Program goals

The post-master’s certificate program in professional counseling is designed for persons who hold the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree in counseling from VCU or other accredited institutions. The intent is to assist students in meeting the educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor, the Licensed Substance Abuse Practitioner and the Certified Substance Abuse Counselor credentials in Virginia and other states.

The certificate program also may be pursued to fulfill preservice or continuing education requirements for various national certifications, such as National Certified Counselor or Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Specialization requirements may exceed the minimum number of required credit hours for the certificate program as a whole.

Courses are selected from course offerings of the Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling program based on individualized need and in conjunction with a faculty adviser.

Specific goals include but are not limited to:

  1. The encouragement of advanced graduate education in counseling
  2. The facilitation of the professional counselor’s career development efforts and goals
  3. The facilitation of the acquisition or maintenance of professional state licenses or national certificates
  4. The expansion of the student’s awareness and expertise in specialized counselor roles and functions

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Develop and maintain confidential counseling relationships with individuals using established skills and techniques
  2. Establish, in collaboration with the consumer, individual counseling goals and objectives
  3. Apply advanced counseling and interviewing skills
  4. Employ consultation skills with and on behalf of the consumer

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
Post-master's certificate Fall Apr 1
Spring Oct 1

Special requirements

  • Statement of academic and professional goals and of previous work or volunteer experience
  • Three letters of reference from professors, employers or others who can assess applicant’s capabilities (nonfamily members)
  • Personal interview (may be required)

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must have completed a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related discipline.

Upon admission to the program, students must meet with an academic adviser to design an approved course of study that leads to the completion of the educational requirements for licensure or certification as a professional counselor.

Degree requirements

In addition to general Graduate School graduation requirements,

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 15 graduate credit hours of course work in professional counseling that leads to the completion of the educational requirements for licensure or certification as a professional counselor, as prescribed in their approved courses of study. Specialization requirements may exceed the minimum number of required credit hours for the certificate program as a whole.
  2. Students must maintain an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  3. The 15 graduate credit hours must not duplicate previous graduate course work completed at VCU or other institutions.
  4. The 15 graduate credit hours must include six graduate credit hours in advanced counseling skills.
  5. Transfer credits are not accepted.

Curriculum requirements

Upon admission to the program, students must meet with an academic adviser to design an approved course of study that leads to the completion of the educational requirements for licensure or certification as a professional counselor. Each plan of study is individualized, but may include courses from the following list, if approved by the faculty adviser.

Licensed Professional Counselor credential

RHAB 613Advanced Rehabilitation Counseling Seminar (three-credit course; may be repeated for a total of nine credit hours) 1,29
RHAB 614Counseling, Death and Loss 23
RHAB 615Human Growth and Development3
Total Hours15
1

Possible topics: cognitive behavioral therapy; crisis counseling, etc.

2

Courses that may satisfy the six graduate credit hours in advanced counseling skills requirement.

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 15

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor credential

Select five of the following:15
Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling
Theories of Professional Counseling
Career Counseling and Job Placement
Assessment and Evaluation
Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities
Case Management
Multicultural Counseling
Counseling Techniques
Total Hours15

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 15

Licensure requirements

Refer to the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling website for additional information on Licensed Professional Counselor and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification website for Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination requirements.

Graduate program director
Amy J. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling
Email: ajarmstro@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 827-0913

Program website: sahp.vcu.edu/departments/rehab/programs/advanced-certificate-in-professional-counseling