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Rehabilitation Counseling


The Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling prepares graduates for employment in a variety of settings such as state vocational rehabilitation agencies, nonprofit rehabilitation programs, high schools and college settings, independent living centers, medical rehabilitation centers, Veteran’s Affairs, or private industry, substance abuse treatment programs, mental health agencies, corrections facilities, and private practice. Through rigorous coursework and clinical experiences, graduates are trained to provide culturally competent counseling services to individuals with disabilities and chronic illness.


1. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of counselor professional roles, responsibilities, and ethical and legal practices.

2. Students will demonstrate understanding of diversity through the application of multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices and skills across client populations, settings and concerns.

3. Student will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of factors that affect human development and abilities across the lifespan.

4. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of career development theories, models, and assessment, and technology resources and tools.

5. Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills to counsel diverse clients from diverse backgrounds.

6. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of group work across varied counseling settings.

7. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of evidence-based assessments in counseling.

8. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of evidence-based counseling research used to inform counseling practices and interventions.

9. Students will engage in multicultural, advocacy, and social justice practices, and cultural sustaining as part of their professional counseling identity.

Specialty Area Objective

10. Students will demonstrate skills in applying evidence-based strategies to facilitate the adjustment and adaptation to disability and knowledge in utilizing career development and employment models to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving and sustaining competitive employment opportunities in integrated settings.

Accreditation Information

The Rehabilitation Counseling program at Mississippi State University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). 

Certification and Licensure

This program is designed to fulfill the academic requirements for certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC), a nationally recognized credential. Upon graduation from this program, individuals are eligible to sit for the NBCC Certification Examination (NCE); and eligible to apply for the Mississippi PLPC credential; eligible to pursue the 3,000 hours of supervised counseling experience for licensure which is necessary for becoming a Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).


Admission to the Master's in Rehabilitation counseling program is for Fall semester only, with July 31 as the application deadline. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a fully accredited four-year educational institution and earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 system) cumulative on all baccalaureate and graduate work already completed. Additionally, applicants are required to provide Applicants for all counseling degree programs must also produce all other application requirements detailed by the Graduate School such as official transcripts, a personal statement describing the applicant's interest in the program and his/her career plans, and three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's education, skills, abilities, and character. Applicants are encouraged to check with the program for additional requirements.

Courses in the rehabilitation counseling concentration have been developed and sequenced by counseling program faculty. Students will be admitted into a cohort and the cohort will follow the pre-determined course sequence each semester.

When is time to enroll in practicum/Internship courses, your advisor will need to approve and verify that your practicum/internship site meets the necessary qualifications for providing appropriate clinical rehabilitation experiences in the field of rehabilitation counseling as well as determining appropriate on-site supervisors for the site.

Program Structure 

Degree Requirements

Every student in the counseling program is expected to meet the program common core, concentration area knowledge, and skill requirements. Opportunities for students to meet these requirements will occur in the classroom and during the practicum and internship experiences.

To graduate with a Master of Science in Counseling degree with a concentration in rehabilitation counseling students must:

  • Complete a minimum of 60 hours
    • 39 core counseling, practicum, and internship hours
    • 6 elective course hours
    • 15 rehabilitation counseling concentration hours
  • Students must pass a comprehensive master’s examination
    • Graduate students must have a graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination and to be awarded any graduate degree.
    • No exceptions to this policy are granted by the Office of Graduate Studies.
    • “Gatekeeper” Courses in the Counseling Master’s Program
      • “Gatekeeper” courses are those foundational courses that are considered integral to success in the Counseling Program.
      • Unless otherwise approved by the program graduate coordinator, students are required to earn a grade of “B” or better in each counseling “gatekeeping” course before they are permitted to progress to the next course in the sequence. These specific courses and their required sequence include:
        • COE 8023: Counseling Theory
        • COE 8013: Counseling Skills
        • COE 8043: Group Techniques and Procedures
        • COE 8633 Psychosocial Rehabilitation (not a requirement for rehabilitation counseling students)
        • COE 8053/8153: Practicum
        • COE 8730/8740: Internship

A standard rubric, the Comprehensive Disposition Review Form, is designed to assess students’ performance in these courses.

Required Courses

COE 6903 Developmental Counseling and Mental Health: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. One-hour laboratory. Methods of identifying and meeting children and adults' normal emotional and social needs. Emphasis on maintaining better mental health conditions in the schools

COE 8023 Counseling Theory: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Study of the major counseling theories and their applications to the counseling process

COE 8013 Counseling Skills Development: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: COE 6013 and COE 8023). Three hours lecture. Theory and practice of counseling with an emphasis on the development of advanced skills required for assisting clients

COE 8043 Group Techniques and Procedures: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: COE 8013). Three hours lecture. Group counseling theory, dynamics, processes, and leadership functions

COE 8053 Practicum: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: COE 8013, 8023, and consent of department). Seminar and supervised field experience

COE 8063 Research Techniques for Counselors: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Methods of research and evaluation in counseling

COE 8083 Assessment Techniques in Counseling: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Principles and techniques involved in selecting, administering, scoring and interpreting tests of personality, interest, vocational aptitude, achievement, and intelligence

COE 8073 Cultural Foundations in Counseling: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Examination of individual differences due to socialization acquired in distinct cultural and socioeconomic environments. Implications for counseling

COE 8303 Family Counseling Theory: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. (Prerequisite: COE 8023). Study of the theory and practice of family counseling

COE 8633 Psychosocial Rehabilitation: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Counseling techniques that assist in the community adjustment of seriously mentally ill clients

COE 8703 Principles of Clinical Mental Health Counseling: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Overview of the history, philosophy, trends, and practice of mental health counseling

COE 8730 Internship: 1-9 hours.

(Prerequisite: COE 8053.) Supervised field experience

Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration

COE 6373 Vocational Assessment of Special Needs Persons: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. (Prerequisite: EPY 8263 or equivalent). Comprehensive vocational assessment, counseling, and individual planning for special needs persons. Job/training analysis, vocational interest/aptitude tests, work samples, and situational assessment. (Same as TKT 8653)

COE 8353 Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Rehabilitation legislation and the rehabilitation counseling process

COE 8363 Psychological Aspects of Disability: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Psychological and social factors influencing adjustment of disabled persons

COE 8373 Medical Aspects of Disability: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Involves a detailed survey of physical disabilities, their resulting functional limitations and rehabilitation implications. It also includes discussion of appropriate rehabilitation technology

COE 8383 Job Placement in Rehabilitation: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Process of job placement for disabled persons

Rehabilitation Fieldwork - Practicum & Internship

All accredited graduate counseling programs contain two active dimensions within the learning experience. The first dimension involves the acquisition of the academic knowledge necessary to understand the various knowledge domains associated with counseling individuals and groups of individuals. The second dimension within counseling programs involves students acquiring the necessary experience to assist clients to perform effective problem-solving activities within their lives. Evaluation of each student's ability to train clients to effectively problem-solve is the focus of graduate fieldwork.

Graduate fieldwork involves two experiences within the rehabilitation curriculum (Practicum & Internship). Practicum is by its very nature an exploratory activity designed to investigate possible future professional employment settings that the graduate student may persure. Practicum involves performing professional counseling activity at one (or two) community agencies for a period of eight (8) hours per week (a total of 100 hours over a Fall or Spring semester). Students should also be aware that Practicum should be viewed as a pre-requisite for the more intensive Internship experience.

Internship is typically seen as THE cumulative application of graduate knowledge to graduate experience. Internship requires students to perform graduate-level, professional activities with actual clients in community agencies while under the supervision of professional counselors possessing advanced training in the agency's specialty area. The Internship, by accreditation standards, require a minimum of six hundred (600) hours of professionally supervised activity over a Fall or Spring 16-week semester.

Within the department, Practicums and Internships must be pursued and applied for by each student with the assistance of the Program Coordinator. The “Practicum & Internship Handbook” on the main department webpage provides students and supervisors with all the relevant information pertaining to fieldwork.

Program Degree Requirements

The program requires completion of sixty (60) graduate hours of academic course work to include counseling core courses, specialty courses, electives, clinical experiences, and successfully passing the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).

Professional Development

Many opportunities are available for professional development while completing the master's in rehabilitation counseling program. Students are expected to seek membership in professional organizations such as American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Rehabilitation Research, Policy and Education (ARRPE), American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA), National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (NRCA) and National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). Rehabilitation counseling students are strongly encouraged to attend and deliver presentations at the annual conferences of any of these associations. Students are expected to become involved in advocacy and social justice projects on behalf of their clients as well as the profession and encouraged to be members of a very active MSU campus Chi Sigma Iota Chapter.

Graduate Assistantships 

Full time graduate students enrolled in the program are eligible to apply for assistantships throughout the university. Applicants should begin the process early to secure an assistantship. Students with assistantships work twenty hours per week and may receive tuition reimbursement and a stipend. For more information and to obtain an application please visit

Graduate Rehabilitation Counselor Education Program

National Accreditation: This Master-of-Science degree program in rehabilitation counseling is accredited by the national Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through the year 2025. This program has held national accreditation consistently since 1976.

Because the program is accredited by CACREP, students are eligible to sit for the national certification examination Certified Rehabilitation Counselor during their last semester of graduate work. Students may also pursue other national certification as a National Certified Counselor or with an additional 12 credit hours of specific coursework, the State of Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor credential.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education with emphasis in Rehabilitation Counseling (COED)

Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education

COE 8063 Research Techniques for Counselors 3
EPY 8214 Intermediate Educational and Psychological Statistics 4
EPY 9213 Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research 3
EPY 9263 Applied Research Seminar 3
HED 8133 Curriculum and Instruction in Higher Education 3
COE 9013 Counseling Supervision 3
COE 9023 Advanced Counseling Theory 3
COE 9033 Advanced Seminar 3
COE 9043 Advanced Group Work and Systems 3
COE 9053 Advanced Multicultural Counseling 3
COE 9083 Advanced Assessment Techniques for Counseling 3
COE 9000 Dissertation Research/ Dissertation in Counselor Education & Educational Psychology 20
COE 9740 Advanced Doctoral Practicum (300 clock hours) 3
COE 9750 Internship (600 clock hours) 6
Select one of the following   3
EDF 9443 Single-Subject Research Designs for Education  
EDF 9453 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education  
HI 8923 Historiography and Historical Method  
Approved electives   3-15
Total Hours   81

Ph.D. students in counseling may also complete 12-18 hours in a minor area which would be considered elective hours.  For additional information about the Ph.D. degrees in counseling and in school counseling, see the departmental handbook.

Financial Aid

A variety of financial aid is available to eligible students. Information about student financial aid may be obtained via the Mississippi State University website at


Research opportunities and assistantships are available for students in the nation's only National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, as well as within the department of Counseling, Higher Education Leadership, Educational Psychology & Foundations Center for Counseling and School Psychology. Additional research opportunity exists in the field of assistive technology with the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability.

Contact Information

Zaccheus Ahonle, Ph.D., CRC
Coordinator, Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling
Assistant Professor
Allen Hall, Room 508