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Rehabilitation Counseling


Rehabilitation counseling programs prepare people to counsel patients with mental and physical disabilities.

In rehabilitation counseling programs students learn counseling and interviewing skills. In addition, they learn observation and testing methods.

Rehabilitation counseling programs include topics such as:

Students can concentrate on specific disabilities, such as mental illness, deafness, or substance abuse. Students learn how different disabilities affect the mind, body, and emotions.

Rehabilitation counseling programs prepare people to work in:


Some community colleges offer associate degrees or certificates in rehabilitation counseling. Often certificates are offered for people who already have a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field. An associate degree usually takes two years of full-time study.

A few college and universities offer bachelor's degrees in rehabilitation counseling. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years of full-time study.

Most people earn a graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling. Many universities offer graduate degrees in rehabilitation counseling. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree. Some schools offer concentrations in rehabilitation counseling as part of a general counseling, psychology, nursing, or social work program.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in rehabilitation counseling typically includes:

In most rehabilitation counseling programs, internships are required. Typically this means that you work directly with patients for a minimum number of hours. You can work in a hospital, halfway house, community center, or social welfare agency. Students observe counseling sessions. They also perform duties such as managing paperwork, suggesting treatment ideas, and writing reports. Once they have observed a specific number of sessions, students can counsel patients themselves. Students are closely supervised at all times by a professional rehabilitation counselor.

Through internships, students learn to apply their course work to real-life situations. Internships also give students valuable experience that they can use to apply for jobs after they finish their degree.

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

Things to Know

A master's degree is usually required to become a supervisor or administrator.

Most states require that rehabilitation counselors become licensed or certified. Usually you are required to have specific training in rehabilitation counseling, a bachelor's degree, supervised contact with patients, and passing scores on a written exam.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

West Side Area

Western Washington University