Deadlines to receive completed application packets are Feb. 15 for the fall start and     Sept. 15 for a spring (Jan.) start.

Application Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • NOTE:  The GRE is required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0. Applicants above a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA may submit GRE scores to supplement their application files. However, the GRE is not required for those with a GPA of 3.0 or above.]
  • Upon acceptance into the Counselor Education Masters Program you will be required to undergo fingerprinting and a background check.  This process will be at the expense of the student and will take place within the first 12 credits of the program.  Any non-disclosure or falsification of information within the application process may be cause for removal from the program.
  • An appropriate fit between the applicant and the program, as determined by references, a program interview, a resume, a biographical background, and a paper on the student's view of counseling.
  • Strong evidence of a fit between the applicant and the dispositions needed to be an effective counselor, through the lens of ratings on the research-based characteristics of effective helpers.


To apply for admission to the Counselor Education Program:

  1. Fill out the online application
  2. Submit a $50 non-refundable application fee with your online application or by calling the Business Office at 208-467-8591.
  3. Submit a resume. Resume can be emailed to
  4. Submit two NNU professional reference forms using our online Graduate Counselor Education Recommendation form. The references should be from professional colleagues who are familiar with the applicant's academic and professional capabilities and/or faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic ability.
  5. Submit a two page, typed, double spaced paper covering the applicant's personal and professional biographical background. Essay can be emailed to
  6. Submit a two page, typed, double spaced paper with the applicant's definition of counseling and what the applicant believes he or she offers as a professional to this field in terms of personal qualities and professional experiences. Essay can be emailed to
  7. Request an official sealed transcript from the institution where the applicant received his/her baccalaureate degree (must be from a regionally accredited institution), plus any official transcripts that show graduate work other than Continuing Studies courses. Note: Faxed transcripts are not official. Students who earn degrees outside of the United States must have a complete evaluation of their transcripts by a member of NACES to ensure undergraduate degree equivalents. Visit to locate a member. Exceptions are: all Nazarene Universities and Northwest University in China. Transcripts may be sent through a secure electronic delivery system to or may be sent to: 

Northwest Nazarene University
623 S. University Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83686

Note: Faxed transcripts are not official.


After all application materials are received, eligible applicants are invited to interview for the program and will be contacted with appointment days.  No interview will be set up until all application materials have been received.  You should receive information about interview dates approximately one week after the application materials deadline of February 15 or September 15. 

The interview process is designed to assist the faculty in determining the fit between the applicant and the program/profession.  This process consists of an individual interview, group interview, role play, and creating a writing sample. Based upon available research and literature in counseling, the program seeks to admit students who best reflect key characteristics of effective counselors in the field.  

Admission interviews take place in late February or early March for fall entrance and late September or early October for spring entrance to the program.  

Applicants will receive a letter informing them of their admission status approximately three weeks after the interview.

Selection Criteria

Written Work Rating

Written work submitted by applicants is rated on:

  • Personal and professional development
  • Openness to self-examination
  • Writing ability

Interview Rating

During the interview, applicants are evaluated in the following areas:

  • Analytical/Academic
    • Clarity (ability to think clearly and articulate thoughts)
    • Creativity (ability to analyze a situation and come up with creative solutions.  To also think outside of what is obvious)
    • Reasoning (demonstrates high level thinking and an ability to make connections between concepts)
    • Academic and professional success (demonstrates a history of and potential for future success both academically and professional)
    • Technological competence and computer literacy
    • Shows potential to meet the university outcomes of creative engagement and academic excellence in the field of counseling
  • Disposition
    • Career goals and objectives (fit between applicant goals and the program)
    • Growth and development (demonstrates a history of growth and capacity for continued growth)
    • Openness to self-examination and change (willingness to look at self and a humbleness to accept short comings)
    • Genuine and congruent (in their communication and descriptions of self)
    • Flexible (demonstrates an ability to adjust to changing circumstances)
    • Shows potential to meet the university outcome of Christ-like character in the field of counseling
  • Interpersonal/Social
    • Personality (warm, caring, and empathic)
    • Interpersonal relationships skills (demonstrates natural helper skills)
    • Acceptance and openness to others (demonstrates a desire and openness to individual and cultural differences)
    • Communication skills (demonstrates an ability to both communicate and listen effectively)
    • Shows potential to meet the university outcomes of social responsiveness in the field of counseling

Note for Non-admitted Students

Counseling applicants may complete a maximum of six credit hours at NNU before being admitted into the counseling program. The Counselor Education program at NNU does not guarantee, either directly or indirectly, that students who take Counselor Education classes prior to admission will:

  1. Be admitted into the Counselor Education program;
  2. Receive a refund of monies spent on classes beyond the regular refund dates; or
  3. Be able to transfer class credits into a degree program when classes are taken prior to admission.

Also, non-admitted students are not legally eligible to receive a student loan until they are officially admitted into a program. Therefore, any classes taken as a non-degree seeking student, will need to be paid for up front or work out a payment plan with the Business Office.

Deadline to apply as a non-degree student is 2 weeks prior to a class start.