Master of Arts in Counseling

Become A Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Our program is tailored to meet the needs of working professionals and new graduate students. The curriculum is specifically designed for individuals who plan to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) after completion of the program. The program has a highly respected reputation of providing skilled mental health counselors to the tri-state area for almost 40 years.

Want to talk to a current student to find out what our graduate programs are REALLY like? Here’s your chance! Dinner is on us!  You’ll meet with a master’s of counseling graduate student in The Loras College Pub for dinner. There’s no set agenda, so just come chat, ask any questions you have, and enjoy some delicious food in a low-pressure setting.

Application Requirements

Master of Arts in Counseling Program Application Checklist 

  • Graduate Program application:
    • Please apply online at:
  • All official transcripts from each institution attended, including undergraduate and graduate:
    • For a transcript to be considered official, it must be sent from that institution’s Registrar’s Office to Loras College Graduate Admissions. (Transcript “issued to student” as well as faxed and copied transcripts will not be considered official.)
    • 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.
    • All official transcripts can be mailed to:

Loras College Graduate Admission
Attn: Megan Henderson
1450 Alta Vista Street
Dubuque, IA  52001

  • Personal statement:
    • The personal statement is a typewritten paper outlining your interests and professional goals (maximum of 2 pages double spaced). This statement is an integral part of your application. Please address the following information:
      • How did you become interested in counseling?
      • What specific factors have led you to apply to Loras College?
      • What do you consider to be your outstanding strengths and weaknesses? Please also comment on your specific skills, talents, aptitudes.
      • Please briefly describe any participation in research or employment which might be relevant to your application.
      • What are your professional goals?
    • Please upload your personal statement to your personalized online ‘Application Tracker’ page after you submit your online application.
  • Current resume:
    • Some exposure to the counseling field is preferred (volunteer work, internships, service work, or semi-professional work).
    • Please upload your resume to your personalized online ‘Application Tracker’ page after you submit your online application.
  • Three recommendations:
    • The recommendations need to be from individuals who can speak to your character, academic capability, and motivation/interest exhibited in obtaining an advanced degree in this field.
    • In your personalized online ‘Application Tracker’ page, you will be asked to enter in the email addresses for three references. An email will be sent to those three references asking them to complete and submit the online Counseling Recommendation Form. (They are welcome to provide an optional supplemental letter in addition to the form as well).

Application deadlines:
Spring enrollment – all materials due by December 1
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.

Interview and Admission Decision:
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. Please note that if admitted, and after payment of your confirmation deposit, your enrollment in the program is contingent upon successful completion of a background check by the first day of class.

Notice to applicants who are still enrolled in classes at their current institution: In lieu of an official copy of your undergraduate transcript, please submit an unofficial copy of your current undergraduate transcript including your courses in progress. Upon receipt of all other application materials, you may still be invited for an interview and be given a provisional admission decision, contingent upon our receipt of your final, official transcript once your final grades are posted.

International Students Application Requirements

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-605 Research and Program Evaluation*
MHC-612 Professional Identity*
MHC-615 Assessment*
MHC-625 Psychopathology*
MHC-626 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning*
MHC-635 Social and Cultural Diversity*
MHC-637 Career and Lifestyle Development*
MHC-643 Group Work*
MHC-647 Helping Relationships*
MHC-655 Crisis and Trauma Counseling*
MHC-694 Practicum (CR) (100 hours)*
MHC-696 Supervised Clinical Internship I (CR) (PREQ 694) (200 hours)*
MHC-698 Supervised Clinical Internship II (CR) (PREQ 694, 696) (200 hours)*
MHC-535 Addictions
MHC-649 Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy (CR) (PREQ 647)
Total Required Credits: 51
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-699 Supervised Clinical Internship

(PREQ): there is a required course which must be taken prior to this course.
(CR): this course should be taken later in course of study; it cannot be taken prior to candidacy and it preferably should be taken close Practicum and Internship.
*State of Iowa requirement for Mental Health Counselor License.

Course Rotation
In the Fall of odd-numbered years:

Courses for State of Iowa licensure:

  • PSY 605 Research & Program Evaluation
  • PSY 527 Human Growth & Development
  • PSY 647 Helping Relationships



  • PSY 695 Special Topics


  • PSY 694 Practicum (CR)     or
  • PSY 696/698/699 Internship I/II/III (CR)
In the Spring of even-numbered years:

Courses for State of Iowa licensure:

  • PSY 635 Social & Cultural Diversity
  • PSY 637 Career Development
  • PSY 626 Diagnosis & Treatment Planning

Major Required Course:

  • PSY 649 Techniques of Counseling
    & Psychotherapy (CR) (PREQ = PSY 647)


  • PSY 694 Practicum (CR)     or
  • PSY 696/698/699 Internship I/II/III (CR)
In the Summer of even-numbered years:


Other Psychology electives as needed

In the Fall of even-numbered years:

Courses for State of Iowa licensure:

  • PSY 612 Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • PSY 615 Assessment
  • PSY 625 Psychopathology


Major Required Course:

  • PSY 633 Physiological Psychology


  • PSY 694 Practicum (CR)     or
  • PSY 696/698/699 Internship I/II/III (CR)
In the Spring of odd-numbered years:

Courses for State of Iowa licensure:

  • PSY 643 Group Work

Major Required Courses:

  • PSY 535 Addictions



  • PSY 645 Risk Assessment
  • PSY 558 Child Psychopathology     or
  • PSY 648 Marriage & Family Counseling


  • PSY 694 Practicum (CR)     or
  • PSY 696/698/699 Internship I/II/III (CR)
In the Summer of odd-numbered years:


Other Psychology electives as needed

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

L.PSY-527 Human Growth and Development
This course is designed to enhance understanding of how we develop and change across the life span both as individuals and within a family context. Course materials include the study the characteristics of various aspects of development at different ages and the influences and factors that produce change and stability as well as crisis, disability and psychopathology. This course is structured by topic versus by chronology, thereby lending the learning process to a greater in depth understanding of areas of development (e.g. intelligence, language, gender identification and other topics). Course materials also consider controversies associated with our understanding of development. Examples include the nature nurture debate, the continuity (or lack of continuity) in development, the value and limitations of various theories of development. The range of developmental theories covered in this course includes learning theory, theories that emphasize biology and theories of personality development. In the consideration of situational and environmental factors that influence development course materials will contrast those factors that contribute to both abnormal and normal behavior with particular emphasis on strategies that facilitate optimum development. Ethical and legal considerations that health professionals need to consider will also be covered. 3 credits.

L.PSY 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.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-605 Research and Program Evaluation
This course is designed to provide an understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment, and program evaluation. It will include an awareness of the importance of research as well as the limitations and difficulties in conducting research in the counseling field. Course materials will include information about specific methods such as single case designs, action and outcome-based research as well as both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Students will be able to demonstrate basic computer literacy and access technological tools for conducting research. Program evaluation is a major component of the course and includes awareness of needs assessment, outcome evaluation and program modification strategies. A consideration of the application of research findings to improving counseling effectiveness is also a component of the course. Relevant legal and ethical issues will be considered in all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.PSY-612 Professional Identity
This course provides an overview of counseling profession: its history and its connection to other human and health service providers. The course materials will include an understanding of ACA, its activities and services as well as its overall structure and philosophy. Students will learn about credentialing, licensure and accreditation procedures as well as public and private policy processes that constitute the professionalization of mental health work. The value of technological competence and computer literacy will be emphasized. In becoming aware of rights and privileges accorded to mental health professionals students will also learn about the importance of advocating for clients in addressing institutional and social barriers that limit or impede success. Course materials will include a thorough review of the ACA ethical code as well as code of other related professions as they contribute to and promote sound ethical and legal decisions making in professional counseling. 3 credits.

L.PSY-615 Assessment
In this course students be provided and understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment. Course materials include 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 bases methods of assessment. There will be a review of statistical concepts central to the assessment process with an emphasis on concepts of reliability and validity. Person and environmental variables such as age, gender, culture and other variables related to accurate assessment processes 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.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-625 Psychopathology
This course is designed to provide an understanding of mental disorders experienced by persons across the life span. It will include consideration of the characteristics of disorders as well as common categorizations of disorders utilized by the U.S. health care system. The course will emphasize the role of adaptation and stress mechanisms in the developments of disorders. The course materials will review genetic, physiological, cognitive, environmental and other variables as to their impact on the development, severity, course, and persistence of various types of disorders. Students will consider theoretical underpinnings/perspectives as well as various research methods and how they contribute to our understanding various aspects of disorders. A review of methods of prevention and intervention that can be used to minimize and modify the severity of disorders will also be included as a focus of this course. 3 credits.

L.PSY-626 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
This course will familiarize students with the principles of the diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and the use of tools such as the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This objective includes awareness of treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care. In this course there will be consideration of the impact of co-occurring substance use disorders on medical and psychological variables and also a consideration of potential bias in assessment related to multicultural identity factors. There will be an emphasis on accurate conceptualization of multi-axial diagnosis using appropriate diagnostic tools including the DSM. We will also consider strategies for effective communication of differential diagnosis to clients and third party payers. 3 credits.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-635 Social and Cultural Diversity
This course is designed to introduce students to multicultural issues involved in counseling. The course will emphasize both the cultural components and the social/political nature of groups nationally and internationally based on nationality, culture, age, mental and physical characteristics, education, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Topics of prejudice and discrimination as well as multicultural and pluralistic trends among and within these groups will be discussed. Course material will include theories of multicultural counseling, identity development and multicultural competency and also ethical and legal considerations. The course will consider the process of becoming an effective multicultural counselor in terms of becoming familiar with strategies for working with diverse populations and ethnic groups, individuals, couples, families and communities. Self-awareness of one’s perceptions, preconceptions, expectations, and behaviors towards various social groups, including one’s own groups, will be explored through experiential learning activities. 3 credits.

L.PSY-637 Career and Lifestyle Development
The course is designed to create an understanding of career development theories and decision-making models. Course materials will incorporate information about career information systems including technology-based career development applications and strategies, computer-assisted career guidance, relevant Web sites, labor market information resources, visual and print media and other relevant resources. The course will include information about career and educational planning, placement, and follow up evaluation. Students will become familiar with career assessment instruments, evaluation techniques and other resources which incorporate an awareness of the needs of specific populations. Students will also learn about the interrelationships among and between work, family, life roles and the influence of diversity and gender in career development. An emphasis on career program development, implementation and evaluation will also be included. Throughout the course there will be a consideration of ethical and legal issues associated with all aspects of career development. 3 credits.

L.PSY-643 Group Work
This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of group work. Course materials will include a review of theories of group counseling, principles of group dynamics from the perspective of leader development as well as the roles and behaviors of group members. Students will learn about the therapeutic factors, stages of group development, selection criteria, group leader orientation and training, and methods for evaluating group effectiveness. The course will also include a consideration of relevant research pertaining to group processes and development and the various applications and types of group work. Ethical and legal considerations concerning the use of group practice and the professional development of group leaders will also be explored throughout all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-647 Helping Relationships
This course is designed to provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes including an awareness of both counselor/consultant characteristics (such as age, gender, ethnicity, personal values and skills) and behaviors that influence the helping process as well as a knowledge counseling theories. The consideration of counseling theories will include an examination of the historical developments and an exploration of affective, behavioral, and cognitive theories that are consistent with current professional research and practice in the field. This course will incorporate an awareness of systems theory particularly as it applies to family systems. Students will be encouraged to develop a personal model of counseling based on an understanding of essential interviewing and counseling skills. These skills will include the ability to establish appropriate goals, effective strategies for accomplishing those goals and clarity about the components of therapeutic relationships especially the importance of maintaining professional boundaries. An awareness of technological strategies and applications and their usefulness in developing outcome assessment will also be emphasized. The course will include a consideration of the major models of consultation, their history, and an awareness of the appropriate application of those models. Legal and ethical consideration will be integrated into all aspects of the course. 3 credits.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-649 Techniques of Psychotherapy (PREQ 647)
This course is intended to develop a critical assessment of existing techniques in psychotherapy. The chief aim is to develop the student’s ability to build successful methods of intervention for psychotherapy. Being able to adequately express all of the basic techniques of psychotherapy is stressed. Prerequisite: L.PSY-647 Open to degree candidates only. 3 credits.

L.PSY-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.

L.PSY-694 Practicum (CR)
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:

  1. Forty hours of direct service with clients including both individual and group work.
  2. Weekly interaction with an average of one hour per week of individual and triadic supervision by a program faculty member or a supervisor working under the supervision of a program faculty member.
  3. An average of one and one-half hours per week of group supervision that is provided regularly over the course of the practicum by a program faculty member or a supervisor under the supervision of a program faculty member.
  4. Evaluation of the student’s performance throughout the practicum including a formal evaluation after the student completes the practicum. 3 credits

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

L.PSY-696 Clinical Internship I (CR) (PREQ L.PSY-694)
A graduate-level clinical supervised counseling internship of 600 clock hours. Students need to take, at a minimum, two 3-credit internships as a part of their degree program. This experience provides an opportunity to perform, under supervision, counseling activities similar to those professional counselors are expected to perform. The internship includes:

  1. A minimum of 240 hours of direct service to clients.
  2. A minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision or triadic supervision, usually performed by the on-site supervisor.
  3. A minimum of one and one-half hours per week of group supervision, throughout the internship usually performed by a program faculty member supervisor.
  4. Exposure to collateral professional activities (e.g. record keeping, information and referral and staff meetings).
  5. An opportunity for students to develop program-appropriate audio and/or videotapes of client interactions.
  6. An opportunity for students to gain supervised experience in the use of professional resources (e.g. assessment instruments, professional literature and research etc.)
  7. Formal evaluation of the student’s performance by a program faculty member in consultation with the site supervisor. 3 credits.

L.PSY-698 Clinical Internship II (CR) (PREQ L.PSY 694, 696) 3 credits.

L.PSY-699 Clinical Internship III (CR) (PREQ L.PSY 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 clinical-counseling program. 3 credits.

L.PSY-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.



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. Students will be assessed on attributes of sociability (the capacity to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others), interpersonal sensitivity (the capacity to relate to others with compassion and empathy) and professionalism (the capacity to commit one’s self to the technical and ethical standards of the counseling profession). The faculty will also assess each student’s academic performance at the graduate level.

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.
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?
Interested applicants may apply by completing the online application and mailing all official transcripts to:
Loras College Graduate Admission
Attn: Megan Henderson
1450 Alta Vista Street
Dubuque, IA 52001

The resume, personal statement, and recommendation forms can be submitted online via the applicant’s “Application Tracker” page.

What are the application deadlines?
Spring enrollment – all materials due by December 1
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 application (select “Graduate Non-Degree or Licensure Student” as the Admit Type), and email unofficial copies of transcripts from each institution attended to the Director of Admission for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate 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, please contact Megan Henderson: Director of Admission for Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Programs, at or 563-588-7140. For more information about the Counseling curriculum, please contact Dr. Steffanie Schilder: Program Director, at

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.

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.

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.


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 Julie Dunn, director of financial planning at (563) 588-7585 or for more information.

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



Tuition & Fees

Master of Arts in Counseling Program Cost

Employer Reimbursement

  • The Employer Reimbursement Form must be completed.
  • Students are responsible for providing the course information, final grades, and billing information to their employer to obtain the reimbursement.
  • If the employer reimbursement criteria is not met and/or reimbursement is denied, the student must bring their account current before any future registration will be permitted.

Federal Loan Options

  • 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.
  • The loan will disburse directly to the school to cover the cost of the term.
  • Graduate students are eligible for $20,500 in loan funds for each academic year.
  • The Loras College academic year runs from Summer – Spring (i.e. Summer 2018 – Spring 2019)

Contact us if you have additional Billing and Financial Aid Questions

Tuition and Fees are subject to change at any time.


  • 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, the Hillcrest Center for Community Mental Health, Hillcrest Residential Treatment Center and other tri-state social service organizations.
  • All faculty are 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.
  • Courses are taught by doctoral level faculty with a wide breadth of specialty knowledge in multiple areas of study.

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.
  • 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.

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

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., Clinical Counseling Program

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

""providing excellent opportunities to put education into practice.”"

Meet Jessica Bonert
Loras College Department Staff

Steffanie Schilder, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Program Director
563.588.7783 |
Full Profile

Kirstin Lauritsen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
563-588-7228 |
Full Profile

David Paine, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
563.588.7226 |
Full Profile

Mary Johnson, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Psychology
563.588.7228 |
Full Profile