The Department of Counselor Education offers a 48-credit hour program (16 courses) leading to the Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling.

The degree in Rehabilitation Counseling fulfills the educational requirements for the two levels of licensure as professional counselors in the State of Illinois: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Graduates of the Rehabilitation Counseling program can also obtain Certified Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) certification.

On July 1, 2017, the Council for Rehabilitation Education (CORE), the accrediting body of this rehabilitation counseling program, merged with the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP will now have the responsibility for the review of rehabilitation counselor education graduate programs. Find out more information at Counselor Education’s accreditation, licensures, and credentialing

Rehabilitation counselors help children and adults with physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disabilities to maximize their personal, career, and independent living goals through the counseling process. Depending on the employment setting, counselors perform one-on-one counseling, help place individuals in jobs, work with insurance and government programs, assist individuals with independent living skills, create individualized rehabilitation plans, conduct vocational evaluations, and perform case management duties.

Demand for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow by 10% from 2019 and 2029 as the population continues to age and the number of individuals living with disabilities increases. As a result of this increased demand, a recent study by the American Counseling Association found these professionals receive better medical and retirement benefits, and average $13,000 more in annual salary, than other counseling professions. 

Rehabilitation counselors are employed in settings such as state vocational rehabilitation agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs, hospitals and schools, insurance companies, mental health agencies, community rehabilitation programs, social security administration, private business and industry, behavioral health agencies including substance abuse programs and training and evaluation centers, state/federal systems of vocational rehabilitation, and training and evaluation centers.


The Rehabilitation Counseling program at Northeastern Illinois University is committed to improving the lives of persons with disabilities by providing qualified professional rehabilitation counselors (Certified Rehabilitation Counselors—CRCs) trained in the current best practices of rehabilitation services to work in public and private agencies serving a diverse state and nation.


The objectives of the Rehabilitation Counseling program are:

  • To recruit qualified rehabilitation counselors-in-training who are committed to working with people with disabilities from widely diverse cultures, abilities, dispositions, and backgrounds.
  • To train future counselors in effective, sensitive strategies and methods of practice to assist persons from diverse background to obtain their maximum functioning in their community including work.
  • To retain counselors-in-training so that they may reach their maximum level of competency, preparation, and satisfaction in their chosen career.
  • To place trained rehabilitation counselors into community public and private agencies to serve persons with disabilities ethically, competently, and sensitively respectful of each person's unique background, value systems, and abilities.
  • To provide the community with competent and current services and resources that improves the lives of persons with disabilities and, in turn, enriching the quality of life for all.

Financial Aid 

Through a grant from the Department of Education, the Rehabilitation Counseling program awards scholarships to those students who desire to work in the state-federal vocational rehabilitation system. The NEIU Rehabilitation Counseling has been awarded a five-year grant through the year 2025 providing full tuition scholarships for interested students. Contact Dr. Craig Johnston at for more information on the grant.

Cost of Attendance

The estimated cost for the 48-credit hour M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling degree for the 2020-2021:

  • Residents: approximately $26,000
  • Non-Residents: approximately $46,460

Curriculum in Rehabilitation Counseling

The required courses for the Rehabilitation Counseling program are:

Foundation Counseling Courses:

  • COUN 402 Developmental Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 403 Theories of Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 404 Assessment & Evaluation in Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 405 Individual Counseling Skills (3 cr)
  • COUN 406 Group Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 408 Research Seminar (3 cr)
  • COUN 409 Career Development (3 cr)
  • COUN 427 Diagnostic Systems for Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 430 Social & Cultural Diversity in Counseling (3 cr)

Rehabilitation Counseling Courses:

  • COUN 433 Foundations of Rehabilitation Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 434 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disability (3 cr)
  • COUN 435 Work & Disability (3 cr)
  • COUN 436 Case Management for Rehabilitation Counseling (3 cr)

Advanced Clinicals:

  • COUN 446 Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling** (3 cr)
  • COUN 463 Internship I: Rehabilitation Counseling** (3 cr)
  • COUN 473 Internship II: Rehabilitation Counseling** (3 cr)

Clinical Experience (Practicum and internship)**

Practicum and Internship consists of 700 hours of documented field-related experience, of which 280 hours of face-to-face counseling is required. COUN 446 Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling is a 100-hour, field-based experience requiring a minimum of 40 hours of direct contact with clients. COUN 463 Internship I: Rehabilitation Counseling and COUN 473 Internship II: Rehabilitation Counseling together consist of a 600-hour, field-based experience requiring a minimum of 240 hours of clinical contact with clients. Practicum is taken in the fall semester. Internship I is taken in the spring semester, and Internship II is taken in the summer semester. 

Departmental Proficiency Examination (DPE)

All Counselor Education students are required to pass a comprehensive departmental proficiency examination (DPE) prior to graduation. This exam is offered annually in February, June and October.

Apply to the M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling program.