Rehabilitation Counseling Education (Ph.D.)

Our Ph.D. program in rehabilitation counseling education is one of only a handful of RCE programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs.

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Established in 1995, the rehabilitation counseling education program at Illinois Tech is designed to prepare leaders in the field of rehabilitation counseling at the highest level of training. Illinois Tech faculty view rehabilitation counseling as a specialized area of professional counseling practice in which the major goal is to assist a person with a disability or chronic illness to move to psychological and economic independence. 

Students will develop their teaching skills through curriculum development, course instruction, and clinical supervision of master's degree students in our distinguished program. Such training begins in the first year working with faculty on their research projects and continues up to conducting their own research.

Program Overview

As one of only a few rehabilitation counseling education programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs, Illinois Tech's program develops leaders in rehabilitation counseling who are committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and chronic illness.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the rehabilitation counseling education (RCE) program are positioned to obtain excellent jobs in academia and a variety of professional counseling and human service settings. Career options for students graduating from the RCE program include:

  • Educator
  • Counselor
  • Supervisor
  • Researcher
  • Leader in the counseling field

Clinical training is a major emphasis of the curriculum and fieldwork experiences. Practica and internships are required for all students in the rehabilitation counseling education program. An array of rehabilitation agencies in the Chicago area provide opportunities for fieldwork experience focused in clinical counseling, research, leadership, and advocacy. Doctoral students must be covered by individual professional counseling liability insurance policies while enrolled in a practicum, counseling internship, or supervision internship.

Doctoral students have opportunities to provide clinical supervision for students in the Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program and to teach coursework at the master’s degree and undergraduate level at Illinois Tech. Faculty at Illinois Tech have strong research programs that provide a variety of prospective research-oriented internship opportunities both at Illinois Tech and in the community.

Additional information on degree requirements can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Features and Data

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Students initiate doctoral study upon completion of a master's degree and typically at least one year of professional experience post-master's degree. The entry-level master’s degree must have been obtained from a program accredited by CACREP, or the student must provide satisfactory evidence of coursework meeting CACREP standards prior to beginning the program. Certification as a rehabilitation counselor through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and counseling licensure before entering the program is also highly encouraged.

All applications are evaluated on the basis of such factors as GPA, GRE, recommendations, and the applicant’s professional statement. Admission criteria include:

  • Academic aptitude for doctoral-level study
  • Previous professional experience
  • Fitness for the profession, including self-awareness and emotional stability
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Cultural sensitivity and awareness
  • Potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy

Finalists will be contacted for a personal interview. Applications are usually accepted for students to begin in the fall semester, and supporting documents should be uploaded into the application system by March 15 for priority consideration.

Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, preferably, with at least one year of post-master's work experience recommended
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum graduate GPA 3.5
  • Minimum GRE: verbal 151 and quantitative 153 (in past five years)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (transcripts must be uploaded into the application system)
  • Personal interview
  • For international students, minimum score on TOEFL 90

Core Faculty Members

The Rehabilitation Counseling Education Ph.D. program has seven core faculty members who are responsible for curriculum development, preparation of students within the program, and who participate in research, scholarly activities and service to the counseling field. Core faculty members are as follows:

Patrick Corrigan
Nicole Ditchman
Kelly Kazukauskas (Division Head)
Frank Lane
Jon Larson (Department Head)
Eun-Jeong Lee
Lindsay Sheehan

Assistantships and Scholarships

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.

Opportunities for funding support through research projects and adjunct course instructor positions are also available for doctoral students in the Rehabilitation Counseling Education Ph.D. program.

Featured Faculty

Kelly Kazukauskas
Clinical Associate Professor Director, Counseling and Rehabilitation Science Program
Patrick Corrigan
Distinguished Professor of Psychology
Nicole Ditchman
Associate Professor of Psychology
Eun Jeong Lee
Associate Professor of Psychology Dir Rehab Prgm
Jonathan Larson
Associate Professor of Psychology Chair, Department of Psychology
Lindsay Sheehan
Assistant Professor
Frank Lane
Associate Professor of Psychology