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South Dakota State University


Psychology and Counseling Programs Available at South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University appears in our ranking of the 50 Top Online Bachelor of Psychology Degree Programs.

At South Dakota State University, psychology majors can choose between a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts program. While those in the BA program take nine credits of humanities and foreign language classes, students in the BS program take 13 credits of natural science courses. Both programs include some of the same psychology classes such as The Field of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Psychology of Aging, Child Psychology and History and Systems of Psychology.

The full program is available with a teaching specialization for students who want to work as teachers or counselors. That program features 120 credits of classes, including The Field of Psychology, Social Psychology, Psychology of Abnormal Behavior and Psychology Testing and Measurement. Students in any of the university’s psychology programs can choose a minor in mental health services, which includes Family Therapy, Behavior Modification, Medical and Vocational Case Management, and Drugs and Behavior. The university encourages students to join the Psychology Club and to do internships in their junior or senior years.

Through the Department of Counseling and Human Development, students can earn graduate degrees in different fields of counseling. The clinical mental health counseling program allows students to do a research or design paper or a thesis, but they can also take classes only. Counseling the Family, Administration and Management of Mental Health Organizations, Group Counseling and Introduction to Professional Issues and Ethics are some of the classes in the program. The university’s college counseling program includes similar courses and prepares students for counseling others in a college or school setting. Both programs include a practicum and a more in-depth internship too.

One of the university’s top counseling programs is in marriage and family therapy. Students can take extra electives or do either a thesis or a research paper. They will also take courses designed to teach them how to help individuals struggling with family and marriage issues. Those courses include Career Counseling and Planning, Theories of Counseling, Appraisal of the Individual, Counseling the Addictive Client and Child and Adolescent Counseling. South Dakota State University also offers graduate degree programs in rehabilitation and mental health counseling and school counseling. All of these programs include both internships and practicums.

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About South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University is a public university based out of Brookings, South Dakota. Established in 1881, it is the state’s oldest university. Originally called the Dakota Agriculture College, it became the South Dakota State College of Agriculture Mechanic Arts in 1904 and then South Dakota State University in 1964. It also uses the names South Dakota State and SDSU. To reach more students, the university now offers online programs and teaches classes at several regional extension centers. Ranked as one of the best schools in the world and in the United States by U.S. News and World Report and others, SDSU has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students.

South Dakota State University Accreditation Details

The college counseling and other graduate programs available in counseling fields have accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Not only does this accreditation cover the classes that students take, but it also applies to any of the fieldwork that they do. SDSU has regional accreditation too, which is why students can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). That accreditation also allows students to bring credits from another university to South Dakota State and comes from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

South Dakota State University Application Requirements

SDSU accepts around 90% of the applications completed by prospective undergrads each year. It encourages students to look at the majors that interest them and to check out all the admissions requirements first. Though SDSU does not have a set application deadline, it has a deadline of December 15 for those who need scholarships and March first for students who will also submit the FAFSA. The university requires a minimum score of 18/950 on the ACT/SAT but will also accept students who finished in the top 60% of their high school classes or have a grade point average of 2.6 or higher. Future South Dakota State undergrads must provide their official high school transcripts and test scores and complete the university’s application.

At the graduate level, SDSU asks that students complete the Graduate School application. They must also submit the application at least six weeks before the final deadline for the program. Students need an undergrad GPA of at least 2.75, though the university prefers a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They will also provide a one-page essay that lists the counseling goals they have for the future and a resume that makes note of any counseling or professional experience they have. The university has a disclosure form that students need to complete and requires two letters of recommendation too. After going through a group interview, students need to pass a criminal background check before the university will make its final decision.

Tuition and Financial Aid

SDSU charges $256.55 per credit hour for undergraduate South Dakota residents, while nonresidents pay up to $372.40 per credit hour. The university offers various discounts for those who live in another western state and students who work for the state or are 65 or older. Another discount goes to the children of South Dakota State alumni. Graduate students qualify for the same discounts but will otherwise pay $336.80 per credit hour as a resident of the state or $647.55 as a nonresident. Students also pay other costs to live on the campus and for any of the supplies they need.

To get financial aid, students only need to file the FAFSA. They can now access that form online at the beginning of October and apply for aid before they register for classes. SDSU uses the FAFSA to decide how much aid an individual student needs and to design an aid package that it will send to the student in the form of an award letter. Not only do students receive institutional aid such as SDSU grants and scholarships, but they can also get aid from the South Dakota and/or federal government. That aid can include grants, work-study and direct or PLUS loans. All the counseling and psychology programs at South Dakota State University accept financial aid.