College of Education

Counselor Education - Graduate

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The Graduate Programs in Counselor Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Counselor Education include both a Masters degree in Counselor Education and and Doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Master's Program Description

The University of Kentucky Counselor Education Program (CED) prepares students to be qualified and ethical counselors practicing in the specialty areas of Rehabilitation and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The CED curriculum facilitates evidence-based skill development for new counselors. Students will be introduced to techniques and theories for developing a counseling practice that is socially just, culturally competent, and client centered. Graduates will receive a Master's of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in either Rehabilitation Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Both concentration areas align with the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) Standards.

Master's Application 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 letters of recommendation
    • Three references indicating appropriateness of the student for the program
  4. Personal Statement
    • A written statement indicating interest in and goals for the degree program.


The GRE is not required for admission to this 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.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall: July 1

Doctoral Program Description

The Rehabilitation Counseling Doctoral Program offers a Departmental Ph.D. degree with a formal option in Rehabilitation Counseling Education, Research, and Policy. The doctoral program is campus-based (not offered on-line). We have carefully designed our doctoral curriculum to meet the needs of students who are preparing for careers in rehabilitation counselor education, research, and administration. Our students complete advanced doctoral seminars in rehabilitation counseling research, psychosocial aspects of chronic illnesses and disability, rehabilitation counseling theory, professional rehabilitation counseling issues, and rehabilitation administration and policy. In these courses, students explore a wide range of psychosocial, societal, and international perspectives on disability and rehabilitation counseling.

Doctoral Application Requirements

  1. An undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75
  2. Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or a closely-related field with a GPA of at least 3.5.
    • (Note: Students who are entering with a non-Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s degree may be required to take leveling, or foundational courses as described below.)
  3. Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (mandatory for all doctoral applicants).
    • Note: All doctoral applicants are required to submit results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Results from the GRE are used by program faculty along with all other application materials in making admission decisions. The GRE is also typically required for students applying for Graduate Scholarship Awards, Stipends and Fellowships; often a certain percentile is needed to be considered for a financial scholarship or fellowship award.
  4. A minimum of one year (two preferred) of post-Master’s experience in rehabilitation counseling or a related field.
    • The Program will alternatively consider extensive prior related experience and exceptional academic performance on an individual basis.
  5. At least three (3) positive recommendations
    • attesting to the candidate’s professional disposition and fitness for the profession, self-awareness and emotional stability; oral and written communication skills; cultural sensitivity and awareness; and potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy.
  6. Personal Statement
    • A written statement of the applicant’s objectives for completing a doctoral program.
  7. Writing Sample
    • A sample of the applicant’s academic and/or professional writing. Final admissions decisions are the purview of the Department’s faculty.
  8. Interview
    • If an applicant meets these criteria and appears to have the background, academic record, experience, and professional objectives that are consistent with Department expectations, the person is invited to campus to interview with Program and Department faculty and to meet current doctoral students. If the candidate is unable to visit the campus, arrangements can be made to interview through video conference or alternative format. However, it is highly recommended that applicants visit campus.
Application Deadlines:

​Spring: October 1

Fall: March 1

Instructions for Doctoral Recommendation Letter Writers

Please upload a letter which rates the applicant as poor, fair, good, excellent, or outstanding on each of the following criteria. Further, please comment in as much detail as possible on the strengths and weaknesses of the above named applicant with respect to these criteria:

(1) professional disposition and fitness for the profession;

(2) self-awareness and emotional stability;

(3) oral and written communication skills;

(4) cultural sensitivity and awareness; and

(5) potential for scholarship, professional leadership, and advocacy.