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U.S. News & World Report’s methodologists have ranked the UNC School of Medicine’s master’s program in rehabilitation counseling as #9 in the country, a ranking that secures the Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling as a top-ten program among peer institutions nationwide.

Eileen Burker, PhD, CRC, and the division’s director, said the ranking is a result of faculty and student dedication to research, their presence at national conferences, and the program’s dedication to maximizing quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

“Our master’s program in rehabilitation counseling is fortunate to have faculty and students who are dedicated to promoting their field and the UNC School of Medicine; the synergy among students and faculty is inspiring,” Burker said. “We are grateful for the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Education for our RSA training grants that provide tuition assistance for our graduate students. We are also grateful for the wonderful resources the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides, from the librarians at the Health Sciences Library to the world-class clinical training opportunities within UNC Health Care.”

Stephen Hooper, PhD, and the chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences in which the rehabilitation counseling program is housed, said the recognition from U.S. News & World Report is well earned and deserves to be celebrated. Hooper is also an associate dean in the UNC School of Medicine.

“This program has steadily progressed over the past several years in their research, teaching, and community outreach. Their presence on the national level has accelerated,” he said. Hooper credits the program’s leadership, faculty, and students with securing the program’s spot in the top ten. “As a department, we are proud to be part of the UNC School of Medicine and contribute to its educational mission and that of the larger University. Our program in rehabilitation is an integral part of providing world-class health care to North Carolinians and beyond.”

The master’s program offers a 60+ credit master’s degree in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling, with concentrations in working with people with developmental disabilities or psychiatric disabilities, or a dual track. The program was among the first Council on Rehabilitation Educate (CORE)-accredited clinical rehabilitation counseling programs in the country to obtain accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Program graduates are eligible for national professional certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and can receive North Carolina state credentials to become a licensed professional counselor (LPC).

The program combines academic preparation with direct field experience in many different public and private rehabilitation settings, thus providing students with a strong applied base in service delivery that is grounded in theory and current research.