Admissions

Application Deadlines and Options

Applications for admission are accepted beginning September 6, 2016 for admission for the 2017-2018 Academic Year. You may apply Early Decision or Regular Decision. Twenty-five students typically enter the program each year, including some who qualify for the Standard Curriculum and others from an array of different academic and professional backgrounds who qualify for the Two-Plus Curriculum. All admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and most applicants are notified within a month of the deadline. Program slots tend to fill quickly so we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible. Learn more about applying to our Counseling@Northwestern program, our online Master of Arts in Counseling.

Application Deadlines
 Early Decision  December 1, 2016**
 Regular Decision  March 1, 2017

Early Decision

If you are certain that Northwestern is where you want to enroll, we encourage you to apply under our Early Decision plan. As with all traditional Early Decision plans, you agree to withdraw all applications at other colleges and enroll at Northwestern if admitted.

Applicants who choose Early Decision send a strong, positive message to Northwestern. Given their high level of interest and overall academic and personal strength, Early Decision applicants enjoy a higher rate of admission.

**All applicants who apply for Early Decision admission will attend the exclusive Master of Arts in Counseling Program Early Admission Interview on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Northwestern University Evanston campus. During the interview, applicants will meet the Counseling Program core faculty and program students, participate in a group interview, learn more about the program, and tour The Family Institute headquarters and Northwestern University campus. Following the interview, admission decisions will be made.

If you are admitted under Early Decision and apply for a financial scholarship or assistantship, you will be notified of your award decision around the time of your acceptance of the offer of admission.

We admit qualified applicants in the Early Decision applicant pool first. Those applicants who apply Early Decision but are not admitted will be placed in the Regular Decision applicant pool upon request by the applicant.

Regular Decision

Applicants who apply under the Regular Decision plan will be admitted after Early Decision slots are filled.

Applicants who choose Regular Decision will attend the Master of Arts in Counseling Program Regular Admission Interviews at the Northwestern University Evanston campus on March 11, 2017. During the interview, applicants will meet the Counseling Program core faculty and program students, participate in a group interview, learn more about the program, and tour The Family Institute headquarters and Northwestern University campus. Following the interview, Regular Decision applicants will be admitted.

If you are admitted under Regular Decision and apply for a financial scholarship or assistantship, you will be notified of your award decision around the time of your acceptance of the offer of admission.

Applicants who miss the Regular Decision deadline should apply under Late Decision. However, Late Decision applicants will be reviewed if slots are still available following the Early Decision applicants and Regular Decision applicants.

Late Admissions

If applicant slots are still available after Early Decision applicants and Regular Decision applicants are admitted to the program, Late Admissions applicants will be considered.

Required Materials

Master of Arts in Counseling Program Specific Application 2016-2017

The following items are required by the relevant deadlines to complete an application to the Master of Arts in Counseling Program:

APPLICATION PART 1
What do I submit? How do I submit it?
1. Online application to The Graduate School The Graduate School Application System
2. Application fee of $95.00  
3. Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores Submitted through The Graduate School Application System
4. Official transcripts from each institution(s) attended since secondary school  
5. Minimum of two letters of recommendation  
APPLICATION PART 2
What do I submit? How do I submit it?
6. Master of Arts in Counseling Program Specific Application Downloaded from this website
7, Resume or vita Submitted with Counseling Program Specific Application
8. Four supplemental essays
9. Recent photo of yourself
10. Application for Scholarships and Assistantships Downloaded from this website

Instructions for APPLICATION PART 1:
1. Complete an online application through The Graduate School Application System.

2. The application fee is $95.00. Pay the application fee of $95.00 by credit card at the time of the application submission.

3. Submit Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores directly from Educational Testing Service to Northwestern University using institution code #1565 and object code 01. Applicants must submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within the last two years.

4. Upload scanned versions of official transcripts online. We require a transcript for every institution attended since secondary school and a transcript must be submitted for every institution listed online.

5. Submit letters of recommendation online. We require a minimum of two letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's ability to do scholarly work. There is no official form to accompany this letter.

Instructions for APPLICATION PART 2:
Items #6 through #10 below, which include the Program Specific Application, resume, supplemental essays, recent photo, and the Application for Scholarships and Assistantships (if applicable), can be emailed or sent via U.S. Mail to Deidre Hicks (see contact information below). If you choose to email the documents, scan the signed Program Specific Application and Application for Scholarships and Assistantships.

Deidre Hicks, Education Coordinator
Master of Arts in Counseling Program
Center for Applied Psychological & Family Studies
618 Library Place
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Telephone: 847-733-4300, ext. 205
Fax: 847-733-0390
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

6. Master of Arts in Counseling Program Specific Application

7. Resume or Vita

8. The following four supplemental essays of a minimum of one page each which can be written separately or combined into one essay with sub-headings, and consist of the following:

  • brief autobiographical statement
  • clear and thoughtful statement of professional interests and goals
  • summary of prior clinical training, work experience and direct experience with professional psychology or counseling
  • a thoughtful statement answering the question, "Why do I think I am suited to the field of professional counseling?"

  • 9. Recent photo of yourself

    10. Application for Scholarships and Assistantships

    Applicants admitted to the Master of Arts in Counseling Program will first be informed of conditional admission. The Family Institute requires all applicants who have received conditional admission to either the Master of Arts in Counseling Program or the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program to complete an online background check to determine criminal history. Having an adverse criminal history finding does not necessarily preclude admission. Determinations are considered on a case-by-case basis. In the event that information from the background report is utilized in whole or in part in making an adverse decision with regard to an applicant's admission, before making the adverse decision, the Institute will provide the student with a copy of the consumer report and a written description of his or her rights under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. If the report indicates no criminal history, the applicant will receive formal notice of admission to the program.

    It is the policy of The Family Institute at Northwestern University not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, citizenship status, age, sex, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, non-disqualifying disability or veteran/military status in matters of admissions, employment, or services. Services include all clinical services, educational programs or research activities the Institute operates. The staff, faculty, and Board of Directors of The Family Institute are fully committed to function in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding non-discrimination.

    Any alleged violations of this policy or questions regarding the law with respect to nondiscrimination should be directed to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as well as to the Office of the Provost, Rebecca Crown Center, Evanston, Illinois 60208-1101, phone 847-491-5117; Office of the Equal Opportunity Officer and Handicap Services Coordinator, 720 University Place, Evanston, Illinois 60208-1147, phone 847-491-7458.

    Northwestern University reserves the right to change any statement concerning, but not limited to, rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula, and courses.