The MA Counseling Psychology program is a counselor training program that equips students with essential diagnostic, therapeutic and consultative skills in preparation to work with a variety of clinical populations ranging from children to the elderly with a variety of emotional, intellectual, and psychological symptoms and conditions.
Graduates will be trained to work in a variety of clinical settings that serve various populations. The program adopts the practitioner-scholar model predicated on the belief that a competent mental health practitioner must have both a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles in the clinical practice of counseling psychology and the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations. The program also incorporates the 8 content areas outlined by the National Board of Certified Counselors to prepare students seeking professional counselor licensure and desiring to begin professional practice at the master’s level. Please see further information about professional licensure below.
The MA Counseling Psychology program at the Chicago Campus is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) for the period of December, 2018 through December, 2028.
We acknowledge the significance of promoting an academic environment that is sensitive to difference and to the preparation of clinicians who actively develop multicultural sensitivity, responsivity, and competence. As such, the program seeks to engage faculty and students in the preparation of mental health clinicians who meet the needs of diverse and underserved communities “from the broader view of innovators, transformers, and problem solvers; and use their discipline to make positive and lasting impacts on the World” (Aspirations Report, 2011, p.5).
The mission of the MA Counseling Psychology program is to prepare mental health professionals for the counseling psychology profession through professional competence, personal integrity and academic excellence with an emphasis on promoting culturally-sensitive, responsive, and conscious clinical practice. This is realized through a curriculum that integrates the theoretical foundations of counseling psychology, essential diagnostic, clinical and consultative skills, and field placement experience in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. Recognizing that our students are intrinsically motivated to help others, we acknowledge the significance of promoting an environment that is sensitive to difference and preparing future clinicians to develop self-awareness and the necessary skills to continue to strive toward attaining multicultural competence. Thus, the program seeks to engage faculty and students in the preparation of clinicians who meet the needs of diverse communities.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:
- Conduct assessments within the field of counseling psychology.
- Effectively engage and establish therapeutic relationships with clients and implement appropriate and evidenced-based interventions within the mental health field.
- Knowledge of theoretical approaches, techniques, and best practices within the mental health field and ability to apply appropriate interventions based on client presentation and identified needs.
- Demonstrate self-awareness of their own cultural identities and how they may influence their perspective, knowledge of other cultures and aspects of a client’s identity which includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexuality identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, and physical ability as it applies to their professional work and skills to adapt treatment accordingly.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical behavior consistent with professional standards and code of ethics.
- Use scientific research, evidence based practice and theory to inform their practice.
- Effectively utilize consultation and demonstrate academic knowledge through oral and written presentations.
For information on where The Chicago School meets, does not meet, or has not determined if the program meets licensure eligibility requirements for the state in which you wish to be licensed, please visit: https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/admissions/licensure-disclosures/.
For information on where The Chicago School is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to approval, please visit https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/why-us/state-authorization/
Application to The Chicago School’s MA Counseling Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be evaluated on their overall ability to complete graduate work. Factors considered prior to admission include: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, relevant experience, the required admission essay, and letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors. An undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is expected for admission. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required; however, students who have taken the exam may submit their scores to enhance their application. Scores should be sent directly to the school (GRE School Code: 1119) for consideration. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.
The program also requires applicants to have successfully completed at least one (1) undergraduate course in psychology and one (1) undergraduate course in research methods with an earned grade of ‘C’ or better. Applicants without these psychology courses must be complete them in accordance with the policies outlined in the Progression Requirements section below.
MA Counseling Psychology Progression Requirements
This program requires applicants to have successfully completed at least one (1) undergraduate course in psychology and one (1) undergraduate course in research methods with an earned grade of ‘C’ or better by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study. Students must successfully meet this progression requirement through one of the following options:
- A grade of “C” or higher in TCS 380 Introduction to Psychology and TCS 385 Introduction to Research Methods;
- A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course at the Chicago School; or
- A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course at another regionally accredited institution
Applicants accepted who have not successfully completed one (1) undergraduate course in psychology and one (1) undergraduate course in research methods will be required to register for applicable TCS courses in their first ground semester or online term. All students must meet this progression requirement by the end of their first semester of study. Students who do not successfully fulfill this requirement will not be allowed to register for any future coursework in the program of study until this requirement is met. Extensions can be granted by the Program Chair or designee when extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the requirement in the specified timeframe. Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the Program Chair for consideration.
The Chicago School reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.
If a student is offered admission and in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.
The Chicago School has also established agreements between the MA Counseling program and the programs listed below to allow qualified students to receive transfer credit for courses taken in other The Chicago School programs that can be counted toward degree completion requirements for both programs. Click on the link of the program that interests you for details.
MA Counseling and Post Master’s Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
Degree Completion Requirements
- Successful completion of 60 credit hours
- Successful completion of a minimum of a 9-month placement experience and complete at least 700 hours with 280 direct service hours
- Successful completion of Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE)
- Successful completion of Counseling Competency Examination (CCE)
The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Academic Calendar, Admissions Requirements, Attendance, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Service Learning, and Transfer Credit/Course Waiver. Click the link above for detailed information.
Student Professional Evaluation and Student Review Process:
The course content and experiential activities offered by the MA Counseling Psychology program are designed to afford students the opportunity to advance their intellectual and professional development. Throughout the program of study, students are given feedback concerning their personal, academic, and professional strengths, developmental needs, and overall progress. This feedback will come from a variety of sources including faculty, training staff, supervisors, peers, and clients. Students are expected to respond and incorporate this feedback in a mature and professional manner. Throughout their matriculation in the program students are expected to explore and recognize the effects their personal beliefs, issues, emotions, and behaviors have on others and on their ability to function as a mental health practitioner. Students are formally evaluated with regard to their professional comportment throughout their program of study as well as in specifically designated courses within the curriculum using the Student Professional Evaluation form. Additionally, all students are reviewed, at minimum, twice annually by program faculty, staff, and administration with respect to their overall program performance during the Student Review Process.
The Chicago School expects that all counseling students will be knowledgeable of and adhere to the “ACA Code of Ethics ” of the American Counseling Association, in addition to the “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct ,” as published by the American Psychological Association. Furthermore, no student shall obtain part- or full-time employment that is beyond the scope of their cumulative training in the field of counseling psychology and shall not use titles governed by licensure statutes, unless so licensed by the state. A student who fails to adhere to this policy or otherwise fails to demonstrate the appropriate ethics required for practice in the field of counseling psychology is subject to discipline and possible dismissal.
The MA Counseling Psychology (Chicago) program at The Chicago School meets the degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois.
Practicum and Internship
The practicum and internship placement experiences serve to integrate the theoretical and practical aspects of the education of a professional counselor. Students have the opportunity during the practicum and internship experiences to synthesize their knowledge, techniques and skills learned in the classroom. These supervised field placements allow students to provide direct services to clients and demonstrate their understanding of key concepts in professional counseling in a clinical setting. Students are able to apply to a wide variety of training sites that include community mental health centers, child welfare and family service agencies, substance abuse programs, college counseling centers, as well as private group practices. The sites available for the training experience are chosen based on their ability to serve diverse populations that will offer the best possible experience to equip students for working in the counseling field. Students are required to complete a minimum of a 9-month placement experience and complete at least 700 hours with 280 direct service hours during the placement. Students registered in this program incur a one-time $195 Experiential Learning Technology Fee.
All students are required to successfully complete the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE). The information tested by the exam covers the eight competencies outlined by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) as defined by their Standards for Preparation. The CPCE is administered at least twice a year and is typically taken during the final year of study. Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible to take the CPCE. Students who have not successfully passed the CPCE are not eligible for degree conferral and must retake the exam during the next scheduled administration.
Counseling Competency Examination (CCE)
The Counseling Competency Examination (CCE) is a program capstone and is comprised of three (3) distinct components with the purpose of demonstrating proficiency in the core competencies of the academic program. This examination illustrates that a student has acquired the clinical skills necessary to graduate from the program. The final CCE is completed during the Spring semester within the Internship and Seminar course (CC598). The student must successfully pass the CCE in order to fulfill the requirements of the course as well as the internship placement experience. Students must pass the Fall semester practice CCE in order to pass the course CC597 Practicum and Seminar. Students must pass CC597 and CC598 to be eligible for degree conferral.