Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions

Main Office
Chilton Hall, 218
P.O. Box 310919
Denton, TX 76203-0919
(940) 565-2488

Web site:

Thomas L. Evenson, Chair

Graduate Faculty: Barton, Bodenhamer-Davis, Englander-Golden, Evenson, Richardson, Rollins, Rollins-Threats, C. Williamson, D. Williamson.

The Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions (DRSWA) was founded as the Center for Rehabilitation Studies in 1967 to provide professional degrees and continuing education training in vocational rehabilitation services. The Institute for Studies in Addictions (ISA) became a part of the department in 1992. The social work program joined the department in 1995. The mission of the department is to develop and disseminate innovative and interdisciplinary practices that enhance opportunities for all people to live and work in their communities. This mission is accomplished through three functional components: the Academic and Research component, the Continuing Education and Technical Assistance component, and the Rehabilitation Services Laboratories.

DRSWA offers course work and degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate students may earn the following degree:

DRSWA also provides continuing education, short-term training and technical assistance in supported employment; job coaching; comprehensive assessment; community rehabilitation; job placement; and rehabilitation administration. These programs are provided as federally sponsored regional long-term training projects and on a contractual basis through DRSWA WorkNet and the DRSWA neurotherapy program.

DRSWA has two rehabilitation service units that serve as the department's on-campus training and research laboratories. These laboratories include the Employment Center, founded in 1996; and the Neurotherapy Laboratory, established in 1992. These units provide teaching, continuing education, research and direct client-service opportunities for DRSWA students, staff and faculty.


Career Opportunities

National commitments to improve opportunities and services for people with disabilities have affected the rehabilitation and education professions. Trends toward deinstitutionalization, community inclusion and empowerment of people with mental, emotional and physical disabilities have led to a vast increase in the number of individuals requiring rehabilitation services within their local communities. Highly trained professionals are needed to provide services to these individuals in a wide variety of public and private settings.

One of the fastest-growing professional specialties serving people with disabilities is rehabilitation counseling. Individuals working in this profession are employed in such settings as state and private rehabilitation agencies, community rehabilitation programs, supervised employment programs, pre- and post-secondary schools, medical and psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, community job sites, alcohol and drug treatment centers, community mental health centers, governmental agencies, rehabilitation programs in business and industry, and independent practice.

Students completing a Master of Science degree with a major in rehabilitation services from UNT's Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions may select from a regional and national supply of job openings that currently far exceeds the number of qualified applicants.


The Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions conducts applied research and program evaluation projects within the department's own rehabilitation laboratories, as well as in rehabilitation field site locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and the surrounding five-state region. The department's current
research programs focus on substance abuse prevention, poverty, welfare recipients, service delivery within the state vocational rehabilitation system, models of supported employment and community integration, development of brainwave biofeedback and other mind-body self-regulation techniques for treatment of mental and physical disorders and addictions, and community rehabilitation programs. Research projects conducted by DRSWA contribute to the improvement of the department's client services, educational programs and the body of knowledge in the fields of vocational rehabilitation, social welfare policy and addictions.

DRSWA has administered and participated in numerous projects externally funded through such sources as the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the master's degree program with a major in rehabilitation services is contingent upon admission to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. Criteria for admission are detailed in the Admission section of this catalog and include a minimum combined score of 800 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applications to the graduate program in rehabilitation services are accepted twice a year. The deadline for submission of all application materials, including satisfactory GRE scores, is November 1 and April 1 respectively for spring and fall semesters.

All applications should include the following:

1. DRSWA graduate program application;

2. two letters of recommendation, one from a former instructor and the other from an employer;

3. evidence of a work history with the equivalent of one year of full-time employment; and

4. a personal interview with DRSWA graduate faculty members.

Complete applications are reviewed by the DRSWA graduate faculty, who make recommendations for acceptance of applicants to the program. Acceptance or rejection is determined by composite rather than a single criterion. Students are notified by letter of the faculty's recommendation on their application.

Degree Programs

The department offers graduate programs leading to the following degree:

Master of Science

The program requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of academic preparation. The degree includes a core curriculum of 27 hours, which is completed by all students and 21 hours of advanced course work in a selected area. Interested students may also complete a thesis or problem in lieu of thesis as part of their program of study.

Core Rehabilitation Curriculum, 27 hours

The core course work consists of basic preparatory studies in disability, educational and occupational information, counseling and case management, and the vocational rehabilitation process. The core curriculum consists of the following courses.

The student who is lacking basic preparation in any of the above core knowledge and skill areas may be required to complete prerequisite course work or complete individual studies prior to entry into one of the advanced graduate courses.

Advanced Coursework, 21 hours

After completion of the core curriculum, students complete 21 semester credit hours selected from the following courses.

Interdisciplinary Studies

DRSWA offers courses to enable students to meet the academic requirements for Texas certification of alcoholism and drug counselors and for Texas licensure of chemical dependency counselors. People who work in the field of chemical dependency and other addictions represent a wide variety of academic backgrounds and work experiences. DRSWA collaborates with faculty in related graduate programs at UNT, such as counselor education and sociology, to offer a Master of Science degree with a major in interdisciplinary studies (MSIS) that meets the individual needs of professionals in this field. Advising for MSIS students is provided by DRSWA faculty. More information about the MSIS can be found in the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies section of this catalog. Additionally, PhD students seeking a minor in addictions studies may work directly with DRSWA in pursuit of that minor.

Advanced Placement

Students with undergraduate course work in rehabilitation or students having extensive rehabilitation field experience may apply to take advanced placement examinations in any of the core curriculum courses except RHAB 5270.

Graduate Comprehensive Examination

All candidates for the master's degree must pass a final written comprehensive examination over their course of study. The examination covers the major and minor fields, if a minor is included in the student's degree plan, and the thesis, if a thesis is elected.

Degree Plan Preparation

By the end of their first semester, students accepted into the graduate program in rehabilitation services will select an academic adviser from among the DRSWA faculty. The academic adviser will assist the student in developing a formal degree plan by the end of the student's second semester in the program.


The rehabilitation services curriculum does not usually include a minor, but students may elect to exceed the 48 semester hour minimum and include a minor of 6 to 9 hours.

Program Accreditation and Professional Certification/Licensing

The graduate curriculum in rehabilitation counseling has been designed to satisfy the accreditation standards established by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). The DRSWA rehabilitation counseling program is fully accredited by CORE through 2005.

Students completing the rehabilitation counseling program are eligible to take the examination for national certification as a rehabilitation counselor (CRC). By taking selected course work beyond the minimum requirements for the master's degree, students can complete academic requirements for three other professional credentials. Rehabilitation counseling students may be eligible for licensure as a professional counselor by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (LPC). Students seeking the LPC are required to complete 3000 hours of supervised practice and must successfully pass the state licensing examination. Students may also complete academic requirements of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for licensure as a Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). The LCDC requires 4000 hours of approved supervised work experience and successful completion of a state examination. Finally, students may qualify to take the certification
examination of the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA) to qualify as a neurofeedback therapist (BCIA-EEG).

Financial Assistance

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) of the U.S. Department of Education often provides financial support to graduate students in rehabilitation to increase the number of qualified professionals in various rehabilitation service occupations. DRSWA occasionally is able to provide RSA stipend assistance to qualified students to support their graduate studies in rehabilitation services. The availability of federal stipend support varies from year to year. Inquiries should be made at the time of application to the rehabilitation graduate program.

Social Work

Main Office
Chilton Hall, 218
P.O. Box 310919
Denton, TX 76203-0919
(940) 565-2488

Celia Williamson, Program Director

Graduate Faculty: Barton, Evenson, Rollins-Threats, Williamson.

A major in social work is not offered at the graduate level. Social work courses, however, may be taken as supporting work for master's and doctoral degrees.

Institute for Studies in Addiction

The Institute for Studies in Addiction, a research and continuing education component within the Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions (DRSWA), focuses on issues related to substance abuse and addictions. Objectives of the institute include research and program development that results in an increase in the knowledge and skills of professionals in fields requiring specific knowledge and human-service skills for work in prevention, intervention and treatment of substance abuse and addictions.

Courses of Instruction

Top | School of Community Service | UNT Graduate Catalog Shortcuts | Additional Graduate Literature