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Counseling Mission and Programs

The Counseling Faculty are committed to preparing multiculturally competent counseling professionals for school, community, and higher education settings who can facilitate positive change in the development and interactions of diverse individuals throughout their lifespans. The Faculty are also committed to the generation and application of knowledge about counseling and related issues and techniques.

The NIU Counseling Program in the College of Education offers professional preparation for students at the master’s and doctoral levels for entry-level and leadership roles in the field of professional counseling and counselor education and supervision.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision The Ph.D. program in counseling offers advanced professional preparation for those intending to become university professors of counseling and advanced-level clinical counselors and/or supervisors. This program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The Master of Science in Education The M.S.Ed. in counseling is a nationally accredited (CACREP) program, requiring a minimum of 60 semester hours, that provides preparation in the theory, techniques, and information needed by the professional counselor. Beyond core counseling preparations, students have a choice of two areas of specialized preparation in either roles of School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Certificates of Graduate Study

To pursue a certificate of graduate study, a student must be admitted to the Graduate School or to the graduate-level classification of student-at-large, and must have the approval of the individual responsible for administration of that certificate. Only courses taken at NIU for graduate credit may be applied toward a certificate, and a GPA of at least 3.00 must be earned in the course work used toward the certificate, all of which must be completed within the six years immediately preceding awarding of the certificate. With the approval of the student’s major department, courses used to satisfy requirements of a certificate may also be applied toward a graduate degree, unless the Graduate Catalog indicates otherwise under the description of the specific degree or certificate. These certificates typically require 15 to 18 graduate semester hours to be selected from specific course options. Visit the graduate certificate website for more details.

Evaluation Report Summaries


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has awarded accreditation to the Ed.D. counseling program in counselor education and supervision. The M.S.Ed. counseling program has also been CACREP approved in both school and clinical mental health areas of specialization. CACREP accreditation is a significant achievement which NIU has proudly been awarded for the last twenty one years. Receiving a degree from an accredited program acknowledges that students have been taught the necessary skills to work in the counseling field, and that the university has met the national standards set for counseling programs. At Northern Illinois University, the faculty-to-student ratio is kept at a minimum to ensure that students are receiving adequate instruction. The counseling program takes pride in having continuously prepared students for careers in the field of professional counseling

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA), has awarded accreditation for the Master's degree in Counseling (school counseling and clinical mental health) and the Doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision program at Northern Illinois University. Northern Illinois University (NIU) is also accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The counseling program  at NIU is approved by the State Department of Public Instruction to certify school counselors in Illinois.