The University of Kentucky Counselor Education Program (formerly Rehabilitation Counseling) is among the oldest Rehabilitation Counseling graduate programs in the nation. Our program is approved by the Kentucky Council on Higher Education and 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 top ten rehabilitation counseling programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Graduates of this program will receive a Master of Arts in Counseling with a specialty in one of the following:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Rehabilitation Counseling

Both specialty area curricula align with the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Standards, and the Rehabilitation Counseling specialty area is accredited through 2021. The Clinical Mental Health specialty area is pending CACREP accreditation. In addition, we offer a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Education, Research, and Policy, which is also accredited by CACREP through 2021.

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 community and related professional associations through consultation, education, advocacy, and leadership activities

2020 Counselor Education Annual Report  

Graduation Rates: 98%

Certification Pass Rates: 77%

Employment Rates: 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 and on-campus. 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

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 1
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
EDP 557 Rehabilitation & MHC Research & Program Evaluation* 3
CED 710 Gathering, Analyzing, and Using Educational Data I (Offered in the Fall and Summer) OR EPE/EDP 558 is an option for students who may have had stats previously. Offered in the Spring 3
CED 730 Clinical Practicum 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: 43


Rehabilitation Counseling Specialization

Course # Title Credits
CED 515 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities: Physical Disabilities 3
CED 560 Supported Employment, Independent Living, & Transition 3
CED 610 Case Management in Rehabilitation Counseling 3
Electives (must take 8 credits worth at the graduate level)* 8

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

Total Rehabilitation Specialty Credits Required: 17


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 3 credits worth at the graduate level)* 3

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

Total Core Credits Required: 17

  • 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.

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.


How to Apply

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


The CE Programs admit cohorts in the Fall semester only.

  • Fall admission applications are due by April 1

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

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!

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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