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MS in Counselor Education: Rehabilitation Counseling

Program Coordinator: Dr. Valerie Russell
Phone: 305-348-3865

About the Program:

The Master of Science in Counselor Education Rehabilitation Major, is nationally accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The Rehabilitation Counseling Program prepares professional who can effectively deliver rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities.

Rehabilitation Counseling emphasizes empowerment of individuals with disabilities to maximize employability, attain economic self-sufficiency, independence, inclusion and integration into American Society.

A Rehabilitation Counselor evaluates and coordinates needed services to assist people with disabilities in coping with the limitations caused by such factors as cognitive and learning difficulties, environmental and societal discrimination, and barriers psychological conflict/distress, or loss of physical/functional ability.1

1 Council on Rehabilitation Education, 2015.

Course Sequence:

Counselor Education: Rehabilitation Counseling Major (60 credits):

Counseling Core: (30 credits)

  • EDP 6277 - Human Development Across the Lifespan (3)
  • MHS 5400 - Counseling Skills and Techniques (3)
  • MHS 5350 - Educational-Vocational Counseling (3)
  • MHS 6802 - Personality Theories (3)
  • MHS 6411 - Advanced Counseling and Consultation in Community Settings (3)
  • MHS 6700 - Ethical, Legal, & Professional Issues in Counseling (3)
  • MHS 6428 - Cross Cultural Counseling (3)
  • MHS 6511 - Group Counseling (3)
  • MHS 6427 - Adult Psychopathology (3)
  • MHS 6470 - Human Sexuality Counseling (3)

Measurement and Research: (6 credits)

  • EDF 5481 - Foundations of Educational Research (3)
  • MHS 6200 - Measurement and Appraisal in Counseling (3)

Specialization: (12 credits)

  • RCS 6031 - Rehabilitation Counseling: Principles and Practices (3)
  • RCS 6625 - Service Delivery and Case Management In Rehabilitation Counseling (3)
  • RCS 6245 - Psychological/Sociological Aspects of Disability (3)
  • RCS 6080 - Medical Aspects of Disability (3)

Clinical Studies: (12 credits)

  • RCS 6801 - Advanced Practicum in Rehabilitation Counseling (3)
  • RCS 6821 - Supervised Field Experience in Counseling Rehabilitation Counseling (9)

Applying to the Counselor Education Program: Rehabilitation Counseling Major is a three-part process.

  1. You must file an application with the Office of Graduate Admissions, MMC, SASC 126, Miami, Florida 33199. To contact the Office of Admissions Office call (305) 348-7442.
  2. All of the following documents must also be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 659004 Miami, FL 33265-9004:
    • Academic transcripts (with an upper division GPA of 3.0 or above)
    • Three letters of recommendation, at least one from an academic source and one from work or volunteer experiences. A reference may use the form provided in the application or supply a typed letter on professional letterhead discussing the applicant's ability to succeed in graduate school and their chosen profession.
    • An autobiographical sketch including a record of work or volunteer experiences
    • A resume (curriculum vitae)
  1. Personal Interview with the Admissions Committee. After applications are completed by admissions deadlines, applications will be reviewed by the Counselor Education Admissions Committee and applicants will be contacted for interviews.

Important: Please be advised that applications with materials submitted after the admissions deadline will not be considered. Such applications will automatically be deferred to the following semester.

Criteria for Acceptance:

Candidates are judged on the basis of multiple criteria. These include:

  • Grade point average. A minimum of 3.0 or better for the last two years (60 semester hours) of undergraduate work is required.
  • Quality of Written Letters of Recommendation. The committee carefully reads all submitted letters of recommendations. A recommendation is considered excellent if it demonstrates strong support. A recommendation is considered as marginal if the candidate was recommended with reservations. A recommendation is considered inappropriate if it spoke of personal characteristics unrelated to the area in which the student is applying. A recommendation would be considered poor if a negative recommendation came from a faculty member who had knowledge of the candidate's work or ability as a potential graduate student.
  • Evidence of Related Educational Background and Experiences
  • Autobiographical Sketch. Evidence of applicant’s clarity in presenting their ideas and thoughts in the autobiographical sketch.
  • Available Time Commitment. Willingness to commit oneself to the time (including time for field experience) necessary for training.
  • Evidence of Professionalism and Maturity.
  • Personal Interview. The Admissions Committee considers the interpersonal qualities and responses of each candidate during the personal interview. During the interview, the Committee makes a decision based on a set of established criteria as to the candidate's competence and potential as a future practitioner in counseling.

All stated admissions requirements are to be considered minimums. A student who meets these minimum requirements is not automatically assured admissions. Program admissions requirements are subject to change, therefore it is the responsibility of the student to assure that he/she has met the requirements. Admissions decisions are made once the applicant's file is complete. Since it is the student's responsibility to assure that all admissions materials are in the file, they are advised to contact the Department of Leadership and Professional Studies (305-348-3418) to check on the status of their application.

Admissions deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall semester: June 1
  • Spring semester: October 1
  • Summer semester: March 1

Tuition, Scholarships, and Assistantships
For university-wide tuition rates and fees please see the following page: For information about College of Education scholarships please see and for graduate assistantships see

Application for clinical experiences must have faculty advisor approval and be submitted to the Office of Student Teaching or to the Counselor Education Programs Clinical Director by the deadlines posted.

Recommended Course Sequence

1st Year: These courses should be taken during your first year

MHS 5400 Counseling Skills and Techniques
MHS 6700 Ethical Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling
MHS 6802 Personality Theories
EDF 5481 Foundations of Educational Research
EDP 6277 Human Development: Lifespan
RCS 6031 Rehab. Couns: Princ. & Practices
RCS 6625 Service Delivery in Rehab

2nd and 3rd years: All of these courses require MHS 5400 Counseling Skills and Techniques as a pre-requisite

MHS 5350 Educational and Vocational Counseling
MHS 6411 Counseling and Consultation in Community Setting
MHS 6427 Adult Psychopathology
MHS 6470 Human Sexuality Counseling
MHS 6511 Group Counseling
MHS 6428 Cross Cultural Counseling
MHS 6200 Measurements and Appraisal in Counseling
RCS 6245 Psychological and Sociological Aspects of Disability
RCS 6080 Medical Aspects of Disability

3rd Year: The last two semesters of the final year is mostly spent in clinical experiences. One semester of practicum (105 hours) and one semester of internship (600 hours)

RCS 6801 Advanced Practicum in Counseling
RCS 6821 Supervised Field Experience in Counseling  

The Training “World’s Ahead” Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors at Florida International University scholarship opportunity is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services,Federal Rehabilitation Services (RSA) CFDA 84.129B.

Currently there are tuition scholarship available to complete the Master of Science in the Counselor Education Rehabilitation Counseling Program. You may be eligible to apply for a tuition scholarship to support completion of your graduate studies. The scholarship provides a tuition waiver in addition to funds that support professional development opportunities.

Scholarship Requirements:

  1. Admissions into the MS Counselor Education, Rehabilitation Counseling program
  2. Undergraduate GPA = 3.0 or higher
  3. Interest in and commitment to serving individuals with disabilities
  4. Interview with the Project Selection Committee
  5. Signed agreement that the student will be employed for 2 years in a state vocational rehabilitation agency or partner agency; if not, student must pay back the scholarship monies received with interest

Click here to download the Scholar Application

Submit Scholar Application to:

Dr. Valerie Russell, ZEB 238B


An application to the Counselor of Education Program is also required to become a scholar. More information on that application process can be found here: Application Process.

Comprehensive Exam Information

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is a multiple choice exam taken by students in the Counselor Education Program, Mental Health and Rehabilitation Majors,  program who have completed at least 30 semester hours. A passing grade on the CPCE is required for program completion and graduation. The exam tests students’ knowledge of material covered in the counseling. Students who have completed 30 semester hours can choose the best semester to take the exam. The exam is offered once each semester—fall, spring and summer semesters.

The CPCE is a standardized exam developed by the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). The CCE is the same company that assists with credentialing and assessment for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). The multiple choice exam is currently 160 questions, consisting of 8 subsections. The subsections include, Human Growth and Development; Social and Cultural Foundations; Helping Relationships; Group Work; Career and Lifestyle Development; Appraisal; Research and Program Evaluation; and Professional Orientation & Ethics. All of these areas correspond with your FIU Counselor Education Program coursework. Each section on the exam will be 20 questions long.

In order to take the CPCE, there is an application and a $55 fee that must be submitted by the deadline. Any student who does not submit all required paperwork and fees prior to the deadline will not be allowed to take the exam. A money order or cashiers check payable to CCE for $50 must be submitted and another cashier's check or cash for $5 to FIU. The deadlines to apply for the CPCE and administration dates are as follows. There will be no summer administration.

  • Spring 2017:
    • Application Deadline is February 3, 2017
    • Administration Date is March 4, 2017
  • Fall 2017:
    • Application Deadline is September 15, 2017
    • Administration Date is October 14, 2017

Students must have taken the following coursework prior to applying for the CPCE: Counseling Skills & Techniques, Ethical, Legal & Professional Issues in Counseling, Human Development across the Lifespan, Group Counseling, Educational & Vocational Counseling, Cross Cultural Counseling, Counseling Children & Adolescents, Measurement & Appraisal in Counseling, Foundations of Educational Research, and Personality Theories.

Please see links below for the CPCE application and more information regarding exam administration, study guides, and more. Furthermore, all students will receive information on the application deadline, as well as the current application sites from the FIU Counseling listserv.