Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

What you’ll learn

Our Ph.D. degree minimum requirements are 90 credit hours of advanced study. You may transfer up to 30 credit hours from your master’s degree, as approved by your advisory committee and the university graduate school.

The 90 credit hours for the Ph.D. are distributed among four content areas.

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Core (15 credits)

The core is required of all students and addresses content necessary for a successful academic career in health and rehabilitation sciences.


Research (21 credits)

This content is designed to give you specific skills for a successful research career. It includes content such as grant writing, writing for publication, and a research practicum. You will also complete coursework in research design and statistical analysis. Your research dissertation is included in this area.


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Concentration (30 credits)

One of the unique features of our Ph.D. is flexibility. Unlike other Ph.D. programs that have fixed curriculums, our program permits you to customize your program. As a student, you will select from three concentrations: pathophysiology and impairment, functional limitations/functional participation, or health services research. Working with your advisory committee you can tailor your concentration to meet your career goals.


Electives (6 credits)

All Ph.D. students can take up to 6 credit hours of elective course work to be determined in consultation with the student's advisor and advisory committee.


Dissertation (18 credits)

Near, and usually in, the last semester of course work, students will complete a qualification project in health and rehabilitation sciences, prepared by the student's Advisory Committee and consisting of two components: an original research project and public defense. The project is to be original research that includes new data and is intended as a preliminary, independent project to the dissertation. The project is to be developed in consultation with the student's advisor and advisory committee and may overlap with other courses (e.g. independent study), course requirements, or projects.

The project defense will be conducted in two parts: a draft manuscript using a format (e.g., APA or AMA) approved by the advisory committee and an oral, public defense of the project to the advisory committee, similar in style to a conference proceeding. Only students who successfully defend the project may continue in the program. Students failing the initial defense may redefend the project one time. The second defense must occur within six months of the original defense. Students successfully completing the qualifying project will be advanced to doctoral candidacy and may enroll in dissertation level credit.