Master of Science in Counseling

Admission & Financial Information

Important: The SMU Program in Counseling is pleased to announce plans to seek accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs, CACREP, for all three tracks in early 2017. The process requires extensive self-study through program evaluation, examination of faculty qualifications, review of current program objectives as well as articulation of our mission and goals. The tentative timeline for submission of CACREP application is January 2017 with review and anticipated approval to follow some months later.

Application Deadlines

May 16, 2016 Deadline to apply for Fall Term 2016. Apply now.
July 25, 2016 Deadline to apply for JAN Term 2017. Apply now.
September 26, 2016 Deadline to apply for Spring Term 2017. Apply now.
January 9, 2017 Deadline to apply for May Term 2017. Apply now.

Admission Requirements

Application and all supporting materials (essay, resume, 3 recommendations, official transcripts from all schools) must be received on or before the stated application deadline for the specified term for admissions consideration.

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A completed ON-LINE application through CollegeNet. This process includes:
    • Submission of 2-page essay. Please share why you want to study counseling and your career aspirations.
    • Three recommendations.  Include the name and email address of each recommender in your application.  Collegenet will send an electronic form for your recommender to complete on your behalf.
    • Resume. Please include employment information, community service/volunteer work, counseling experience, research experience and honors and awards in your resume.
    • Online payment of $75 fee.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended. Any and all transfer credit must appear on an official transcript which specifies the name of the course and the grade received.  Cumulative GPA must be noted on a 4.0 scale.  Transcripts in a language other than English which show grades on an alternate scale must be evaluated by a professional evaluation service; original copies should be submitted in English with all grades appearing on a 4.0 scale and must include a cumulative GPA assessment. Submit transcripts directly to the SMU Program in Counseling office either electronically or via USPS. (click here to link to transcript request form)
    • USPS. Transcripts sent via USPS must be sent to the following address:  
SMU Program in Counseling, 5228 Tennyson Parkway, Bldg. 3 Suite 234, Plano, TX  75024.  

    • Electronic Transcripts. SMU will only accept electronic transcripts that are sent from these institution(s) via Scrip-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), Avow Systems or Docufide. We will not accept electronic transcripts sent by students. 
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). If you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, no GRE is required. Please note that all grades in the undergraduate record are factored into the cumulative GPA.  If the cumulative GPA is under 3.0, you must submit GRE scores with a minimum of 146 in Math, 156 in Verbal and 3.5 or higher in Writing to be considered. Fax your scores to our Department Office at 972.473.3425.
  • Be advised that students who wish to pursue School Counseling certification who are currently teachers in private schools will need to plan carefully, research information, and confirm availability of both a supervisor to serve as an onsite supervisor who is a certified school counselor AND the presence of a developmental guidance program when contracting a field site for Internship.
  • PONI Day. Students applying to the Master’s program must attend PONI Day, a three-hour information session with interview at SMU-in-Plano as part of the application process. Applicants who meet the program's minimum requirements will be invited to attend a scheduled information/interview session once the online application is completed in full on CollegeNet and all transcripts are received by the SMU Program in Counseling office. 
          PONI Interview Session Dates: Please note these dates are subject to change.
           May Term 2016 Friday, January 22, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
           Fall Term 2016 Friday, March 4, April 8, May 20, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Friday, June 3, 2016 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
           JAN (Winter) Term 2017 To Be Announced
           Spring Term 2017 To Be Announced
           May Term 2017 To Be Announced
  • Background Check.  Students completing their MS in Counseling at SMU, with the intent to practice as a therapist or counselor in the state of Texas, must complete post-graduate requirements outlined by the Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (LPC) and a criminal history background check. If you have concern whether any prior offense may affect your potential for licensure, you may request an early evaluation by the Texas Board of Examiners before beginning a graduate program in counseling. Visit their site for more information:      
  • English Proficiency Requirements.  If English is not your native language, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). SMU requires a minimum TOEFL score of 92 on the internet-based test. This test is administered by the Educational Testing Service, PO Box 6151 Princeton, New Jersey 08541 ( The score must be reported to the Program in Counseling office directly from The Educational Testing Service. The Counseling Program code number 5891.

Financial Information


Effective Fall 2015, tuition for classes in the Master's Degree program is $2,682 per 3-credit hour class ($894 per credit hour).  A minimum of 60 credit hours are required to earn this degree.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid is available to students in the Master of Science program. Students applying for Federal Student Loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by going to The School Code for SMU is 003613.  It is important that you refer to the links More Information about Financial Aid and Graduate Award Notice Information for details about applying for and accepting financial aid, including recommended deadlines.

All federal financial aid, including student loans, is managed by the Division of Enrollment Services Graduate Financial Aid Office which is located on the main campus.  General financial aid questions should be directed to the Division of Enrollment Services by calling  214-768-3417 or through email at enroll_serv@smu.eduYou may also contact one of the graduate financial aid advising staff directly by calling 214-768-3348 or by email at .

Follow Graduate Financial Aid on twitter for financial aid status update and program announcements: @smu_gradfinaid.

It is also a good idea to check with the Human Resources Department at your Employer. Companies frequently provide tuition assistance for graduate programs that enhance the skills of their employees.

More Information about Financial Aid

Financial Aid Bulletin

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