Psychology and Counseling Graduate Degrees Designed to Advance Social Justice
Adler University is the oldest independent school of psychology in North America. Founded in 1952, the University continues the work of Alfred Adler (1870-1937), the first community psychologist, by educating socially responsible professionals, by providing holistic service to individuals and communities, and by promoting social justice. Adler offers campus based, hybrid model, and online classes to accommodate both recent college graduates and working professionals. The University includes a home campus in the Chicago Loop and a growing campus in downtown Vancouver. The University offers a doctoral program in clinical psychology and several master's programs in behavioral sciences and services. Students come from all over the world to study in a collaborative atmosphere among accomplished faculty members who are leaders in their fields.
Adler has several institutes for social change – the Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, Adler Community Health Services, the Center for Adlerian Practice and Scholarship, and the Center for Civic Learning & Community Action. All seek to advance the school’s vision of a more socially just society through research, outreach, and public awareness, and through creating new alliances and tools in support of equal justice and opportunity.
Adler University offers the following degree programs:
The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program follows a scholar-practitioner based training model. This program prepares graduates to conduct clinical interviews and psychological testing, create treatment plans, consult and collaborate with physicians and other professionals and provide multiple forms of therapy to alleviate mental illness, behavioral problems and emotional distress. Adler University has received national recognition for also preparing students for socially responsible clinical practice with a focus on the broader social and systemic factors of human dysfunction. Upon completing foundational course work, students have opportunities to be placed in internships at prestigious clinics, hospitals, mental health centers and government agencies. Adler also offers a variety of options including child and adolescent psychology, military clinical psychology, clinical neuropsychology and traumatic stress psychology. The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA), located at 750 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; 202-336-5510; www.apa.org/ed/accreditation.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision program provides advanced training and academic orientation for practicing counselors to become expert clinicians, counselor educators in teaching, supervisors and trainers of the new generation of counselors, researchers and scholars, as well as leaders and advocates in the field of counseling. The program is designed to develop students' expertise and excellence in teaching, research, leadership and advocacy, advanced counseling and supervision. To support the mission of Adler University, through the integration of reflective, experiential and participant learning and social engagement, students are expected to become professionals who are also critical thinkers and courageous leaders, culturally competent and aware of themselves and the needs of others.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Couple and Family Therapy program is distinctly designed for experienced clinicians as well as recent graduates of master's degree programs. Students are prepared for careers as advanced therapists specializing in couple, marriage, and family therapy. With an emphasis on clinical practice and theoretical frameworks, our program enables students to apply comprehensive theory, research, and techniques addressed in coursework to their practicums and clinical work. The Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy program consists of intensive coursework, clinical experiences, dissertation, and one-year full-time internship. Students are placed in internships at clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, schools, and social service agencies.
The Master of Arts in Counseling specializing in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program offers students a solid foundation in the theories and methods of clinical mental health counseling. Graduates are well prepared for a wide variety of mental health positions in public and private sector human service organizations. Traditional graduate degree curriculum is coupled with a unique emphasis on socially responsible practice as students complete practicum experiences through a vast network of community partners across a variety of specialized settings. Full-time and part-time options are available. Courses are offered in a combination of weekday, evening, weekend, online and blended formats. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for licensing as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in Illinois. Graduates may also take the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) examination in the state of Illinois with additional supervised training, or sit for the National Counselor Examination (NCE) prior to graduation. Licensure requirements in some states may vary from those required by Adler University; all students should plan accordingly.
The Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy program prepares entry-level counselors to specialize in working with couples and families. Students complete course work and practicum experiences focused on the understanding and integration of individual lifestyle dynamics with marital and family systems. Graduates have theoretical understanding of individual marital and family systems, including developmental issues and major variations, assessment skills in lifestyle and systemic diagnosis and intervention skills based on major models of marital and family therapy, with the theory and methods of individual psychology as the foundation.
The Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy degree program combines the theories and techniques of individual psychology with education and clinical training. The program, approved by the American Art Therapy Association, requires coursework as well as clinical practicum experience under at least partial supervision of a registered art therapist (ATR). The program provides students with the academic and pre-degree clinical experiences required to apply for registration as art therapists, and prepares them to sit for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) examination in the state of Illinois.
The Master of Arts in Counseling specializing in Rehabilitation Counseling degree program is designed to prepare students to become certified rehabilitation counselors (CRCs). Rehabilitation counselors work with individuals who have mental, emotional or physical handicaps, helping them to lead self-sufficient lives. Counselors determine the training and support their clients need to deal with the effects of their conditions. Rehabilitation counselors are employed by publicly funded agencies, schools and medical facilities. Counselors evaluate clients and arrange for rehabilitation programs that may include medical care, psychological counseling, occupational therapy and job placement.
The Master of Arts in Counseling specializing in Forensic Psychology degree program prepares graduates for a highly specialized career that integrates knowledge of human behavior with active participation in the criminal justice system. Specialized course work exposes students to the predominant theories and techniques of forensic evaluation, including the determination of a defendant's competency to stand trial, determination of sanity at the time of an offense and determination of qualification for the death penalty in the event of a conviction for a capital crime. Students also develop comprehensive understanding of the techniques associated with the forensic practitioner's involvement in criminal investigations, including activities such as forensic hypnosis, offender and geographic profiling and the ongoing review of police interview and witness identification procedures. Students are introduced to such specialized topics as the psychological effects of incarceration, jury selection, the evaluation of sexually dangerous persons and the psychosocial development of the criminal personality type.
More Degree Programs
The Master of Arts in Counseling specializing in Sport and Health Psychology degree program prepares graduates to address individual and systemic issues that affect sport performance and health. These areas overlap in the types of interventions used to produce positive changes (goal-setting and self-monitoring to improve consistency of practice or to lose weight). Sport and health goals also include the influence of various social and community factors (coaches, family members, culture and access to facilities). This unique program provides training and understanding of assessment, intervention and analysis of systems that will allow graduates to work within communities, schools and professional organizations to address the diverse needs of people with varying ages, health issues and athletic accomplishments.
The Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology degree program is offered completely online. Industrial-organizational psychology is one of the fastest-growing psychology specialties. Professionals in this field apply methods of psychology to issues of critical relevance to business and industry, including talent management, coaching, leadership development, program evaluation, training, organizational change, team building and work-life balance. Many professionals also work as consultants addressing organizational challenges such as change management, workplace diversity and employee development and engagement. This online program can be completed in less than two years and provides students with education and training in both theory and practice. Through a required business practicum in their communities, students have opportunities to gain experience and practical skills to succeed in this expanding field.
The Master of Arts in Psychology specializing in Military Psychology degree program is offered entirely online and is designed to equip students with the knowledge needed to help military personnel with stress, fatigue and the psychological trauma suffered as a result of military operations. Students in this program will be taught how to apply basic psychological principles of military psychology to the interpersonal, managerial and organizational dimensions of military and supporting civilian environments. Students can complete this program within two years.
Students enrolled in the Master of Public Policy: Community Health Concentration degree program learn to integrate concepts of social change and social justice into public service, particularly through consultation with those communities and people most affected by policy. The Community Health Concentration equips students with the unique skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to work across disciplinary and professional boundaries to develop and implement public policies that promote mental health. This program is offered in a flexible evening/weekend format.
The Adler University Master of Public Policy: Human Rights Advocacy Concentration degree program integrates concepts of social change and social justice into public service, particularly through consultation with those communities and with people most affected by policy. Under the Human Rights Advocacy Concentration, students will examine the theoretical foundations and critical issues of advocacy planning and strategies for action. This program is offered in the evening and on weekends.
The Master of Pubic Administration: Criminal Justice Concentration degree program prepares students to address issues in the criminal justice field through socially responsible administration, management, or advocacy. This concentration emphasizes crime control and prevention, rehabilitation and re-entry services for the formerly incarcerated, and program evaluation. Students also have the opportunity to complete a capstone project in their area of interest.
Students in the Master of Public Administration: Sustainable Communities Concentration degree program learn to lead and advocate for sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship, and a healthier society. This concentration allows the exploration of theoretical foundations and core competencies that are required to provide strong, ethical leadership and impact systems of public service and program administration
Adler University’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Art Therapy program presents students with a unique opportunity to advance their career as a leader in art therapy. Graduates go on to further the field of art therapy as researchers, educators, and practitioners committed to social justice. The program offers extensive field training, including a 700-hour art therapy internship focused on the clinical work and principles of art therapy in settings such as schools, mental health centers, and community organizations.
The Master of Arts in Applied Psychology program has a unique M.A. curriculum that fosters culturally competent practices within a framework of rigorously applied research. This flexible, online degree program blends empirical research and data-driven analysis with a commitment to social justice. Students gain the skills to apply cutting-edge psychological insights and develop socially responsible solutions to complex community issues. All students complete their studies with a capstone or thesis that addresses a current or emerging social justice problem in the field. Please note, this is not a licensure program.
Create Lasting Social Change
Founded in 1952, Adler University graduates socially responsible practitioners — educated to be effective agents of social change in the pursuit of justice. Our rigorous programs and passionate faculty provide the tools, skills and real-world experience needed to address society’s most challenging issues.
Adler University offers graduate degrees designed for social change in psychology, counseling, family therapy and public service. Put your passion to work in a program uniquely dedicated to engaging communities and advancing social justice — online or at our Chicago or Vancouver campuses.
17 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Departments & Programs
Degrees & Awards
Thesis Alternate accepted
Oral exam, practicum
Clinical exam, internship, oral exam, practicum, written qualifying exam
Tuition & Fees
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Scholarship and/or loans