MS in Counseling with a Concentration in Rehabilitation
The Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) degree provides graduates with the counseling knowledge and skills used in school, clinical mental health, and rehabilitation settings. Students study human development and behavior, individual counseling theory, group theory and dynamics, research methodology, and psychological measurement and evaluation, in addition to courses in individual concentrations—school counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and rehabilitation counseling. The Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community (MHRT/C) post-bachelor's certificate program may be taken independently of the master’s degree (applications through Rehabilitation Counseling). The certificate of advanced study in counseling is a post-master’s program for current counselors who are interested in pursuing advanced coursework.
Depending on the MSC concentration, we offer face-to-face, online, hybrid, blended, or any combination of for synchronous and asynchronous course delivery. The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (CLRC) hybrid track is the first MSC concentration which is offered with a low residency requirement that can be completed primarily (90%) in blended/online formats. Course instruction includes a variety of teaching and learning strategies, depending on the nature of the course, such as lectures, group discussion (synchronous and asynchronous), in–class exercises, supervised case review, cooperative learning, service learning, guided practice, introspection and critical thinking. In addition to coursework, each student must successfully pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).
The counselor education program holds accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) for the clinical mental health and school counseling concentrations, and from the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) for the rehabilitation concentration. The new CLRC meets both clinical mental health and rehabilitation counseling standards and is dually accredited by both CORE & CACREP until 2023.
Traditional Rehabilitation Counseling
The concentration’s mission is to promote quality rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities by (1) preparing qualified rehabilitation professionals; (2) providing services to rehabilitation professionals and organizations; and 93) sponsoring rehabilitation-related research and training. This mission includes the following objectives: To teach students the basic philosophic tenets underlying rehabilitation process and practice, specifically that: (1) all people have inherent value, resiliency, and capability and must be treated with the empathy, respect and dignity they deserve; (2) all citizens should have access to and opportunities for full societal participation with individuals and in settings of their choice; (3) persons with disabilities should be equal partners throughout the rehabilitation process; (4) rehabilitation should focus on societal, systems, and/or setting changes as much as individual adjustment; (5) the rehabilitation process should offer heightened hope, self-awareness, resources and skills as well as social inclusion and support and public education; and (6) rehabilitation students and professionals adhere to high quality, ethical practice and to the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. To provide practical knowledge and skills so that students become empathic, competent and ethical rehabilitation counselors in a wide variety of settings through the use of class and community experiences that acquaint students with rehabilitation philosophies, history, methods, and organizations; allow for sustained, direct instruction by individuals with disabilities, and offer varied, experiential and field-based learning in community rehabilitation settings.
To offer services, training and research to area rehabilitation agencies, consumer groups, and professional organizations through faculty and student service on local professional and consumer boards and committees, presenting at local and regional conferences, and providing local in-service training/consultations.
This program is designed to provide students with the basic competencies to provide rehabilitation counseling to a broad range of individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings, such as state vocational rehabilitation facilities, independent living centers, rehabilitation hospitals, employment assistance programs, private industry, the veteran's administration, and private-for-profit rehabilitation companies. The rehabilitation counseling specialty holds accreditation from the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
Vocational Rehabilitation (54 credits)
The traditional rehabilitation counseling specialty requires a total of fifty-four credit hours of coursework. The specialty is intended to promote quality rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities through the education of rehabilitation professionals, providing services to rehabilitation organizations, and sponsorship of rehabilitation-related research and training. The graduate program's primary goal is to help students acquire the basic foundation, knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to enter the profession of rehabilitation counseling and practice effectively as rehabilitation counselors.
The traditional rehabilitation counseling concentration focuses on the medical, psychological, vocational, and societal issues that surround people with disabilities and the practice of rehabilitation. Students are also offered practicum and internship experiences in community agencies that promote equity and empowerment of people with disabilities. Upon completion of their degree, students are eligible to take a national exam that qualifies them as certified rehabilitation counselors (CRC). Graduates become employed in public, private, and nonprofit rehabilitation agencies in Maine and across the country. The graduate program's primary goal is to help students acquire the basic foundation, knowledge, skills, and experiences to enter the profession and practice effectively and ethically as rehabilitation counselors.
Students are eligible to receive the MHRT/Community certificate, the Employment Specialist certification and qualify to sit for the Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC) exam from the state of Maine during their graduate program of studies.
Core Courses (27 credits)
EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
HCE 605 Psychological Measurement and Evaluation
HCE 620 Fundamentals of Counseling Theories
HCE 621 Fundamentals of Counseling Skills
HCE 626 Group Process and Procedures
HCE 627 Group Counseling Practicum
HCE 668 Human Development
HCE 690 Individual Counseling Practicum Seminar
HCE 691 Individual Counseling Practicum Laboratory
Required Concentration Courses (24 credits)
HCE 510 Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling and Service
HCE 514 Psychiatric Rehabilitation: Evidence-based Practices and Treatment
HCE 611 Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disability and Rehabilitation
HCE 612 Multicultural Counseling: Social & Cultural Foundations of Helping Diverse Families
HCE 615 Vocational Counseling and Placement in Rehabilitation
HCE 619 Recovery-Oriented Origins of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practice
HCE 642 Perspectives on Chemical Dependency
HCE 686 Internship in Counselor Education (6 credits - 600 hours)
Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (63 credits)
The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (MSC degree) track within the Counselor Education program holds joint accreditation by CACREP & CORE meeting both Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling Standards. All graduates will be eligible for hiring in key federal programs, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and TRICARE, which have stipulated graduation from a CACREP-accredited program as an employment criterion.
The CLRC is designed for rehabilitation counseling students who have an interest in working within the public mental health and addictions system, adhere consistently with the psychiatric rehabilitation model/principles and are meeting requirements of the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) license and the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential. Students can qualify for other credentials including the Employment Specialist, MHRT-C and CADC state certifications, as well as the National Certified Counselor (NCC) certification.
Program Requirements (core courses of 27 credits and concentration of 24 credits)
In addition to the above required core (27 credits) and concentration (24 credits) courses in rehabilitation counseling, students are required to take an additional 12 credit hours:
HCE 640 Professional Issues in Mental Health Counseling
HCE 643 Psychopharmocology, Substance-Related Disorders & Integrated Co-Occurring Treatment
HCE 645 Diagnosis & Treatment Planning
HCE 686 *Internship in Counselor Education (3 credits = 300 clock hours)
*A clinical placement would cover 900 hours including 600 hours in the core curriculum
Applicant must have a bachelor's degree, from a regionally accredited college or university, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program; Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied
- November 15 and March 15
- Applications for the CLRC hybrid, blended/online track can be accepted into the spring until May 31st for the fall admission cycle. There is not an option to start in summer for this hybrid track.
The admissions process requires a formal interview. Candidates to be interviewed will be rated on three areas of personal criteria:
- understanding of and commitment to the counseling field,
- self-awareness, and
- thinking skills/decision making ability.
As part of the interview, applicants will be required to provide a brief, spontaneous writing sample.
Applicants are required to provide the following materials:
- Application: Online Application
- Application fee: $65.00 paid through the online application.
- Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
- International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
- Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
- Essay: see below.
- Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of excellence in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study;
- Test scores from either GRE or MAT (see below);
- TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.
In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:
- College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
- Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
- International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.
Applicants whose first language is not English
Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.
Where to send transcripts and application materials
Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412
Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to email@example.com.
For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.
Special Essay Question
In addition to the general requirements of the program, candidates for the counseling master's program should provide a narrative, preferably typed, in the form of a brief autobiography that relates the applicant's experiences that have led to an interest in counseling and application to the counselor education program.
Candidates are also asked to address the following statement: "As counseling professionals, we are constantly seeking areas in ourselves that bear examination and change. As future practitioners, you will be witness to a wide variety of client experiences." Please discuss areas in yourself that may block your ability to empathically listen to client experiences that are different from your own. The entire narrative, including the autobiography and the statement, should be limited to three typewritten, double-spaced pages which will be evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of responses.
Applicants to the counseling program must take the MAT or GRE. One of the tests must be taken within five years of application. For those taking the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) you must have earned a score of 398 or above. For the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) you must have earned a score of 286 or above combined verbal and quantitative scores (this requirement is waived for applicants already holding a graduate degree).
Applicants who did not score 398 on the MAT, or 286 combined on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.
A maximum of six credit hours may be approved as transfer credit, provided these credits were earned no more than three years prior to matriculation and grades of B or better were received. Additional transfer credit may be approved by the program chair in exceptional circumstances, including certificates of graduate study program courses. For students who complete the MHRT-C before admission may request up to the 15 credits taken for transfer upon admission to the Rehabilitation Counseling concentration provided they meet approval criteria.
Graduate students in master's level counseling programs at other accredited universities may transfer into the program if they take their final 21 hours, including the internship requirement, in USM's counselor education program.
Professional Licensure and Certification Notice
Students with a criminal record who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification should contact the appropriate licensure or certification body prior to matriculation to ensure eligibility.
The Clinical Rehabilitation track joins a handful of other higher education programs across the United States which successfully completed the joint review process offered as part of the 2013 affiliation agreement between CACREP and CORE. As a result of this dual accreditation, all graduates will be eligible for hiring in key federal programs, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and TRICARE, which have stipulated graduation from a CACREP-accredited program as an employment criterion, which is notable.
We'd love to meet you and tell you more! Our Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the Counselor Education program and about graduate study at USM. Register today.
Connect with Us
For those interested in our Clinical Rehabilitation Track, we invite you to visit our Clinical Rehabilitation Track LinkedIn profile.