Rehabilitation Counseling, MS

Our master's program in rehabilitation counseling focuses on preparing you to become a competent and skillful rehabilitation counselor. Our program is fully accredited by the New York State Education Department and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and may lead to you becoming a nationally-certified rehabilitation counselor. As a rehabilitation counselor, you will provide psychological, social and vocational rehabilitation services to people with physical, mental/psychiatric, cognitive or sensory disabilities at various stages in their lives.

On this page:

Why Rehabilitation Counseling at UB?

The features of our program include:

  • most affordable CACREP-accredited program in Western New York
  • opportunities for research engagement with faculty
  • quality education through a program that is consistently ranked among the best in the nation (U.S. News & World Report,
  • training in a profession with a projected 10-14% job growth through 2016 (U.S. Department of Labor)
  • typically three semesters of field placement training providing a rich clinical experience

Program points of pride:

  • 95% of graduates were employed (84.2% working in the rehabilitation counseling field, according to a 2019 study); 100% working in the rehabilitation counseling field for 2017 graduates (according to a 2018 study)
  • 22 students graduated during the 2018-19 school year
  • 71.1% of our recent students have completed the program (2018 study of 2016-2017 classes)
  • Our Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification Exam pass rate is 61.4% for the first attempt
  • Our program was named one of the top five online counseling programs in the U.S. in 2017 by

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Master of Science (MS)
Credits required for completion 48
Time to completion 4 to 6 full-time semesters
Course delivery

On campus or online 


Rehabilitation counseling settings include:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse recovery programs
  • College/university accessibility resources offices
  • Corporate human resources or employee relation offices
  • Employment services and vocational rehabilitation programs
  • Government agencies and their affiliated services programs
  • Health insurance or private rehabilitation companies
  • Medical, psychiatric and vocational clinics or centers
  • Penal and correctional institutions
  • Private practice
  • Veterans administration and its hospitals
Experiential contact hours More than 750 hours
Application deadline Fall admission only
April 1, then rolling until July 1

Program Mission and Objectives

Program Mission

The mission of the University at Buffalo master of science program in rehabilitation counseling is to provide high quality instruction and practical experiences, in order to develop competent and professional rehabilitation counselors who are committed to facilitating autonomy, inclusion and well-being of individuals with disabilities in employment and the community.

Program Objectives

The program faculty will continuously assess the program and student progress to ensure our mission to develop competent and professional rehabilitation counselors. We will promote pluralism and ideals which are consistent with the rehabilitation counseling philosophy.

Program faculty have identified the following three objectives:

  1. We will assure that our graduates achieve competence based on the latest knowledge, skills and dispositional standards.
  2. We will make continuous and systematic efforts to attract and retain a diverse group of faculty and students to support an inclusive learning community.
  3. We will aspire to program excellence through self-study, to ensure our rehabilitation counseling program meets the CACREP standards of accreditation and qualifications for CRCC certification. 

Program Coursework

Overview On Campus Online

On Campus

Specifics related to on-campus course delivery.

Semester 1

CEP 532 Understanding Statistical Research
CEP 596 Field Work and Counseling Techniques (RC section)
CEP 649 Rehabilitation Foundations
CEP 653 Foundations of Counseling Theory 

Semester 2

CEP 503 Tests and Measurement 
CEP 597 RC Counseling Practicum 
CEP 658 Introduction to Group Work 
CEP 661 Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability

Semester 3

CEP 680 Career Development
CEP 683 Vocational Placement Process
CEP 600 RC Internship

Semester 4

CEP 600 RC Internship
CEP 615 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
CEP 705 Portfolio and Professional Development
CRC Exam

Program Handbook

Application Requirements

You must have a bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) in a related field.

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Contact information for at least two individuals who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Statement of intent regarding why you want to become a rehabilitation counselor.

Admission Interview: An interview is required to be considered for admission to this program.

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admission Decision: The admission decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of your degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application.
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 79 for the Internet based test
    • IELTS minimum score is 6.5 overall
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • Financial documentation — International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.

Are you an international student and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.

Learn More


The rehabilitation counseling program is fully accredited by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). The program was accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Counselor Education (CORE) until that organization merged with CACREP in July 2017. As a result, the rehabilitation counseling program at the University at Buffalo is accredited by CACREP. This accreditation is separate from CACREP accreditation for the 60-hour Licensed Mental Health Counselor programs.

Students of CACREP-accredited programs are eligible to take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination in their final year of the program. Seventy-five percent of coursework needs to be completed at least one to two months prior to taking the exam. Students who pass the CRC exam are eligible to submit their transcript after degree conferral to the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) under Category One. This will allow students to immediately hold the credential as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) without the need for prior supervised employment in the field, as required for other certification categories.

University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.