2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    May 25, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Counseling and Human Resource Development (M.S.) - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization

Program Coordinator/Contact

William Briddick, Associate Professor 
School of Education, Counseling and Human Development
Wenona Hall 316, Box 507

Program Information

Students who successfully complete this 60-credit hour specialization will earn a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Resource Development specializing in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Upon successful completion of the core requirements, and those of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization and with the successful completion of the comprehensive written and oral examinations, graduates are endorsed as having constructed appropriate entry level knowledge and as having met appropriate skill acquisition to be recognized as professional clinical mental health counselors. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization are also responsible for having taken supporting area courses which supplement or enhance their chosen specialty.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and advocate for positive attention to developmental needs of individuals, families, schools, and communities;
  • Promote mental health through well-developed and consistent theoretical study and application;
  • 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 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;
  • Understand assessment strategies and the criteria for mental illnesses as well as effective treatments;
  • Understand and model healthy community and work relationships; and
  • Be prepared to pursue licensure as a professional counselor.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure


The Master of Science in CHRD specializing in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) under the 2001 standards for Community Counseling.


All Master of Science students are eligible to begin the process for the National Certified Counselor certification by taking the NCE six months before or after they graduate.


Graduation from this program does not grant immediate licensure as a counselor. Licensure differs by state and is obtainable by completing additional client contact hours after graduation. Students are responsible for researching licensure requirements for the state in which they plan to practice.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization is designed to meet the requirements of the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners. Graduates of this specialization are eligible for training supervisee status under the South Dakota Board of Examiners for Counselors. Once graduates complete an approved plan for the remainder of the supervised clinical experience, they are eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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 60 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

  • Credits: 1-6 (5 credits required)
  • Electives (Select courses listed under Option C) Credits: 1

Option B - Research/Design Paper

Option C - Coursework Only

  • Electives Credits: 6

Total Required Credits: 60 (Option A, 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 100-hour practicum and an approved 600-hour internship. These experiences allow students to learn by doing, with active, sound supervision.

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not required
TOEFL: 79 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.5
Duolingo: 110

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.

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

  • CHRD Disclosure Statement
  • Resume
  • A typed, one-page goal statement discussing your aspirations to the counseling field
  • 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 coursework.

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