Take the first step on your journey to a doctoral degree in counseling or psychology

If you want to learn the skills needed to help communities living with disparities in health and well-being, especially the underserved, then Loyola's MA in Community Psychology program is the place for you to commit to shifting this inequitable landscape.

Want to learn more?

Here are answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.

Our commitment to you

4 faculty labs dedicated to social justice-focused research

Upon graduation with a master of arts degree in community counseling from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to move on to doctoral studies in the field.


You'll understand the social-cultural contexts of human development, and apply this knowledge in an ethical, reflective, and culturally-responsive manner. With Chicago as your classroom, you'll have firsthand experiential learning opportunities at the Chicago Public Schools and level-one trauma centers, researching action-oriented projects that have an immediate impact on the community.


You'll evaluate research, appreciate the contribution of empirical inquiry to the solution of applied problems, and apply your own research findings in practice.

Professional Values

You'll be a researcher who values the role of evidence, who can generate research and use it in professional practice. Our graduates are committed to social justice, embracing the role of change agents and advocates in our education system.

Program Faculty

Our dedicated Counseling Faculty are experts in their fields who will support students throughout each stage of the program.

Check out this video to learn more about their experiences and expertise in the field.


Completion of the MA degree program requires 48 semester hours of graduate study focused in two major areas: counseling core and a specialty area. The program includes 450 clock hours of practicum/internship experience (for six semester hours of course credit). Students must also take and pass a comprehensive examination during their final semester of study.

For more detailed information about the following items, please refer to the Counseling Student Handbook 2022-2023

Program Length

Most students complete the program over a two-year period as a full-time student, including at least one summer. Part-time study is also an option. Students have five years from acceptance to complete the program.

Continuous Enrollments
MA degree students in Community Counseling are required to maintain the status of continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the Graduate School’s Associate Dean.



Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Prerequisites

Students should present transcript evidence of successful completion ("B" or better) of an introductory statistics course or its equivalent. Ideally, students will have completed this course prior to the start of the program.

Counseling Core (27 semester hours)

  • CPSY 420: Counseling Skills
  • CPSY 421: Professional Issues in Counseling
  • CPSY 423: Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • CPSY 424: Career Development and Counseling
  • CPSY 425: Assessment in Counseling
  • CPSY 426: Group Counseling
  • CPSY 433: Multicultural Counseling
  • CPSY 454: Human Development
  • RMTD 400: Introduction to Research Methodology

Specialty Area (21 semester hours)

  • RMTD 482: Introduction to Linear Models or
    RMTD 421: Educational Research II
  • CPSY 427: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • CPSY 499: Independent Research
    Students are required to participate on a faculty member's research team for one semester. CPSY 499 should be taken at that time and the student should register for his or her faculty mentor's section of CPSY 499. Voluntary (i.e., not for course credit) participation in research for more than one semester is recommended.
  • CPSY 440: Practicum
    Practicum/Internship requires 450 hours of supervised experience in a setting relevant to community counseling practice.
  • CPSY 441: Internship
  • One research elective; see program handbook for courses
  • One general elective; see program handbook for courses

Comprehensive Assessment

Comprehensive Assessment: A comprehensive proctored examination is required. See  program handbook for details. Please see the School of Education Academic Calendar for comprehensive exam dates.

Admission Requirements

Interested in applying? Check out the MA Community Counseling application requirements.


Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.


What is the difference between the MA and MEd programs in community counseling?

The MA is for those who intend to pursue a PhD in the future and are not interested in master's-level practice. The MA program does not lead to master's-level licensing. Rather, it prepares students for acceptance into doctoral programs in counseling psychology, counselor education, or related fields.

The MEd is designed for those who wish to engage in counseling practice with a master's degree. The MEd is the program for students interested in becoming licensed for master's-level practice, regardless of whether or not they are considering doctoral education in the future.

Both programs require 48 semester hours of coursework, including 27 semester hours of core courses and six semester hours of practicum and internship experience. The MEd program requires students to take specialty coursework related to community counseling practice. The MA program requires specialty coursework in research methods and statistics. Students enrolled in the MA program are also required to participate on a faculty member's research team for at least one semester.

If you want to become licensed for master's-level practice, apply for the MEd program, whether or not you might eventually pursue doctoral work. If you intend to forgo master's-level licensing for later licensing for doctoral-level practice, you should apply for the MA program.

Can I get a professional license after completing the MA program in community counseling?

You are not eligible for professional counselor licensing in Illinois with the MA degree. You can, however, be eligible for a license by taking extra coursework and an additional 250 hours of practicum and internship (CPSY 440).

What are the requirements for a professional license?

Please visit our Placement and Licensure page for further details.