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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

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Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education

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The Rehabilitation Counseling program at Michigan State University was established in 1956 and since that time has awarded over 1,300 master’s degrees and 200 doctoral degrees. These graduate programs are recognized as one of the best rehabilitation counseling programs in the nation per the U.S. News & World Report Education Schools rankings.


The mission of the Rehabilitation Counselor Education’s Doctor of Philosophy degree program is to prepare graduates to work as rehabilitation counselor educators, researchers, supervisors, and practitioners in academic and clinical settings. The program is designed to extend the knowledge base of the rehabilitation counseling profession in a climate of scholarly inquiry, and to prepare students to inform professional practice by generating new knowledge for the profession. It also supports faculty and students in publishing and presenting the results of scholarly inquiry, while equipping students to assume positions of leadership in the rehabilitation counseling profession. Our doctoral program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP accreditation denotes a commitment to program excellence and indicates to the public at large that our program is fulfilling its commitment to educational quality. Students enrolled in the program are expected to abide by the ethical principles of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and American Counseling Association (ACA).


Our doctoral program addresses professional roles in five doctoral core areas: counseling, supervision, teaching, research and scholarship, and leadership and advocacy. These five doctoral core areas represent the foundational knowledge required of our program graduates:

  1. COUNSELING: To facilitate student acquisition of knowledge and skills related to counseling including theory, client conceptualization, evidence-based practice, effectiveness, and ethical and cultural considerations.
  2. SUPERVISION: To facilitate student acquisition of knowledge and skills related to clinical supervision including purposes, models, roles, skills, assessment, administration, legal and ethical issues, and cultural considerations.
  3. TEACHING: To facilitate student acquisition of knowledge and skills related to teaching including roles, pedagogy, learning models, curriculum design, online instruction, assessment, mentoring, and ethical and cultural considerations.
  4. RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP: To facilitate student acquisition of knowledge and skills related to research and scholarship including research design, statistical design, scale development, program evaluation, publication and professional presentation, use of human subjects, grant development, and ethical and cultural considerations.
  5. LEADERSHIP AND ADVOCACY: To facilitate student acquisition of knowledge and skills related to leadership and advocacy including theories, skills, development, administration, consultation, social justice, and ethical and cultural considerations.

Points of distinction


Cutting-edge research and partnerships locally, with Michigan Rehabilitation Services, and globally including universities in Ireland and the United States.


The employment outlook has never been better for our graduates, who occupy positions at major universities and notable leadership positions worldwide.


Work with faculty recognized internationally for being on the front line of the most pressing issues facing the field of rehabilitation counseling.

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We focus not only on teaching, but research and service engagement with the community.


Associate Professor

Financial support


Students secure challenging teaching and research
assistantship positions.


Financial support for attending and presenting at state, national, and international conferences.


College of Education students are eligible to apply for a variety of academic scholarships and fellowships.


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Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
620 Farm Lane, Room 455 Erickson Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
P: (517) 355-1838