Become a licensed professional counselor, ready to tackle the systematic inequities in the educational system
Commit to disrupting the status quo and eliminating mental health disparities with a MEd in Community Counseling. Our nationally recognized faculty are experts in social justice and ready to work with you to confront racism, achievement gaps, and other discrimination in our education system.
Want to learn more?
Here are answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Our commitment to you
Upon graduation with a MEd degree in community counseling from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to work as a licensed professional counselor and pursue additional advanced degrees with a research focus.
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 community mental health agencies 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.
Our goal is to prepare culturally sensitive practitioners who, regardless of the setting, base their practices on scholarly inquiry. You'll be committed to social justice, and embrace the role of change agent and advocate in our education system.
Completion of the MEd degree program requires 48 semester hours of graduate study focused in two major areas: counseling core and a specialty area. This includes 700 clock hours of practicum and internship experience (taken for six semester hours of credit). Students must also take and pass a comprehensive examination during their final semester of study. Students have five years from acceptance to complete the program.
For more information about the following items, please refer to the Counseling Program Handbook
Full-time students complete the program in two years, including at least one summer. Part-time study is also available.
MEd 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 School of Education’s Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs.
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 (18 semester hours)
- CPSY 427: Introduction to Clinical Mental Health
- CPSY 437: Addictions Counseling
- CPSY 444: Family Therapy I
- CPSY 440: Practicum
Practicum/Internship requires 700 hours of supervised experience in a setting relevant to community counseling practice.
- CPSY 441: Internship
- CPSY 528: Diagnostic Appraisal to Treatment Planning
Specialty Elective (3 semester hours)
See program handbook for suggested courses
A proctored examination is required. See program handbook for details. Comprehensive examination application deadlines are as follows (see the School of Education Academic Calendar for comprehensive exam dates)
The curriculum of the MEd program reflects current requirements for licensure in the State of Illinois. Licensure is handled by individual states, and portability of licensure across state lines differs according to each state. The Department of Professional Regulation in the State of Illinois has adopted the certification exam developed and administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Many states use this exam for licensure purposes, so scores from the exam can be transferred. Coursework, including the number of hours required, differ across states. Students interested in completing licensure or certification in another state are strongly advised to consult the professional regulation boards prior to enrolling at Loyola to determine the appropriate coursework required. Students should also stay apprised of licensure requirements throughout the program.
The Chicagoland area provides a wealth of clinical training opportunities for the students in community, school, and clinical mental health counseling programs. Students receive generalist training, but through site selection can begin to acquire population-specific competencies in working with children, adolescents, families, gay/lesbian/bisexual clients, and other groups of individuals. Many of the practicum sites also contain American Psychological Association-approved internship programs where trainees are provided with rigorous supervision and on-site seminars.
To discuss typical practicum settings and sites in Chicago and its suburbs, please contact Rufus Gonzales, Practicum Coordinator, at (312) 915-6378.
Interested in applying? Check out the MEd 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 my license as a professional counselor after finishing the MEd in community counseling?
The MEd program in Community Counseling is approved by the State of Illinois as a professional counselor training program. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for licensing as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois upon graduation. Graduates are eligible to apply for licensing as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois after receiving two years of post-degree supervised experience.Visit our Placement and Licensure page for more details.
What are the requirements for a professional license?
Please visit our Placement and Licensure page for further details.