This interdisciplinary program educates students to understand the causes, course, and consequences of disability, and to perform integrated research on how to optimize human function and performance in daily life. This program prepares students in basic and translational science that address mechanisms, prevention and amelioration of disability. The objective of the program is to develop researchers and academics who, through their scholarship and original research, create new knowledge in rehabilitation science. Graduates of this program are prepared for professional careers in academic, governmental, and industrial research environments.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to be considered. Admission to the program is competitive, and a variety of criteria are evaluated in the admissions process, including the strength of the undergraduate record and any post-baccalaureate coursework, GRE scores, career goals statement, letters of recommendation, professional and/or volunteer experience, evidence of the ability to write and conduct research at the graduate level, and any additional evidence of potential success in the program. Applicants are encouraged to contact the department faculty prior to applying to discuss their interest. Preference will be given to full-time applicants, and interviews may be required by the faculty admissions committee. Information regarding CHHS application guidelines and requirements can be found at chhs.gmu.edu/admissions/graduate. Meeting the minimum application criteria does not guarantee admission.
Applications are considered for the fall semester only. For application deadlines and detailed application requirements, please refer to the CHHS Admissions website. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. The online Application for Graduate Admissions can be found through the Office of Admissions.
Transfer of Credit
Transfer credit is governed by AP.6.5.3 Transfer of Credit Policy, AP.6.10 Requirements for Doctoral Degrees, and must be approved by the program director and the dean. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies should seek course advising through the department prior to taking a course and must submit their application to the PhD program in their first semester of study.
Reduction of Credit
Students must complete a minimum of 72 graduate credits. A maximum of 30 credits may be waived in the PhD program based on a previously earned graduate degree. Credit for prior graduate course work will be reviewed and awarded on a course-by-course basis.
Students must complete all requirements for the PhD in Rehabilitation Science within 9 calendar years from the time of first enrollment as a doctoral student in the program or with provisional status. PhD students are expected to progress steadily toward their degree and to complete all course work and the written exam in order to advance to candidacy within no more than 6 years.
To complete the PhD in Rehabilitation Science, students must:
- Complete the program of study outlined in the PhD curriculum.
- Pass the written comprehensive exam and the oral examination in the area of specialization.
- Pass the final oral dissertation defense and submit a doctoral dissertation approved by the doctoral dissertation committee and the Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science (the dissertation must be submitted in the approved format of the doctoral program).
- Complete application material for graduation in accordance with prevailing university policies.
Advancement to Candidacy
After successful completion of the written comprehensive examination and the oral examination in the area of specialization, the student will be advanced to candidacy and may seek approval of a dissertation proposal.
Total credits: 72
The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program consists of the following categories of courses:
|Dissertation Preparation and Completion Courses||12|
|RHBS 606||Clinical Exercise Physiology||3|
|RHBS 620||Psychosocial Aspects of Rehabilitation||3|
|RHBS 650||Foundations of Rehabilitation Science||3|
|RHBS 651||Research Design and Methods I||3|
|RHBS 652||Research Design and Methods II||3|
|RHBS 710||Applied Physiology I||3|
|RHBS 711||Applied Physiology II||3|
|RHBS 720||Principles of Clinical Trials||3|
|RHBS 746||Movement Control and Learning||3|
|RHBS 816||Rehabilitation Efficacy and Effectiveness Research||3|
- Human Movement and Function
- Clinical Exercise and Applied Physiology
Students select courses with the approval of their advisors. At least 9 credits must be taken in RHBS courses.
|Complete 15 credits of specialization courses||15|
|Specialization courses offered through the department are:|
|Scientific Basis for Pain and Fatigue|
|Behavior Change in Chronic Illness|
|Biobehavioral Aspects of Health|
|Applied Physiology: Cardiorespiratory|
|Metabolic Basis of Disability|
|Physiology of Clinical Exercise Interventions|
|Movement Disorders: Etiology, Assessment, and Analyses|
|Aging and Health Behavior|
|Applied Biomechanics in Rehabilitation|
|Movement Analysis of Function|
|Students will complete 15 hours of elective course work, in consultation with their advisors.||15|
Dissertation Preparation and Completion Courses
|Complete at least 12 credits of the following:||12|
|Doctoral Dissertation Proposal 1|
|Dissertation Research 2|
Initial registration in RHBS 998 requires at least three hours.
At least three hours of RHBS 999 is required per semester until degree requirements are completed.