Main Content Region

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling offered by the College of Education is designed to prepare students to work with individuals with disabilities in public and private rehabilitation agencies, hospitals, industry and related fields. The graduate program, a three-year course of study, will train students in rehabilitation counseling, vocational evaluation and job placement of persons with disabilities. Graduates of the program will be prepared to take the certified rehabilitation counselor examination. 

Rehabilitation counseling is a growing field in the mental health and allied health professions. A rehabilitation counselor helps persons with disabilities achieve their optimal social, psychological and vocational potential. Whenever possible, the final goal of rehabilitation is job placement. The rehabilitation counselor works with people who have different disabilities. The handicaps may be physical, intellectual, emotional or sociocultural.

Students will be encouraged to develop areas of specialization by completing research of individual interest and field work experiences in specialization areas. The rehabilitation counseling program also will offer a bilingual rehabilitation counseling experience. The purpose for having a bilingual experience is that there is a demand in the rehabilitation profession for counselors to have the skills to speak and work with Hispanic clients. The mission of the bilingual rehabilitation counseling experience will be to educate students to be rehabilitation counselors who will be able to speak conversational Spanish with Hispanic clients, have an understanding of Hispanic culture and be aware of the special needs of Hispanic persons with disabilities.

Rehabilitation Counseling is focused on helping people who have disabilities achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals through a counseling process. Rehabilitation counselors work with individuals who have a variety of physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors can be found in private practice, in rehabilitation facilities, universities, schools, government agencies, insurance companies and other organizations. They assist individuals who have disabilities in vocational, independent living and educational pursuits.

The current trend for people working in the rehabilitation counseling field is to obtain a Master's degree in rehabilitation counseling and to obtain national certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). The CRC is administered through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Individuals who want to become rehabilitation counselor educators, researchers or administrators generally need to go beyond the master's degree and obtain a doctoral degree.

The Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling is accredited through March 31st, 2025 by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Rehabilitation Counseling Program Brochure


Commitment to Diversity

The Rehabilitation Counseling program faculty engages in actions consistent with the CSUSB diversity commitment by demonstrating respect for and understanding of cultural and individual diversity. Read the complete CSUSB diversity statement.


The mission of the Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling program at CSUSB is to develop rehabilitation counseling professionals who work in varied settings with individuals from diverse disabilities and cultural backgrounds. The program is specially designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to serve individuals with disabilities in achieving their key life pursuits. To ensure diversity within the profession, the program encourages the recruitment, retention, and successful graduation of students from underrepresented and underserved communities.
(revised & updated January 2024)

Program Objectives

1. Offer a quality CACREP accredited curriculum that prepares master's level rehabilitation counseling professionals to work effectively with individuals from diverse disabilities and cultural backgrounds.

2. Recruit and retain qualified students that include people from diverse cultural and disability backgrounds.

3. Train students in the effective delivery of rehabilitation services for individuals with physical, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities.

4. Prepare students to become Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.

5. Facilitate an inclusive and culturally responsive learning community that enriches the students educational experience and promotes full participation.
(revised & updated January 2024)

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Develop a professional counseling identity and demonstrate ability to function ethically and effectively within settings that offer counseling, vocational rehabilitation, case management, and related services to individuals with disabilities from diverse backgrounds.

2. Identify appropriate counseling theories and skills applicable in an ethnically diverse society with individuals, groups, and families, and demonstrate the ability to apply this knowledge in a culturally therapeutic manner.

3. Identify and apply the stages of development throughout the lifespan, including developmental goals when working with individuals with disabilities and other medical conditions.

4. Identify and apply career development theory and tools.

5. Use case management techniques and describe the range of community resources available.

6. Use appropriate assessment techniques when working with individuals with disabilities and utilize the relevant information within the vocational rehabilitation counseling process.

7. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective vocational rehabilitation counselors through supervised practicum and fieldwork experiences.

8. Read and evaluate professional research literature and incorporate relevant information into their professional development.
(revised & updated January 2024)


Dr. Priyanka Yalamanchili, CRC
Program and Clinical Coordinator, Rehabilitation Counseling
Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation & Counseling
California State University, San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407
(909) 537-5670 (preferred mode of contact)