UMass Boston

Rehabilitation Counseling Certificate

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Start your path toward becoming a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC).

Rehabilitation counselors are clinicians who work with individuals with disabilities, supporting them to become personally and economically self-sufficient, typically through employment. SGISD offers both a master’s degree and a certificate program in rehab counseling.

UMass Boston's rehabilitation counseling certificate program offers a seven-course sequence for students who have completed a master’s degree in a related field and are interested in taking the national exam to become a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). The program meets the standards set by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

State vocational rehabilitation agencies, as well as some community rehabilitation providers, require their counseling staff to be CRCs. In Massachusetts, a counselor needs to be a CRC to be eligible to apply for licensure. Successful completion of our certificate program prepares students to take the national exam and become a CRC.

We encourage people with master’s degrees in the following subject areas to apply to our rehabilitation counseling certificate program:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Behavioral Science
  • Disability Studies
  • Human Relations
  • Human Services
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Rehabilitation Administration/Services
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Vocational Assessment/Evaluation

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Cost & Aid
Please refer to the following Admissions pages for more information:

For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to


Graduation Criteria

Program Requirements

Complete 21 credits from seven required courses.

Students who have completed required courses as part of a master’s program should speak with the graduate program director about possible substitution courses.

Statute of limitations: Five years.


Graduate Program Director:  
James Soldner

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Rehabilitation Counseling program at UMass Boston is to recruit, educate, and graduate diverse students to be competent rehabilitation counselors with the knowledge, skills, and dispositional standards required according to our professional certification.  Rehabilitation counselors support and empower persons with a range of disabilities, including physical, mental, emotional, educational, and developmental disabilities, to participate fully in society.  Our rehabilitation counseling graduates are prepared to work in a wide range of rehabilitation settings, including vocational rehabilitation, mental health, education, advocacy, independent living, and other settings that support the well-being of individuals with disabilities.  We believe in the value and worth of all individuals, the right of all persons to self-determination, and that the attitudinal and environmental barriers faced by people with disabilities are fundamental obstacles to full inclusion that must be acknowledged and addressed. 

In carrying out this mission, the faculty has an obligation to:

  1. Create a culture of intellectual excellence that is supportive of a diverse range of students,Promote social justice through their teaching, research, and service,
  2. Maintain a curriculum that incorporates evidence-based and best practices from the field and thoroughly covers all knowledge domains specified by CACREP, and
  3. Pursue grants that will further this mission.

Learning Objectives

Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate an ability to empower individuals with disabilities to select and implement life goals congruent with individual values, beliefs, and lifestyles. For many persons with disabilities, this includes support for access to meaningful education, employment, and independent living arrangements that match their interests and abilities. 
  • Be able to conceptualize and implement rehabilitation counseling services and interventions for people with disabilities from a holistic and developmental perspective.
  • Develop a professional counseling identity and demonstrate the ability to function ethically and effectively within settings that offer vocational rehabilitation, counseling, advocacy, and/or related services to diverse populations.
  • Identify and implement a range of assessment, counseling, and case management strategies applicable in a pluralistic society with individuals and groups to promote change and growth.
  • Demonstrate respect for the impact of social and cultural factors on human behavior and the role of individual differences in establishing and working toward counseling objectives.

Program Description

Prepare for a career as a clinical or vocational rehabilitation counselor, helping people with disabilities to lead more independent lives.

UMass Boston's School for Global Inclusion and Social Development is home to the highest-rated rehabilitation counseling program in New England (US News and World Report, 2023)

Rehabilitation counselors support people with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives, including working at integrated and competitive jobs in their communities. Our 60-credit online master’s program develops professionals to advance educational access and economic and social participation for individuals with disabilities.  Find out more about salaries and career opportunities for qualified rehabilitation counselors.

We prepare our students to become leaders who promote inclusion in diverse settings and with varied populations. Students integrate classroom content with real-world application via their fieldwork.  Students can choose between a clinical rehabilitation counseling track or a vocational track. The clinical rehabilitation counseling track is accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) as a Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program. The vocational track is accredited by CACREP as a Rehabilitation Counseling program. 

The online program is flexible and convenient, and specifically designed for students with a busy schedule. The online component of the program is complemented with a one-week residential program in Boston during the summer in the first year.  We have students from across the country, representing a diverse range of backgrounds and ages. Classes generally meet once a week, online, during the semester for teaching and interaction with the instructor and other students. 

At the end of the program, students are eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor exam to receive the credential as a nationally-certified rehabilitation counselor. Students in the clinical track will have fulfilled the pre-master's requirements for state licensure as either a rehabilitation and/or mental health counselor in Massachusetts and many other states (Counselor licensing requirements differ across states, applicants should review licensing requirements in the state in which they reside).

Tuition & Scholarship Opportunities

The program currently has two US Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration grants that provide scholarships to students who are committed to working in the state/federal rehabilitation system or with a community rehabilitation program, that serves clients or potential clients of the state/federal rehabilitation system.  The grant will pay a minimum of 75% of tuition.  Approximately 80% of Master’s students have a scholarship.

The program offers the opportunity for a high quality graduate program for a reasonable cost. There is no out of state tuition. Read more on tuition fees.

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Accreditation Questions

Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002