What degrees can I earn?
You can receive a BA, BS, MA and MS in rehabilitation psychology as well as rehabilitation psychology degrees at the PhD and PsyD levels. Students enrolled in rehabilitation psychology graduate programs often study related areas like special education or general psychology as an undergraduate. In addition to traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees, students can also pursue online psychology degree programs in rehabilitation psychology.
Rehabilitation psychology certificate programs online and on campus can provide students with the basic training needed to work as a professional. In order to be accepted into a certificate program, you need to have a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 2.7. Certificate programs award 12 to 15 credit hours and take 6 months to 1 year to complete.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in rehabilitation psychology programs are available to students, although there are currently no online bachelors degree in psychology programs in this subfield.
Applicants need to have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in order to be accepted into BA or BS programs in rehabilitation psychology. Some programs also require students to have completed a minimum number of credit hours in general studies before they can apply. BA and BS programs in rehabilitation psychology take 4 years to complete and award 121 credit hours.
Rehabilitation psychology masters programs include MA and MS programs. A number of traditional and online colleges also offer an online masters in psychology within this specialized field. Successful applicants have a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university, high GRE scores, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and relevant academic or professional experiences related to rehabilitation psychology or services. An MS or MA curriculum comprises 48 credits as well as a minimum of 2 semesters of supervised clinical training. It takes 2 to 3 years to complete.
Students can enroll in a rehabilitation psychology PhD program or PsyD program. Several factors are considered when choosing successful candidates for a PhD in psychology program in rehabilitation psychology. These include prior relevant undergraduate or graduate coursework in the field, past employment history, program and career goals articulated through a statement of purpose, candidates’ writing skills, the strength of reference letters and GRE scores. Doctoral programs in rehabilitation psychology take between 4 to 7 years to complete and award 108 to 121credits.
Are there any online programs?
Students can choose from a range of accredited rehabilitation psychology online colleges that award masters degrees. Many practitioners consider the best rehabilitation psychology online program to be associated with traditional universities, such as the University of Buffalo’s program, which secures a 95% employment rate for its graduates.
All online programs offered by rehabilitation psychology schools, including brick-and-mortar institutions, are hybrid programs, as on-site clinical training is a critical component of masters and doctoral programs.
Online degrees in rehabilitation psychology
Currently no online rehabilitation psychology bachelors degree or doctoral degree programs are offered. There is, however, a range of accredited online rehabilitation psychology masters degree programs that students can choose from, including the University of Arkansas’s and Texas Tech’s online masters programs.
Both programs require that half of the coursework be completed through on-site clinical training and under the supervision of a certified rehabilitation counselor or licensed rehabilitation psychologist. Many online programs allow students to complete coursework while they work part to full-time, with most students finishing within 3 years.
Students should keep in mind that although all coursework can be completed online for these masters programs, they must complete supervised clinical training at a rehabilitation center for 2 to 4 semesters. Thus, all online masters programs require students to have substantial on-site training in order to graduate.
What kinds of classes will I take in my program?
Undergraduates studying rehabilitation psychology take introductory courses in general and educational psychology, social work and educational policy studies. The best programs offer students a range of liberal arts courses, including classes that emphasize critical analysis and writing skills. Advanced undergraduate courses involve an in-depth study of rehabilitation psychology practices and theories as well as some supervised fieldwork training. Students can also supplement their undergraduate coursework through open courseware and other online psychology courses.
Graduate level classes, including online rehabilitation psychology courses, further develop foundations in abnormal, cognitive and educational psychology and research methods. Upper-level graduate students take a core set of rehabilitation psychology courses that examine assessment, intervention, human behaviors and disabilities.
What careers can I choose from?
Careers in psychology that specialize in rehabilitation focus on providing care to patients who suffer from chronic health conditions, cognitive handicaps, developmental disabilities and psychosocial problems. Rehabilitation psychologists help raise living standards for physically or mentally disabled individuals by providing personal and vocational training and assessing their needs through individually designed programs.
Rehabilitation psychology jobs take place in private health clinics, long-term care facilities, acute care hospices and hospitals, drug rehabilitation clinics and physical therapy and assisted living centers. The best careers in rehabilitation psychology integrate assessment and intervention work, as rewarding jobs in the field teach psychologists to link ties between culture, language, ethnicity, gender and mental health. The median rehabilitation psychology salary is currently at about $37,000, with the top 10% making about $58,500.
Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree?
Rehabilitation psychologists often have doctoral degrees and extensive post-doctoral training. Additionally, all rehabilitation psychologists must be state licensed in order to provide direct health services to patients. State licensing examinations and regulations vary from state to state, with professionals renewing their state license every 2 to 4 years through continued education rehabilitation psychology training.
Although not mandatory, some rehabilitation psychologists take the Certified Rehabilitation Counseling Exam (CRC), in order to earn 1 of the few professional rehabilitation psychology certification awards given to professionals in the field. Jobs in counseling and clinical centers frequently require professionals to have CRC licensure.
Many rehabilitation psychologists also become members of Division 22: Rehabilitation Psychology, a chapter of the American Psychological Association that provides an updated list of all members and networking opportunities. The website also offers information on current and upcoming programs that award psychology certifications, which can provide continuing education opportunities for professionals.