Certificate in Cognitive Disabilities

The Certificate in Cognitive Disabilities is designed for current and aspiring rehabilitation counselors who are, or intend to become, providers of vocational and independent living services on behalf of persons with cognitive disabilities, including those with autistic spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, acquired brain injuries, and learning disabilities. The Certificate in Cognitive Disabilities prepares rehabilitation counselors to work in the State/Federal Vocational Rehabilitation System, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, California Regional Centers or other government agencies supporting persons with cognitive disabilities, nonprofit community rehabilitation provider agencies, and student disability service programs of community colleges and universities.


Prerequisites include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with demonstrated experience in disability-related work and/or academic coursework. Students do not need to be enrolled in the SDSU Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling Program to enroll in the certificate program.

Required Courses

  • ARP 645 - Assessment in Rehabilitation
  • ARP 687 - Placement Practices with Individuals with Disabilities
  • ARP 612—Skills, Resources, and Programs in Cognitive Disabilities 
  • ARP 609 - Advanced Seminar in Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education: Cognitive Disabilities
  • ARP 685a - Medical and Psychological Aspects of Disabilities
  • ARP 745 - Internship in Rehabilitation

The Advanced Seminar (ARP 609) and ARP 612 (Skills, Resources, and Programs in Cognitive Disabilities) are focused specifically on cognitive disabilities. ARP 609 and ARP 612 are available in alternating spring semesters, so that each course is offered once every two years. The remaining existing courses are offered annually. Students will complete 225 hours of internship by taking one 3-unit ARP 745 course. The internship will be completed in a rehabilitation agency supporting persons with cognitive disabilities.

Students must complete 18 units with a 3.0 (B) grade point average. Students in the certificate program will complete 12 units of formal coursework, 3 units of practicum, and 3 units of internship as described below, unless the program advisor approves alternative courses. Major assignments in all courses will focus on rehabilitation and cognitive disabilities, and the culminating assignment will be a comprehensive portfolio of work completed during the certificate.

Only three units of coursework with a grade of "C" will count towards the certificate. A maximum of three units of coursework can be repeated.

Contact Us

Please contact Dr. Charles Degeneffe if you are interested in applying. He can be contacted at [email protected] or 619-594-6921.