A therapist counsels a client in her office

Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)

As a student in our program, you'll be trained to perform a vital role as a counselor with specialized knowledge and skills for both mental health and rehabilitation service delivery.

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By studying rehabilitation and mental health counseling at Illinois Tech, you'll gain the skills needed to serve individuals with a diverse array of mental health or disability-related problems impacting the individual and the family in a variety of clinical settings and with respect for the influences of multicultural factors such as culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Students also receive specialized training in the vocational, educational, and personal adjustment of individuals with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities.

Program Overview

This program teaches future counselors the skills to provide both mental health and rehabilitation service delivery. With this degree, you'll be equipped to address broad mental health and disability-related issues in clinical settings, with respect for multicultural factors.

Career Opportunities

In addition to preparing you for practice in clinical mental health counseling, you will receive specialized training for a career in the rapidly growing field of rehabilitation counseling. This program prepares rehabilitation and mental health counselors for employment in:

  • Community mental health facilities
  • State, federal, and private rehabilitation agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Correctional institutions
  • Public schools
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Organizations serving individuals with physical, psychiatric, mental, social, or emotional disabilities

A core of required graduate courses provides the basic knowledge and skills necessary to the field of rehabilitation and mental health counseling. Principles and practices are taught with an emphasis on:

  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Counseling theory
  • Individual and group counseling skills
  • Assessment in rehabilitation and mental health counseling
  • Diagnosis of mental disorders
  • Evidence-based treatment of mental disorders
  • Job placement
  • Medical and psychosocial aspects of disability
  • Human growth and career development
  • Research methods

Fieldwork of progressively increasing complexity takes place at a variety of community-based mental health and rehabilitation facilities in the Chicago area. You will begin working with clients in community facilities in the second semester and continue hands-on supervised experience throughout your second year.

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Applications are accepted for the fall and spring terms, and are considered on a rolling basis. Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 18 credit hours in psychology or a closely related field
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Three letters of recommendation (two academic, one employer)
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (transcripts must be uploaded into the online application system)

All applications are evaluated on the basis of such factors as GPA, recommendations, and the professional statement. GRE scores are not required. Finalists will be contacted for a personal interview.

Certification

As an Illinois Tech rehabilitation and mental health counseling graduate, you will be eligible to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), a distinguished certificate recognized nationwide. You will also be eligible for counseling licensure as a professional counselor and a clinical professional counselor within the state of Illinois, which accepts the CRC examination as a qualifying professional counselor licensure exam.

Please see your state licensing board for information on counseling licensure requirements in states other than Illinois.

Additionally, the Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program is proud to be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

PROGRAM FEATURES AND DATA

Assistantships and Scholarships 

Grants from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) allows Illinois Tech to provide funding for domestic students. The rehabilitation and mental health counseling and rehabilitation counseling education programs have been the recipient of grants from the Department of Education for more than 30 years. To learn about the availability of grant-funded training opportunities, contact the program director.

Partial-tuition scholarships are often available for international students. Funding type and amounts will be noted in your acceptance letter.

After the first year, you can apply for a teaching assistantship. Teacher assistants receive partial tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend, along with teaching experience.