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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

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Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision

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The newly restructured Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with specialization in rehabilitation and disability program (former Rehabilitation Counselor Education Ph.D. program) begins in the Fall 2023 semester. Our 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 Counselor Education and Supervision’s Doctor of Philosophy degree program is to prepare graduates to work as counselor educators, supervisors, researchers, practitioners and leaders in academic and clinical settings. The program is designed to extend the knowledge base of the 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 counseling profession. The doctoral program in Rehabilitation Counselor Education is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The revised Counselor Education and Supervision program will begin self-study data collection process to prepare for evaluation of this new designation upon implementation in the Fall 2023. 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 community partners such as schools and rehabilitation organizations, as well as globally such as universities in Asia, Europe, Africa and the United States.


The employment outlook remains promising for our graduates, who hold positions at major universities and notable leadership positions in the community worldwide.


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

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



Financial support


Students secure teaching and research
assistantship positions and apply what they learn in the classrooms as an educator-in-training.


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