United States Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Programs & Schools
A number of top accredited graduate schools offer Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Programs which prepare students with the best techniques and counseling skills to work in this fast-growing field[i]. While it may be common to associate the term ‘rehabilitation’ with substance abuse and recovery, rehabilitation counselors work with diverse groups. Their goal is to help people such as the elderly, veterans, individuals with autism, personal, social or vocational difficulties to adapt, integrate into their communities, and lead independent lives. Today’s employer usually seeks well-trained candidates, and this usually involves a Master’s degree, and often the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification[ii]. If you are excited to potentially join the ranks of this fascinating profession, finding a graduate school should be on your priority list!
Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling: Basics
Essentially, earning a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling means about 2 years of full-time study as well as a period of supervised clinical practice. While each university or counseling school may have its own admission protocol, students are required to have a Bachelor’s degree unless they attend a school with a dual Bachelor’s-Master’s degree. The type of undergraduate degree you have is often the foundation for your graduate degree. For instance, if you have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and are interested in clinical rehabilitation counseling, you might then enroll in a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. On the other hand, if you have a liberal arts degree or a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, you might seek a Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling which tends to be more of an academic research degree and entails a thesis.
DID YOU KNOW? “Initially, rehabilitation professionals were recruited from a variety of human service disciplines, including public health nursing, social work, and school counseling. Although educational programs began to appear in the 1940s, it was not until the availability of federal funding for rehabilitation counseling programs in 1954 that the profession began to grow and establish its own identity[iii].”
Why Consider a Campus Rehabilitation Counseling Program?
Certainly, graduate students today have options. So why consider attending graduate school for your Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling?
Here are a few things to consider:
- Campus programs are also becoming more convenient to the working professional; often classes are offered in the evenings or on week-ends.
- Sometimes when you are really busy, it helps to have a schedule to help focus your available time, and the group aspect may be very motivational.
- You will have opportunities for face-to-face interactions and networking opportunities with classmates, peers and faculty.
- On-campus study enables you to participate in college life, and use facilities such as resource libraries, gym, laboratories and social services
- Your program may entail learning the uses of assistive technology to help your client have a better quality of life plus diagnostic skills that need to be learned in person (on-campus)
Education and Training for Rehabilitation Counselors
While courses vary between universities, some of the themes incorporated into a Masters Degree program in Rehabilitation Counseling could include[iv]:
- Counseling skills, theory, practices
- Theory of human development
- Disability management
- Understanding prescription drugs
- How to work with individuals and groups
- Screening for danger signs
- Medical intake, assessment, treatment plan
- How to integrate different populations into their communities
- Research methodologies & how to apply research
- Vocational counseling, work related assessments, career theory
- Advocacy, outreach, public policy
- Case management
In terms of accreditation, clinical rehabilitation counseling programs may be accredited by CACREP or CORE. These tend to have curriculums that follow the criteria for professionals working in this field.[v] Other graduate schools may be accredited regionally or nationally.
Certification and Licensing
Earning a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is typically one of the criteria that needs to be met for state licensure and for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor certificate[vi]. Certification for rehabilitation counselors is often work-setting related, and licensing requirements vary by state. What you do want to know is that state licensing gives you the ability to work independently. In terms of certification, this is not necessarily required but may be advantageous in your job search.
Find a Campus-Based Rehabilitation Counseling Program
The two things to consider when looking for a graduate school for your Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling are location and accreditation. Coursework and practicum can be rigorous undertakings but also but also a time to perhaps explore studying in another city, state or country. Or maybe you love where you are and want to stay local. This is where a location search comes in handy; use the navigation to help refine your results for accredited graduate schools. Start browsing the sponsored program listings and make sure to contact the prospective graduate schools for more information.
sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm [iii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehabilitation_counseling |[iv] core-rehab.org/Files/Doc/PDF/Clinical%20Rehabilitation%20Counseling%20Standards.%20FINAL.pdf |[v] core-rehab.org/Files/Doc/PDF/Clinical%20Rehabilitation%20Counseling%20Standards.%20FINAL.pdf |[vi] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm |
- College Park, MDCollege Park, MD
University of Maryland - College Park
- Scranton, PAScranton, PA
The University of Scranton
The University of Scranton is an urban Jesuit school located in northeastern Pennsylvania (USA). The institution enrolls about 5,000 students, 750 of...
- Fresno, CAFresno, CA
California State University, Fresno
This 60 unit program provides preparation for a career as a rehabilitation counselor.
- Moscow, IDMoscow, ID
University of Idaho
University of Idaho's Rehabilitation Counseling Program--This is where you'll learn to help shape successful lives.
- Jacksonville, FLJacksonville, FL
University of North Florida
The Rehabilitation Counseling Program combines a balance of didactic and clinical instruction with applied and experiential learning opportunities for...
- Monmouth, ORMonmouth, OR
Western Oregon University
- San Bernardino, CASan Bernardino, CA
California State University, San Bernardino
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh
This program prepares students to practice the profession of rehabilitation counseling.
- Clarion, PAClarion, PA
Clarion University Of Pennsylvania
For students who aspire to leadership positions in various human services organizations.
- Albany, NYAlbany, NY
University At Albany (S.U.N.Y.)
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
- Hempstead, NYHempstead, NY
Two master of science in education degrees are offered in rehabilitation counseling: (a) Master of Science in Education in Rehabilitation Counseling (51 s.h.) and (b) Master of Science in Education in Rehabilitation Counseling in Mental Health (60 s.h.)...
- Hempstead, NY
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
The Rehabilitation Counselor Education (RCE) program at LSUHSC is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) to provide gradua...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Illinois Institute of Technology
The Rehabilitation Psychology Division offers an M.S. degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education, and a Ph.D. in combined Clinical/Rehabilitation Psychology. The mission of the Rehabilitation Counseling program is...
- Mankato, MNMankato, MN
Minnesota State University - Mankato
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
Providing on-campus and distance education Master's Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling.
- Jackson, MSJackson, MS
Jackson State University
- Billings, MTBillings, MT
Montana State University - Billings
Rehabilitation is the restoration to fullest physical, mental, social, vocational functioning following a disability.
- Mobile, ALMobile, AL
University of South Alabama
Master of Science degree in Community Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, Instructional Design and Development, Exercise Technology, Therapeutic Re...
- Greensboro, NCGreensboro, NC
North Carolina A&T State University
The Human Resources (Rehabilitation Counseling) program is designed to...
- Everett, WAEverett, WA
Western Washington University
Two-year program offered in Everett, Washington, with a combination of face to face classes in the evening and online classes.
- Winston-Salem, NCWinston-Salem, NC
Winston-Salem State University
Master of Rehabilitation CounselingThis program prepares students with the knowledge, skills and competencies required by the...