SMU Master of Science in Counseling Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Counseling is to equip students with clinical knowledge and skills to serve and advocate for their clients and communities. The department encourages critical thinking by cultivating a learning environment that promotes personal growth and honors the uniqueness of each person within their social and cultural context.

The Program in Counseling provides the educational elements necessary for certification, licensure, and counseling practice. Students acquire knowledge in the disciplines underlying counseling – including education, psychology, human development, sociology, learning theory, and social change. They develop basic skills in therapy and assessment and become familiar with legal and clinical considerations confronting practitioners. Repeated practice and role-playing with feedback and strategic modification are critical to mastery of the skills and are, consequently, an essential part of the program. Successful graduates are able to pursue state licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), or Certification as School Counselors. Additional coursework, meeting the requirements to become a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), is also available.

Student Learning and Program Objectives

The Student Learning Objectives of the SMU M.S. in Counseling Program are to produce counselors who…

  1. Knowledgeably apply professional ethical and legal standards in practice, and who exercise ethical and responsible conduct in their profession.
  2. Integrate multicultural competence in counseling practice.
  3. Promote resilience, optimal development, and wellness for their clients across the lifespan.
  4. Recognize and skillfully navigate the intersections between mental well-being, work, relationships, and other life roles and factors.
  5. Possess a broad knowledge of counseling theories, and capably apply theory to practice.
  6. Achieve competence in clinical skills, including interviewing, counseling, and case conceptualization, in a variety of individual and group modalities.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to conduct assessments for diagnosis and intervention planning purposes.
  8. Comprehend research findings and their implications for practice.
  9. Achieve and maintain a strong counselor identity through affiliation and engagement with professional organizations and professional service.

The Program Objectives of the SMU Counseling Program are to…

  1. Prepare and equip graduates with the knowledge base and skill set necessary to pass the National Counselor Examination (NCE).
  2. Maintain or increase the number of prospective student applications each year, with the aim of recruiting and enrolling well-qualified applicants.
  3. Cultivate a cohesive, programmatic counselor identity among faculty through professional organization involvement, professional service, publications, presentations, and outreach.

Statistical Summaries & Annual Assessment Reports

The SMU Department of Counseling engages in ongoing program evaluation and assessment, both formative and summative, to inform program direction and ensure continuous improvement. The following statistical summaries and annual assessment reports are offered to our stakeholders (i.e., students, alumni, advisory board, professional community, and CACREP) for review. Information included in the reports and summaries is compiled from program data collection, internal SMU systems, SMU Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, and student self-report. We welcome comments and inquiries about these reports, which may be sent to

2018-2019 Vital Statistics Report
2018-2019 Annual Assessment Report

2019-2020 Vital Statistics Report
2019-2020 Annual Assessment Report

2020-2021 Vital Statistics Report
2020-2021 Annual Assessment Report

2021-2022 Vital Statistics Report
2021-2022 Annual Assessment Report

2022-2023 Annual Assessment Report

Graduates by academic year by specialty

2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
60 43 52 59 62

Completion rates by academic year

2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 
 85% 84% 81% 80%  80%

Credential exam pass rates by academic year for pre-graduation NCE administration

2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023 
 100% 100% Not administered due to COVID 98%  89%

Job placement rates by academic year

2018-2019* 2019-2020* 2020-2021* 2021-2022* 2022-2023 
93% 90% 94% 93% Survey in Progress 

*Survey data includes responses from the initial graduation survey, the 6-month follow up survey, and LinkedIn searches for respondents who initially indicated “seeking employment," "seeking continuing education," or "no response" on the graduation survey, but later provided "no response" on the 6-month follow up survey.