Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Ph.D. Programs

Pursuing a doctoral degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling will require that you complete coursework in areas such as ethics, statistical analysis, and organization administration.

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Although there are not many doctoral level programs in rehabilitation counseling, there are several schools throughout the country that offer it. These programs all have core courses in common that focus on various aspects of counseling.

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Program Requirements

A program in rehabilitation counseling will typically ask that you complete approximately 60 credit hours in order to graduate. The following are a few of the courses you can expect to find offered in your program.


Management skills are often required when dealing with people and working in human services. Courses in administration are held and designed to instruct students in a range of management styles. Students also learn how to resolve conflict, evaluate performance, and make personnel decisions. Other topics in this area include mentoring, fiscal responsibility, and decision making.

Multivariate Studies

The basis of coursework in this area is the use of multivariate statistics. Students are expected to be able to employ a range of techniques, including matrix algebra and the application of the general linear model. Students will typically also learn about path analysis, canonical analysis, and the analysis of covariance structures.


Counselors must always be aware of ethical obligations in their field. This course is designed to teach students about principles and codes of conduct. The course also explores current ethical issues in the profession. The course is tailored toward helping students avoid any breach of ethics and also to help them understand how to respond when ethical dilemmas emerge.

Quantitative Methods

One area that students are expected to become proficient in is the application of quantitative methods in their research. Coursework in this area gives students the opportunity to review techniques for both data collection and data analysis. Studies in quantitative methods may be taken as part of a larger course covering research topics and methodologies.

Counseling Practice

Students are expected to become familiar with the practice of counseling as performed in their specific field. Coursework in this area gives students the chance to review the history and philosophy of counseling practice. Another critical area of review is the legal framework in which counselors operate. Other topics might include current issues impacting the field and the values counselors are expected to hold.

Admission Requirements

Although admission requirements can change from school to school, there are a few typical requirements that you will have to meet. First, all schools require transcripts, though the school you are applying to might not publish a minimal GPA score that you needed to maintain in previous schooling. You will also need to submit your GRE scores, though once again, schools don't often publish a minimal set of score you need to achieve. For some schools, having a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field is also a requirement, or preferred.

The doctoral program in rehabilitation counseling is designed to train you in performing data analysis using statistics and quantitative methods as well as train you in the practice of counseling. In this program, students will gain experience and skills in dealing directly with patients and making administrative decisions.

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