GRE Requirement Suspended for Spring and Fall 2021
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SDSU has suspended the requirement that applicants for graduate study submit GRE scores for the Spring and Fall 2021 admissions cycle. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the program advisor.


The Rehabilitation Counseling Program (RCP) at San Diego State University (SDSU) is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through the 2022/2023 academic year. During its most recent reaccreditation review in 2014, the RCP received a maximum of eight years reaccreditation. U.S. News and World Report ranks the RCP as the 4th highest rated rehabilitation counseling program in the United States. among all rehabilitation counseling programs in the United States.


Click on the image below to check out our infographic in full size!

Infographic of RCP program

The Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) prepares students to be effective practitioners, administrators, and leaders in the field of Rehabilitation. The degree has been accredited by the Commission on Rehabilitation Education since 1975.

Students in the SDSU RCP can complete the Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling degree through both on-campus and distance options. Both options are 60 units and typically take two and half to three years to complete. The on-campus program offers instruction at the SDSU main campus, with classes offered in the Education and Business Administration building. Classes are held Monday through Thursday from either 4 pm to 6:40 pm or 7:00 pm to 9:40 during the Fall and Spring semesters. Most students in the on-campus program reside in the San Diego area but the on-campus program does include out of state and international students.

The RCP's distance option is entirely taken on-line with instructional support provided by the SDSU Interwork Institute's Center for Distance Learning (II-CDL). The program is only available to students living outside of the greater San Diego area, and is taken by students throughout California, as well as other states and countries. The distance program is referred to as CDER (Consortium for Distance Education in Rehabilitation). Historically the distance program was focused on providing instruction to students employed by the California Department of Rehabilitation or other State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies (for background on the CDER program, click the link to visit the distance program introduction). Today, CDER includes meeting the needs of all potential students, whether they are new to the rehabilitation counseling profession, or have experience in State Vocational Rehabilitation or other agencies that employ rehabilitation counselors/professionals. Many students come to the program with life experiences, such as living and working with their own disabilities and/or relationships with family members or friends with disabilities. Many bring diverse experiences in the human services fields.

What is Rehabilitation Counseling?

Rehabilitation empowers people to make informed choices, build viable careers, and live more independently in the community. The primary focus of career preparation in rehabilitation is developing counseling skills, acquiring knowledge of disabilities and demonstrating respect and sensitivity for people with disabilities. Knowledge and practice of these principles, combined with a solid foundation of specialized education in the rehabilitation field, enable dedicated rehabilitation professionals to partner with individuals with disabilities to obtain gainful employment, pursue meaningful careers, and live independently. 

The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) presents The Art of Rehabilitation Counseling, a short video exploring the unique qualifications and exceptional abilities of rehabilitation counselors. Rehabilitation counselors also share their stories of success working to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. CRCC also promotes the profession through an advertising flyer demonstrating the value of rehabilitation counseling. Click the link to view the flyer in PDF.

Concentration in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

The Clinical Concentration provides students with all required coursework for the LPCC as well as the Advanced Certificate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation (PsyR). All Clinical Concentration students also complete all requirements for the PsyR Certificate. Upon graduation, students submit Form B from the BBS's LPCC application to the Graduate Division, who then verifies completion of all requirements for the Clinical Concentration and submits the form to the BBS. The BBS then sends the graduate an intern number. The graduate may begin accruing 3,000 supervised internship hours once the intern number is received. It is the responsibility of the student/graduate to locate appropriate employment and a licensed supervisor to complete the required hours for licensure. Students should consider carefully whether the LPCC is critical to their careers due to the internship and exam requirements. The PsyR Certificate may be a better option for most students.

Areas of Specialization

Students enrolled in the MS in Rehabilitation Counseling have several options for specializing in specific areas of study, including the following: Cognitive Disabilities, Rehabilitation Technology, Supported Employment and Transition Services, and Psychiatric Rehabilitation. By applying for these areas, students can earn a post-baccalaureate certificate concurrently with the MS degree. Students may consult with their faculty advisor to customize a program of study if there are other areas of interest that are not formally available.

Please contact Dr. Mark Tucker, the RCP Program Coordinator, at or 619-594-3498 for further information.