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York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate Program

Program Description

Established in 1981, the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate Program is the only program of its kind in Canada. This program is offered jointly by York University and Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. It prepares undergraduate students to work in a variety of rehabilitation fields by integrating academic training in health sciences, and practical field experience. Graduates receive a B.A./B.Sc. degree or Honours B.A./B.Sc. degree from York University and a joint York/Seneca Certificate in Rehabilitation Services.

Our program is recognized by VRA (Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada) and CVRP (The College of Rehabilitation Professionals).

What is Rehabilitation?

  • Enables persons with disabilities (physical, emotional or developmental) to reach an optimal level of functioning.
  • Facilitates individuals’ sense of independence and empowerment, as well as improvement in their quality of life.
  • Involves working collaboratively with health care and vocational professionals to meet the needs of individuals.

Program Structure

The York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate Program involves the equivalent of either four years of study for a B.A./B.Sc. degree or five years for an Honours B.A./B.Sc. degree. Students are enrolled in the joint program for two years. During this time, the equivalent of four full-year York courses and five full year Seneca courses  are completed. All courses are offered at the Keele St. campus.

Students also complete two full-year fieldwork courses involving a total of 800 hours of supervised fieldwork training in each of the three major domains of rehabilitation: physical, emotional and developmental. The Seneca Fieldwork Supervisor facilitates fieldwork placements and supervises and evaluates students' activities in the various placement settings.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program are qualified to work with persons having physical, emotional and developmental disabilities. There are numerous organizations and agencies providing services to people with disabilities. Examples of organizations concerned with rehabilitation include: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ministry of Correctional Services, Society for Goodwill Services, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Jewish Vocational Services, and March of Dimes, as well as most major insurance companies.

Rehabilitation facilities and agencies employ graduates of the program in life skill or recreational capacities, as work supervisors and evaluators, job placement specialists, intake interviewers, vocational counsellors, case managers and coordinators, etc.

Our students are in high demand for their knowledge and experience.

Archived 2021 YSR Information Session

Admission Requirements

In order to apply a student must have:

  • Completed 60 credits including  HH/PSYC 1010 6.0 towards a B.A./B.Sc. degree or 90 credits including  HH/PSYC 1010 6.0 towards an Honours B.A./B.Sc. degree.
  • Fulfilled the General Education requirements of York University.
  • Good intellectual ability, emotional stability and a strong interest in working with individuals with various types of disabilities.
  • Previous experience in the field of rehabilitation is recommended but not required.

Required York University Courses

Students in the YSR Program must complete the following York University courses: 

  • PSYC 2130 3.0 Personality
  • PSYC 2230 3.0 Motivation
  • PSYC 3140 3.0 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 3170 3.0 Health Psychology
  • PSYC 4030 6.0 Behaviour Modification and Behaviour Therapy
  • PSYC 4060 6.0 Counselling Psychology

Contact Us: YSR Program Administration

Location: 291 BSB, Keele Campus
Phone: 416-736-5117

Frequent questions about your eligibility to apply to the YSR program

Yes, students from programs outside of Psychology may apply. The required courses for the YSR program must be completed, regardless of what program you are in. Many students from Health Sciences and Kinesiology take Psychology courses as their electives (or as a major) to complete the YSR program requirements.

This program is designed for York Students who are in their second or third year of a three- or four-year degree. In some cases, students will return for a fifth year at York in order to complete the YSR program requirements. You may speak with an advisor from the undergraduate psychology office for advice.

An option for students who are close to graduation is a certificate in rehabilitation offered at Seneca. Students can apply for this one-year online program in their graduating year. The main difference is there are no field placement requirements within the Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate Program. For more information, visit Seneca Collage

Yes. As long as you make a notation on your application, and you complete and pass your courses by September, you may apply.

It is strongly recommended that you have an appointment with an advisor in the Undergraduate Psychology program to see what courses are needed to complete your degree requirements. Students may book an appointment through the Undergraduate Office in Psychology, or go to OSAS.

Office for Student and Academic Services (OSAS)

Email Advising

You can also contact us through email at and a member of the advising team will assist you with your academic advising questions.

Students may already have some of the required courses, such as Motivation or Abnormal Psychology. While this may lessen your load as you juggle the Seneca courses and your fieldwork placement, it is not required that you take the courses before being accepted into the program. Your acceptance to the program has nothing to do with whether you have already completed some of the required courses. Note that students in the YSR program have spots reserved for them. Most students in the program take the courses along with their cohort which promotes training with your peers (and future colleagues!) and can add to your university experience.

No. Our course is for students who are able to commit to two full-time years of courses three days a week and two days of placement.

When to Apply for the York Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate Program?

YSR Application package can only be submitted electronically to the YSR Program.Submit all documents including  by Email to YSR Program. Applications and reference letters are due in YSRP application window. 

The application involves the following:

  1. A completed application form.  This form asks questions about your academic program, prior courses, and stage in program.  You will also be asked to answer several questions regarding your understanding of the field of rehabilitation and your prior occupational/volunteer experience related to the field of rehabilitation.  The completed application form should be submitted to the YSR Program.  Please note: completing this application and handing it in by the stated deadline  is the sole method to apply for our program.
  2. Your consent to access your York University transcript.
  3. IMPORTANT NOTE:  Sent reference letter by email to Letters from two referees who can comment on your ability and suitability for working in a rehabilitation field. Referees should complete this Reference Form and may  submit  by Email:

Please note that you can only apply to the York Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate Program between YSRP application window.

A police background check is required upon acceptance to the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate Program. Contact Police Reference Check Program for more information. Please email the YSR Program or phone 416-736-5117 if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will this program affect my OSAP status/eligibility?

If you are taking courses at York and Seneca, the total credit load will be between 33 and 36 credits for the year, which makes you eligible for OSAP.

Some tips on applying for OSAP

  • Obtain documentation of your ‘full time’ status from the YSR Program Assistant. Email by sending an email request for a letter of confirmation.
  • Students cannot apply to York OSAP until they register into the Seneca subjects.
  • More tips on how to ensure the OSAP payments are processed properly will be provided at the information session for students.

What volunteer work is considered relevant to the field of rehabilitation?

Any type of work that can be linked with interacting with individuals who have special needs (e.g. physical, psychiatric, developmental) is worth mentioning. This could include working as a cashier and assisting elderly/disabled individuals, or volunteer work that is more directly linked to rehab, such as working in a rehab hospital, etc. The more relevant the experience, the better. However, your rehab-related experience is only one part of the overall application  so don’t panic if you do not have direct rehabilitation experience.

Can I ask my TA to write a reference letter? Are senior level TAs (e.g. PhD candidate) considered a faculty member?

A TA is not considered to hold the same weight as a faculty member. If possible, ask a professor and tell them that you know the TA (and send them info about yourself). If no faculty member knows you well enough to write a letter, then you may approach a TA. Note that the best type of  reference  is one from a current or former employer or supervisor in a volunteer position who can comment on your experience with individuals who have disabilities.

What is the minimum GPA?

Each year the minimum GPA can vary, depending on the number of students applying and the number of positions available.

My marks were low in first year but they improved – will this affect my application?

On the  application, there is a place to explain any discrepancies in your transcript. When we evaluate your file, we do place greater emphasis on your academic achievement over the more current year.

What is the average annual salary for someone who graduates from this program?

Unfortunately we cannot answer this question, as we have not collected this personal information from our graduates. We suspect the range is quite large.

Can you give me an example of what types of positions there are in this field and what they do?

Examples of workplaces that our graduates are employed at include:

  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Community & Social Services
  • Ministry of Correctional Services
  • Toronto Transit Commission
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Most major insurance companies
  • CNIB

Do you offer a post-graduate certificate for professional development?

Students who complete the program earn a joint York/Seneca Certificate in Rehabilitation Services from Seneca College. Our program is recognized by the Vocational Rehabilitation Association (VRA) as providing students with the training requirements necessary for applying for the Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP) designation after completion of some additional work experience.

Note: If you are currently in your final year of your undergraduate program and are interested in the field of rehabilitation, you may be interested in applying to Seneca College, which offers a certificate through Continuing Education. The Seneca Continuing Education Rehabilitation program is not affiliated with York University and is distinct from the York Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate Program. This program does not require a York University degree, nor does it require completion of 800 hours of supervised fieldwork training as in the York Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate program. For more details, see: Seneca Rehabilitation Certificate