Additional Resources

The Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation received a RSA Scholars Long-term Training Grant from U.S. Department of Education. The goal is to increase the supply of qualified M.A. students by recruiting, educating, graduating, and placing competent and diverse rehabilitation counselor to work in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and related agencies. Contact for more information. 

Rehabilitation counseling began as an occupation almost 80 years ago, serving the needs of veterans returning from World War I and workers injured in industry. Major strides in the growth and definition of the profession occurred after 1954 with the recognition of rehabilitation counseling in federal legislation and the allocation of training funds for the education of rehabilitation counseling professionals. Today, there are more than 13,000 Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRCs) practicing in the United States, addressing the vocational, psychosocial, and independent living needs of the estimated 49 million persons with physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and developmental disabilities.

Rehabilitation counselors work in a variety of settings including public agencies such as state vocational rehabilitation organizations and Veteran's Administration vocational rehabilitation programs; private non-profit rehabilitation centers and supported employment programs; and private for-profit worker's compensation and insurance rehabilitation agencies.

Many new and exciting types of settings and services are emerging in rehabilitation counselor practice. Rehabilitation counselors may be found in such diverse areas as disability management programs in industry, schools, hospitals and clinics, residential and independent living agencies, university student support services, corrections facilities, and employment agencies, as well as employee assistance programs. Rehabilitation counselors provide interventions that are designed to assist persons with disabilities in adapting to the demands of the environment and that prepare the environment to accommodate the needs of the individual and enhance the full participation of persons with disabilities in society. The median expected salary for a typical Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in the United States is $59,593 (Source:

National professional standards require that the qualified rehabilitation counseling professional has (a) completed a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a closely related program (e.g., counseling); (b) achieved national certification; and (c) attained the appropriate state licensure in those states that require this level of credential for counseling practice and that allow for the licensing of counselors with a rehabilitation counseling background. 

Rehabilitation counseling is a systematic process that assists persons with physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities to achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals in the most integrated setting possible through the application of the counseling process. The counseling process involves communication, goal setting, and beneficial growth or change through self-advocacy and psychological, vocational, social, and behavioral interventions. The specific techniques and modalities utilized within this rehabilitation counseling process may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment and appraisal.
  • Diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • Career (vocational) counseling.
  • Individual and group counseling treatment interventions focused on facilitating adjustment to the medical and psychosocial impact of disability.
  • Case management, referral, and service coordination.
  • Program evaluation and research.
  • Interventions to remove environmental, employment, and attitudinal barriers.
  • Consultation services among multiple parties and regulatory systems.
  • Job analysis, job development, and placement services, including assistance with employment and job accommodations.
  • The provision of consultation about, and access to, rehabilitation technology.

Program Vision and Values

To be the premier graduate rehabilitation counseling education program recognized for its diversity, and known for excellence in teaching, learning and research. We value:

  • Belief in the dignity and worth of all people
  • Commitment to a sense of equal justice based on a model of accommodation to provide and equalize the opportunities
  • Holistic perspective of the individual
  • Belief in self-responsibility and wellness

Program Mission

The mission of the Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Counseling at The University of Iowa is to increase opportunities for participation and choices of people served through education, training, research, leadership, and community engagement.

Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Counseling

The University of Iowa’s rehabilitation counseling program has contributed numerous practitioners, educators, researchers, and administrators to the profession of rehabilitation counseling. The programs have achieved national recognition through many faculty and student awards and publications. The master's program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation on Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP)  and it is in good standing.

The Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Counseling is part of the College of Education as well as the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education. In addition to clinical mental health counseling, the Department provides accredited M.A. programs in school counseling and rehabilitation counseling. At the doctoral level, the Department offers the counselor education and supervision degree. The close coordination and support among the Department's programs provide students access to a wide range of faculty and courses.