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The University of Kentucky Counselor Education Program (formerly Rehabilitation Counseling) is among the oldest Rehabilitation Counseling graduate programs in the nation. Our program is the only Master’s program in Rehabilitation Counseling in the Commonwealth. We are also proud to have nationally recognized faculty housed within a program that has been consistently ranked in the country’s top ten rehabilitation counseling programs by U.S. News and World Report. Graduates of the Counselor Education program will receive a Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialty in one of the following:

Both specialty areas in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling are accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through October 31, 2030. In addition, we offer a doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision, which is also accredited by CACREP through October 31, 2030.

Our mission is to promote professional excellence through personal development and the highest academic standards as we work with our students, persons with disabilities, and our state and community partners in rehabilitation and mental health counseling to achieve equal rights, social justice, and quality of life for persons with disabilities in our community, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, nationally, and globally.

Why You Should Enroll

Students and graduates of the counseling program at the University of Kentucky will bring the following qualities with them into their professional roles as counselors:

  • Knowledge, skills, and awareness relevant to working within a diverse society, including engaging in social justice and advocacy for individuals across all differences
  • An embodiment of culturally competent counseling practice and lifelong learning
  • The ability to evaluate and apply appropriate counseling or consultation processes based within theoretical foundations
  • The belief in the dignity and worth of all people
  • A commitment to the counseling profession and ethical counseling practice based on evidence-based research and an experiential clinical training program
  • An understanding of quality-of-life indicators as assessed through research, interviewing, formal assessments, and counseling sessions
  • Experience with researching and engaging community resources necessary to advocate for and support clients in all stages of development
  • An active relationship with the broader rehabilitation counseling and clinical mental health counseling communities and related professional associations through consultation, education and training, advocacy, and leadership activities for promotion of societal inclusion of people with disabilities

Program Outcomes/Student Performance Outcomes

AY 2022-2023 Counselor Education Annual Report 


Graduation Rate

Entry Program: Because of our accelerated program tracks, most students (60%) in AY 2021-2022 graduate in two years. Last year it was 72.3%..

Doctoral Program: mong 5 doctoral students enrolling in AY 2021-2022, two of them graduated, two of them are currently active and one is on a leave of absence. The graduation rate is 40%.

Internal Exams

Entry Program (Internal Program Final Exam Pass Rate): 8 students took internal program final exams; 3 students in RC, and 5 in CMHC. The final exam pass rate was 100%.

Doctoral Program: Two doctoral students in AY 2021-2022, 1 (50%) of them passed the preliminary exam the first time, and 1 (50%) passed the second time. The passing rate of the doctoral preliminary exam is 100%.

Two doctoral students (100%) passed their qualifying exams to demonstrate knowledge of content and research methodology focusing on developing the first three chapters of the dissertation.

Two doctoral students (100%) completed their dissertation defenses.


Entry Program: 11 students took Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) in 2021-2022; 5 passed and 6 failed. The CRC pass rate was 45.5%. Two students took National Counselor Examination (NCE) and passed. The NCE passing rate was 100%.

Employment Rate

Entry-level Program: 100%

Doctoral-level Program: 100 %

Program Details

Delivery Method: Online

Credit Hours: 60

Tuition Cost: Refer to Credit Hour Rates for Graduate Students on the UK Tuition and Mandatory Fees page.

Refund Policies: You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.

Curriculum Guide

Both specialty areas are available to be completed online. Students must be comfortable using a variety of technology in order to successfully participate in and complete all programs available through this academic unit.

Coursework and Final Exams

Counseling Core

All students, regardless of specialization area, must take the following core courses.

Course # Title Credits
CED 516 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities: Psychiatric Disabilities 3
CED 520 Foundations of Professional Counseling 3
CED 525 Human Growth, Disability, & Development Across the Lifespan 3
CED 530 Social & Cultural Foundations of Counseling 3
CED 550 Ethics for the Counseling Profession 3
CED 620 Assessment in Rehabilitation & Mental Health 3
CED 630 Career Development Counseling and Job Placement 3
CED 650 Counseling Theories 3
CED 660 Counseling Techniques 3
CED 670 Group & Family Mental Health Counseling** 3
CED 750 Counseling Research and Program Evaluation 3
CED 710 Clinical Practicum in RC & CMHC 3
CED 730 Clinical Internship in RC & CMHC* 9

*CED 710 must be successfully completed to advance to CED 730 (NOTE: CED 710 and CED 730 are offered and taught over 12 weeks in the summer semester

**or approved alternate course

Total Core Credits Required: 45


Rehabilitation Counseling Specialization

Course # Title Credits
CED 515 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities: Physical Disabilities 3
CED 554 Rural Rehabilitation 3
CED 560 Supported Employment, Independent Living, & Transition 3
CED 610 Case Management in Rehabilitation Counseling 3


Suggested courses:

  • CED 540 Addiction & Substance Use Counseling (3 credit hours, fall & Spring)
  • SW 521 Poverty, Inequality, & Injustice (3 credit hours, fall)
  • SW 524 Substance Misuse (3 credit hours, fall & spring), CED 570 Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3 credit hours, summer)
  • SW 600 Practice with Individuals & Families (3 credit hours, spring)
  • SW 602 Theory Informed Practice with Groups (3 credit hours, spring)
  • EDP 558 Gathering, Analyzing, and Using Educational Data II (3 credit hours, spring)

*All electives must be at the graduate level (i.e., 500-level or higher).  


*Electives must be approved by students’ advisor prior to registration

Total Rehabilitation Specialty Credits Required: 15


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization

Course # Title Credits
CED 540 Addiction & Substance Use Counseling 3
CED 570 Crisis & Trauma Counseling 2
CED 600 Psychopharmacology 3
CED 615 Case Management in Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3
CED 680 Mental Health Diagnosis & Treatment Planning for Counselors 3

Electives (must take 1 credits worth at the graduate level)*

Suggested courses:

  • CED 554 Rural Rehabilitation (3 credit hours, fall)
  • CED 515 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities: Physical Disabilities (3 credit hours, fall)
  • SW 521 Poverty, Inequality, & Injustice (3 credit hours, fall)
  • SW524 Substance Misuse (3 credit hours, fall & spring)
  • SW 600 Practice with Individuals & Families (3 credit hours, spring)
  • SW 602 Theory Informed Practice with Groups (3 credit hours, spring)
  • EDP 558 Gathering, Analyzing, and Using Educational Data II (3 credit hours, spring)

NOTE: Students can take courses and use them as electives in the specialization they are not enrolled in.  


*If you have any questions about electives, please contact your advisor prior to registration

Total Core Credits Required: 15

  • Both specialty areas require the completion of 60-credit hours of graduate work in the appropriate specialty area (see Fieldwork Requirements).
  • Students in the Rehabilitation Counseling specialty area may complete the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination in lieu of a program final.
  • Any student who does not take a national certifying exam will be required to take a 100-question multiple choice test that will cover the same content.
  • Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialty area may complete the National Counselor Examination in lieu of a program final.

Fieldwork Requirements

  • Practicum (3 credit hours): a supervised practicum experience of 200 hours
  • Internship (9 credit hours): a supervised internship experience of 600 hours


Professional Counselor Licensure

Licensing in professional counseling is a state-specific credential. UK provides information about licensure in various states through UK Online. Students should also visit their state’s licensure board website to ensure that our curriculum will meet the requirements for licensure.

View Student Handbook


How to Apply

To apply for admission, potential applicants should complete the online application found at the UK Graduate School website at


The CE Programs admit cohorts in the Summer and Fall semesters.

  • Summer and Fall admission applications are due by April 1
    • Our program requires applications to be submitted by April 1 to start in the summer or fall term. Please contact Dr. Keith B. Wilson ( if you would like to start in the spring term.

Program Requirements

  1. an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75, or a graduate GPA of at least 3.00
  2. a personal interview with program faculty
  3. three references indicating appropriateness of student for the program
  4. a written statement indicating interest in and goals for the degree program
  5. a resume

Final admissions decisions are the purview of the program faculty. Following the application deadline, interviews will be scheduled for the applicant and program faculty. The interview will review student’s relevant experience, education, and long-term goals. The full faculty will review the file and recommendation and make a decision on admission. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA while enrolled in the program, or they will be put on academic probation via the Graduate School policies.

I'm Ready to Apply


Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding this program. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Keith Wilson

Keith B. Wilson

  • Program Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in Counselor Education
  • (859) 257-4291


Tuition and Fees

Questions about tuition should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.  More information about tuition and cost to attend can be found on the Registrar’s website.

Financial Aid

There are occasional opportunities for doctoral students to receive funding as Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, or via Scholarship funding. These announcements will be posted to the Student Advising Center on Canvas regularly. Students who are interested in more information about Financial Aid should contact the University of Kentucky’s Financial Aid Office at (859) 562-CATS (2287) or 128 Funkhouser Building, Lexington KY 40506.

State Authorization and Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.

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