Margaret Keeling, Director
The Master of Science in Counseling program prepares students for the counseling profession, which involves the application of the developmental and social sciences in assisting children and adults with psychological growth, relationship concerns, and social adjustment problems. Counselors work in schools, community agencies, churches, hospitals, industry and private practice. The SMU M.S. in Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Students acquire knowledge in the disciplines that underlie counseling, including education, psychology, human development, learning and social change. They develop clinical skills in counseling and assessment and become familiar with the legal, ethical and clinical considerations confronting practitioners. Repeated practice and role-play with feedback and strategic modification are critical to mastery of the skills and are, consequently, an essential part of the program.
The Counseling program offers three accredited specialty areas of study including Clinical Mental Health; Marriage, Couple and Family; and School Counseling. In addition, students may pursue elective concentrations in Addiction, Child and Adolescent Counseling, Expressive Arts Therapies, and LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy.
Successful graduates are able to pursue state licensure as Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and/or Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors, as well as obtain the Certified School Counselor credential, depending on designated specialization and electives. Students who have completed the requisite coursework and clinical experience requirements may also pursue credentials as Registered Play Therapists or Registered Expressive Arts Therapists.
Prospective students applying to the master’s program must attend a group interview and submit a background check. Program applicants must also submit the following through the online application process.
- A completed online application.
- A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
- Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A 250-word essay explaining why the applicant wants to study counseling.
- An acceptable GRE graduate school entry exam score for an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale).
- Applicant must also pay a non-refundable application fee.
- If English is not the student’s native language or if the student attended school outside the US, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be submitted via the online application. The minimum acceptable section scores are: Listening (26), Reading (26), Writing (24), and Speaking (24).