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PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Rehabilitation Sciences program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) supports the philosophy of rehabilitation science described by the Institute of Medicine.1 Rehabilitation science is an interdisciplinary field of study that investigates causes and factors that contribute to disability. Rehabilitation science: 1) emphasizes function; 2) focuses on factors and processes that lead to transitions between pathology, impairment, functional limitation and disability and the reversal of these processes; and 3) examines physical, behavioral, environmental and societal factors that influence these transitions. The PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program at TTUHSC emphasizes rehabilitation science domains that support and inform the rehabilitation professions physical therapy, occupational therapy and athletic training. The mission of the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program is to educate the next generation of faculty scholars (teachers and researchers) to advance knowledge in rehabilitation science.


The PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program is an interdisciplinary program that requires completion of 88 semester credit hours post-baccalaureate, including 76 semester credit hours of course work and 12 semester credit hours of dissertation. Up to 24 semester credit hours may be transferred from an approved graduate program. Students entering the program who hold a bachelor’s degree or a  graduate degree without a research thesis (e.g., master’s thesis or equivalent ) must successfully complete a preliminary research project within the PhD program prior to embarking on dissertation research. All students must successfully complete a qualifying examination for admission to candidacy prior to beginning the dissertation. All students must successfully complete a doctoral dissertation.

The PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences curriculum consists of five content areas: rehabilitation sciences core, pedagogy and teaching, research tools, approved electives, and research (including dissertation). Students will enroll in courses primarily at TTUHSC but will have an opportunity to take courses at TTU.  Students enroll continuously in Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters. Students will select primary and secondary emphases in rehabilitation research areas based on their career goals and mentorship from a faculty advisor. Doctoral students may pursue research emphases in clinical anatomy, clinical biomechanics, clinical musculoskeletal rehabilitation, clinical neuromuscular and postural control, or clinical behavior in rehabilitation.


The PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program provides students an opportunity to acquire knowledge about educational theories and methods, practice and implement teaching skills, and organize and deliver curricula appropriate for a career in higher education. This objective is achieved through required course work and practical teaching experiences supervised by program faculty.

The PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program provides students an opportunity to understand and use the scientific method; develop, practice and implement research skills including effective scientific communication, and use of research tools and technology; develop a research philosophy and viable research agenda; and learn to write grants. This objective is achieved via course work in research, research tools, technical writing, laboratory techniques, supervised research activities, and dissertation.

The PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program provides students an opportunity to attain content mastery in a selected area of specialization in rehabilitation sciences. This objective is accomplished via course work, independent study, research, and individual mentoring by program faculty.

1Brandt EN (Editor). Enabling America: Assessing the Role of Rehabilitation Science and Engineering. Washington, DC, USA: National Academies Press, 1997.