Program accreditation
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

Department goals

  • To provide students with educational experiences that facilitate the development of knowledge, skills and values necessary to practice as a licensed professional counselor and certified rehabilitation counselor
  • To provide students with learning opportunities that foster culturally responsive and ethical counseling practices
  • To provide students with clinical training environments that prepare them to work in a variety of counseling settings

Program objectives

  • Develop a well-rounded education in rehabilitation and mental health counseling
  • Advance the basic philosophical tenets of rehabilitation, including the value and worth of all individuals, a belief in human dignity, and the right of all persons to fully participate in society
  • Exercise skills and competencies on a high ethical level and with personal integrity
  • Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the personal, social, vocational and psychological needs of persons with disabilities

Student learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate the ability to function ethically and effectively within settings that offer counseling, advocacy and related services to diverse populations
  • Understand a range of counseling theories and skills applicable in a pluralistic society with individuals, groups, couples and families, as well as demonstrate the ability to apply this knowledge in a therapeutic manner to promote change and growth.
  • Understand and apply the stages of development throughout the lifespan, including developmental goals, when working with individuals, regardless of disability or other impairing conditions
  • Understand and apply career development theory and tools 
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply case management techniques with an understanding of the range of community resources available
  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of assessment techniques when working with individuals and utilize relevant information within the counseling process
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate professional research literature and incorporate such information into their professional development
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective professional counselor through supervised practicum and internship experience

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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations 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 academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

A student handbook is made available to students through a closed electronic system (Canvas) and at new student orientation.