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Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling,
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track
Community Counseling Track

Admission Requirements

NOTE:   Applications are accepted for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track only.  The Community Counseling Track is closed to new applicants. 

The Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions seeks candidates who have both strong academic potential and commitment to working in the community and with individuals with disabilities.  Related employment or volunteer experience is desirable but not an admission requirement.  Admission decisions are based on a review of all materials submitted with the application and take into account all aspects of the applicant including career goals, occupational background, relevant personal experiences, and academic performance and potential.  Applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds who are interested in studying for a counseling degree are encouraged.  Scores on standardized tests such as the GRE are not required for admission.  Deadlines for application are April15 for Summer, June 15 for Fall, and November 15 for Spring.  It is important to submit your application for admission to the program as early as possible so that there is adequate time for processing the application, arranging a personal interview, and reaching an admissions decision before the start of the semester when you would like to begin your studies.

Students may attend on a part-time or full-time basis.  Students can begin study in any semester.  Students are encouraged to begin in the Fall or Spring semester.  Completion of the degree requires attendance in the summer as certain required courses are only offered in this semester.

Admission decision recommendations are made by the program's selection committee.  Academic background, experience whether volunteer or paid in the human services field, and ability to perform essential functions are considered in assessing potential for success in the program and making admission decisions.  Admission decisions are sent to applicants by the Office of Enrollment Services.

All application materials to apply for the degree are submitted to the:
Office of Enrollment Services
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
School of Health Related Professions
Stanley S. Bergen, Jr. Building
65 Bergen Street, Room 149
Newark, New Jersey 07101-1709

It is important to contact the Office of Enrollment Services periodically at (973) 972-5366 or by email at to check if all application materials have been received.  Applicants with incomplete applications are not scheduled for an admissions interview with the Department.

Requirements for admission include:

  • Completed Application for Admission form with application fee.  This form may be downloaded at and select Prospective Students, or you can apply online.  An application form can be sent to you via regular mail by contacting Dr. Janice Oursler at (908) 889-2462 or by email at
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.  Official transcripts for the degree must be submitted. Those who would like to apply in the final year of their Bachelor’s degree are encouraged to submit an application. These applicants may submit unofficial transcripts initially but must provide official transcripts indicating degree completion if offered admission to the program.
  • Written statement describing career goals, personal goals, and experiences as related to the degree.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be on the letterhead of the person making the recommendation.
  • Personal interview by faculty.  This interview may be conducted by phone for applicants applying for the online option who do not live in New Jersey or the surrounding area.

In addition to the academic requirements for the program, students must be able to perform the essential functions required for a career in the health services field.  Applicants should review the SHRP Essential Functions for Participation in Courses available at, select Prospective Students, then Admissions Office and scroll down to Essential Functions. Applicants considering careers in the counseling field must be able to form effective interpersonal relationships both with individuals and in the context of small groups, engage in critical thinking, work with diverse populations, and follow ethical standards of the profession.  As part of preparation to become counseling professionals, students must be open to self-examination and to personal as well as professional self-development.  Students also must have basic technological competence and computer literacy.  This includes knowledge of and proficiency in word processing, using email, and conducting Internet searches. 

Accepted students receive an admission packet including an acceptance letter, requirements for graduation form, and directions to access the Admissions Checklist at select Prospective Students, then Admissions Office and Items Required for Recently Accepted Students.  The Admissions Checklist outlines what is required to enroll in the program plus directions to download needed forms. It is essential to review the Admissions Checklist and follow directions for submitting the tuition deposit to reserve your place in the program and to obtain a Rutgers email account and PIN number to register online for classes.  It is also essential to complete the required physical examination and immunizations and submit documentation to Student Health Services of meeting these requirements.  Accepted students who have questions should contact the Office of Enrollment Services Center at (973) 972-5336 or by email at and Dr. Janice Oursler, Program Director, at 908-889-2462 or by email at

Information for military and veterans is available at, select Prospective Students and Military/Veterans.  For any questions or concerns regarding your SHRP VA Certification contact Jamaal Johnson, SHRP Assistant Registrar, at (973)-972-5764 or by email at

Applicants whose baccalaureate degree is not from the United States must submit an official copy of a transcript evaluation.  Information about arranging an evaluation is available from the World Education Services, Inc. at  Contact the Office of Enrollment Services at (973) 972-5336 or by email at to learn about other acceptable agencies for transcript evaluation.

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).  Information about TOEFL may be obtained at

Information for international students is available at, select Prospective Students and International Services.  Information about the RBHS Office of International Services is available at

Note:  The online option is not available to students who reside outside the United States unless the student can commit to completing the practicum and internship in the United States.  Practicum and internship placements are available ONLY in the United States.






Rutgers School of Health Related Professions



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