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Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling Education

Established in 1995, The Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling Education (RCE) at the Illinois Institute of Technology is currently one of only a handful of RCE programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP). The RCE program is designed to prepare leaders in the field of rehabilitation counseling at the highest level of training. Illinois Tech 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 RCE program will be well-equipped as educators, counselors, supervisors, researchers and leaders in the counseling field. Graduates of the RCE program are positioned to obtain excellent jobs in academia and a variety of professional counseling and human service settings.

Students will develop their 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 research projects and continues up to conducting their own research.


Course information

Clinical training is a major emphasis of the curriculum and fieldwork experiences. Practicum and internships are required for all students in the RCE program. 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 Illinois Tech 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
  • National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment
  • Chicago Health Disparities

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 typically at least one year professional experience post-master's. The entry-level master’s degree must have been obtained from a program accredited by 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 usually 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 151 + quantitative 153)
  • Letters of recommendation (3)
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (transcripts must be uploaded into the application system)
  • 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!


For more information, contact Program Director Eun-Jeong Lee, Ph.D.:
Phone: 312.567.5202