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M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Online

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Online

National Louis University’s master of science in clinical mental health counseling program is designed for students who are interested in working as a clinical mental health counselor.

Choose NLU's master's in counseling online degree program if you:

  • Need a "Live-on-LIne" (see below) experience because traveling to a campus and back is just not possible
  • Want to work as a licensed professional counselor in a clinical mental health agency setting or work in your own private practice
  • Love helping others and are interested in working with diverse populations
  • Want to learn from faculty who have both academic and professional counseling experience
  • Would like to have a group of fellow students with whom you can build relationships during your course of study

If you live in Illinois and are interested in the intimacy of an On-campus experience, then maybe our Illinois counseling program is a better option. For more information Click Here

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Online and the EdD program in Counselor Education and Supervision at NLU are delivered in a Live-On-Line format using a technology-based interactive, distance learning format that combines Real-Time instruction with online coursework. In addition to the online instruction, each course will meet for a real-time video conference classroom experience for 1.5 hours per week for 10 weeks. These courses are delivered in the evenings, usually from 6pm – 7:30pm EST or 7:30 – 9pm EST. The student will benefit by weekly live interaction with their instructor and peers. This delivery format allows for the intimacy of an on-ground classroom but has the flexibility of an online program. This instructional methodology integrates the synchronous and asynchronous instruction supported as the most efficacious by research.

In addition to the advantage of weekly live synchronous interactions with your peers and faculty, there are several other potential benefits of earning your degree from the comfort of your home or office.

Many students find that taking classes online lowers the total cost of attending college. This is due, in large part, to the fact that with online learning, there is no need to commute to campus.

Except for the 90 minutes of scheduled live class time, these programs are also largely self-paced. This means it’s easier for motivated students to manage, and maximize, their available time. For the asynchronous portion of the course, you can choose when — and where — to complete the supplemental lectures and lessons.

  • The many facets of being a professional counselor, including the importance of advocating for clients, and adhering to ethical and legal guidelines
  • A breadth of different counseling theories and skills, including technological competencies
  • An appreciation of and opportunities to deepen self-awareness
  • How to understand people from a developmental perspective with consideration for client context, culture and diversity

In NLU's Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, students also complete 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship, which provide opportunities to apply classroom-based knowledge in real-world settings.

Mission Statement

The mission of the MS CMHC is to train highly competent and humane individuals who are interested in working in clinical mental health agencies in urban, suburban, small town, and rural areas. The faculty is committed to providing experiential opportunities for students that link research and theory with hands-on experiences aimed at promoting personal, scholarly, and professional development.  The counseling curriculum prepares individuals to become a Licensed Professional Counselors or equivalent in their state. Students will be trained to be diversity-sensitive counselors with expertise for working in an increasingly global society.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

At the completion of the Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students will:


  1. Ethics - Demonstrate the ability to apply code of ethics and legal standards in the profession.

  2. Multicultural - Demonstrate the ability to apply the multicultural competencies in diversity, multiculturalism, and advocacy.

  3. Lifespan - Describe and apply theories of individual and family development across the lifespan.

  4. Career - Describe and apply theories and models of career development, counseling and decision-making.

  5. Counseling Skills - Describe, compare, contrast and apply major counseling skills and approaches to practice.

  6. Assessment and Diagnosis - Demonstrate the ability to select and utilize assessments for diagnostic and intervention planning purposes.

  7. Theory - Describe, compare, contrast and apply major counseling theories to practice.

  8. Group - Demonstrate effective group leadership through the application of theoretical foundations and techniques of group counseling, process and development.

  9. Personal Awareness - Demonstrate awareness of personal characteristics and behaviors that influence the counseling process and engage in ongoing personal and professional self-evaluation and implications for practice.

  10. Research - Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of evidence-based, ethical, and culturally relevant research in advancing the counseling profession.


 Diversity Statement


The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is committed to the achievement of excellence and diversity for its students, faculty, and staff. The program is committed to recruiting and educating students who reflect the diversity of the Chicago metropolitan area as well as the national and international communities where they may be employed. Program curriculum is oriented to promoting an understanding and respect for multiple perspectives that are represented in today's world.


National Louis University is seeking accreditation for its Counseling-Online programs, by The Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), the organization that accredits professional counseling programs.

Completion of the MS in Clinical Mental Health online program attempts to meet the educational requirements to become a licensed professional counselor or licensed clinical mental health counselor in most states. For educational requirements  in your state, we recommend you visit your state licensure board. For more information visit:

In the state of Florida, licensure by examination requires: 

  • Master's or doctoral degree and coursework as required by the state in the content area
  • Supervised clinical internship, practicum or fieldwork
  • Two years of supervised clinical experience in mental health counseling
  • Passing score on the national clinical exam
  • Completing a board-approved 8-hour continuing laws and rules course
  • Completing a 3-hour course on HIV/AIDS from an approved CE center

Laws and rules can be found at

NLU recognizes many students are balancing work and family while in school working towards their counseling degree, so courses are scheduled to accommodate those important commitments. We meet you were you are with a synchronous online program that combines the intimacy of a real classroom with the convenience of online learning from wherever you want, or need to be.  The program offers a network of support and camaraderie from day one until graduation and beyond.

Employment of counselors is expected to grow by 13% between 2016 and 2026—faster than the average for all other occupations. Numerous job openings will occur as many counselors retire or leave the profession, and more individuals are willing to seek help. Clinical mental health counselors will see an expanded job market as insurance companies increasingly approve reimbursement to counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists.

  • Get more info on the counseling program's student outcomes

All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements, as well as additional requirements specific to this Master's of Counseling program. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at

Since 1886, National Louis University has been preparing students for success in serving the needs of others. NLU provides a foundation for those who desire to contribute to the needs of their local and global communities through personal attention and coursework that’s both practical and proven. Today, with its founders' community activism at its roots, NLU continues to carry out this legacy by educating students to help individuals and groups through counseling.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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