Master of Science Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling
*At this time, students are being accepted for a Fall 2025 start, with hopes of admitting students for Fall 2024. Please reach out to Dr. Paula McMahon (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and next steps.
The program is fully accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for Rehabilitation Counseling. CACREP has established standards for the accreditation of graduate programs in the counseling fields.
These standards are carried out in a number of ways: through continued curriculum development and implementation; by fostering relationships between students and faculty; and competitive staffing of the programs. Students benefit by participating in a program that is nationally recognized for its quality and high academic standards.
Students enrolling in the distance education program come to the Montana State University Billings campus for two classes, REHA 523 Advanced Group Counseling and REHA 590 Prepracticum. These classes are offered summer semester as a hybrid, with three on campus days and the balance online to accommodate working professionals. Practicum and internship experiences can be arranged in local communities with the availability of a qualified supervisor and site. New MSCRMHC students participate in a New Student orientation session during their first year of study.
I started at MSU BILLINGS in a different department, but soon realized that the master's in mental health and rehabilitation counseling program was going to meet my needs for my future career. The program allowed me to transfer courses into my plan of study. Transferring into the program and having timeline goals for myself created some difficulties when developing my plan of study, but with the support of the staff, my advisor, and the chair I was able to create a plan to meet my goals. The mostly online format met my needs because I was able to work full-time and support my family and still be a successful student.
The professors and the administration staff in the department are extremely supportive and provide assistance when needed. The coursework in the master's program is challenging and thought provoking. The courses allowed me to learn about the variety of career paths the degree can be utilized with and provided me with a foundation in the theories and concepts in mental health counseling and rehabilitation counseling. The courses balance between mental health counseling and rehabilitation counseling while connecting the two options. The professors developed courses that were meaningful and supported collaboration between students. Even though most of the courses were online, I felt a connection with other students. The face-to-face classes provided a chance to collaborate and become colleagues with other students. I recently completed my course work and graduated. I received my LCPC Candidate License soon after and I am about completed with my supervised hours and preparing to take the National Counseling Exam. I have plans to take the Certified Rehabilitation Counseling Exam also. The MSU-Billings Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling program met my needs as a student and provided me with the knowledge to share with all my future clients. The program was very supportive to the challenges I came across when going to graduate school, working full-time, and fostering five children. I would encourage anyone that has an interest in mental health counseling or rehabilitation counseling to visit with the professors and staff at MSU-Billings.
What motivated me to apply to this program was that I wanted to do more to help people. When I looked at the options and considered this program it made the most sense to meet my needs. During that time I was a stay at home mom, and I felt like I could do more and so going back to school sounded like it was exactly what I needed. It is a mostly online program, with a lot of flexibility, and during that time I was moved back to my reservation so it was convenient for me in many ways. I was able to take care of my babies and eventually work full time all while going to school. What I got out of the program was a good foundation of knowledge as a clinician and prepared me for my career. After I graduated I was able to gain some experience as a program therapist for a school based program and shortly after I decided to take my career to Alaska. I am currently a directing clinician for a youth wilderness program called Alaska Crossings. I think this was my biggest take away from the program, the ability to have options. My education has allowed me to not be confined to one thing and also an opportunity to provide for my children and give them some great experiences as well.