Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program

Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with the consequences of crisis and traumatic situations that include chronic illnesses and disabilities. The ultimate goals of the rehabilitation counseling process typically include providing psychosocial adaptation services and coping skills to deal with the loss incurred by chronic illnesses and disabilities, as well as job training, and development and placement services.

"The rehabilitation program at PSU helped me explore how, exactly, I most wanted to enhance my commitment to helping people with disabilities. The program gave me practical opportunities to learn the many domains of the field and helped me find a job after graduation that followed my passion -- supporting individuals with mental health barriers."
-2014 Graduate

This small, but highly regarded program was recently ranked 18th in the nation by US News and World Report. The program faculty are nationally and internationally known for their involvement in the rehabilitation community and their high quality research. They work closely with many of the local rehabilitation agencies and facilities to fill the critical shortage of well-trained rehabilitation counselors.

Offered as a graduate program, the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program consists of 90 credit hours of coursework, including a practicum and internship experiences.

The program is committed to serving a range of people with disabilities who represent diverse cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program is dually accredited as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program until 10/31/2023.

This program is a combined Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Graduates have the same benefits of either a Rehabilitation Counseling program or a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program.

Program benefits

  • Become a Licensed Professional Counselor
  • 90% + employment rate for graduates
  • Potential employers include ­community mental health settings, private mental health practice, comprehensive rehabilitation centers, universities and academic settings, insurance companies, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, and independent living centers
  • Rehabilitation Counselors are the most highly paid counseling specialty, earning on average $53,561 in 2014
  • A federally funded grant to support tuition for selected students
    The RSA scholarship will be in its fifth and final year next year; the COE will be reapplying for another five years in spring 2019. The RSA long-term training award provides approximately 50% of tuition to those students who apply and agree to the terms. The primary terms are that you must complete your internship in your third year of the program at a public vocational rehabilitation agency (Oregon VR, Oregon Commission for the Blind, WA DVR, etc.). Upon graduation, you owe two years of employment for every year of financial assistance with either a VR agency or an affiliated agency (such a private practice who accepts referrals from a VR agency). The application is distributed in May of each year and awards are announced in June for the upcoming school year.

In a recent study conducted by the American Counseling Association (ACA), Rehabilitation Counselors were named the highest paid specialty in the counseling profession and earn better overall benefits.

  • Rehabilitation Counselors are the most highly paid counseling specialty on average.
  • Rehabilitation Counselors earn over $13,000 more than Clinical Mental Health Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, or Community Counselors on average.
  • Rehabilitation Counselors receive better overall benefits - employee retirement plan, medical coverage, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability - than other professional counselors.

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