M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling

Enhance your expertise to empower individuals in reaching their full potential.
Degree Type Master of Science
Careers & Salaries Graduate Degree Outcomes
Delivery Online

Advance Your Career in Rehabilitation & Disability Support.

UW-Stout's 100% Online Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling degree is a comprehensive program that prepares you to adeptly support individuals with a variety of disabilities from physical and cognitive to intellectual, psychological, and sensory. In this role, you will guide clients toward informed choices, aid them in achieving their potential, and contribute to their personal, social, and economic independence. 

Top 10 Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs in the U.S.

UW-Stout's M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling program is ranked in the Top 10 Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs in the United States, as recognized by US News & World Report. Our commitment to excellence is further reflected in the achievements of our graduates, with 100% securing employment within six months of completing their degrees. Upon graduating from the program, you will be both eligible and well-prepared for the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination. Furthermore, our program provides a solid foundation for pursuing the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in Wisconsin, with potential eligibility for comparable credentials in other states.

Professional engages in rehabilitation counseling.

Online Learning at Your Convenience 

UW-Stout's M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling is delivered entirely online, providing a flexible learning environment suitable for both seasoned professionals and newcomers to the field. 

  • Designed for both experienced professionals and those new to the field
  • Flexible class delivery allows for balancing school, work and personal life
  • $648 per graduate credit

This 60-credit master's program utilizes asynchronous online learning methods, which means that you can participate in weekly learning assignments at a time that is most convenient for you wherever there is an adequate internet connection. Training is provided on how to access course materials through the university’s course delivery system. Students communicate regularly with instructors and classmates via online discussion forums, emails, virtual meetings and through other technologies. An initial 2-day orientation is required and will be conducted virtually.

UW-Stout's M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling program is especially effective for professionals currently employed in rehabilitation or related fields, offering a structure that complements full-time employment. With a steady pace of two courses each semester, including summer sessions, students can complete their graduate degree in three years without disrupting their professional lives or other commitments. This program not only accommodates working professionals but also welcomes individuals new to the field of rehabilitation and disability. 

Bridging Theory with Practical Experience

In addition to theoretical learning, the program incorporates practical, field-based activities, including community site visits and projects with local rehabilitation services or employers. These hands-on experiences are essential, providing real-world insights and skills. Students are expected to arrange practicum and internship experiences in their local area, or wherever feasible, with the possibility of fulfilling these requirements at their current workplace. This approach ensures a well-rounded educational experience, blending scholarly with practical application.

Career-Defining Curriculum

The core curriculum of UW-Stout's Rehabilitation Counseling program blends foundational knowledge with practical skills, covering areas like psychological assessment, clinical counseling, and vocational evaluation.

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Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements, and course descriptions.


Note: This program makes students eligible for the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and meets educational requirements for licensure in Wisconsin. It may also meet educational requirements for licensure in other states and territories.

U.S. states and territories do not require licensure to work as a rehabilitation counselor; however, some positions and agencies require a CRC or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. Visit our website for additional information.


Reside outside the state of Wisconsin?

Please read the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements to learn more about your state’s regulations for online degree completion.

Learn from Experienced Experts

Daniel Kelsey, Program Director

Daniel Kelsey

Program Director & Professor 
250C Vocational Rehabilitation Building
Call: 715-232-3094
Email: kelseyd@uwstout.edu

Amy Gullixson

Dr. Amy Gullixson

Associate Director of Stout Online
316 Sorensen Hall
Call: 715-232-2253
Email: gullixsona@uwstout.edu

Admission Requirements

General UW-Stout Graduate School Application

All prospective graduate students at UW-Stout must follow a standard application process through our Graduate School. Beyond that, each graduate program has specific requirements that must be met to be successfully admitted to the program:

Program-Specific Application Requirements

Please submit the following to apply to the M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling program:

Please submit all materials to the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Human Services.

Application Deadline: February 15

Students are admitted in the fall semester each year. Applications received after the deadline may be considered based on available openings in the program.

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.

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
Program Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee Members

Lindsey (Baker) HansonWorkforce Development SupervisorMinnesota State Services for the Blind
Eric BattersonReturn to Work ConsultantMayo Clinic
Dean BerlinVocational Rehabilitation CounselorVeteran's Administration
LeaCollins-WorachekDirector, Office of Business Opportunity & Equity ComplianceWisconsin Department of Transportation
ColleenEtzbachProgram Director, B.S. Rehabilitation ServicesUW-Stout
MichelleHamiltonProfessor, Department of Rehabilitation & CounselingUW-Stout
Debra HomaProfessor, Department of Rehabilitation & CounselingUW-Stout
Kara JamesDisability and Accommodations Resource SpecialistMayo Clinic (MCCMS Student Services)
Daniel KelseyProgram Director, MS Rehabilitation CounselingUW-Stout
Kyle KleistExecutive DirectorCenter for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin
BenLuerResource CounselorCenter for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin
AstridMcDermottVocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Department of Veterans AffairsUW-Stout
Christine PetersonChair, Education & Pupil ServicesUW-Stout
Sara RuckmanCareer CounselorWisconsin Job Service
TBDTBDStudent, M.S. Rehabilitation CounselingUW-Stout
Tricia ThompsonFamily AdvocateThe Waisman Center (PROMISE Grant)
Kyle WalkerExecutive Director, Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI)UW-Stout
SiaYangVocational Rehabilitation CounselorWisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
GretchenYkemaStaff Development SpecialistMinnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Online Student Orientation

Orientation is usually held during the last week of July or the first week of August and is held virtually. All students are required to participate in the orientation prior to beginning online courses.

You will meet your instructors and classmates, become acquainted with university resources that you can access online, learn about university policies, and be introduced to available technical support. You will build collaborative online skills and learn the technology and basic skills necessary to succeed in a graduate-level online program. Past students have found this intensive orientation to be essential to their online learning, as well as in forming the necessary relationships with classmates and faculty that have helped them succeed in the program.

Program Objectives
  1. Develop and demonstrate an identity as a rehabilitation counseling professional.
  2. 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.
  3. Demonstrate ethical behavior and ethical problem-solving consistent with the code of ethics for rehabilitation counseling professionals.
  4. Utilize disability-related legislation, public policy, and attitudinal and access barriers to advocate for and with persons with disabilities and their families.
  5. Identify the influences and functional impacts and implications of chronic illness and/or disability across human development and lifespan.
  6. Evaluate environmental, social and economic influences that create barriers for persons with disabilities.
  7. Appraise psychosocial, cultural and diversity issues that may affect the rehabilitation process.
  8. Formulate counseling techniques to promote rehabilitation counseling and philosophy to chronic illness or disability adjustment.
  9. Analyze jobs, employment trends and career opportunities to assist in rehabilitation planning and service provision.
  10. Apply research findings to improve services to persons with disabilities.
  11. Integrate vocational assessment in the rehabilitation planning.
  12. Identify community resources and other services which promote independence.
Professional Licensure Requirements

This program is designed to meet educational requirements for licensure/certification in the state of Wisconsin. Professional licensure/certification prerequisites vary from state to state, and we are not able to determine whether our program meets prerequisites in other states. If you intend to work in another state, contact that state's regulatory authority to determine if our program will meet the licensure/certification requirements, and contact the UW-Stout Program Director for assistance. Please see the following website for additional information.

Rehabilitation Students in Class Demonstration

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Rehabilitation Counseling

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National leader: Master’s program ranked in top 10 in U.S. for rehabilitation counseling

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