Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD

Major: Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 48.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.2314
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is designed to prepare PhDs to be leaders as research scientists and educators in health and rehabilitation sciences.

Program Objectives

On completing the Doctor of Philosophy degree, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Create innovative mechanisms, methods, interventions, and approaches for service delivery for health promotion and rehabilitation.
  • Establish a research agenda that will impact health and rehabilitation sciences.
  • Collaborate, integrate expertise, and conduct research within interprofessional teams.
  • Write research proposals that are competitive for grant funding.
  • Disseminate and translate research through presentations, publications, and contemporary media.
  • Teach effectively and contribute to the academic community.
  • Institute a plan for continued professional development as a research scientist.

Admission Requirements


Applicants must provide proof that they have earned a master’s, DPT, or other advanced degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. university or college. A degree in physical therapy is not required. Applicants from all health- or rehabilitation-related backgrounds (e.g., kinesiology, occupational therapy, exercise science, biomedical or rehabilitation engineering, etc.) are welcomed.

Standardized Tests

Submit standardized test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). International applicants must also submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score.


  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions


Submit 3 recommendations, including at least one from a previous supervisor and one from a mentor or advisor.

You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service.

If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/Essay

Your essay should address the following points:

  • Introduction
    • Tell us why you want to earn a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at Drexel University.
    • What knowledge and skills do you want to learn?
    • What career path are you planning to pursue with a PhD?
  • Research Experience and Interest
    • What research experience do you have?
    • What is your research area of interest?
    • How did you become interested in this area?
    • Briefly indicate a gap in knowledge in your area of interest that might be addressed in dissertation research.
    • Based on having identified and communicated with a potential PhD mentor, how does your area of research interest match the research of one of the PhD faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences at Drexel?


Interview required. Scholarly writing sample may be required.




Applicants with clinical degrees may be required to have a Pennsylvania license to practice, depending on proposed research activities.

Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience

For some areas of research, it is preferred that applicants with clinical degrees (PT,OT, etc.) have 2 years of relevant clinical experience beyond that required to complete the professional degree

International Students

International applicants must have their transcripts evaluated and sent to us by one of the following agencies:

Degree Requirements

Core Courses
NHP 760Academia for Health Professionals1.0
NHP 762Health Professional Education3.0
RHAB 761Foundations of Rehabilitation Research3.0
RHAB 830Dissertation Research6.0
RSCH 759Foundations of Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 770Foundations in Research Methods3.0
RSCH 811Intermediate Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 813Measurement Theory in Healthcare3.0
RSCH 814Intermediate Biostatistics II3.0
RSCH 815Scientific Inquiry and Writing3.0
Independent Study
Practica **9.0
Teaching Practicum
Research Practicum
Total Credits48.0

Sample Plan of Study

Student and faculty advisor collaboratively design an individualized plan of study based on common research interests. Prospective students are encouraged to explore our faculty research areas and information on our PhD faculty mentors on our program website.

Term 1Credits
RHAB 761Foundations of Rehabilitation Research3.0
RSCH 759Foundations of Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 813Measurement Theory in Healthcare3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 2
RSCH 770Foundations in Research Methods3.0
RSCH 811Intermediate Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 823Research Practicum3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 3
NHP 762Health Professional Education3.0
RSCH 814Intermediate Biostatistics II3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 4
NHP 760Academia for Health Professionals1.0
RHAB 823Research Practicum1.0
 Term Credits2.0
Term 5
NHP 822Teaching Practicum1.0
RHAB 823Research Practicum1.0
RHAB I899Independent Study2.0
 Term Credits7.0
Term 6
NHP 822Teaching Practicum2.0
RHAB 823Research Practicum1.0
RSCH 815Scientific Inquiry and Writing3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Term 7
RHAB 830Dissertation Research1.0
 Term Credits1.0
Term 8
RHAB 830Dissertation Research1.0
 Term Credits1.0
Term 9
RHAB 830Dissertation Research1.0
 Term Credits1.0
Term 10
RHAB 830Dissertation Research1.0
 Term Credits1.0
Term 11
RHAB 830Dissertation Research1.0
 Term Credits1.0
Term 12
RHAB 830Dissertation Research1.0
 Term Credits1.0
Total Credit: 48.0

Note: International students are required to maintain 9.0 credits per term except for summer term.

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