Northwest Nazarene University
| Staff Writers
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Studying Counseling and Psychology at Northwest Nazarene University
Northwest Nazarene University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Master’s Degrees in Counseling in the West.
One reason why so many students attend NNU is that the university offers a Master of Science in Counseling program that allows them to customize their degrees based on the concentrations they select. The Marriage & Family Therapy program requires that students take 60 credits of courses, but the university allows full-time students to finish those classes in only eight months. They will also do a practicum and spend 1,000 hours working in the field. Students take a national licensing exam before they graduate too. The program features classes such as Learning Processes and Lifespan Development, Group Counseling and Addictions Counseling.
Also available is a Clinical Counseling concentration, which is best for those who want to work directly with patients struggling with mental health conditions. Students will do a practicum and a thesis as well as take classes like Theories of Counseling and Family Counseling Theories. The university’s School Counseling program helps students develop the skills needed to work in a school setting. Students who successfully complete this program can get their professional counselor credentials from the state. In addition to both a practicum and an internship, students take classes like Organization of Guidance Services, Measurement and Assessment and Career Development.
NNU also offers a program that allows students to take classes on play therapy and complete some of the requirements before getting a certificate in this field. Students attending Northwest Nazarene University can take classes in different counseling disciplines to learn more about grief, trauma and crisis counseling too.
About Northwest Nazarene University
Northwest Nazarene University is one of several Christian colleges in the western region of the United States. Established as the Idaho Holiness School in 1913, it later became Northwest Holiness College and then Northwest Nazarene College. Though it functioned as a Bible college in its early years, it also offered elementary school classes for younger students. The college transitioned to a two-year school in the 1930s after getting its accreditation and slowly introduced bachelor’s degree programs to its curriculum. It didn’t become Northwest Nazarene University until the late 1990s and until after it added masters programs.
Also called NNU, the university has an affiliation with the Church of the Nazarene and is one of only eight schools in the nation affiliated with that religious organization. It has a flagship campus in Nampa and smaller campuses in three other cities in Idaho. The university added online degree programs to its curriculum in recent years to help students start and finish their degrees no matter where they live. The Princeton Review ranks NNU as one of the best colleges in the west, and U.S. News and World Report ranks it as one of the nation’s top graduate schools. NNU has an enrollment of more than 2,000 traditional students and more than 6,000 online students.
Northwest Nazarene University Accreditation Details
Though NNU is a religious university, it still has the institutional accreditation that allows students to use the FAFSA to find out if they will get any financial aid for the school year. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU) granted regional accreditation to the university that also serves as its institutional accreditation. Its music, nursing, business and teaching programs all have accreditation also.
Northwest Nazarene University Application Requirements
The NNU Counselor Education Department has application requirements in place for students who want to study counseling. Students will start the process with the online application. They can answer simple questions about their backgrounds and where they went to college as well as any volunteer or professional experiences they might have. The university requires that students pay a $50 application fee too. Students must submit their applications and all information by February 15 to start in the fall or by September 15 to start in the spring.
Though NNU does not ask for a standardized test score, some students may need to submit their scores. It asks for official transcripts that list the name of the college, the courses that the student took and the cumulative grade point average the student had. Those who earned a GPA of less than 3.0 must submit an official GRE score. All other students can apply without submitting a score.
Students will also fill out a form and list two references willing to speak on their behalf. NNU will contact that references when going over a student’s application. Other requirements include a two-page essay that goes over everything the student did to gain counseling experience and a two-page essay on what the student will bring to the counseling profession.
Prior to enrolling in one of the counseling programs, students must meet some other requirements. They need to attend an interview session with a professor or department head and pass a criminal background check. NNU requires that students submit their fingerprints for a full check. It will remove anyone from the program who fails to pass this check.
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Tuition and Financial Aid
All the Master of Science in Counseling programs offered by the university charge the same tuition rate. Students will pay $470 per credit hour, and full-time students will take at least nine credits every semester. They also pay fees that total $40 per semester. NNU does not charge different rates for in-state students vs. nonresidents like other colleges do.
The FAFSA, which is the form that students fill out when applying for financial aid, is now available at the beginning of October. This allows students to complete the form and list NNU as the college they will attend. Students can actually fill out the FAFSA before applying to the university. It determines if students qualify for federal loans. The government now allows students to borrow a total of more than $138,000 between college and graduate school. Some grants are also available for grad students. They can use external scholarships or alternative student loans too.
NNU has a Tuition Management System that makes it easy for students to sign up for a payment plan. They can then make payments while in school instead of paying the total cost at the beginning of the semester. Northwest Nazarene University will also accept any benefits that students earned for serving in the military.
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