Rehabilitation Counseling & Disability Sciences
The Rehabilitation Counseling and Disability Sciences (RCDS) major, within the Department of Child and Family Studies, trains counselors to work with persons with physical, mental, emotional, and chemical disabilities. This is a 60-credit, fully online master’s program offers training that emphasizes psychological, social, medical, and vocational aspects of disability, and the development and refinement of personal adjustment counseling skills. Graduates with this M.A. are prepared for careers as both rehabilitation counselors and professional disability specialists
Rehabilitation counseling is a counseling specialty focused primarily on disability advocacy and vocational rehabilitation counseling for individuals with physical, mental, and/or developmental disabilities. This program prepares professionals to work with the growing population of people with disabilities in the U.S. with an emphasis on contemporary, state of art research and assistive technology in disability science.
After completion of this program, students are eligible to become credentialed as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. With this national certification, students will be licensed and prepared to work for various agencies serving people with disabilities. In addition, students graduating with this degree can obtain leadership positions in human resources and other agencies advocating for disability rights and disability justices.
Students with this degree may find jobs as:
- Rehabilitation Counselor for State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, Veteran’s Affairs, or private industry
- Certified Vocational Evaluator
- Directors for Rehabilitation agencies
- Accessibility Services or Equity Employment Managers within corporations
- ADA Coordinator
- ADA Compliance Officer
Prime candidates for this program include students who: are interested in working to change the lives of individuals with disabilities; see themselves as advocates for social justice and societal change; seek to remove barriers and stigmas associated with people with disabilities and who are interested in working in vocational rehabilitation in the public or private setting.
Applicants are required to apply through the USF graduate school. Students must submit the following information for consideration: 1) undergraduate transcripts; 2) statement of purpose; 3) three letters of recommendation; 4) GRE or GRE waiver and 5) resume
We allow waivers to students who request consideration based on relevant experience and/or previous academic performance. Please contact the Program Coordinator for waiver approval process.
Yes, you will need to submit transcripts from your Associate’s Degree and any / all institutions you may have attended since high school.
The statement of purpose provides you an opportunity to introduce yourself to the admission committee and describe why you believe this degree is a good fit with both your professional background and professional aspirations. It also will serve as a writing sample. Be sure to proofread accordingly. There is no set length, but most are between 1-2 pages.
Your letters of recommendations should come from individuals who know you in a professional and /or academic setting.
It is required that at least one of the recommenders is someone who can attest to your academic abilities and should be a former instructor or professor.*
*If you have been out of school for a length of time and do not have an instructor to request a letter of recommendation, please contact the Program Coordinator for additional options.
You can apply for this program through the USF Graduate School Portal. This will be available in late Spring.
This program has a fixed tuition rate of $600 per credit hour regardless of where you live.
Unfortunately, no. The RCDS program is a cost-recovery master’s program at USF. We are not eligible to accept state tuition waivers. However, some state agencies offer tuition reimbursement programs, where you pay for the tuition up front and can submit for reimbursement after the fact. Please contact your Human Resource office to see if this is available to you.
Yes. After completion of this program, students are eligible to become credentialed as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. It is the student’s responsibility to register for this national exam. With this national certification, students will be licensed and prepared to work for various agencies servicing people with disabilities.
Yes. All classes are offered fully online. Some courses will require synchronous learning where students will be required to log into the online portal at a specific time and day.
Most courses are offered in 8-week sessions. Two courses per 8-weeks is considered full-time. Internship and Practicum courses are offered in 10-week and 16-week sessions. Please visit our website for a full course matrix.
Each student will complete a minimum of 800 field experience hours. Field placement experiences may be state vocational rehabilitation agencies, veteran’s administration and other agencies servicing people with disability. It is the student’s responsibility to identify an agency that meets program criteria.
Yes. You will need to work with your advisor for final approval.
June 1 for Fall semester start and October 1 for Spring semester start.
New graduate students are accepted on a rolling basis.
For Fall admission, students begin courses in mid-late August. For Spring admission, students begin courses in early January.
Most classes are offered over 8-week terms. Two courses in these 8-week constitute full-time status. Two 8-week sessions (two courses each) are offered in the Fall and Spring. Summer session includes 10 week courses. Classes are offered year-round. Please visit our program website for a full course matrix.
This program will take 2 years to complete when attending full-time. Students must complete the program within 5 years.
Yes, students can attend on a part-time basis.
Our online program is easy to navigate. Your faculty instructor will provide support as you learn the USF web-platform. Additional University technical supports are offered to students. This information will be posted in your course syllabus.
Instructors will provide instruction through course lecture, group projects, discussion posts, and more. Faculty are available to students via email and Microsoft Teams during their scheduled office hours.
All courses are developed utilizing Universal Design, meeting ADA Accessibility guidelines. USF also provides students with disabilities additional support through the Student Accessibility Services office: https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-accessibility/
This online master's program in Rehabilitation Counseling is not currently CACREP accredited. However, we are in the process of seeking accreditation.