Master of Arts
in Clinical Mental Health 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, and we also have a 100% post-graduation job placement rate.

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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 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 Schedule

       

      Course Requirements & Descriptions

      Individuals who would like to take some graduate courses for professional development, continuing education credits, or just personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree special student. Learn more

      Graduate Bulletin: Required Courses for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Application and Admission

      What are the academic requirements for admission into the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling?

      • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in the 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 Clinical Mental Health Counseling require an undergraduate degree in Psychology? What are preferred undergraduate majors for admission into the program?
      The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health 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 some graduate courses for professional development, continuing education credits, or just personal enrichment may take up to 9 graduate credits as a non-degree (“Special”) student. Special students may not enroll in practicum, clinical, or internship courses without approval from the program director.

      In order to enroll in the course(s):

      1. Complete the free Loras College Special Course Application. Select “Graduate Course” as the Course Registration Type. You will need to upload copies of your unofficial transcript(s) from each college/university attended before submitting the application.
      2. The transcripts will be evaluated by the Program Director to ensure that any necessary pre-requisite course requirements have been met.
      3. After review of the transcript(s), the Registrar’s Office will be in touch with information about your next steps.
        • Non-degree seeking students interested in Clinical Mental Health Counseling courses must meet the minimum MA in Counseling program admission requirements.
        • Please note that enrolled degree-seeking students have registration preference if a course is full.
        • After the completion of 9 non-degree credits, a student must then apply for formal admission into the graduate program in order to move forward and take additional courses.
        • Graduate courses completed by a “Special” student with a grade of B or better may be applied to a future graduate degree at Loras College with the approval of both the Program Director and the Academic Dean.
        • Financial aid is not available to non-degree “Special” students.
        • Students interested in any of Loras’ Professional and Continuing Education programs should refer to the individual program webpage for application and enrollment instructions.

        Is there an option for conditional admission?
        A program director may require specific conditions to be completed to meet the program requirements prior to full admission into a graduate program. A student may be awarded 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 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 Loras College Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health 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 Clinical Mental Health Counseling curriculum, please contact Dr. Steffanie Schilder: Program Director, at steffanie.schilder@loras.edu.

        Curriculum and Class Format

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

        What is the format of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health 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 Clinical Mental Health Counseling program?
        There is no preferred entry point into the Clinical Mental Health 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 Clinical Mental Health 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 the 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 4:00 – 6:30 pm. Please see the Course Listings/Schedule section of the Registrar’s Office webpage for specific course dates and times.

        What is the Clinical Mental Health 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 Clinical Mental Health 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 Clinical Mental Health Counseling program meets the requirements for licensure in the state of Iowa.

        The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program has taken a number of necessary steps to align the program with CACREP standards. One of the standards is the availability of an annual report that includes program data. That report can be found here.

        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 are 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 the current tuition rates for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health 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?
        Degree-seeking graduate students (enrolled in a master’s program) are eligible to receive $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds for each academic year. Students may choose to accept all or just part of the $20,500 amount. To obtain a loan, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year at: https://studentaid.gov/ and take at least 3 credits per term. Loras’ school code is 001873.

        The loan will disburse directly to Loras to cover the cost of the term(s). For financial aid purposes, Loras’ academic year runs from summer-spring (ie: summer 2022 through spring 2023). Please be sure to complete the correct FAFSA for the term(s) you wish to receive loans. For example, students beginning a graduate program in summer 2022 would complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA.

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

        Information about private loans can be found at: https://choice.fastproducts.org/FastChoice/home/187300/1

        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.

        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 Clinical Mental Health 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 clinical 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 and Financial Aid

        Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health 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 Clinical Mental Health 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).

        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 (enrolled in a master’s program) are eligible to receive $20,500 in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funds for each academic year. Students may choose to accept all or just part of the $20,500 amount. To obtain a loan, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year at: https://studentaid.gov/ and take at least 3 credits per term. Loras’ school code is 001873.

        The loan will disburse directly to Loras to cover the cost of the term(s). For financial aid purposes, Loras’ academic year runs from summer-spring (ie: summer 2022 through spring 2023). Please be sure to complete the correct FAFSA for the term(s) you wish to receive loans. For example, students beginning a graduate program in summer 2022 would complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA.

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

        Information about private loans can be found at: https://choice.fastproducts.org/FastChoice/home/187300/1

        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
        563.588.7783 | steffanie.schilder@loras.edu
        Full Profile

        Aimee Kathleen
        Assistant Professor of Psychology
        563.588.7226 | aimee.kathleen@loras.edu
        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.
        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

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