Comprehensive and balanced counselor education program

Preparing graduates to become the profession's next generation of leaders in counselor education, supervision, scholarship and advanced counseling practice.


Counseling: M.A., Ed.S. or Ph.D.

The counselor education program at USD provides students with the skills and knowledge to enter a growing field where professional counselors are being hired at high rates. Our comprehensive and contemporary program includes a state-of-the-art training clinic and enthusiastic and experienced licensed faculty. Master's students can choose to specialize in school counseling or clinical mental health counseling. Ph.D. students will gain expertise to prepare them for careers in supervising and educating professional counselors. Our schedule of late afternoon and evening classes allow for full- or part-time enrollment. We also offer an online clinical mental health counseling certificate for those students that want to enhance their clinical knowledge.

View Curriculum

NOTE: The M.A. and Ph.D programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP, 2009). The Ed.S. degree is not a CACREP-accredited program.


Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students
  4. Three letters of recommendation (five for Ph.D. applicants)
    Counseling Program Supplemental Recommendation Form
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Official copy of GRE scores (Ed.S. and Ph.D. only)
  7. Additional requirements exist for international applicants. For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, refer to Counseling and Psychology in Education in the current graduate catalog.

Application Deadline:

  • Eight weeks before classes start

Counseling Program Priority Deadline (Fall Start Only):

  • Jan. 15 or April 20
    Interview, if applicable, will occur approximately two weeks after the application deadlines.

See Program Specific Admission Requirements

Online and Off-Campus Options


Additional Information

The Classroom & Beyond

  • Graduate Assistantships

    Qualified students may be able to get financial assistance and additional experience through graduate assistantships. You can apply through the Graduate School for opportunities within the School of Education.

  • Hear from our Students

    Our students say our dedicated faculty and staff differentiate our program. That dedication, combined with the caliber of the program's curriculum, give our students the high-quality education they need to succeed professionally.

  • Research Opportunities

    Our faculty are engaged in a range of research activities and involve our students to broaden their academic experience through discoveries at all stages of the research process.