PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Degree Plan & Curriculum

Course Requirements

Students will work with the PhD program director and their faculty advisor to develop an individualized curriculum plan. The curriculum plan will include core (required) courses, electives and research opportunities based on the student's background and interest. There are no specific requirements in terms of total course credits. Students are required to enroll in didactic course work equivalent to two years of full-time study (60-72 credits), plus a dissertation.

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Following the completion of course work, students must pass written and oral qualifying examinations that test current knowledge regarding rehabilitation healthcare, preventive and community health, and the ability to design and conduct independent, outcomes focused research.


Upon successful completion of the qualifying exam, the student will be able to apply for doctoral candidacy, and once admitted, will complete a dissertation. The dissertation will be original work examining an important question in rehabilitation science within one of the research focus areas: Aging & Geriatric Rehabilitation, Clinical and Community Rehabilitation Muscle Biology of Rehabilitation, or Population-based Health Services Rehabilitation.

Graduate Assistantships

Annual stipends are available for full-time students. Funding support through institutional endowments and research/training grants is also available. Support is based upon availability of funds and will be determined by program administration once an application has been recommended for acceptance.

Dual Enrollment

Students applying to or currently enrolled in the rehabilitation sciences PhD program are eligible to apply to the MPH program. Prospective students must complete the application requirements for both programs. Current students should consult with their PhD advisor before applying to the MPH program and should enroll by the fall of their 2nd year.

The course of study for students enrolled in the PhD/MPH option includes a combination of integrated courses; some courses meet the requirement for both degree programs. Students enrolled in the MD/PhD combined degree program are able to select the rehabilitation sciences PhD as their graduate option. MD/PhD students complete full-time graduate coursework during years three and four of the combined degree program.