Master's Degree Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation counseling master's programs are widely available nationwide. They generally provide an in-depth study of the issues faced by a rehabilitation counselor and the skills needed to resolve those issues, as discussed in the following article. Schools offering Rehabilitation Sciences degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Information for Master's Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling

A master's degree in rehabilitation counseling can be well suited for those looking for careers as school counselors and social workers as well as those seeking careers in various forms of clinical counseling. Programs typically require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree, but it need not be in rehabilitation counseling. Most rehabilitation counseling master's programs require 2 to 4 years for completion and include many of the following types of courses.

Rehabilitation Counseling

Rehabilitation counseling masters programs typically offer a course that can give students an overview of the history, theories, and legislation behind the discipline. Usually, the classes take a view of a wide array of disabilities impacted by counseling including emotional, cognitive, physical, and sensory issues. Topics covered might include various pieces of legislation covering counseling at both the federal and state level, historical progress of the profession, basic counseling principles and the services offered to those with disabilities.

Career Development and Job Placement

Sometimes, part of a rehabilitation counselor's job is to help their clients become integrated into the world, which includes finding employment. To prepare master's students for this reality, rehabilitation counseling master's programs often feature a course in career development and job placement. These courses usually give learners instruction in the techniques and theories behind job placement and how the process relates to rehabilitation counseling. Some topics that might be covered include transferable skills analysis, analysis of the labor market, and identifying sympathetic employers.

Case Management

A master's program in rehabilitation counseling often has a course in case management as part of its curriculum with detailed instruction in developing a rehabilitation plan and utilizing the available resources to execute that plan. Specific themes a learner might encounter in a case management course include how to work with a client in the following of the plan, making modifications, charting progress, and strategies for improving the experience of living independently.


In order to provide learners with a foundation of knowledge in the ethnic and cultural factors that can sometimes influence rehabilitation services, many rehabilitation counseling master's programs have a course in multiculturalism as part of the curriculum. A list of topics in many of these classes might include making students aware of their own assumptions, the various worldviews that might be encountered by a counselor, and the development of intervention strategies. Also, a typical class might look at research on the subject, the ethics of multiculturalism, and the various ways disability affects diverse groups.

Group Counseling

Master's programs in rehabilitation counseling usually have a course that gives an overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of group counseling as it pertains to individuals with disabilities. During a group counseling class, students typically learn about topics such as the different types of groups that might be encountered, styles of group leadership, the role of a counselor in the group setting, problem resolution, and family issues. Often, these courses offer the opportunity for the master's student to practice leading a group and experience the process of being a member of a group session.

Research Methods and Rehabilitation

A master's program in rehabilitation counseling usually has some type of course in the curriculum that gives an overview of research methods and rehabilitation, but the focus is typically on conceptual research rather than research that is based on mathematical modeling. Students often explore the basics of the process of research, which could include the theories, various designs, variables, methodology, and how to test the validity of results.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Psychiatric rehabilitation classes are often a part of the curriculum for many master's programs in rehabilitation counseling, to provide students with a wide-ranging study in the way mental health disorders affect individuals, families, and societies. During the term of a psychiatric rehabilitation class, learners may take a look at the nomenclature used for diagnosis as well as the criteria used for classifying disorders, methods for integrating interventions with treatment.

Disability Issues in Human Development

Disability issues in human development courses are usually general studies in the ways disability, chronic illness, and addiction affect human growth and the development of personality through a person's lifetime. Rehab counseling master's students are usually exposed to information that focuses on the ways to prepare for and positively effect change as these issues occur for persons with disabilities.

Master's programs in rehabilitation counseling feature classes that provide in-depth knowledge of the issues, theories, and challenges faced by rehabilitation counseling professionals. Application for these programs typically requires a bachelor's degree, and programs can take up to four years for completion.

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