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. UMass Boston 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 pursuing a certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling that will enhance their employability in the field. The certificate program is individually tailored to each student to ensure that the program meets their career goals. The program is flexible and course substitutions are possible if the student has already completed some of the required courses in their previous graduate program.

Applicants who have a Master's or Doctoral degree in

  • Psychology,
  • School/Guidance Counseling,
  • Marriage and Family Counseling,
  • Mental Health Counseling,
  • Social Work,
  • Counselor Education, or
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

may be eligible to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Learn more about eligibility to become certified. The certificate program is designed to ensure that qualified students meet the educational requirements for the CRC.

Applicants with a master’s degree in other related disciplines are welcome to apply, and this certificate is an excellent adjunct to person’s working in the field seeking to enhance their career. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification (CRCC) has strict guidelines about eligibility for sitting for the CRC exam, and applicants are strongly encouraged to review these guidelines.

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Plan Your Education

How to Apply

In addition to the criteria below, applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements.

  • Transcripts - Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required.
  • Resume - Your resume should show your professional activity related to counseling and working with under-served populations, especially people with disabilities.
  • Letter of recommendation - This letter should come from a professional or academic connection who can speak to your experience related to counseling and working with under-served populations, especially people with disabilities.
  • Statement of purpose - Submit an essay of about 300 words explaining your interest in and qualifications for our rehabilitation counseling certificate program.
  • Personal interview - When the Office of Graduate Admissions has notified us of your completed application, we will contact qualified candidates to arrange an interview (either in person or via teleconference).

Deadlines & Cost


  • February 1 for priority admission for the Summer semester, April 1 for regular review
  • July 1 for Fall admission
  • November 1 for Spring admission

All admission materials are submitted by students through the Graduate Admissions Portal and admission interviews will be conducted for candidates in February, April, June, and November.

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


The certificate program comprises 21 credits (7 courses). Each student’s plan of study is individually tailored to ensure that the CRCC content areas are addressed and students do not need to repeat courses already taken as part of their master’s program.

Required Courses (21 Credits)

  • COUNSL 605 - Principles of Vocational, Educational, and Psychological Assessment 3 Credit(s)
  • COUNSL 614 - Counseling Theory and Practice I 3 Credit(s)
  • COUNSL 653 - Sociocultural Considerations in Counseling 3 Credit(s)
  • REHAB 602 - Medical, Psychological & Educational Aspects of Disabilities 3 Credit(s)
  • REHAB 603 - Foundations of Rehabilitation 3 Credit(s)
  • REHAB 610 - Ethics, Case Management and Planning in Rehabilitation 3 Credit(s)
  • REHAB 612 - Vocational Rehabilitation and Placement 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Program Requirements

Complete 21 credits from seven courses outlined in the student’s plan of study.

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 Dimity Peter
dimity.peter [at]

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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.
  2. Promote social justice through their teaching, research, and service,
  3. Maintain a curriculum that incorporates evidence-based and best practices from the field and thoroughly covers all knowledge domains specified by CACREP, and
  4. 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.

For additional details on financial aid, kindly visit the UMass Boston Financial Aid page

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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