PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Admissions & Application

Application Requirements

Note: Prior to applying for our program, candidates should have a degree in a rehabilitation-related field and have expressed a clear commitment to a career in rehabilitation and disability research.


  1. Degree in a rehabilitation-related field: rehabilitation medicine/science, physical and occupational therapy, nursing, neuroscience, exercise sciences, kinesiology, bioengineering, human factor engineering/design, and rehabilitation/clinical psychology. Applicants with backgrounds in other areas may be considered if their education, experience and interests are suitable to program faculty.
  2. Preferred minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Previous clinical or healthcare experience.
  3. Review and approval by the Admissions Committee in Preventive Medicine and Community Health and the Rehabilitation Sciences Curriculum Admissions Committee.
  4. Test score for all applicants whose native language is not English. See additional information below.
  5. Optional: Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score within the last five years.

Knowledge in Rehabilitation Science

  • Development of scientific theories focusing on the underlying mechanisms of impairment, disability and societal limitation;
  • Systematic examination of appropriate prevention, intervention and adaptation strategies strategies based on scientific theories;
  • Construction and validation of measurement tools to evaluate impairment, disability and societal limitation; and
  • Systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of existing prevention, intervention and adaptation strategies - the study of rehabilitation outcomes.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted following the procedures below. Failure to comply with these instructions may result in processing delays or denial of the application. Additional information can be found at the UTMB SPPH PhD Program instructions.

*Note: The UTMB application is not required. All materials should be submitted through SOPHAS, as outlined below.

  1. Complete the SOPHAS application online at and pay the appropriate fee. Be sure to choose the University of Texas Medical Branch – Rehabilitation Sciences PhD.
  2. A statement of purpose and objectives is required with your application, including interest in obtaining a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences. This should be uploaded in SOPHAS.
  3. A statement of research is required, highlighting your interest and potential match with Rehabilitation Sciences research efforts.
  4. A writing sample is required, including publications, term papers, or Master's thesis.
  5. Official transcripts are required and must be sent to SOPHAS directly from each institution you have attended, regardless if a degree was obtained.
  6. Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals who can attest to the applicant's potential for graduate education. Applicants will need to provide email addresses in SOPHAS for individuals asked to write letters. Each referee will receive an email with instructions and link to submit the letter. You do not need to submit your referees in the UTMB supplemental application.
  7. To expedite the screening of your application, please upload (unofficial) copies of your transcripts in the SOPHAS application. If you do not upload these items, processing of your application may be delayed.
  8. Optional: Official GRE score - have ETS submit scores to SOPHAS using GRE code 7012 U Texas Med Branch Galveston.

Additional Information for International Applicants

  1. Applicants from international institutions must use one of the credentialing services approved by UTMB to provide verification and a course by course evaluation of transcripts to be considered for admission to programs at UTMB. These evaluations must be submitted through SOPHAS directly from the credentialing service. For a list of accepted credentialing services, visit the UTMB Admissions website.
  2. International applicants must submit official scores earned on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
    • TOEFL minimum requirement is 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, 80 internet-based, or the International.
    • IELTS minimum requirement is 6.5.