Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling


$648 Per Credit

UW-Stout’s Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is a counseling degree that prepares you to work with people with all types of disabilities including physical, cognitive, intellectual, psychological, and/or sensory disabilities. As a rehabilitation counselor, you’ll assist clients and consumers to make decisions, reach their potential, and optimize personal, social and economic independence.

Program Description

Master of Science Degree The Rehabilitation Counseling program is guided by its mission to prepare rehabilitation professionals who are committed to facilitating the personal, social and economic independence of individuals with disabilities throughout the rehabilitation or habilitation process. The program is founded on the assumption of the worth, dignity and value of all individuals.

Professional development activities and personal growth experiences for students are provided to focus on developing skills for living and working as constructive participants in our multicultural, multiethnic society. The Rehabilitation Counseling program works toward these ends by fostering lifelong learning skills, creating a climate of inquiry, encouraging creative and scholarly productivity, and enhancing people’s ability to solve problems.

Upon successful completion of the program each student will:

  • Develop and demonstrate an identity as a rehabilitation counseling professional.
  • Integrate rehabilitation philosophy and principles of independence, integration, choice, self-determination, empowerment, access and respect for individual differences into rehabilitation counseling planning and service provision.
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior and ethical problem-solving consistent with the code of ethics for rehabilitation counseling professionals.
  • Utilize disability-related legislation, public policy, and attitudinal and access barriers to advocate for and with persons with disabilities and their families.
  • Identify the influences and functional impacts and implications of chronic illness and/or disability across human development and lifespan.
  • Evaluate environmental, social and economic influences that create barriers for persons with disabilities.
  • Appraise psychosocial, cultural and diversity issues that may affect the rehabilitation process.
  • Formulate counseling techniques to promote rehabilitation counseling and philosophy to chronic illness or disability adjustment.
  • Analyze jobs, employment trends and career opportunities to assist in rehabilitation planning and service provision.
  • Apply research findings to improve services to persons with disabilities.
  • Integrate vocational assessment in the rehabilitation planning.
  • Identify community resources and other services which promote independence.

The Rehabilitation Counseling program requires 60-credits of course work . All degree-related courses are predefined to meet accreditation standards and certification requirements. There are no required elective classes.

The Rehabilitation Counseling program prepares students to meet and/or exceed the educational and experiential requirements necessary to seek the professional designation of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Students in the Rehabilitation Counseling program meet the minimum educational requirements necessary to obtain the Wisconsin state in-training license leading to the Wisconsin Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) designation.

Career Opportunities

Rehabilitation counselors work with a wide variety of individuals who experience physical, cognitive, developmental, psychological or emotional disabilities or other types of chronic illnesses. The goal of the rehabilitation counseling process is to facilitate independence and self-determination leading to positive vocational and psychosocial adjustment of persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors provide individual and group counseling, vocational assessment, case management, service coordination and consultation services.

Employer Positions

  • Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Programs
  • Centers for Independent Living
  • Community-Based Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Corrections
  • Disability Insurance
  • Disability Organizations
  • Disability Management Programs
  • Disability Services at Universities and Colleges
  • Hospital Settings
  • State/Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies
  • Supported Employment Programs
  • Transition Services in Secondary School Settings
  • Vocational Assessment Programs
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Agency Manager
  • Assistive Technology Specialist
  • Case Manager
  • Client Assistance Program Manager
  • Community Program Manager
  • Government Benefits Interviewer
  • Independent Living Program Coordinator
  • Job Coach
  • Probation and Parole Officer
  • Program Managers
  • Rehabilitation Consultant
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • School-to-Work Transition Counselor
  • University or College Disability Services Specialist
  • Veteran Administration Counselor
  • Vocational Evaluator


The Rehabilitation Counseling program is based on a cohort-model where students are admitted to the program once yearly in the fall. The program offers two distinct cohorts:

  • The Combined Cohort, which has options for either on-campus or online course delivery, provides a traditional synchronous experience in which students either attend the physical classroom on-campus or join the class live via the internet. This cohort is designed as a two-year, full-time program.
  • The Online Cohort which provides online asynchronous courses, which means students can participate in weekly learning assignments at a time that is most convenient for them. This cohort is a three-year, part-time online cohort designed for employed rehabilitation professionals who possess a minimum of two years of related work experience.

Students within a cohort typically proceed through sequenced coursework together and graduate at the same time. The cohorts are mutually exclusive, and students can enroll only in those courses within their designated cohort (i.e., Combined Cohort students cannot enroll in Online Cohort course offerings).

To be considered for admission to the program, students must complete a two-step application process.

The Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling has unique professional degree requirements governed by professional accreditation standards. The program admission, retention, probation and dismissal policy reflect sensitivity to these standards and faculty determination of the graduate student or degree candidate’s capability to meet the rigors of professional practice and the essential job functions of rehabilitation professionals. In recognition of responsibilities to people with disabilities who will be served by the graduates of this program, selective admission and retention of candidates for the Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling are maintained.

Entrance into the program requires the unanimous vote of approval by the graduate Rehabilitation Counseling Program Admission Committee which is comprised of a minimum of three rehabilitation faculty/staff members. Approval will be dependent upon the applicant demonstrating:

Potential for successful academic achievement at the graduate level;

  • Interest in working with people with disabilities;
  • Personal and social characteristics necessary to work with people with disabilities, such as personal, emotional and social maturity and a combination of patience, empathy and understanding;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Ability to use expressive and receptive communication skills to effectively facilitate the counseling process;
  • Ability to perform the essential functions of the job of a rehabilitation counselor, and;
  • Ability to carry out professional responsibilities.

The decision for admission or denial of admission by the Rehabilitation Counseling Program Admission Committee will be based on the criteria above with information obtained from records of undergraduate and/or other graduate academic attainment, letters of reference from a minimum of three objective individuals who are familiar with the applicant in work or educational settings, information provided on the program application form, and other data and information received by the committee. The committee may require an interview when information submitted is insufficient for rendering a decision or when the applicant’s undergraduate GPA is less than 2.75.

To be admitted with full status to the Rehabilitation Counseling graduate program, the applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and have an overall grade point average of at least 2.75 based on a four-point scale. Applicants may be admitted on probationary status if their overall grade point average is at least 2.5 but less than 2.75. Other conditions of acceptance into the program may include completion of remedial course work. Remedial course work may be required and costs of such courses may differ from regular graduate tuition.

Students from a variety of educational backgrounds are eligible for admission. Applicants with degrees such as rehabilitation services, vocational rehabilitation, disability studies, psychology, sociology, business, industrial technology, vocational education, special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, communication disorders, recreational therapy and social work can find appropriate applications within the program. Although a specific educational background is not required, the applicant’s transcripts will be evaluated to determine if remedial or deficiency course work at the undergraduate level or additional graduate work will need to be completed to earn the degree.

For more details, visit

To top