The Department of Counselor Education offers a 60-credit hour program (20 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.

Program goals

The Rehabilitation Counseling (RC) program at NEIU delivers a comprehensive academic curriculum and supervised clinical experience that integrates the standards of CACREP. Students who are preparing to specialize as rehabilitation counselors will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to address varied issues within the rehabilitation counseling context. Students will learn how to work collaboratively with individuals with disabilities, their support systems, and their environments to achieve their personal, social, psychological, and vocational goals. The NEIU RC program emphasizes social justice, advocacy, and structural competence, particularly to affect systemic change and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

The Rehabilitation Counseling program at NEIU is dedicated to recruit and retain diverse students to be competent rehabilitation counselors who are committed to working with people with disabilities from widely diverse cultures, abilities, dispositions, and backgrounds.

program Objectives

Students in the Rehabilitation Counseling program will demonstrate the following knowledge bases and skill sets in preparation for their future work as Rehabilitation Counselors: 

  1. Possess knowledge of CACREP core content areas of: professional counseling orientation and ethical practice; social and cultural diversity; human growth and development; career development; counseling and helping relationships; group counseling assessment and testing; and research and program evaluation.

  2. Conduct their behavior in accordance with the principles and standards of the American Counseling Association and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor’s code of ethics and decision making models, while demonstrating professional dispositions defined by the program as characteristic of exemplary Rehabilitation Counselors.

  3. Demonstrate a commitment to assist individuals with disabilities to identify and utilize their own resources and opportunities to meet their developmental, vocational, and educational needs.

  4. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the personal, social, vocational, systemic, and psychological needs of persons with disabilities.

  5. Demonstrate knowledge of and practice sensitivity regarding psychosocial influences, cultural believes, values, diversity, social justice, poverty, health disparities, stigma, and public policies and their implications for employment and quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

  6. Possess a solid understanding of disability and rehabilitation service related community, social, and environmental needs. 

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 60-credit hour M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling degree for the 2021-22:

  • Residents: approximately $31,585
  • Non-Residents: approximately $58,072

Curriculum in Rehabilitation Counseling

The required courses for the Rehabilitation Counseling program are:

Foundation Counseling Courses:

  • COUN 401 Professional Orientation & Legal/Ethical Practices (3 cr)
  • 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 420 Introduction to Family Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 425 Diagnosis & Treatment of Addictive Disorders (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)
  • COUN 438 Trauma & Crisis 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.

Sample plan of study

Sample Three-Year Plan: full-time
Year 1
Fall Spring Summer
COUN 401
COUN 403
COUN 433
COUN 402
COUN 404
COUN 430
COUN 405
COUN 409
Year 2
Fall Spring Summer
COUN 408
COUN 425
COUN 434
COUN 406
COUN 427
COUN 435
COUN 420
COUN 436
Year 3
Fall Spring Summer
COUN 438
COUN 446
COUN 463 COUN 473

Apply to the M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling program