Search within:

Psychology Career Path: Rehabilitation Counseling

Potential Career Paths

  • Rehabilitation Counselor (M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D.)

Potential Graduate Programs

  • Rehabilitation Counseling (M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D.)

Action Steps for Students

To become more involved in Rehabilitation Counseling or learn about the profession, here is what students can do:

  1. Visit the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association.
  2. Volunteer in hospitals or other rehabilitation settings.
  3. Schedule a meeting with a rehabilitation counselor to discuss the profession.
  4. Visit the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) to learn about program accreditation and standards.

What is Rehabilitation Counseling?

Rehabilitation counselors help individuals with physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities deal with societal and personal problems, plan careers, and find and keep satisfying jobs. Rehab counselors also may work with professional organizations and advocacy groups to address the environmental and societal barriers that create obstacles for people with disabilities. The goal of rehabilitation counseling is the integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities into society.

Many rehabilitation counselors work in state rehabilitation agencies or community rehabilitation programs. Other employers may include comprehensive rehabilitation centers, universities and academic settings, insurance companies, correctional facilities, Veterans Affairs, drug and alcohol treatment centers, Bureau of Worker?s Compensation, public agencies, and independent living centers.

Most rehabilitation counseling graduate students have undergraduate degrees in psychology, rehabilitative services, sociology, or other human services-related fields. Students then complete a master's or doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling. Individuals will then need to complete the requirements to become certified as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC).

The purpose of this track is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of psychology while providing students who want to become rehabilitation counselors with the necessary prerequisites to apply to rehabilitation counseling professional programs.

Undergraduate Course Requirements

Students who are interested in pursuing a career in Rehabilitation Counseling should be sure to work with an adviser to develop an academic plan that is tailored to their interests. The plan should lead to the completion of coursework that is required for admissions to a professional program in rehabilitation counseling.

University and College Requirements

In addition to the suggestions for the Rehabilitation Counseling, be sure to complete all other university and college requirements, including the foreign language requirement.

The center staff recommend beginning the foreign language requirement in the first year. NOTE: Students may begin with a class higher than 1110 depending on foreign language placement test results. It is possible to place out of the foreign language requirement. Therefore, it is recommended that students take the placement test for any foreign language completed in high school.

Required Courses in Psychology

The following courses are highly recommended for students planning on pursuing a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling:

  • PSY 2720 Psychology of Personality (3)
  • PSY 3420 Adulthood & Aging (3)
  • PSY 3250 Psychology of Health & Illness (3)
  • PSY 3440 Psychology of Gender (3)
  • PSY 3710 Intro to Clinical & Counseling (3)

Additional Recommended Courses

  • BIOS 1700, 1705 Biological Sciences I: Molecules & Cells + Lab (4)
  • BIOS 3010, 3015 Human Anatomy + Lab (4)
  • BIOS 3450, 3455 Human Physiology + Lab (5)
  • CFS 4600 Children, Families, & Diversity (3)
  • CFS 4650 Transitions in Development: Adolescence (3)
  • CFS 4660 Transitions in Development: Middle and Late Life (3)
  • CFS 4670 Children, Families, Stress, and Trauma (3)
  • CFS 4760 Children and Families in Health Care Settings
  • HSLS 1080 Intro to Communication Disorders (3)
  • EDSP 2710 Introduction to Special Education (3)
  • HLTH 2000 Introduction to Public Health (3)
  • HLTH 2040 Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs (3)
  • HLTH 2100 Women & Health (3)
  • HLTH 2300 Medical Terminology (3)
  • PHIL 1300 Introduction to Ethics (3)
  • PHIL 3310 Moral Problems in Medicine (3)
  • SOC 1000 Intro to Sociology (3)
  • SOC 2310 Sociology of Health and Health Care (3)
  • SW 1000 Intro to Social Work and Social Welfare (3)
  • SW 3263 Chemical Dependency (3)

Note: Be sure to check prerequisites for all coursework.

Students who intend to go to graduate school in rehabilitation counseling are encouraged to complete courses in Biological Sciences.

Fieldwork and Research in Psychology

It is highly recommended that students interested in Rehabilitation Counseling participate in research in a psychology lab and engage in fieldwork in settings related to the student?s particular area of interest.