2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    Oct 27, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - Marriage and Family Counseling Specialization

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Staci Born, Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling and Human Development
Wenona Hall 301, Box 507

Program Information

The specialization in Marriage and Family Counseling is designed to meet the requirements of the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners.  Graduates of this specialization are eligible for certification as a Marriage and Family Therapist after completion of certification requirements as outlined by the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


The Master of Science in CHRD specializing in Marriage and Family Counseling, is seeking accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). 


All Master of Science students are eligible to begin the process for the National Certified Counselor certification. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course requirements for a MS in CHRD specializing in Marriage and Family Counseling, students will:

  • understand and advocate for positive attention to developmental needs of individuals, couples, families, and groups;
  • effectively identify needs of individuals, couples, and families as they relate to human development and sexuality over the lifespan; 
  • appreciate cultural, ethnic, and gender differences as they relate to perceptions and expectations of counseling;
  • apply ethical, legal, moral, and professional standards to all aspects of professional counseling services;
  • respond to the mental health needs of a variety of individuals, couples, and families, through a wide spectrum of services including support, education, assessment, and treatment;
  • understand and be able to appropriately select and apply a variety of service or treatment modalities;
  • be prepared to pursue licensure as a professional counselor.

Course Delivery Format

Instruction occurs through didactic (classroom) and clinical experience. Most classes are enhanced with internet supplement.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Master of Science Option A - Thesis 61 Credit Hours
  Option B - Research/Design Paper 60 Credit Hours
  Option C - Coursework Only 60 Credit Hours

Select one of the following options

Option A - Thesis

Option B - Research/Design Paper

Option C - Coursework Only

  • Electives (Any prefix and course should be related to counseling) Credits: 4

Total Required Credits: 61 (Option A), 60 (Option B & C)

Additional Program Requirements

  • All Master of Science students are required to purchase and carry professional liability insurance throughout the duration of the program. M.Ed. students will be required to purchase and carry professional liability insurance if enrolled in clinical courses.
  • Clinical course registration is completed by the department.
  • Students enrolled in the M.S. CHRD program need to complete a practicum and an approved internship. These experiences allow students to learn by doing, with active, sound supervision. The practicum and internship experiences carry clock and credit hour completion expectations. For example, for every 3 credits of internship, students are required to complete 20 hours per week of on-site experience. In addition, regular work expectations outside the classroom exist for every credit hour enrolled. Thus, students enrolled in 3 credits of internship or practicum experience will be considered part-time. Students enrolled in 4 credits of internship or 3 credits of practicum plus other courses to total 4 semester credits will be considered full-time.

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Department requirement of 525 paper-based, 71 Internet-based
IELTS: 5.5

Formal Application Process

In addition to applying for Graduate School, applicants must also apply to the CHRD program by April 1 for fall admission or by October 1 for spring admission. Admission is competitive; late applications will not be considered. Students have one calendar year from the time of acceptance to begin taking courses otherwise formal re-application to the CHRD program is required.

The CHRD department requires all applicants to submit the documents below by the appropriate admission deadline:

  1. CHRD Disclosure Statement
  2. Resume
  3. A typed, one-page goal statement discussing your aspirations to the counseling field
  4. Two completed CHRD Recommendation Forms (do not use the Graduate School reference forms).

Based on the rating score of the applicant’s file, the applicant will either be invited to the group screening interview top continue the admissions process or denied admission.

Criminal Background Check Requirement

Applicants who successfully complete the interview will be required to successfully complete and pay for a criminal background check before an official offer of admission is secured.

General Requirements

Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate work.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .

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