Rehabilitation Counseling, MS

We are proud to be ranked #1 in New England among rehabilitation counseling programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Application deadline: Feb. 1 for fall admission.

Review our application checklist here.

The School for Global Inclusion and Social Development offers a master of science degree in rehabilitation counseling, with two flexible options for study: online or on-campus at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Both programs are fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education and may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.

Students will earn a 60-credit degree that meets the academic requirements for national certification as a rehabilitation counselor.

Our Mission

The Rehabilitation Counseling Program at UMass Boston develops professionals who can advance educational access and economic and social participation for people with disabilities. This mission is accomplished by helping prepare practitioners, scholars, and leaders to promote inclusion in diverse settings and with varied populations at the local, state, national, and/or international level.

Download our student handbook for all the details about our master's degree program.

Download our flyer for a quick overview.

Our program prepares students to work with individuals who face barriers to employment. These barriers can come from:

  • Physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities
  • Past criminal records
  • Substance abuse histories

Rehabilitation counselors support people facing these barriers to meet their goals, including finding fulfilling work that matches their interests and skills.

Our graduates are trained to assess each individual and their unique circumstances. You will learn to evaluate clients' strengths, limitations, and interests, with the goal of assisting them to lead more productive and independent lives.

Careers for Graduates

Our graduates work in many roles, including:

  • Counseling and assessment
  • Transition and job placement
  • Case management
  • Client advocacy

Typical work settings are:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Rehabilitation agencies
  • Career planning centers
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Clinics
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Mental health agencies

Students can expect an excellent employment outlook upon graduation. In fact, of all successful program graduates in recent years, 95 percent have obtained employment in the field of rehabilitation counseling.

In addition to our rigorous course of study, this employment rate is partially due to the competitive experience our students gain through the program’s required practicum and internship components. A 100-hour practicum in approved placement sites, as well as a 600-hour internship, divided evenly over the course of two semesters is required.

Students may choose to complete their field work placements in a setting of their choice and in their local agencies--especially convenient for those who wish to study online.

Why Does Rehabilitation Counseling Matter?

One in five Americans has some type of disability, and one in ten has a severe disability. Americans with disabilities have made huge progress toward full inclusion in society over the last few decades. However, they still face real barriers:

  • The unemployment rate for those with disabilities is consistently over 60 percent.
  • Despite stating a desire to work, many individuals who possess a disability or face other barriers to work remain unemployed.

Our program emphasizes the importance of respecting the background and cultural diversity of all people. Our curriculum also emphasizes adaptation, whether to environment or life conditions, as a tool for accomplishing work with others, and supporting positive change.

Students are prepared to make significant practitioner-oriented contributions to rehabilitation counseling. Our program also prepares them for further study at the doctoral level if they so desire.

Financial Assistance and Costs

RSA Training Scholarships

Training scholarships are available to eligible graduate students of our Rehabilitation Counseling program. These scholarships are made available from a long-term training grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

New scholarship money became available in late 2014 through a five-year grant, specifically geared toward students who want to support people with mental health issues. Learn more about this new funding.

Tuition for students in the online program is approximately $28,500 for the entire program. For students who participate in the program on campus, the total tuition depends on the number of online line versus in person courses they take, but would be approximately $31,200.

Program Outcomes

Start dates

  • Online program: Students begin each summer semester
  • Campus-based program: Students begin each fall semester

Number of students

  • We admit eight to ten students annually for the graduate cohort.
  • Currently enrolled: 29 students

Average time to complete program

  • 3.5 years (part-time)
  • 2 years (full-time)

Outcomes for current students and recent grads

  • Grade-point average: 3.8/4.0
  • 100% of our successful graduates passed their clinical coursework and capstone project.
  • 95% of these students are now employed in the rehabilitation field.

Want to learn more?

Please contact for more information on our program, including information on the RSA Training scholarship.

State Eligibility

UMass Boston is not currently accepting students for online study who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, or Minnesota, due to regulations in those states. Please contact your state's board of education for details.