The M.S. degree program in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling prepares rehabilitation counselors at the master’s degree level to serve adolescents and adults with disabilities in both private and public rehabilitation agencies and programs through counseling, assessment, job placement, case management, and advocacy.
The program’s mission centers on improving the quality of life and fostering inclusion for individuals with disabilities in community settings. The range of disabilities served by graduates includes physical and psychiatric disabilities, alcohol and drug abuse, traumatic brain injury and other neurological impairments, learning and intellectual disabilities, sensory disabilities, and aging. The program places a strong emphasis on field experiences including practical training in supervised placements in rehabilitation counseling settings. Students benefit from opportunities to take courses from faculty in both the rehabilitation counseling and counseling psychology programs to develop expertise in counseling skills, foundations of psycho-social aspects of disability, assessment techniques, socio-cultural aspects of counseling, and career development, among other topics.
As part of one of the nation’s top schools of education and most highly ranked universities in the world, students have access to interdisciplinary perspectives, a wide range of professional development resources, and emerging research in the field of rehabilitation counseling. The quality and recognition of the program is further evidenced by its current U.S. News & World Report number one (tied) ranking among all rehabilitation counseling programs in the US.
The M.S. program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). Graduates also meet the educational qualifications for the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential as well as the educational requirements to apply for a training license as a professional counselor in the state of Wisconsin (Licensed Professional Counselor). Please visit the program website for updates on CACREP accreditation.
Financial support is available to some qualified graduate students and may include scholarships, traineeships, teaching assistantships, and research/project assistantships.
Employment opportunities following graduation include nonprofit rehabilitation programs, state vocational rehabilitation programs, private rehabilitation and employment support agencies, mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment agencies, corrections settings, and educational settings including high schools, colleges, and universities.
Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|Fall Deadline||February 15|
|Spring Deadline||This program does not admit in the spring.|
|Summer Deadline||This program does not admit in the summer.|
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)||Not required.|
|English Proficiency Test||Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).|
|Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT)||n/a|
|Letters of Recommendation Required||3|
Complete application information is available on the program website. Applicants are expected to meet general requirements for admission to the Graduate School. The following factors will be considered by the admissions committee: aptitude for graduate-level study, relevance of prior academic work and career goals, stated goals for graduate study, employment history, potential success in forming effective counseling relationships, respect for cultural differences, evidence of writing and research skill, and letters of recommendation.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.
Financial support is available to qualified graduate students and may include scholarships, traineeships, teaching assistantships, and research/project assistantships. For current funding and financial support, please visit the department website.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.
Evening/Weekend: Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules. Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.
Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.
Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats. Contact the program for more specific information.
Online: These programs are offered 100% online. Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||60 credits|
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||16 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||30 credits must be in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.00 GPA required.|
|Other Grade Requirements||The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.|
|Assessments and Examinations||Successful completion of the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) national certification exam.|
|Language Requirements||No language requirements.|
60 graduate degree credits to include:
|Required Core Academic Coursework in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling|
|RP & SE 700||Research Methods in Rehabilitation, Mental Health, & Special Education||3|
|RP & SE 720||Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling - Assessment||3|
|RP & SE 721||Addictions Counseling||3|
|RP & SE 725||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Career Development & Interventions||3|
|RP & SE 732||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Foundations||3|
|RP & SE 750||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Medical & Psychosocial Aspects||3|
|RP & SE 810||Cinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Counseling Techniques||3|
|RP & SE 820||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Counseling Theories||3|
|RP & SE 830||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Diagnosis & Treatment Planning||3|
|RP & SE 840||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Group Counseling||3|
|COUN PSY/ED PSYCH 723||Developmental Processes Across the Life Span||3|
|COUN PSY/RP & SE 730||Professional Counseling Orientation||3|
|COUN PSY 740||Abnormal Behavior and Psychopathology||3|
|COUN PSY 777||Crisis and Trauma Counseling||3|
|COUN PSY 825||Counseling Psychology Techniques With Families||3|
|COUN PSY 860||Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling||3|
|Required Clinical Instruction in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling|
|RP & SE 880||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Supervised Practicum I||3|
|RP & SE 890||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Supervised Practicum II||3|
|RP & SE 910||Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Internship||6-12|
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With program approval, students are allowed to count graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
With program approval, students are allowed to count 7 credits of coursework numbered 300 level or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree toward the graduate degree. Students are still required to complete 60 credits while a graduate student in the program for per accreditation requirements. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
UW–Madison University Special
With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.
The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the program.
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Master’s degree students who are absent for five or more years will not be given credit for prior work.
Grievances and Appeals
These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:
- Bias or Hate Reporting
- Graduate Assistantship Policies and Procedures
- Hostile and Intimidating Behavior Policies and Procedures
- Dean of Students Office (for all students to seek grievance assistance and support)
- Employee Assistance (for personal counseling and workplace consultation around communication and conflict involving graduate assistants and other employees, post-doctoral students, faculty and staff)
- Employee Disability Resource Office (for qualified employees or applicants with disabilities to have equal employment opportunities)
- Graduate School (for informal advice at any level of review and for official appeals of program/departmental or school/college grievance decisions)
- Office of Compliance (for class harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence)
- Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (for conflicts involving students)
- Ombuds Office for Faculty and Staff (for employed graduate students and post-docs, as well as faculty and staff)
- Title IX (for concerns about discrimination)
Any student who feels that they have been treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following these grievance procedures. The complaint may concern course grades, classroom treatment, program admission, or other issues. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Education.
The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Education. Any student or potential student may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts. The following steps are available within the School of Education when a student has a grievance:
- The student should first talk with the person against whom the grievance is directed. Most issues can be settled at this level. If the complaint is directed against a teaching assistant, and the student is not satisfied, the next step would be to talk to the TA's supervisor, who is usually the course professor. If the complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, the student may continue to step 2.
- If the complaint does not involve an academic department, the procedure outlined in Step 4 below should be followed. If the complaint involves an academic department, the student should contact the chair of the department. The chair will attempt to resolve the problem informally. If this cannot be done to the student's satisfaction, the student may submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- On receipt of a written complaint, the chair will refer the matter to a departmental committee, which will obtain a written response from the person at whom the complaint is directed. This response shall be shared with the person filing the grievance. The chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee.
- If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the department, they have five working days from receipt of the decision to contact the dean's office (at the number below), indicating the intention to appeal. If the complaint does not involve an academic department in the school, the student must contact the dean's office within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
- In either case, there will be an attempt to resolve the issue informally by the associate dean. If this cannot be done, the complaint can be filed in writing with the dean's office. This must be done within 10 working days of the time the appealing party was notified that informal resolution was unsuccessful.
- On receipt of such a written complaint, the associate dean will convene a subcommittee of the school's Equity & Diversity Committee. This subcommittee may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately. The subcommittee will then make a written recommendation to the dean of the School of Education who will render a decision. Unless a longer time is negotiated, this written decision shall be made within 20 working days from the date when the grievance was filed with the dean's office.
Questions about these procedures can be directed to the School of Education Dean's Office, 377 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 608-262-1763.
State law contains additional provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part: "No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or center because of the student's race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status." In addition, UW–System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office of Compliance, 361 Bascom Hall, 608-265-6018, email@example.com.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
- Demonstrate mastery of the knowledge domains of the rehabilitation counseling profession including understanding the theoretical and historical foundations of the field of rehabilitation counseling and the ability to identify current best practices and challenges in the field. Specific knowledge domains are outlined by the rehabilitation counseling professional accrediting body, Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP).
- Successfully apply the knowledge gained through course work to practical experiences in community rehabilitation settings.
- Be prepared to enter professional positions in fields related to rehabilitation counseling including vocational rehabilitation, mental health counseling, advocacy, and support of individuals with disabilities.
- Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.
- Meet learning outcomes related to CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) standards.
Malachy Bishop, Jina Chun, David Rosenthal, Susan Smedema, and Timothy Tansey
Zhe An, Aydin Bal, Bonnie Doren, Melinda Leko, Hailey Love, Carlyn Mueller, Andrea Ruppar, Beverly Trezek, Ashley White, and Kimber Wilkerson
For more information about faculty in the Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education Department, see: https://rpse.education.wisc.edu/rpse/people/faculty
Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2027
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
|Year of Exam||UW-Madison Graduates: First Attempt||National: First Attempt|
Professional Certification/Licensure Disclosure (NC-SARA)
The United States Department of Education requires institutions that provide distance education to disclose information for programs leading to professional certification or licensure about whether each program meets state educational requirements for initial licensure or certification. Following is this disclosure information for this program:
The requirements of this program meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, District of Columbia; American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
The requirements of this program do not meet Certification/Licensure in the following states:
The requirements of this program have not been determined if they meet Certification/Licensure in the following states: