Adler University

Updated November 30, 2022 · 4 Min Read

Learn more about the various counseling degree programs available at Adler University. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Adler University, named for Alfred Adler, a physician, psychotherapist and the founder of Adlerian psychology, was founded in 1952 by Rudolf Dreikurs as the Institute of Adlerian Psychology in Chicago. Dreikurs immigrated to Chicago in 1937 after Adler’s death and was instrumental in the child guidance movement while working at Chicago’s Hull House.

In 1951, the school’s name was changed to the Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago. In 1963, it was chartered as a not-for-profit corporation and approved as an institute of higher learning. A group therapy program was created in 1964 for people incarcerated in the Cook County jail, a program that grew into the university’s focus on the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. A community health center was established on campus in 1972. In 1991, the name of the school was changed to the Adler School of Professional Psychology until it was awarded university status, becoming Adler University.

Today, the university offers 20 graduate-level programs that enroll more than 1,200 students. It is the oldest independent psychology school in North America and continues the work of Alfred Adler by creating socially responsible practitioners who are engaged in the community and strive to advance social justice.

Adler University Accreditation Details

Adler University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Regional accreditation demonstrates to parents, students and employers that the school offers programs that create graduates that are highly qualified. In addition, the doctoral program in clinical psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association as is the Mental Health Internship Program and the Juvenile Justice Internship Program. The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the American Art Therapy Association as well as the Council of Rehabilitation Education and the Master of Arts in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Adler University Application Requirements

In order to apply for admission to Adler University, students must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Students must provide an autobiographical essay or personal statement with the application for admission. Students must also provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and three letters of recommendation. A resume and GRE or GPA test scores must also be provided. Some programs have additional requirements for acceptance, so students should contact an admissions counselor to learn if any further information is necessary.

Online students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher from the institution who granted their bachelor’s degree in addition to all other application requirements.

Adler University Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Adler University is $855 per credit hour. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, loans and federal work-study programs. Adler University also accepts employer tuition reimbursement as well as military and veteran benefits. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify.

Adler University Degree Program(s) Available

Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy

The Master of Arts in Counseling with a focus on Art Therapy is for students who wish to use the creative process to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is one of the largest and best-known art therapy programs in the country. Students are trained to teach coping skills through art to individuals who are suffering with trauma, stress or other conditions. Students learn to set therapeutic objectives and to provide clients with a thoughtful selection of artistic materials and interventions related to artistic expression.

Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares students for careers that apply culturally sensitive therapeutic services to individuals, groups and families. It is a practitioner-focused program with a comprehensive theoretical curriculum combined with clinical field experiences. Students are provided an immersive learning experience that focuses on creating positive social change.

Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Forensic Psychology

The Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialization in Forensic Psychology is designed for students who wish to be involved in the criminal justice system. Students are provided an immersive experience that blends a wellness-model approach with a focus on the influence of psychopathological factors as well as other social factors that may be affecting those involved in the criminal justice system.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Master of Arts in Counseling: Industrial and Organizational Psychology

The Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is designed to create graduates who understand the management policies necessary for long-term, sustainable success. The program teaches core principles of industry and organization to reshape businesses and establish psychologically health environments. The program is available completely online and it can be completed in as little as 24 months. Graduates have found success in recruitment, staffing, organizational culture, diversity, training and more.

Master of Arts in Counseling: Military Counseling

Adler University offers a Master of Arts in Military Counseling that draws on the university’s longstanding expertise in military cultural competency. The program is available completely online and is designed to train individuals who will provide assistance to active-duty military members, veterans and their families. Students are provided instruction in methods for offering compassionate, evidence-based approaches to issues that face the military and their families today, including suicide, substance abuse, physical abuse and the lingering effects of moral injury as well as serious physical injuries.

Master of Arts in Counseling: Rehabilitation Counseling

The Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling prepares students for positions that will improve the quality of life of those who face physical, developmental or emotional challenges. Students learn through a rigorous curriculum that revolves around ethical behavior, diversity and critical thinking. Students also participate in the Social Justice Practicum, unique to Adler University, which is a nonclinical experiential practicum that promotes social change in individuals. Students are also provided extensive field training in order to provide them with hands-on experience in rehabilitation counseling.

Master of Arts in Counseling: Sport and Health Psychology

The Sport and Health concentration as part of the Master of Arts in Counseling program at Adler is designed for graduates who want to work with athletes or to improve the well-being of others who are focused on a healthy lifestyle. The program is a dual degree in counseling and sport psychology that provides students with a strong foundation in theories and methods. The program focuses on how spots and health contribute to a community as well as specific topics such as eating disorders, exercise promotion, obesity prevention and treatment, ethical compromises, substance abuse, as well as athlete performance enhancements.

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology

The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology prepares students to be competent clinicians with a desire to strengthen communities around the world. The program follows a scholar-practitioner model in order to train clinicians in a collaborative environment. Students may specialize their studies in the following areas:

  • Advanced Adlerian Psychotherapy
  • Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology
  • Military Clinical Psychology
  • Primary Care Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Traumatic Stress Psychology

Adler University is the oldest psychology-focused institute of higher learning in the country. Through their online programs, adult learners who have work, family and social obligations can reach their higher education goals. Through Adler University’s programs, individuals can move into a new career or advance in a current career.

See also: Top 25 Most Affordable, Accredited Graduate Degree Programs in Counseling and Psychology in the Midwest

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