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Major Overview

An overview of the Rehabilitation Services offered by the Penn State College of Education.

The RHS major prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of human service settings including agencies serving people with physical, mental, alcohol and other drug, and cognitive disabilities.  Students enter employment in a variety of settings such as:

  • Programs for children and youth

  • Drug and alcohol programs

  • Programs for older people

  • Community mental health programs

  • Programs for people with autism

  • Rehabilitation centers

  • Hospitals

Graduates will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a major in Rehabilitation and Human Services.  All RHS students take a core set of courses that provide the foundation for working in a variety of human service settings including: introduction to rehabilitation and human services, case management, client assessment, group work, counseling skills, community mental health, children and family interventions, medical aspects of disability and courses related to working with people from different cultural backgrounds. RHS students also develop core skills in writing, communication, and critical thinking. 

Recent trends in RHS have directed efforts and attention to expanding resources and its amendments for a variety of clients, including people with disabilities.  As the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 continues to be implemented, there will be increased emphasis on services to persons with severe disabilities, as well as on independent living, supported employment, and transitional services.

Students in RHS receive a solid foundation of specialized education in the rehabilitation and human services field. With a Bachelor of Science degree, students engage in coursework that focuses on functional aspects of disability that promotes full integration of people with disabilities. The curriculum is structured to provide foundational knowledge and skills needed to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through applied coursework and field experience consistent with accepted standards of professional practice.

Rehabilitation and Human Services majors are reminded that, although the major is located in the College of Education, the degree does not lead to certification for employment in public schools. Neither is it a program for any rehabilitation or human service specialty requiring certification.


Many students choose a minor to enhance their interest and ability in a specific area. Some frequently chosen minors include the following:

  • Biobehavioral Health

  • Criminal Justice

  • Human Development and Family Services

  • Kinesiology 

  • Special Education

  • Social Justice in Education

  • Sociology

  • Psychology

Both the department in which the student wishes to pursue a minor and the student's adviser in Rehabilitation and Human Services must approve of the student's plan and sign the necessary documents, which can be obtained from the Department offering the minor.

A complete list of approved baccalaureate minors offered at University Park can be found at: