monitoring public health updates and following state and local guidelines. To protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, Residency Weeks for the Summer 2019, Summer 2020, Fall 2019, Fall 2020 cohorts will be conducted in a virtual environment.

Residency week for the Spring 2021 cohort is currently scheduled to take place at our Chicago campus. However, this is subject to change pending further updates from public health officials.

Residency Week Schedule (Updated July 30, 2020)
Residency weeks take place:

  • During the first semester of your first year, and the first semester of the second year.
  • In the 10th week of the semester, or the 2nd week of the Second Term.
  • At the Chicago Campus: 17 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60602. Due to the pandemic, the residency week of fall 2020 will be conducted virtually; the format of the residency week in Spring 2021 will be determined based on the development of the pandemic.
  • From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily during the week and evening activities if on campus.
Entering Semester (Cohort)First Year First Semester Residency Dates Second Year First Semester Residency Dates Remarks & COVID – 19
Summer 2019CompletedSummer Residency moved to Nov. 2–6, 2020Virtual
Fall 2019 CompletedNovember 2–6, 2020 Virtual
Spring 2020CompletedMarch 8–12, 2021On campus (subject to change)
Summer 2020Summer Residency moved to Nov. 2–6, 2020July 5-9, 2021Virtual
Fall 2020 Nov. 2–6, 2020 November 1–5, 2021Virtual
Spring 2021March 8–12, 2021March 7–11, 2022On campus (subject to change)
Summer 2021 July 5-9, 2021July 11–15, 2022On campus (subject to change)


The Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 62-credit hour program that requires the successful completion of field training and courses from those listed below.

Core Courses
  • Adlerian Theory and Counseling
  • Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Counseling Theories
  • Counseling Skills
  • Diagnosis of Maladaptive Behavior
  • Counseling Multicultural Communities
  • Group Counseling
  • Treatment Planning and Intervention
  • Couple and Family Counseling
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Appraisal and Assessment
  • Career Development Theories and Interventions
  • Addictions Counseling
  • Professional Functions of Clinical Mental Health Counselors
  • Crisis Intervention and Trauma Counseling

Students are required to take two electives that are three-hour courses each. Students can take electives offered by the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program as listed below or they can choose a course from the department elective menu, upon their faculty advisor’s approval. Please note that not all the electives are offered at the same time; it depends on the offering cycle. Canadian students will need to take the thesis series as the elective should they plan to pursue doctoral studies in Canada.

  • Counseling and Human Sexuality
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Counseling Older Adults and Families
  • Mind, Body, and Meditative Practices in Counseling

OR choose the thesis series below as one of the electives:

  • Preparation for Applied Thesis
  • M.A. Thesis I & II
Field Training and Seminars
  • Social Justice Practicum I & II
  • CMHC Practicum and Seminar
  • CMHC Internship and Seminar I & II

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

Social Justice Practicum

Social Justice Practicum

Doing is learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Student Data

The M.A. 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).


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
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.

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.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree earned from a regionally accredited college or university or an equivalent degree from an international college or university.
  • A recommended GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for undergraduate and graduate coursework. Exceptions may be made for applicants who demonstrate outstanding academic performance or academic ability in other ways.
  • Approved applicants will be invited for a personal interview as the final step in the application process.

Application Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:

  • Application and application fee
  • Statement of Intent answering the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in your chosen field and program?
    • Why is Adler University’s program a good fit for you?
    • What are your career goals and interests?
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (U.S and Canada)
    • Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Office of Admissions
    • Unofficial transcripts may be accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
    • International transcripts must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service
  • Two letters of Recommendation
    • These should be from someone who can specifically speak to your academic and professional abilities.

Please submit all materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

Official transcripts should be sent to:

Adler University – Office of Admissions
17 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60602

Official electronic transcripts should be sent to [email protected].



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.
Online Learning Format

Online Learning Format

Adler University approaches online learning with the same commitment to academic excellence and student support that has been the hallmark of our 65-year history. Our innovative online graduate courses deliver an engaging, interactive learning experience designed to accommodate your busy schedule.

Online learning offers a great deal of independence and flexibility, but that doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Our online student body is supported by the same administrative and academic staff who serve our on-campus students. Your instructors are also available to answer your questions, provide more information, and connect you with additional resources to help you succeed. In addition, your cohort classmates will be a source of ongoing support and collaboration as you progress through your degree program, and well after graduation.

Our online courses are eight (8) weeks in length. Each week, students are expected to review the course materials, participate in learning activities, and complete required assignments. All online courses will have synchronous components, which will require students to attend videoconferencing classes at a predetermined time.

Our easy-to-use online learning system—Canvas—allows you to explore course materials and interact with instructors and classmates through a variety of web-based tools and features:

  • Audio and video lectures and presentations
  • Video conferencing
  • Discussion boards
  • Document and video downloads
  • Simulations and role-playing
  • Online chat

Change the World From
Anywhere in the World

You may have a fulltime job, family obligations or other things that command your attention. We get it. That said, you have a passion to make the world a better place. We have online programs that are crafted and curated to give you skills to make it happen.

No matter where in the world or in life you are.

Adler is a tight knit community of radical thinkers and doers. Know, that as an online student, you are not alone. You are one of us. The work you will be asked to do, will be the same as every other Adler student. The skills you will learn will be just as powerful. And the degree you will receive, will speak just as loudly.

Take the next step

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