PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Prior Degrees No restrictions outside of a bachelor’s degree in a related area. Prospective students are expected to have backgrounds in physical therapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology, speech and language pathology, prosthetics and orthotics, nursing, medicine, engineering, mental health, or other fields related to rehabilitation science. The ideal applicant should have a strong interest in rehabilitation research, completed preparatory course work in biology, physiology, anatomy, physics and mathematics, psychology, and statistics as well as a master’s degree in an area related to rehabilitation science. The exceptional applicant with a bachelor’s degree, a sufficient number of credits of relevant graduate course work, and/or compelling clinical/research experience in rehabilitation science will be considered. For other applicants, conditional acceptance may be granted with the understanding that by enrolling in appropriate prerequisite courses missing areas will be addressed before PhD program courses may commence. 
  • Transfer of graduate credits from another institution will be handled on a course-by-course basis.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate study, and at least 3.50/4.00 for any previous graduate work.
  • Tests Required GRE General Test with a minimum of 152 (56th percentile) on the verbal and 151 (56th percentile) on the quantitative sections. GRE scores must be dated within five years of the candidate’s application.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test) (TOEFL scores must be dated within two years of the candidate's application); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required from individuals who can assess the candidate’s aptitude and potential to complete doctoral work.
  • Personal Statement Submit no more than a two-page statement that addresses the candidate's goals for graduate study, career development, teaching and research experience.
  • Curriculum Vitae Submit a current CV, including scholarly activities and publications to date.

  • Faculty Commitment to Advise Because this program follows a mentoring model, it is important that applicants identify and contact at least one desired mentor/advisor working in their desired specialty area prior to applying. Faculty member must sign the form.
  • Deadlines Application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 hours from the baccalaureate.
  • Course Work Only 400- and 500-level courses can be applied to the degree. Excluding dissertation hours, credit toward a graduate degree is only given for courses in which a student received a grade of A, B, C, CR, or S. Students must earn at least 32 hours using the 599 rubric (PhD Thesis Research). Each student will have an advisor chosen from the faculty of the program who will serve as chair for the dissertation committee.
Required Courses
Theoretical Courses
Select a minimum of two of the following courses in consultation with the advisor:
Advances in Rehabilitation Sciences I
Advances in Rehabilitation Sciences II
Race, Culture, and Health Disparities
Statistical and Data Analysis Courses
Select at least one statistical course from the following courses. In consultation with the advisor, choose a minimum of one additional course from the list of selectives. A student can choose a course outside the list in consultation with the advisor and with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies:
Biostatistics I
Biostatistics II
Qualitative Methods in Disability Research
Q Research Methodology – Qualitative Research
Informatics for the Clinical Investigator
Concepts in Interdisciplinary Research on Disability
Program Evaluation: Documenting the Impact of Human Services
Health Outcomes Assessments
Research Methods in Rehabilitation Sciences
Responsible Conduct in Research Courses
Select one of the following:
Responsible Conduct of and Ethical Decision Making in Research
Scientific Integrity and Responsible Research
Elective Courses
Select a minimum of 18 semester hours of study in a content area, chosen in consultation with the student's advisor
  • Examinations 
    • Preliminary exam
    • Dissertation proposal
    • Dissertation defense
  • Dissertation Required. Students must earn at least 32 hours in AHS 599.
  • Other Requirements All PhD students are expected to participate in the teaching programs of the College of Applied Health Sciences.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include: