Degree Requirements

Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science

The Ph.D. program in rehabilitation science prepares individuals for leadership positions in research and academia. The program focuses on advancing the science of medical rehabilitation by elucidating the scientific basis for procedures used in clinical practice. Research includes human and animal studies that promote an understanding of the pathophysiology of injury, disease, functional impairment, and associated disabilities and espouse the rationale for therapies that alleviate impaired human function.

Degree Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. program must meet the general requirements of the university including the research skills and responsible scholarship requirement and fulfill the basic program requirements to receive the Ph.D. degree.

The basic program requirements for a Ph.D. degree in rehabilitation science include the following:

  • Successful completion of a minimum of 51 credit hours of course work is required. The requirements include 21 credit hours of core courses, 8 credit hours of research tools courses, 12 credit hours of doctoral dissertation research, and 6 credit hours of cognate elective courses.
  • Demonstration of skills necessary for conducting original research investigation by passing the qualifying examination, which usually takes place after a majority of the core and research tools course work has been completed.
  • Demonstration of competence in the core areas of study by successfully completing the comprehensive examination.
  • Satisfactory completion of a dissertation based on an original research work.
  • Successful oral defense of the dissertation.

At least 4 years of full-time study is usually needed to fulfill these requirements. To view more specific curriculum requirements, please visit the program's website.

Contact Info

Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

KU Medical Center
Mail Stop 2002, 3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
Fax: 913-588-4568
Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Chair
Irina V. Smirnova, Director, Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science Program
Why KU
  • One of 34 public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 2nd in the nation for prestigious faculty Fulbright awards
  • 26 Rhodes scholars
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • One of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs. U.S. News and World Report