Master of Arts
in Counseling

Personalized Attention.
Professional Growth.
Community Impact.

Become A Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Help fill the growing need for mental health counselors by earning your degree at Loras. Our evening classes are tailored to meet the needs of both recent graduates and working professionals. The program has a highly respected reputation of providing skilled mental health counselors to the tri-state area. We are proud that 100% of our students have passed the NCMHCE licensure exam on the first try, and we also have a 100% post-graduation job placement rate.

BENEFITS
Courses are taught by practicing professionals who bring real-world experience to their teaching, and have an extensive network of field placements where students can meet both program and state criteria for practicum and internships. You'll learn from doctoral-level faculty with a wide breadth of specialty knowledge in multiple areas of study. Graduates who become licensed mental health counselors work in a wide range of mental health service organizations such as Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, Life Connections, Hillcrest Residential Treatment Center, as well as in private practice.

Our program curriculum meets the licensure requirements for Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, making it easy for students to obtain a license in other states if they secure employment outside of Iowa.

In addition, to help fill the growing need for Addictions counselors in the region, Loras offers the opportunity for students in the Counseling program to add on an Addictions track to their degree by completing the coursework required to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

FLEXIBLE & CONVENIENT 
Graduate students are often juggling work and family life at the same time. Our program is set up with your hectic schedule in mind. Students typically take three classes a semester, and can begin the program in either the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms. Each class is held just one night per week, and starts at 4pm or later, which allows students to continue working while going to school. Many students are able to finish the degree in as few as three years.

REPUTATION OF EXCELLENCE 
Loras has offered a master’s degree to train mental health counselors for almost 40 years. The College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

GRAD CHAT
Loras is pleased to offer an opportunity for prospective graduate Counseling students to enjoy a casual, personalized Zoom conversation with the Counseling Program Director and the Director of Graduate Admission to learn more about the classes, internships, outcomes, enrollment process, and much more. Get a true sense of what grad school is like from a faculty member you will be working closely with. 

Grad Chat Registration

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

“Loras provided me the small campus experience I was seeking. I was able to form strong social connections, work closely with my instructors, and find employment during and after graduation.”

Brooke Martin, MA, LMHC, DBTC
M.A. Counseling

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"I was able to form strong social connections, work closely with my instructors, and find employment during and after graduation."

Meet Brooke

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

“I wanted to take graduate courses in an academically driven atmosphere, and Loras was the perfect option. Professors have firsthand knowledge in research, clinical and diagnostic work and testing. They maintain strong community ties, providing excellent opportunities to put education into practice.”

Jessica Bonert,
M.A. Counseling

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

"Providing excellent opportunities to put education into practice."

Meet Jessica
Admission Criteria & Application Checklist

    Admission Criteria & Eligibility Information:

    • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in the last 60 credits) is required for admission.
    • Completion of at least 9 credits in the behavioral sciences is required for admission.
    Application Checklist- Domestic Student Application Checklist- International Student
      Course Requirements

      60 total credit hours required for Counseling degree at Loras

      MHC 501 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling ☐⛛
      MHC-527 Human Growth and Development* ☐⛛
      MHC-535 Addictions ☐⛛#
      MHC-605 Research and Program Evaluation* ☐⛛
      MHC-612 Professional Orientation and Identity* ☐⛛
      MHC-615 Assessment* ☐⛛
      MHC-625 Psychopathology* ☐⛛
      MHC-626 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning* ☐⛛
      MHC-635 Social and Cultural Diversity (PREQ 612)* ☐⛛
      MHC-637 Career and Lifestyle Development* ☐⛛
      MHC-643 Group Work* ☐⛛
      MHC-647 Helping Relationships* ☐⛛
      MHC-649 Theories of Mental Health Counseling (PREQ 647)* ☐⛛
      MHC-655 Crisis and Trauma Counseling ☐⛛
      MHC-694 Practicum* ☐⛛
      MHC-696 Supervised Clinical Internship I (PREQ 694) (300 hours)* ☐⛛
      MHC-698 Supervised Clinical Internship II (PREQ 694, 696) (300 hours)* ☐⛛
      The remaining 9 elective credits to be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.

      Regularly Offered Electives:

      MHC-539 Psychology of Stress & Coping
      MHC-558 Child Psychopathology
      MHC-595 Special Topics
      MHC-623 Adulthood and Aging
      MHC-633 Physiological Psychology
      MHC-648 Marriage and Family Counseling ☐⛛
      MHC-536 Foundations of Addictions Counseling #
      MHC 537 Assessment and Diagnosis in Addictions Counseling #
      MHC 538 Theories and Techniques in Addictions Counseling #

      (PREQ): there is a required course which must be taken prior to this course.
      * State of Iowa requirement for Mental Health Counselor license.
      State of Wisconsin requirement for licensure.
      State of Illinois requirement for licensure.
      # State of Iowa requirement to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (Addictions track)

      Course Schedule
      Counseling Course Rotation
      Counseling Course Rotation
      Course Descriptions

      MHC 501 Foundations of Mental Health Counseling
      This course introduces the history and development of clinical mental health counseling, theories and models related to clinical mental health counseling, including the role of technology, principles of clinical mental health counseling, including prevention, intervention, consultation, education, and advocacy, self-evaluation within that role, and networks that promote mental health and wellness. 3 credits.

      MHC 527 Human Growth and Development
      This course provides an understanding of the nature and needs of persons at all developmental levels and in multicultural contexts. Students will learn theories related to the following: individual and family development and transitions across the life span; learning and personality development including neurobiological behavior; models of individual, cultural, couple, family, and community resilience; and theories and etiology of addictions and addictive behaviors, including strategies for prevention, intervention, and treatment. Effects of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on persons of all ages will be explored. Students will learn a general framework for understanding exceptional abilities and strategies for differentiated interventions. Human behavior will be discussed, including an understanding of developmental crises, disability, psychopathology, and situational and environmental factors that affect both normal and abnormal behavior. Finally, strategies for facilitating optimum development over the life span will be covered. 3 credits.

      MHC 535 Addictions
      This seminar course provides an examination of substance use and abuse and the progressive nature of addiction. Effects on the user, children, and family are explored. An overview of the models of chemical dependency, dually diagnosed clients, intervention, treatment, DSM criteria and assessment tools are examined. 3 credits.

      MHC 537 Assessment & Diagnosis in Addictions
      This course will emphasize use of appropriate assessment tools and strategies for diagnosis of addictive disorders according to current diagnostic classification systems. This course will also include discussion of the effects of various psychoactive substances, and with a special focus on differential diagnosis and recognition of instances in which medical referral and/or consultation is appropriate. 3 credits.

      MHC 538 Theories & Techniques in Addictions
      This course will provide a review of leading theories and models of addiction. The application of these theories to treatment planning, counseling interventions, and relapse prevention will also be addressed. 3 credits.

      MHC 539 Psychology of Stress & Coping
      In this course the student will learn basic principles related to the psychobiology of stress & coping. Current psychological research regarding stress & coping will be examined. A variety of coping strategies will be outlined. The use of stress reduction techniques in therapy and in one’s own life will be highlighted. 3 credits.

      MHC 545 Sports Psychology
      Covers the basic concepts, theories & principles essential to understanding the psychological and behavioral aspects of sport. Emphasis is given to the applied aspects of the social and psychological factors of sport performance including leadership behavior, exercise motivation, personality, and self-perception. Serves to aid in the application of psychological principles to coaching in athletics. This course is cross-listed with L.CLD-545 Sports Psychology. 3 credits.

      MHC 558 Child Psychopathology
      A study of behavioral, developmental, and psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence. Emphasis is placed on the assessment and treatment of child psychopathology. 3 credits.

      MHC 561 The Psychology of Gender
      A cross-disciplinary examination of how gender influences and shapes the lives of women and men. Topics include: the process and history of gender socialization; gender in the workplace; gender images in the media and literature; differences and similarities in cognitive styles and moral reasoning. 3 credits.

      MHC 595 Special Topics in Psychology
      Flexible offerings that allow students an opportunity to explore, with a professor and other students, an area of mutual interest. The students for these courses are screened by the teacher(s) to ensure their potential for course contribution, since students as well as teachers are expected to present positions in the area to be studied. 3 credits.

      MHC 605 Research and Program Evaluation
      This course provides an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation, including all of the following: The importance of research in advancing the counseling profession; research methods such as qualitative, quantitative, single-case designs, action research, and outcome-based research; statistical methods used in conducting research and program evaluation; principles, models, and applications of needs assessment, program evaluation, and use of findings to effect program modifications; use of research to inform evidence-based practice; and ethical and culturally relevant strategies for interpreting and reporting the results of research and program evaluation studies. 3 credits.

      MHC 612 Professional Orientation & Identity
      This course provides an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning. This includes history of the helping professions, roles and functions in comparison to related fields and in regards to an interdisciplinary emergency management response team, professional organizations with an emphasis on the ACA, the ACA ethical standards and their applications along with legal considerations, professional preparation standards, professional credentialing, advocacy for the profession and to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients, and self-care. 3 credits.

      MHC 615 Assessment
      Students will be provided with an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment. This course includes a consideration of historical perspectives on assessment, basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing including norm and criterion referencing, environmental and performance evaluation, individual and group testing, behavioral observation, and computer-based methods of assessment. Statistical concepts central to the assessment process will be reviewed, with an emphasis on concepts of reliability and validity. Social and cultural factors related to assessment will be considered thoroughly. Students will become familiar with strategies for selecting, administering and interpreting assessment instruments as they relate to case conceptualization, diagnosis and the overall counseling process. Ethical and legal considerations will be considered throughout all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

      MHC 623 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging
      A survey of modern knowledge about the processes of becoming old (aging) and old age itself. Emphasis is placed on cognitive processes, personality, and mental health. 3 credits.

      MHC 625 Psychopathology
      This course will provide an understanding of emotional and mental disorders experienced by persons of all ages, characteristics of disorders, and common nosologies of emotional and mental disorders utilized within the U.S. health care system for diagnosis and treatment planning. This will include the study of cognitive, behavioral, physiological and interpersonal mechanisms for adapting to change and to stressors and the role of genetic, physiological, cognitive, environmental and interpersonal factors and their interactions on development of the form, severity, course and persistence of the various types of disorders and dysfunction. Students will examine research methods and findings pertinent to the description, and the classification, diagnosis, origin, and course of disorders and dysfunction and address theoretical perspectives relevant to the origin, development, and course and outcomes for the forms of behavior disorders and dysfunction. Finally, methods of intervention or preventions will be covered that are used to minimize and modify maladaptive behaviors, disruptive and distressful cognition, or compromised interpersonal functioning associated with various forms of maladaptation. 3 credits.

      MHC 626 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
      This course provides an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in a multicultural society. Students will learn principles of the diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis, and the use of current diagnostic tools, including the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and ICD. All diagnostic tools discussed will include relevance and potential biases as related to multicultural populations. Students will become familiar with the established diagnostic criteria for mental or emotional disorders, appropriate treatment modalities, and placement criteria within the continuum of care. Students will conceptualize clients, use diagnostic tools appropriately, and describe symptoms and clinical presentation of clients, including the impact of co-occurring substance use disorders and be able to communicate these to collaborating professionals. Finally, students will develop the ability to differentiate between diagnosis and developmentally appropriate reactions during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events. 3 credits.

      MHC 633 Physiological Psychology
      Neuroanatomical and neuro-physiological basis of behavior, relationships among anatomy and physiology, and motivation, emotion, learning, memory, and sleep. This course will also include a consideration of current major psychotropic medications, their use and impact on behavior. 3 credits.

      MHC 635 Social and Cultural Diversity (PREQ 612)
      This course provides an understanding of the cultural context of relationships, issues, and trends in a multicultural and diverse society. There will be focus on multicultural and pluralistic trends, including characteristics and concerns within and among diverse groups nationally and internationally. Students will identify their own attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences and how these interact with others’. Experiential learning activities will foster students’ understanding of self and culturally diverse clients. Theories of multicultural counseling, identity development, and social justice will be covered, with a focus on multiple perspectives, including individual, couple, family, group, and community. Importance will be emphasized for both working with and advocating for diverse populations, including multicultural competencies. Students will earn the counselors’ roles in developing cultural self-awareness, promoting cultural social justice, advocacy, conflict resolution, eliminating biases, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination. 3 credits.

      MHC 637 Career and Lifestyle Development
      This course provides an understanding of career development and related life factors. Students will learn career development theories and decision-making models; career, avocational, educational, occupational and labor market information resources and career information systems; career development program planning, organization, implementation, administration, and evaluation; interrelationships among and between work, family, and other life roles and factors including the role of multicultural issues in career development; career and educational planning, placement, follow-up, and evaluation; assessment instruments and techniques relevant to career planning and decision making; and career counseling processes, techniques, and resources, including those applicable to specific populations. 3 credits.

      MHC 643 Group Counseling and Group Work
      This course provides both theoretical and experiential understanding of group purpose, development of groups, dynamics, theories, methods, skills, and other group approaches in a multicultural society. From a theoretical standpoint, students will learn characteristics and functions of effective group leaders, group members roles and behaviors, approaches to group formation, types of groups, developmental stage theories, and ethical and culturally relevant strategies for designing and facilitating groups. The experiential component will consist of students participating as group members for a minimum of 10 hours, which will allow them to experience the theoretical applications. 3 credits.

      MHC 645 Criminal Justice Risk Assessment
      Examination of the historical context of risk assessment and the discovery of the principles of risk, need, and responsivity provide the backdrop for an understanding of the necessity of including risk assessment in the correctional system for purposes of prediction of recidivism and case management. Course work further extends the risk, need, and responsivity concepts in an examination of the three major types of risk assessments (adult male, adult female, and juvenile). In addition, the impact of age, race, and gender on the validity of risk assessment is examined. Finally, the course allows students to connect the academic material in the course to practical application as the theories, principles, and concepts learned during course discussions are applied to practical role modeling of risk assessment. Students completing the course will have competency in the field of risk assessment and the ability to assess male and female offenders and juvenile delinquents in the correctional and juvenile justice systems in the United States. 3 credits. As needed.

      MHC 647 Helping Relationships
      This course provides an understanding of counseling processes in a multicultural society, with emphasis on essential interviewing and counseling skills and the counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence the helping processes. There will be an orientation to wellness and prevention as desired counseling goals. Counseling theories will be introduced that provide the student with a model(s) to conceptualize client presentation and select appropriate counseling interventions. Students shall be exposed to models of counseling that are consistent with current professional research and practice in the field so that they can begin to develop a personal model of counseling. A systems perspective that provides an understanding of family and other systems theories and major models of family and related interventions will be covered. This course will also provide a general framework for understanding and practicing consultation and crisis intervention and suicide prevention models, including the use of psychological first-aid strategies. Finally, students will be taught the impact that technology can have on the counseling process. 3 credits.

      MHC 648 Marriage and Family Counseling
      A course intended for those who plan to be involved in dealing with couples whose marriages are either in trouble or who wish to actualize their marriage to a high level of fulfillment and functioning. The student will be taught how to utilize family systems theory in resolution of conflicts, communications, achieving compatibility, and in handling the spouse’s anger. The student will also acquire diagnostic and interpretive skills in uncovering underlying dynamics in marriages. 3 credits.

      MHC 649 Theories of Mental Health Counseling (PREQ 647)
      This course covers major theories of counseling, case conceptualization from each standpoint, and their techniques. Students will develop the ability to demonstrate competency in applying theory and selecting appropriate techniques when given specific client demographics and diagnoses. Students will also be able to analyze research support for each theory and the selection of techniques that are used within that theoretical framework. Students will develop a personal/professional philosophy of how to use theory to encourage and support therapeutic change by clients in clinical work. 3 credits.

      MHC 650 Research Project
      Under the direction of a faculty advisor the student designs, conducts, and interprets a research study. Prior to conducting the study the student presents a research proposal. Upon acceptance of the proposal, the student proceeds with the study. The course is completed with a final oral presentation. The research project must be completed no later than July 1 for summer graduation, November 15 for fall graduation, or April 15 for spring graduation. Open to degree candidates only. 3 credits.

      MHC 655 Crisis and Trauma Counseling
      Studies that include counseling approaches that effectively address crises and trauma and the impact of trauma and crisis and potential neurobiological responses. Students will learn skills and techniques for assessing and intervening in specific crisis or trauma situations, including suicide assessment and intervention, assessing risk of danger to others, and procedures for identifying trauma and abuse and for reporting abuse. 3 credits.

      MHC 694 Practicum
      A graduate-level clinical supervised counseling practicum in which students complete supervised practicum experiences that total a minimum of 100 clock hours. The practicum will include: At least 40 hours of direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills; weekly interaction with an average of one hour per week of individual or triadic supervision by a program faculty member or site supervisor; an average of 1 1/2 hours per week of group supervision that is provided regularly over the course of the practicum by a program faculty member; and evaluation of the student’s performance throughout the practicum including a formal evaluation after the student completes the practicum. 3 credits.

      MHC 695 Seminar
      Special topics in Psychology. Prerequisite: Written consent of instructor. Primarily for master’s candidates in Psychology. 3 credits.

      MHC 696 Clinical Internship I (PREQ MHC 694)
      The first half of a graduate-level clinical supervised counseling internship in a mental health setting in which students complete supervised internship experiences that total a minimum of 300 clock hours, leading to their 600 clock hours for the entire internship experience. The internship will include: At least 120 hours, leading to their 240 direct hours, of direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills; weekly interaction with an average of one hour per week of individual or triadic supervision by a program faculty member or site supervisor; an average of 1 1/2 hours per week of group supervision that is provided regularly over the course of the internship by a program faculty member; and evaluation of the student’s performance throughout the internship including a formal evaluation after the student completes the internship. The internship experience refelcts the comprehensive work experience of a professional counselor appropriate to clinical mental health counseling. The student will perform, under supervision, a variety of counseling activities that a mental health counselor is expected to perform. This includes the opportunity for the student to develop program appropriate audio/video recordings for use in supervision or to receive live supervision of the student’s interaction with clients. 3 credits.

      MHC 698 Clinical Internship II (PREQ MHC 694, 696)
      The second half of a graduate-level clinical supervised counseling internship in a mental health setting in which students complete supervised internship experiences that total a minimum of 300 clock hours, completing their 600 clock hours for the entire internship experience. The internship will include: At least 120 hours, completing their 240 direct hours, of direct service with actual clients that contributes to the development of counseling skills; weekly interaction with an average of one hour per week of individual or triadic supervision by a program faculty member or site supervisor; an average of 1 1/2 hours per week of group supervision that is provided regularly over the course of the internship by a program faculty member; and evaluation of the student’s performance throughout the internship including a formal evaluation after the student completes the internship. The internship experience reflects the comprehensive work experience of a professional counselor appropriate to clinical mental health counseling. The student will perform, under supervision, a variety of counseling activities that a mental health counselor is expected to perform working towards their independence as a mental health counselor. This includes the opportunity for the student to develop program appropriate audio/video recordings for use in supervision or to receive live supervision of the student’s interaction with clients. 3 credits.

      MHC 699 Clinical Internship III (PREQ MHC 694, 696, 698)
      Students are not required to take Clinical Internship III. If they do not, they will need to choose an elective course to meet the credit requirement for the Counseling program. 3 credits.

      MHC 697 Independent Study
      Primarily for master’s candidates in psychology. Individual investigation of a special topic under the direction of a faculty member. Permission of the Graduate Coordinator required prior to registration. Only open to degree candidates. 3 credits.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Application and Admission

      What are the academic requirements for admission into the Master of Arts in Counseling Program?

      • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in last 60 credits)
      • Completion of at least 9 credits in the behavioral sciences

      How do I apply for admission?
      Please see the Admission Criteria & Application Checklist section of this webpage.

      What are the application deadlines?
      Spring enrollment – all materials due by December 1 (Please note that only 1-2 classes may be available for Spring starts, depending on the year).
      Summer enrollment- all materials due by April 1
      Fall enrollment – all materials due by July 1

      Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.

      What if I’m still finishing up my bachelor’s degree?
      Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’s graduate program based on receipt of their in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials; with full acceptance contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree. If a program has a minimum GPA requirement, the student must meet the minimum GPA at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

      Does the Master of Arts in Counseling program require an undergraduate degree in Psychology? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
      The Master of Arts in Counseling program does not require an undergraduate degree in Psychology, nor is any specific undergraduate degree identified.  Having either a psychology, education, social work, or equivalent degree is acceptable. Applicants must have completed at least 9 credits of coursework in the behavioral sciences.

      How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?
      Immediately following receipt of all application materials, your file will be reviewed by the program director to determine whether to move forward with an interview.  You will then be contacted with information about your next steps. After completion of your interview (or after review of your file), you will be notified of an admission decision via email within one week.

      How will I be notified of the admission decision?
      You will be contacted by email once a decision has been made.

      Can I take some courses as a non-degree student?
      Individuals who would like to take graduate classes for professional development, continuing education credits, or personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree (Special) student. Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, internship courses or other courses without approval from the program director.

      In order to enroll in the course(s), students must complete the standard online graduate application (in the Student Profile section of the application, select “Professional & Continuing Education” as the Student Type, and “Other Non-Degree Coursework” as the Academic Program), and email unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution attended to the Director of Admission for Graduate and Professional Education Programs. The transcripts will then be evaluated by the program director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met. Non-degree seeking students interested in courses in the Counseling program must meet minimum program admission requirements for the program. Please note that degree-seeking students have registration preference.

      After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the program in order to move forward and take additional courses.

      Financial aid is not available to non-degree special students.

      Is there an option for conditional admission?
      A program director may require specific conditions be completed to meet the program requirements prior to full admission into a graduate program. A student may be awarded a conditional admission if the program director recommends the student complete additional undergraduate coursework to achieve a minimum GPA requirement of the program. If a student has not met all program requirements at the time of application, a student may be awarded a conditional admission per the discretion of the program director. Refer to the individual program policies and program directors for specific conditional admission policies. Not all graduate programs have a conditional admission policy.

      How can I receive more information about the Master of Arts in Counseling program?
      For more information about the application and admission process, or to set up an in-person campus visit, please contact Megan Henderson: Director of Admission for Graduate and Professional Education Programs, at megan.henderson@loras.edu or 563-588-7140. For more information about the Counseling curriculum, please contact Dr. Steffanie Schilder: Program Director, at steffanie.schilder@loras.edu.

      Curriculum and Class Format

      How many credits are required in the Master of Arts in Counseling degree?
      60 credits are needed to meet the course requirements for the Master of Arts in Counseling.

      What is the format of the Master of Arts in Counseling classes?
      The format of the classes is primarily face-to-face course instruction, but some classes are offered in an online format.  Practica and internships are primarily field experiences with regular meetings on campus.

      Is there a preferred entry point into the Master of Arts in Counseling program?
      There is no preferred entry point into the Counseling program; students may be admitted into either the Spring, Summer, or Fall terms. (Please note that only 1-2 classes may be available for Spring starts, depending on the year).

      Does the Master of Arts in Counseling program accept transfer credits?
      Students can transfer a maximum of 12 graduate credits into the program from a previous institution. The courses must be similar in content to coursework offered at Loras and approved by the Program Director.

      How long does it take to complete the program?
      Students typically take three classes a semester. Most students complete the program within 3 years. Please note: students have up to 7 years to complete the program.

      What is a maximum course load per semester?
      Students are allowed to take up to 9 credits.

      What is the time commitment outside of class?
      Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set. As a general rule, students will spend 4 – 6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

      Where are classes held?
      Classes are held on the beautiful Loras College campus in Hennessy Hall.

      When do classes meet?
      Each face-to-face class meets one evening per week, typically from 4:00pm – 6:30pm. For specific times and dates, see the course schedule prior to each academic semester.

      What is the counseling Practicum experience like?
      The Practicum and Internship experiences occur in the last three semesters of the student’s program.

      The Practicum experience is 100 hours, occurring during the summer term, and allows the student to observe therapists in action as the students become ready to move towards independent practice.

      Students will meet with the Practicum and Internship Coordinator to discuss their career goals and which placement locations might best fit their interests. Students will then interview at appropriate sites to help determine their placement.

      When entering the practicum and internship experiences, students will need to be prepared to be at their site during the day, with most sites operating only Monday through Friday.

      While some students continue employment, all will lessen their work hours to at least part time to allow time to complete these experiences. Students should be aware that their current employment will not count towards either of these experiences, as they need to be completing activities that mental health counselors complete at their employment. Practicum and Internship experiences in mental health counseling are not paid opportunities.

      What is the counseling Internship experience like?
      Practicum and Internship experiences occur in the last three semesters of the student’s program.

      Internship occurs during the Fall and Spring semesters as students move to work with clients individually, with 300 hours of experience during each semester.  Students should plan to be at their site approximately 18 hours per week with 2 hours in group supervision class each week.

      Students will meet with the Practicum and Internship Coordinator to discuss their career goals and which placement locations might best fit their interests.  Students will then interview at appropriate sites to help determine their placement.

      When entering the practicum and internship experiences, students will need to be prepared to be at their site during the day, with most sites operating only Monday through Friday.

      While some students continue employment, all will lessen their work hours to at least part time to allow time to complete these experiences.  Students should be aware that their current employment will not count towards either of these experiences, as they need to be completing activities that mental health counselors complete at their employment.  Practicum and Internship experiences in mental health counseling are not paid opportunities.

      Will there be an orientation prior to the first class?
      Yes, students are required to attend the Graduate Student Orientation prior to beginning coursework so they can become familiar with the faculty, campus services, and their peers.

      Does the program offer online courses?
      Currently, 2 – 3 of the core courses are offered online.

      Is Loras College accredited?
      Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  Our Master of Arts in Counseling program meets the requirements for licensure in the state of Iowa.

      Will I be able to work in Wisconsin, Iowa or Illinois after completion of this program?
      The curriculum in this program meets tri-state requirements for licensure.

      If I’m interested in playing a sport at Loras while in graduate school, how many credits do I have to take?
      Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program to be eligible to participate in NCAA athletics at Loras.

      Student athletes enrolled in one of our degree-seeking master’s programs need to have full-time status (taking at least 6 credits per term) during the semester(s) they’re practicing or competing in the sport. Students also need to be making satisfactory progress towards their degree (as determined by Loras). If a student wants to participate in athletics while being enrolled less than full-time, they will need to work with their coaches to determine if they are eligible for a waiver.

      Please note that while 6 credits per term is considered full-time for graduate students at Loras, students only need to take at least 3 credits per term in order to be eligible for federal financial aid.

      Financial

      What are current tuition rates for the Master of Arts in Counseling?
      Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for detailed cost information.

      Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

      Is financial aid available?
      Students wishing to obtain a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and take at least 3 credits per term. Please contact our Financial Planning Office at (563) 588-7136 or financial.planning@loras.edu for more information.

      Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships for graduate students at this time.

      Candidacy

      Students who have been admitted to Loras College as a degree-seeking graduate student will be reviewed for Candidacy to continue on in the Counseling program after the completion of at least 15 and not more than 21 counseling credits.  This review will be conducted by faculty members in the psychology program and will assess adequacy of academic performance as well as overall suitability of the student for work in the area of counseling which has been selected. A recommendation regarding admission to candidacy will be made by graduate program faculty. Students will automatically be considered for candidacy once reaching this credit range. Discussions of candidacy will occur in the October or March Psychology Graduate meeting. Students will be informed of decisions via letter by the end of October or the end of March, respectively. A student will receive one of the following three recommendations.

      1. Acceptance to Candidacy: The student is fully accepted into the program and may proceed with further coursework and internship experiences.
      2. Acceptance to Candidacy Deferred: The student may continue his/her coursework but will need to successfully address areas of concern raised by the faculty during the candidacy review. The student, upon addressing said concerns, must reapply for acceptance to candidacy within 6 months of notification of deferred status. If the student has successfully addressed the specified said concerns, he/she will be recommended for Acceptance to Candidacy.
      3. Acceptance to Candidacy Denied: The student will be denied acceptance to candidacy if he/she has demonstrated an inability to meet the academic standards of the program. This would be manifested in a GPA of under 3.0 for their graduate coursework. A student may also be denied candidacy if he/she demonstrates unethical behavior or a pattern of misbehavior or inappropriate behavior in his/her dealings with classmates, professors, internship supervisors, or clients. Denial of candidacy will result in the student’s withdrawal from the program.
      Program Cost

      Master of Arts in Counseling Program Cost
      Visit the Graduate section of our Tuition & Fees page for tuition information.

      Below are additional fees associated with students enrolled in the MA in Counseling program (subject to change):

      • Upon admission into the program, students will be required to purchase and complete a routine background check. The cost of the background check will vary by student and is determined by the number of addresses that a student has, as well as their legal history. In most cases, the cost is approximately $135. Enrollment in the program is contingent upon successful passing of the background check by the first day of class.
      • MHC 635 Social and Cultural Diversity course fee: $20 (one time).
      • American Counseling Association membership: ~$105 (annual).
      • Liability insurance must be purchased prior to the start date of class for Practicum. Prices are subject to change and are set by insurers: ~$40 (annual).
      • Comprehensive exam cost for a practice exam for the NCMHCE, which is the exam necessary for licensure in Iowa. Prices are subject to change and are set by exam companies: ~$50 plus study materials (cost incurred during the Internship I experience).

      Employer Reimbursement
      Students who wish to utilize tuition reimbursement from their employer must complete Loras’ Employer Tuition Reimbursement Form before the first day of their first class. Students will still be issued regular billing statements from Loras, but will be exempt from any service charges and will be exempt from having to make full payment until after the end of each class (or until after program completion for CFP Certification or Cybersecurity Bootcamp students). Students or employers are welcome to make payments directly to Loras along the way if they would like, but it is not required. If the employer reimbursement criteria are not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current immediately before any future registration will be permitted. Student’s balance must be paid in full within 30 days of the last day of each term (or within 30 days of program completion for CFP Certification Education and Cybersecurity Bootcamp students), and prior to Loras issuing the student a degree and/or final transcript.

      Financial Aid
      Degree-seeking graduate students (in a Master’s program) are eligible to receive $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds for each academic year. Students wishing to obtain a loan must complete the current year FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at: www.fafsa.ed.gov (Loras’s school code is 001873), and be taking at least 3 credits per term. The loan will disburse directly to the school to cover the cost of the term. Loras’s academic year runs from Summer-Spring (ie: Summer 2021-Spring 2022).

      Loras College does not offer institutional scholarships or federal grants for graduate and professional education students at this time.

      Students who have outstanding loans from their undergraduate education may be able to defer payment on those loans while enrolled in a degree-seeking master’s program. Deferment options are generally available to students who are enrolled at least half-time in a graduate program (3 credits or more per semester). If deferment is a requirement for you to be able to afford to enroll in a graduate program, we advise you to connect with our Financial Planning Office or your loan service providers to make sure you know exactly how deferment applies to your previous loans.

      Contact us if you have additional financial aid or billing questions:
      Financial Planning Office
      financial.planning@loras.edu
      563.588.7136

      Carrie Jones, Director of Student Accounts
      carrie.jones@loras.edu
      563.588.7232

      Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.

      CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

      Retain quality employees, invest in the upskilling of your employees and save on tuition reimbursement costs.

      Corporate Partnerships
      Loras College Department Staff

      Steffanie Schilder, Ph.D. 
      Associate Professor of Psychology
      Counseling and General Psychology Program Director
      563.588.7783 | steffanie.schilder@loras.edu
      Full Profile

      Aimee Kathleen
      Assistant Professor of Psychology
      563.588.7226 | 
      Full Profile

      Kirstin Lauritsen, Ph.D.
      Assistant Professor of Psychology
      Practicum and Internship Coordinator
      563-588-7228 | kirstin.lauritsen@loras.edu
      Full Profile

      Lindsey Bartgis, Ph.D.
      Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
      563.588.7226 | Lindsey.Bartgis@loras.edu
      Full Profile

      Questions? Let’s get in touch.

      Loras College Graduate Admissions
      Megan Henderson

      megan.henderson@loras.edu
      563.588.7140

      Connect with us on social media.

      LinkedIn Icon