School of Education Counseling & Psychology in Education

Counseling Program Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

 

M.A. Program

The Counseling Program requires a two step admission process.

Step 1: Applicants must submit the following material and, at minimum, must meet the criteria noted.
  • Earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale
  • The GRE General test is required with a minimum score of 147 in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections.
  • Completed Application Packet which includes:
    • application form including a $35.00 non-refundable fee
    • Three supplemental recommendation forms
    • Personal statement of professional goals
    • One official transcript from each University where you received credit

The Counseling program strongly encourages applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds.
Our program is enormously strengthened by a student body with a variety of life experiences.

Step 2: Upon review by the Counseling faculty, applicants who meet the preceding criteria for admission will be selected for an on campus interview. While on campus applicants will complete a proctored writing sample.

Admission into the master's degree program is based upon (a) potential and aptitude for graduate study, (b) career goals consistent with the profession of counseling, (c) potential for forming positive interpersonal relationships, and (d) personality attributes linked to successful professional development as a counselor (e.g., self awareness and self acceptance). Quantitative (e.g., GRE Scores) and qualitative measures (e.g., letters of recommendation) are used to make admission decisions. The purpose of the application process is to determine "goodness of fit" between an applicant's strengths and goals and those of the counseling program.

Application deadlines:
  • Fall  admission:
    • Mid January
    • Mid April  
Interview dates:
  • Fall admission:
    • Early February
    • Early May 

Contact Rita at 605-677-5250 for specific application deadlines and interview dates.

All students who are admitted to the program must complete a 12-credit hour trial course sequence. This trial period is the first 12 hours taken by the student once enrolled.  At minimum, the student must meet a grade point average of 3.0 in each of the retention trial courses.  The retention trial period must include:
  • COUN 761: Counseling Theories & Socio-cultural Foundations (3 credit hours)
  • COUN 786: Pre-Practicum (3 credit hours)

All students are reviewed twice each year to evaluate student's performance.  Performance in the trial sequence must meet minimum grade expectation (3.0 overall GPA; 301 in each of the trial courses) and other criteria (knowledge, skills, ethical behaviors, and dispositions).

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Ed.S. Program

The Counseling Program requires a two step admission process.

Step 1: Applicants must submit the following material and, at minimum, must meet the criteria noted.

  • Earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale
  • An earned Master's degree in counseling or a counseling related field with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale (Note: Specialist students must complete studies in all CACREP entry-level standards)
  • The GRE General test is required with a minimum of 147 in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections
  • Completed Application Packet which includes:
    • application form including a $35.00 non-refundable fee
    • Three supplemental recommendation forms
    • Personal statement of professional goals
    • One official transcript from each University where you received credit

The Counseling program strongly encourages applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds.
Our program is enormously strengthened by a student body with a variety of life experiences.

Step 2: Upon review by the Counseling faculty, applicants who meet the preceding criteria for admission will be selected for an on campus interview. While on campus applicants will complete a proctored writing sample.

Admission into the specialist degree program is based upon (a) potential and aptitude for graduate study, (b) career goals consistent with the profession of counseling, (c) potential for forming positive interpersonal relationships, and (d) personality attributes linked to successful professional development as a counselor (e.g., self awareness and self acceptance). Quantitative (e.g., GRE Scores) and qualitative measures (e.g., letters of recommendation) are used to make admission decisions. The purpose of the application process is to determine "goodness of fit" between an applicant's strengths and goals and those of the counseling program.

 Application deadlines:
  • Fall admission:
    • Mid January
    • Mid April  
Interview dates:
  • Fall admission:
    • Early February
    • Early May 
Contact Rita at 605-677-5250 for specific application deadlines and interview dates.

 All students who are admitted to the program must complete a 12-credit hour trial course sequence.  This trial period is the first 12 hours taken by the student once enrolled.  At minimum, the student must meet a grade point average of 3.0 in each of the retention trial courses.  The retention trial period must include:

  • COUN 761:  Counseling Theories & Socio-cultural Foundations (3 credit hours)
  • COUN 786:  Pre-Practicum (3 credit hours)                                           

All students are reviewed twice each year to evaluate student's performance.  Performance in the trial sequence must meet minimum grade expectation (3.0 overall GPA; 3.0 in each of the trial courses) and other criteria (knowledge, skills, ethical behaviors, and dispositions).

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Ph.D. Program

The Counseling Program requires a two step admission process.

Step 1: Applicants must submit the following material and, at minimum, must meet the criteria noted.
  • Earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale
  • An earned Master's degree in counseling or a counseling related field with a minimum grade point average of 3.5 based on a 4.0 scale (Note: Doctoral students must complete studies in all CACREP entry-level standards)
  • The GRE General test is required with a minimum score of 150 in both the Verbal and Quantitative sections
  • Post-Master's professional work experience is strongly recommended
  • Completed Application Packet which includes:
    • application form including a $35.00 non-refundable fee
    • Five letters of recommendation
    • Five supplemental recommendation forms
    • Personal statement of professional goals
    • One official transcript from each University where you received credit

The Counselor Education program strongly encourages applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds.
Our program is enormously strengthened by a student body with a variety of life experiences.

Step 2: Upon review by the Counseling faculty, applicants who meet the preceding criteria for admission will be selected for an on campus interview. While on campus applicants will complete a proctored writing sample.

Admission into the doctoral degree program is based upon the applicant's (a) academic criteria and plan, (b) potential and aptitude for graduate study, scholarship, and research, (c) career goals for leadership in counselor education and supervision and/or advanced counseling practice, (d) interpersonal characteristics related to professional counseling.

Application deadlines:
  • Fall  admission:
    • Mid April
Interview dates:
  • Fall admission:
    • Early May
Contact Rita at 605-677-5250 for specific application deadlines and interview dates.

Students may be fully admitted to the Doctoral program but they are required to complete a trial term of course work and preliminary examination followed by an oral interview with members of the program faculty to continue full admission (see doctoral program retention policy). The trial term includes:

  • COUN 858: Theoretical Approaches to Counseling (3 credit hours)
  • COUN 895: Counseling Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • EDER 860: Advanced Statistics: Correlational Analysis (3 credit hours)  
    Or  EDER 861: Advanced Statistics: Experimental Analysis (3 credit hours)

Successful passage of the trial-term course work, the preliminary examination process, and the maintenance of a grade point average of 3.5 or above allow students to continue full admission.

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International Students
In addition to the above requirements, international students must also provide USD with the following information:
  • One official transcript of academic work at the undergraduate level (with English translation stating a 3.0 or better undergraduate grade point average based on a 4.0 system). Review by an education credentials service is preferred.
  • Statement of Finance form and certified bank statement or sponsor's letter showing that student is financially self-supported.
  • Proficiency Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (IBT) or 550 on the written TOEFL is required for graduate admission.  The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) Exam is also accepted with a minimum score of 6.0.  Students from English-speaking countries are not required to submit a TOEFL score if their academic records indicate that English was the classroom language for the majority of their schoolwork.  Foreign students who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from an American college or university are not required to submit a TOEFL score. 
  • Students from English-speaking countries are not required to submit a TOEFL score if their academic records indicate that English was the classroom language for the majority of their schoolwork.
  • A letter of notification of the student's status from The Graduate School will be sent to the International Student Advisor. The International Student Advisor will notify the student directly of admission or rejection into the program to which the student applied. If the student has been admitted into The Graduate School, the International Student Advisor will send the Letter of Admission, the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form), and other information to the student who will use these materials to obtain a visa.
  • A foreign student should not depart from home to attend The University of South Dakota until notification of admission has been received and the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form) has been issued to the student. All non-United States citizens must report to the International Student Advisor, Room 109 of Slagle Hall, upon initial arrival to the campus. You can reach the International Student Advisor by calling (605) 677-5331.
  • The most complete and up-to-date requirements can be found on the International Student Advising homepage.

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Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students interested in taking courses that are not going to be applied to a degree program (such as students taking additional coursework for licensure or certification), must follow the procedure below.

  • Any student not accepted to a degree program at one of the state universities (USD, SDSU, BHSU, SDSMT, NSU, and DSU) will be required to complete a Special Student Application Form.
  • Anyone attending on-campus courses at one of the state universities is required to submit the mandatory Immunization Form before you will be allowed to register for courses.
  • After the above forms have been completed and received by their respective departments, students will be able to contact the Counselor Education program and follow the guidelines for registration.

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If you are a prospective student with a disability and need assistance or accommodations during the admission/application process, please contact the Director of Disability Services, 119B Service Center North, USD, Vermillion, SD 57069.  Phone: 605-677-6389  Fax: 605-677-3172  E-mail: disabilityservices@usd.edu

The admissions forms can be filled out and sent online