M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling ONLINE - part-time


Do you live OUTSIDE of the Buffalo, New York area and need to earn your degree online?

Then our master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is for you! Designed with the working professional and career changer in mind, this challenging curriculum is offered completely online on a part-time basis. Students will take two courses per semester and earn their degree in less than three years. We work with you to coordinate all of your practica, field work, and internships within your own community. Click here for program information and requirements.

Our program is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) with requirements identical to the coursework students on-campus in Buffalo, New York are completing. If you live in the Buffalo area and are interested enrolling in this program on-campus, please visit our on-campus Rehabilitation Counseling program website.

Are you interested in working in a challenging and rewarding profession?

AfricanAmerican-Female-Typing-On-Laptop.jpgOur rehabilitation counseling graduates hold leadership positions around the country. They work with people disabled by physical, mental, emotional, or social conditions to alleviate their psychological, social, vocational, and educational problems.

Do you want to study and train with faculty members who are both scholars and practitioners?

UB's Rehabilitation Counseling program is one of the oldest and best of its kind in the United States. In addition, the program is fully accredited by the New York State Education Department and nationally accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).

The Rehabilitation Counseling program emphasizes practical application of skills and techniques learned in the classroom to people receiving services at rehabilitation agencies. Students get clinical training in four semesters in the program. In addition, students can plan individual programs of study with their faculty advisors.


Rehabilitation counselors work in a diversity of settings, including vocational, medical, and psychiatric centers, correctional institutions, in alcohol and drug abuse programs, and in private practice.

The Role of the Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation counseling has emerged as a counseling specialization and distinct profession concerned with people who have disabilities. It is an expanding field whose growth can be seen in both the increasing body of knowledge which constitutes the discipline and in the many settings where it is practiced. The rehabilitation counselor is one of a number of specialists working in a unified effort to help people with disabilities move toward living life as fully and as independently as possible. Disability is broadly considered to include diagnosable impairments in physical, psychological (emotional), and/or cognitive areas. The competencies and skills of the rehabilitation counselor may be applied to a host of human problems; hence, the Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling makes our graduates successful in a wide variety of settings and client populations.

Although the role and function of the counselor will vary depending upon the nature of their employment, the primary approach provided by the rehabilitation counselor is usually a close, individualized, ongoing relationship with the client. The uniqueness of the client and the agency setting circumscribe the counselor's role. This generally includes counseling with the goal of helping the client to resolve personal, family, social, educational, and vocational issues. Services may be provided on a one-to-one or family counseling basis or within the context of a group (e.g. counseling, educational, or support groups). In many settings, the rehabilitation counselor may also provide and arrange other services such as diagnostic evaluation, work adjustment training, educational or vocational placement, community and client advocacy, and service planning, supervision and coordination.

Typical Placement After Graduation

Rehabilitation counselors work in a diversity of settings, including vocational settings such as state divisions of vocational rehabilitation, vocational evaluation programs, vocational counseling centers, Projects With Industry, Welfare-to-Work programs, supported employment programs, and sheltered workshops. Broader rehabilitation settings include medical rehabilitation centers, psychiatric centers, medical centers, nursing homes, multi-purposed community centers, youth and family service agencies, penal and correctional institutions, alcohol and drug abuse programs, and in private practice.


Core logo.jpgThe program is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Counselor Education (CORE) making students eligible to take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examinations after the Spring semester of their second year.

Employment and Continuing Education


Over 95% of the graduates of the Rehabilitation Counseling program are employed in the field. The rehabilitation counselor may be found in a diversity of settings.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH):

"Employment for counselors is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. However, job growth will vary by location and occupational specialty. Job prospects should be good due to growth and the need to replace people leaving the field.

Overall employment of counselors is expected to increase by 21 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. However, growth is expected to vary by specialty.

Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow 34 percent, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As society becomes more knowledgeable about addiction, it is increasingly common for people to seek treatment. Furthermore, drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs rather than jail.

Employment for educational, vocational and school counselors is expected to grow 13 percent, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for vocational or career counselors should grow as multiple job and career changes become common and as workers become increasingly aware of counseling services. In addition, State and local governments will employ growing numbers of counselors to assist beneficiaries of welfare programs who exhaust their eligibility and must find jobs. Other opportunities for employment of counselors will arise in private job-training centers that provide training and other services to laid-off workers and others seeking to acquire new skills or careers. Demand for school counselors may increase due in large part to increases in student enrollments at post-secondary schools and colleges and as more States require elementary schools to employ counselors."

Follow-up data with graduates from this and other rehabilitation counseling programs reveals that many graduates are promoted to supervisory/management positions as quickly as two years after graduation.

Continuing Education

A small percentage of graduates, like many of our faculty continue their education by earning a doctorate degree in the field.

For more information about careers in rehabilitation counseling, go to:
Jobs in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Additional Information

American Counseling Association: www.counseling.org
American Rehabilitation Counseling Association: www.arcaweb.org
Jobs in Rehabilitation Counseling: www.rehabjobs.org
National Rehabilitation Counseling Association: www.nationalrehab.org
National Rehabilitation Information Center: www.naric.com
CRC Certified Rehabilitation Counselors brochure

For additional information on the Rehabilitation Counseling program, please contact Jennifer Austin, Online Education Manager at 716-645-1004 (voice) or via email at jhaustin@buffalo.edu