Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling — Graduate Certificates, MA, MEd, MS, EdS, PhD

The Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling offers graduate degree programs leading to a master of science, master of education, education specialist, and doctor of philosophy. Offerings also include graduate certificates.

Masters Degree Programs (MEd)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling - MEd

This Masters program is a 60-credit hour graduate program that prepares students to become Mental Health Counselors and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Applicants may be considered for full-time or part-time enrollment with coursework that emphasizes trauma-informed, evidence-based, integrative counseling practices. Typically, graduates are employed in hospitals, outpatient clinics, community agencies, non-profit organizations, substance abuse centers, social service agencies, college counseling centers, and private practice. Students will complete practicum and internships in settings related to their career goals. The CMHC program considers applicants with Psychology, Counseling, Liberal arts, Education, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and other general areas of study undergraduate degrees. Coursework will prepare you for the educational requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC). Program requirements include a 100-hour Practicum and 600-hour Internship; this program is offered on-campus and on-line.

Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - MEd

This Master's program is a 60-credit hour program which is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and provides students with the necessary academic and clinical experiences to sit for the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examination. The program requires a 100 hour practicum taken early in the course work, and a 600 hour supervised clinical internship generally taken near the conclusion of the program. Auburn Universitys Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program has been ranked as 15th among the universities in the nation by US News & World Report. Graduates of the program are prepared to serve youth and adults with disabilities as Rehabilitation Counselors in the state-federal Vocational Rehabilitation system, in the proprietary sector of Rehabilitation, and in non-profit community-based Rehabilitation agencies. This program is offered on-campus and on-line.

Collaborative Teacher Special Education K-12 (MEd)

This program prepares teachers to serve students with disabilities at the elementary (K-6) and secondary (6-12) grade levels. Graduates are prepared at an advanced level to work with children and youth who have disabilities and implement evidence-based practices to meet their individual needs. There are curriculum options for students who have (a) a teaching certificate in Special Education, (b) a teaching certificate in an area other than Special Education, and (c) an undergraduate degree, but no teaching certification.

Early Childhood/Elementary Special Education P-6 (MEd)

This program prepares teachers to serve infants and toddlers (0-2 years), children in preschool (3-5 years), and students in K-6 settings. Graduates are prepared to implement evidence-based practices at an advanced level. There are curriculum options for students who have (a) a teaching certificate in Special Education, (b) a teaching certificate in an area other than Special Education, and (c) an undergraduate degree, but no teaching certification.

NOTE: Master of Education (MEd) degree programs in Special Education include both Alternative and Traditional certification options. Alternative MEd certification programs offer qualified students who hold non-teaching baccalaureate degrees a route to initial teacher certification while simultaneously earning a Masters degree. Admission requirements for the Alternative and Traditional Master's programs include a clear Alabama Fingerprint Background Check.

Additional admission requirements for the Alternative Master's programs in Special Education include documentation of a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.50 overall or a Master's degree or higher with a GPA of at least 3.0. This GPA must be documented on the official transcript of the degree granting institution and must be the GPA that was used as the basis for granting the degree, not a GPA that includes post-degree courses. Additionally, applicants must posses the appropriate number of teaching field courses or pass the appropriate content subject assessments.

Additional admission requirements for the Traditional Master's programs in Special Education include a valid Bachelor's level professional educator certificate in a teaching field and may include additional certification tests.

Degree requirements for Master's-level Special Education programs are in compliance with regulations established by the ALSBE and include a written comprehensive exam as well as a passing score on the appropriate content assessment for Alternative Master's students and Traditional Master's students with prior certification in a teaching field other than Special Education. In accordance with State regulations, effective for students unconditionally admitted to certification programs prior to July 1, 2017, a minimum GPA of 3.00 is required on all courses used to meet Master's-level certification program requirements. Effective for students unconditionally admitted to certification programs July 1, 2017 and after, a minimum 3.25 GPA will be required on all courses used to meet Master's-level certification program requirements.

School Counseling - MEd

This Masters program is a 60-credit hour program accommodating either full-time or part-time students with coursework that emphasizes advocacy and social justice. The program of study is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Graduates typically are employed in public or private elementary, middle/junior high, or high schools as professional school counselors. The School Counseling program considers applicants with Psychology, Counseling, Liberal Arts, Education, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and other general areas of study. Students complete practica and internships in settings related to their career goals. This program is offered on-campus and on-line.

NOTE: Students in all Masters-level Counseling programs must pass a comprehensive graduation exam which currently consists of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and complete other assigned work and/ or examinations designed to evaluate studentsskills in areas related to program goals. All Masters programs require extensive extramural practicum and internships in placements related to the area of professional preparation. Students in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program are required to complete the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) Examination, and students in all other Counseling Master's programs are provided the opportunity to complete the National Counselor Examination (NCE).  

All graduate educator preparation programs are approved by the Alabama State Board of Education (ALSBE). Auburn University's College of Education is accredited through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Masters and Doctoral programs in Counselor Education are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Doctoral program in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Application to the masters programs includes meeting Graduate School requirements for admission, and submitting appropriate documents as indicated on the Graduate School application.

Students in the School Counseling program must earn a passing score on the appropriate Praxis II subject assessment and may be subject to other components of the State testing program depending on prior professional educator certification. In accordance with State regulations, effective for students unconditionally admitted to the School Counseling certification program prior to July 1, 2017, a minimum GPA of 3.00 is required on all courses used to meet Master's-level certification program requirements. Effective for students unconditionally admitted to certification programs July 1, 2017 and after, a minimum GPA of 3.25 will be required on all courses used to meet Master's-level certification program requirements. Students must pass a comprehensive graduation exam which currently consists of a Portfolio/Summative Evaluation and complete other assigned work and/ or examinations designed to evaluate studentsskills in areas related to program goals. The program requires extensive extramural practicum and internships in placements related to the area of professional preparation. Students are provided the opportunity to complete the National Counselor Examination (NCE) for certification purposes. Additional admission requirements for the School Counseling program include a clear Alabama Fingerprint Background Check.

Specialist in Education Degree Program (EdS)

Special Education Collaborative Teacher (EdS)

This program prepares students to be a special education leader at the local, state, or national level, and is aligned with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This alignment provides opportunities that may be helpful in program graduates’ future pursuits in becoming National Board-Certified Teachers. Employment opportunities include, but are not limited to, public sector positions such as: local special education coordinators or directors, special education lead teachers or chairpersons, special education supervisors, state special education specialists or administrators, and national associate division directors or division team members. In addition, those gaining an EdS in Special Education are eligible for a number of private sector positions. To be considered for entry into this program, applicants must have a Masters degree in Special Education and a minimum of three years of teaching experience. Applicants to the EdS program in Special Education Collaborative Teacher must satisfy the Department and Graduate Schools admission requirements, which includes uploading documents to their Graduate School application. This material includes Masters degree transcripts from an accredited college or university, academic good standing at the institution last attended, competitive GRE scores, three reference writers name and email addresses, current resume, a valid Masters-level professional educator certificate in Special Education, and a clear State of Alabama Fingerprint Background check. In some cases, depending on prior level certification, additional certification tests may be required. Degree requirements for Specialist-level teacher certification programs are in compliance with regulations established by the ALSBE. Specialist programs include a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the Masters degree. Additional requirements include satisfactory completion of a field project and a written comprehensive exam. In accordance with State regulations, effective for students unconditionally admitted prior to July 1, 2017, a minimum GPA of 3.25 is required on all courses used to meet Specialist-level certification program requirements. Effective for students unconditionally admitted July 1, 2017 and after, a minimum GPA of 3.50 will be required on all courses used to meet Specialist-level certification program requirements.

NOTE: Masters and Specialist-Level Certification Individuals completing State-approved Master's-level Special Education certification programs are eligible to apply for Alabama Class A certification; individuals completing State-approved Specialist-level Special Education certification programs are eligible to apply for Alabama Class AA certification. Effective September 1, 2018, the Alabama State Board of Education will require an acceptable score on the edTPA for initial certification in a teaching field. This certification requirement applies to individuals completing Alternative Master's programs. Individuals seeking certification in states other than Alabama are responsible for contacting those state certification offices to obtain their application form and requirements. The State of Alabama signs the National Association of State Directors of Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement which facilitates the applications of program graduates when they apply for certification in other states.

Doctoral Degree Programs (PhD)

Counseling Psychology (PhD)

This doctoral program is a health service psychology program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The next re-accreditation visit is scheduled to take place in 2027. Successful fulfillment of all requirements results in a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Counseling Psychology. The curriculum is built on a framework referred to as the "Scientist-Practitioner" model for training in Health Service Psychology, wherein emphasis is placed on the integration of the science and practice of Counseling Psychology. In addition to the core competencies articulated by the APA, the program assists students in developing competence in Group Therapy and Social Justice. The required curriculum includes a full-time, one-year, pre-doctoral internship. Graduates work in a wide range of settings including university Counseling Centers, VA hospitals, private and university affiliated hospitals, private practices, Community Mental Health agencies, academic departments as faculty, and postdoctoral fellowships. Counseling Psychology applicants may apply with a Bachelors degree, some graduate coursework, a Masters degree, or a Doctoral degree (the latter in the case of re-specialization). 

Counselor Education (PhD)

This doctoral program is a 64 credit program of study accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Admission requirements include meeting the clinical practice and academic coursework required by CACREP-accredited Masters level programs. 44The program focuses on the development of professional skills and competencies through course work and practicums in research, teaching, supervision, and advanced counseling.  Integrated into these program requirements is an emphasis on social justice, advocacy and professional ethics. Students also complete an internship (3 semesters) that incorporates programmatic and student professional goals in the areas of counseling, supervision, teaching, research, and leadership and advocacy. Program requirements include a comprehensive exam (i.e., portfolio) and dissertation. Graduates are typically employed in Counselor Education faculty positions or Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, or School Counseling positions. Counselor Education applicants must have completed an approved Masters degree program prior to enrollment, preferably from a CACREP accredited Master's program requiring 60 credit hours. 

Special Education (PhD)

This doctoral program prepares graduates for careers in research and instruction in higher education, or leadership roles in administration and policy-making at the state and national levels. Prospective students should have at least three years of teaching experience in Special Education and hold a teaching certificate in Special Education, and a Masters degree in Special Education. Special Education applicants must have completed three years of direct teaching of students with disabilities.

NOTE: The number of hours required for the three Doctoral programs varies and within each program is dependent on previous graduate work, ranging from 60-109 hours. Research methods, statistics, and foundations of education are components of all Doctoral programs. Doctoral students must register for at least 10 hours of dissertation credit while completing a dissertation.

Graduate Certificates

Inclusive Elementary Education Practices

This graduate certificate provides opportunities for elementary teachers in general education or Special Education to learn about curricula design, specialized teaching techniques, program implementation, current research directions and findings, and translating research into elementary inclusive teaching practices. Coursework and course activities will prepare you to implement evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities

Admissions Prerequisites:

  • A Masters degree in a field related to education of students with disabilities, or intent to incorporate this certificate into a graduate degree in Special Education and thus meet the appropriate application requirements.

Degree Seeking Students:

  • Degree seeking students who plan to add a graduate certificate to their current degree program will apply for admission to the graduate certificate program at the Graduate School before completion of their degree program.

Non-Graduate Degree Admission:

  • Prospective students intending to pursue a graduate certificate without enrolling in a degree program must apply to the Graduate School for admission to the graduate certificate program

Intervention for Students with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

This graduate certificate allows teachers and educational professionals to access high quality professional development leading to improved educational outcomes for students with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. This certificate meets the significant need within Alabamas public schools and the region to provide instruction for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Although the target audience for this graduate certificate will be Special Education teachers or those seeking a Masters degree in Special Education, other appropriate participants include professionals with Masters degrees in other related Human Service fields. Coursework and course activities will prepare you to implement evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities

Coursework– 15 hours

RSED 7400 (fall)
RSED 7420 (summer)
RSED 7230 (spring)
RSED 7435 (summer)
RSED 7410 (spring)

Admissions:

  • A masters degree in a field related to education of students with disabilities or
  • Intend to incorporate this certificate into a graduate degree in special education and thus meet the appropriate application requirements.

Degree Seeking Students:

  • Degree seeking students who plan to add a graduate certificate to their current degree program will apply for admission to the graduate certificate program at the Graduate School before completion of their degree program.

Non-Graduate Degree Admission:

  • Prospective students intending to pursue a graduate certificate without enrolling in a degree program must apply to the Graduate School for admission to the graduate certificate program

Transition Specialist

This graduate certificate incorporates coursework and applied experiences to prepare you to collaborate with other professionals and transition stakeholders. Although the target audience for this graduate certificate is Special Education teachers or those preparing to be Special Education teachers, other appropriate participants include those majoring in General Education, Educational Administration, Rehabilitation Counseling, and other related Human Service fields. As defined by federal legislation, transition requires a set of coordinated activities.” In keeping with this federal definition and the standards set forth in professional organizations, those completing the Transition Specialist Graduate Certificate will gain an emphasis in transition and collaboration, while integrating up-to-date research on effective practice. In addition to the required courses identified for this graduate certificate program, the choices provided for elective courses will allow students to select the courses that will be most beneficial to them in their professional area. Professionals in education and other related human service fields with specialized training are needed to deliver transition services that address the unique needs of youth with disabilities as they exit high schools. Professional organizations have recognized this need and developed specific standards or guidelines to address the competencies needed by professionals who work with individuals with disabilities. These include the Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Career Development and Transition (Transition Specialist) standards, Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE) standards, Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) standards, and APA Guidelines for Assessment and Intervention with Persons with Disabilities, to name just a few.

Degree Seeking Students:

  • Degree seeking students who plan to add a graduate certificate to their current degree program will apply for admission to the graduate certificate program at the Graduate School before completion of their degree program.

Non-Graduate Degree Admission:

  • Prospective students intending to pursue a graduate certificate without enrolling in a degree program must apply to the Graduate School for admission to the graduate certificate program

Vocational Evaluation Forensics

Purpose:  Auburn Universitys Vocational Evaluation Forensic Certificate (VEFC) program is a short-term training certificate that exists for professionals and paraprofessionals who desire to work in the field of vocational rehabilitation. This new certificate incorporates current knowledge and training on societal trends in the areas of economics, forensics, employment, and evaluation, serving to enhance and improve studentseducation, ultimately leading to greater employment for individuals with disabilities. Upon completion of this one-year certificate program, students will possess the knowledge and skills to help consumers achieve positive employment outcomes in a technological society. Guided by our core values of diversity and evidence-based practice, we seek to foster student experiences that emphasize culture, values, knowledge, and navigational tools needed to become competent vocational service providers.

Eligibility: Individuals with a bachelors or masters degree are eligible. Individuals with a disability and/or another minority status are strongly encouraged to apply. Those who are currently in the AU Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program are also eligible for the VEFC program.

Program Overview: The VEFC certificate program at Auburn University is grant-funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the U.S Department of Education. The program is a one-year, six course, graduate certificate allowing both on campus and online undergraduate and graduate students to further their education in vocational rehabilitation. Each academic year, a cohort of students will be admitted beginning in the Fall 2021 semester. Scholarships and other financial assistance are available but competitive. There are 15 scholarships available each year. Students who have obtained a Masters degree will be well-trained and eligible to take the Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam and engage in the Certified Vocational Evaluation (CVE) process. Students who have previously obtained a Bachelors degree will have enhanced competencies to serve individuals with disabilities.

Program Options: Accessibility is a priority and value of the program, therefore the VEFC certificate program can be completed on campus or via distance education (DE). Courses have been developed in collaboration with Auburn Online, Auburn Universitys premiere resource for distance and continuing education program support.

Degree Seeking Students:

  • Degree seeking students who plan to add a graduate certificate to their current degree program will apply for admission to the graduate certificate program at the Graduate School before completion of their degree program.

Non-Graduate Degree Admission:

  • Prospective students intending to pursue a graduate certificate without enrolling in a degree program must apply to the Graduate School for admission to the graduate certificate program

Online Learning Graduate Programs and Courses

The Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling offers the Special Education (MEd and EdS), Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, and School Counseling graduate programs through online learning as well as through residential study.

Additional information

Detailed admission and program requirements for the department’s multiple areas of graduate study are available on the College of Education’s website, Academics (http://www.education.auburn.edu/academics/).

Information about undergraduate programs offered in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling is available at: Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling: Undergraduate