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The Department of Rehabilitation, within the College of Health Sciences and Human Services currently offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree that prepares students to assist people with disabilities. We also offer a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling. Seventeen full-time (tenured, tenure track and non-tenured) faculty teach in the Program. The undergraduate program is fully accredited by CORE, 2013-2021. The Master's Program is fully accredited by CORE, 2011-2018. The Department of Rehabilitation is currently ranked #17 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. For Program Performance and Outcomes scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Department of Rehabilitation is located in a modern facility (Health Sciences & Health Services West building) featuring dedicated classrooms and a state of the art vocational evaluation lab. Within the Department there are programs that provide faculty, student, and community resources for an in-depth education. These programs include Addictions Resource Center (ARC), DRS Project HIRE, UTPA Community REHAB Job Placement Services (CRJPS) and the Center for Hispanic Resources in Rehabilitation. Students enrolled in the Department are exposed to a rich cultural experience. Due to the proximity of the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) to the Texas-Mexico border (approximately 15 miles), most of the area residents are bilingual speaking English and Spanish. In fact, approximately 87% of the UTPA student body self identifies as Mexican American. In addition students in the deaf rehabilitation concentration have the opportunity to participate in service learning through Valley ICAN.

The Department sponsors active student undergraduate & graduate organizations: R.E.H.A.B. Club, Aspiring Substance Abuse Professionals (A-SAP) organization, Deaf Rehab Club and The Graduate Rehabilitation Counselors Association (GRCA). The stated goals of these clubs are to increase awareness (of self and others) of people with disabilities and provided opportunities for community service while also having fun! Typical student activities include community projects, fund raising, disability awareness activities, and club sponsored field trips. Recent members have taken trips to Corpus Christi, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Services office for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. It is the policy of the University of Texas-Pan American to provide flexible and individualized accommodation to students with documented disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. To receive accommodation services, students must be registered with the Disability Services office (DS), University Center #108, (956) 665-7005 or

Mission Statement

The Department of Rehabilitation is committed to providing quality, comprehensive education to University of Texas-Pan American students on a variety of topics related to people with disabilities. An underlying philosophy of dignity and respect for all people, including those with disabilities, is taught and modeled. The Department of Rehabilitation is also committed to integrating theory and practice in the classroom. Graduates are prepared with practical, hands on skills necessary to successfully enter the work force or graduate school.

The University of Texas-Pan American
Department of Rehabilitation, HSHW 1.266
1201 W. University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539
Phone: (956) 665-7036
Fax: (956) 665-5237

Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling

Program Performance and Outcomes

The Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling program at the University of Texas-Pan American is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) for the following term, 2011-2018, The program admits students twice a year in November and April. Students admitted in November begin the following Spring Semester. Students admitted in April may elect to begin in the following Summer Semester or Fall Semester. The aim of the program is to admit 30-35 students each Fall and Spring. The retention rate of admissions to graduation is 76%. The average time to graduation for students is 2.2 years to complete the 48 required hours. Students can expect to pay $18,046 for in-state tuition and fees, and $48,720 for out-of-state tuition and fees to complete their master's degree. Preliminary results indicate 75% of students are employed within six months of graduation. To date 100% of students have passed either the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor(CRC) Exam or the Departmental Comprehensive Examination to meet the graduation requirement. Students can choose to take the CRC or the Departmental Comprehensive Examination. Students graduating with a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling go to work at various settings, examples include; state vocational rehabilitation agencies, mental health and community agencies, substance abuse centers, job placement specialist and transition specialist in school districts, private rehabilitation, private counseling centers, self-employed forensic rehabilitation, behavioral health centers, etc. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook employment of rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for rehabilitation counselors is expected to grow with the increase in the elderly population and with the continued rehabilitation needs of other groups, such as veterans and people with disabilities. Graduate of the MRC program are eligible to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination during their final semester, and the Licensed Professional Counselor Examination upon graduation. All classes in this program are offered during the evening hours to accommodate students who continue to work full-time jobs.


Year Doctoral Masters Undergraduate Total
2014 29 138 1016 1183
2013 29 118 1019 1166
2012 26 114 1019 1159
2011 27 99 750 876
2010 17 43 643 703

Degrees Awarded

Many of the students in the MRC program continue to work full-time; therefore, some students take two classes per semester, while others take three or four classes per semester. Time to graduation for a Masters student is an average of 2.2 years.

Year Doctoral Masters Undergraduate Total
2014 4 36 246 289
2013 0 46 199 245
2012 0 29 199 228
2011 0 37 148 185


Grants funded include six rehabilitation and related grants: $750,000 RSA Ph.D.; $750,000 Master's degree Rehabilitation Counseling; $750,000 Master's degree Rehabilitation Counseling; $18,000 State Addiction Technology; $300,000 Federal Capacity Building; and $270,000 Project HIRE DARS grant.

Department faculty and staff are continually looking for grant funded opportunities. With their productivity and ability to land grants it gives the department the resources to offer students enhanced learning opportunities within the University, the state, and the nation.

ACA Study

In a recent study conducted by the American Counseling Association (ACA), Rehabilitation Counselors were named the highest paid specialty in the counseling profession and earn better overall benefits.

According to the ACA study:

  • Rehabilitation Counselors are the most highly paid counseling specialty on average.
  • Rehabilitation Counselors earn over $13,000 more than Clinical Mental Health Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, or Community Counselors on average.
  • Rehabilitation Counselors receive better overall benefits - employee retirement plan, medical coverage, dental, vision, short-term and long-term disability - than other professional counselors.