M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling

Help people achieve their full potential.
Degree Type Master of Science
Careers & Salaries Graduate Degree Outcomes
Delivery Online

UW-Stout's Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is a counseling degree that prepares you to work with people with all types of disabilities including physical, cognitive, intellectual, psychological, and/or sensory disabilities. As a rehabilitation counselor, you’ll assist clients and consumers to make decisions, reach their potential and optimize personal, social and economic independence.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.


Note: This program is designed to meet the requirements for licensure in the State of Wisconsin. If you reside outside of Wisconsin, please note that UW-Stout cannot confirm whether this program (or course) meets requirements for professional licensure in your state. Students from other states will need to contact their state regarding licensure requirements. See the following website for additional information. 

UW-Stout's master's program is ranked among the Top 10 Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs in the U.S. by US News & World Report. According to our most recent employment report, 100% of our graduates were employed within six months of graduation. As a graduate, you will be eligible and prepared to take the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination. Graduates are also eligible to apply for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in Wisconsin and may be eligible for similar credentials in other states.

Online Delivery

  • Designed for both experienced professionals and those new to the field
  • Flexible class delivery allows for balancing school, work and personal life
  • Program delivery entirely online
  • $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 in how to access course materials through the university’s course delivery system. Students communicate regularly with the instructor 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.

The M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling program is especially effective for individuals who are currently working in the field of rehabilitation, or a related field, and wish to complete their graduate degree while remaining employed. Typically, two courses are completed each semester (including the summer session), allowing students to finish the degree in three years while maintaining their employment and/or other external obligations.

Individuals who are interested in rehabilitation and disability issues but have limited experience are also encouraged to apply. An accelerated two-year option may be considered for students who are not currently working full-time or have fewer external obligations.

Some courses will require field-based activities, such as community site visits and projects involving your local rehabilitation service offices and/or employers. You will also be required to arrange practicum and internship experiences in your home area, or wherever available, and can often be completed in your current place of employment.

"By attending school via distance learning, I could maintain my job duties with my employer. Now that I have my M.S. degree, I will be transitioning into being a rehabilitation counselor. This would not have been possible without the amazing online program I was accepted into."

-- Gregory Applekamp
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Request Information

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 SupervisorMN State Services for the Blind
Eric BattersonSenior Disability Compliance AdvisorMayo Clinic
Dean BerlinVocational Rehabilitation CounselorVeteran's Administration
LeaCollins-WorachekDir, Office of Business Opportunity & Equity ComplianceWisconsin Department of Transportation
DeLeanaStrohlProgram Director, BS Rehabilitation ServicesUW-Stout
Debra HomaProfessor EmeritusCEHHHS/Rehabilitation and Counseling
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
TannerLinsmeyerVocational Rehabilitation CounselorWisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
AstridMcDermottVocational Rehabilitation CounselorDepartment of Veterans Affairs
Christine PetersonProgram Director, MS.Ed/Ed.S School PsychologyUW-Stout
KendalPetersonVocational Rehabilitation CounselorWisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Sara RuckmanProvider RelationsInclusa
JamieStillionAlumni; Vocational Rehabilitation CounselorOklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
DeLeanaStrohlProgram Director, BS Rehabilitation ServicesUW-Stout
TBDTBDMS Rehabilitation Counseling StudentUW-Stout
Tricia ThompsonBoard Member; Family AdvocateWI Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
Kyle WalkerExecutive DirectorStout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI)
SiaYangVocational Rehabilitation CounselorWisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
GretchenYkemaStaff Development SpecialistMN 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 Counseling

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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