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Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling Education

The Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling Education (RCEP) at the Illinois Institute of Technology was initiated in 1995. The purpose of this program is to prepare leaders in the field of rehabilitation counseling at the highest level of training. Illinois Institute of Technology 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 move to psychological and economic independence. Students graduating from the RCEP will be well-equipped as educators, counselors, supervisors, researchers and leaders in the counseling field. Graduates of the RCEP are positioned to obtain excellent jobs in academia and a variety of professional counseling and human service settings.

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

Course information

Rehabilitation counseling educators train prospective counselors to assist a diverse group of people who
experience chronic illness, disability and/or mental and emotional concerns across the lifespan. The
mission of the Rehabilitation Counseling Education Program at Illinois Tech is to offer a student-focused
and research-based curriculum that prepares doctoral level students to become professional counselor educators trained to perform advanced level counseling, postsecondary teaching, clinical supervision, research, scholarship, leadership, and advocacy activities.

Required courses and typical program of study

Program Manual

Forms for Current Students

Doctoral Practicum/Internship

Clinical training is a major emphasis of the curriculum and fieldwork experiences.  Practicum and internships are required for all students in the RCEP. An array of rehabilitation agencies in the Chicago area provide opportunities for fieldwork experienced focused in clinical counseling, research, leadership and advocacy.  Undergraduate and master’s degree programs at IIT provide a milieu for doctoral students to hone skills in supervision and teaching. Doctoral students must be covered by individual professional counseling liability insurance policies while enrolled in practicum, counseling internship or supervision internship.

Opportunities for fieldwork are abundant both within the university and in the Chicagoland area.  Doctoral students have opportunities to provide clinical supervision for students in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling master’s degree program and teach coursework at the master’s 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. Students may complete practica and internships at local organizations including, but not limited to:

  • Thresholds Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs
  • Community Counseling Centers of Chicago
  • The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Trilogy, Inc.
  • South Campus

Specific guidelines regarding instruction and requirements for the supervised fieldwork experiences are found in the Illinois Tech Rehabilitation Counseling Education Fieldwork Manual.

Application process

Students initiate doctoral study upon completion of a master's degree and at least one year professional experience post-master's. The entry-level master’s degree must have been obtained from a program accredited by the Council on Counseling and Related Education Program (CACREP) or the student must provide satisfactory evidence of coursework meeting CACREP standards prior to beginning the program.  Students must have obtained certification as a rehabilitation counselor through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) before entering the program and counseling licensure 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 (a) academic aptitude for doctoral-level study; (b) previous professional experience; (c) fitness for the profession, including self- awareness and emotional stability; (d) oral and written communication skills; (e) cultural sensitivity and awareness; and (f) potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy. Finalists will be contacted for a personal interview. Applications are only accepted for a Fall-term start, and supporting documents must be received by March 15. Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with at least one year of post-master's work experience in the field
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA 3.0
  • Minimum graduate GPA 3.5
  • Minimum GRE (verbal + quantitative) 1000 (writing) 3.0
  • Letters of recommendation (3)
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Personal Interview

At the beginning of the first term of enrollment, students attend orientation during which the student handbook is disseminated and discussed, students’ ethical and professional obligations and personal growth expectations as counselors-in-training are explained, and eligibility for licensure/certification is reviewed.

Apply now!

Clinical/Rehabilitation Specialization Ph.D. Program

You may also be interested in the Rehabilitation track of Illinois Tech's APA-accredited Clinical Psychology program. This program combines preparation in clinical and rehabilitation psychology to prepare you to be a licensed Clinical Psychologist practicing in rehabilitation settings. Specific information on the program can be found here.


For more information, contact Program Director Eun-Jeong Lee, Ph.D

3105 South Dearborn Street, Room 248D
Chicago, Illinois 60616-3793
Phone: 312.567.5202
Fax: 312.567.3493