Rehabilitation Sciences

Major: Rehabilitation Sciences
Degree Awarded: Master of Health Sciences (MHS); Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MHS); 48.0 (post master's or clinical graduate degree)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.2308
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 29-1123

About the Programs

Master of Health Sciences Program

Individuals cannot enroll directly in the Master of Health Sciences in Rehabilitation Sciences program.  Requirements for the degree completion include successful completion of 45.0 credit hours concluding with a case study or a clinical project.

Upon completion of the MHS program, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Analyze the impact of injury or disease process on musculoskeletal or neuromuscular function within a specific population, including orthopedics, pediatrics, and hand rehabilitation.
  • Improve their practice through clinical decision-making that is consistent with concepts of health promotion, client-centered care and current best evidence.
  • Facilitate the transfer of health care policy and research findings into clinical practice.
  • Evaluate methods of service delivery and intervention strategies and procedures at individual and program levels.
  • Serve effectively as clinical educators and consultants to consumers and colleagues.
  • Engage in professional life-long learning and contribute to the field of rehabilitation.

Additional Information

 For more information, visit the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences web page.

PhD Program

Beginning in Fall 2018, this program is being renamed to "Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD."

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.

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

Degree Requirements (MHS)

Master of Health Sciences (MHS): 45.0 quarter credits

Core Requirements
RSCH 519Introduction to Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 523Methods for Health Research3.0
PTRS 650Motor Control and Learning Rehabilitation3.0
PTRS 651Applied Tissue Biomechanics3.0
PTRS 721Teaching Concepts in Rehabilitation3.0
PTRS 758Evidence-Based Rehabilitation4.0
Students select a minimum of 16-18 credits in one of the following concentrations.16.0-18.0
Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation Concentration Options
Foundations in Hand Therapy
Upper Quarter Joint Pathology
Nerve Injuries of the Upper Quarter
Diseases That Affect the Hand
Pediatrics Concentration Options *
Issues in Pediatric Health & Rehabilitation
Pediatric Decision Making
Pediatric Clinical Application
Selected Topics in Pediatrics
Orthopedics Concentration Options *
Advanced Musculoskeletal Anatomy
Spinal Rehabilitation
Extremity Rehabilitation
Foundations in Hand Therapy
Upper Quarter Joint Pathology
Nerve Injuries of the Upper Quarter
Diseases That Affect the Hand
Work Injury Management
Biomechanics in Rehabilitation
Biomechanics in Human Movement
Introduction to Movement Science
Electives *8.0
Teaching Practicum I
Teaching Practicum II
Teaching Practicum III
Special Topics
Independent Study
Final Project
PTRS 786MHS Final Project I1.0-2.0
PTRS 787MHS Final Project II1.0-2.0
Total Credits45.0-49.0

Degree Requirements (PhD)

Beginning in Fall 2018, this program is being renamed to "Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD."

The core curriculum includes coursework in research and teaching. Additional courses are selected based on the student’s area of interest, objective for doctoral study, and dissertation research. Students work individually with a faculty mentor to complete the required research and teaching practica.

Students must complete a minimum of 48.0 credits. A comprehensive examination and a dissertation research project are required. The PhD degree can be completed in 3.5 to 4 years of full-time study for students.  

Additional Information

For more information, visit the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences web page.

Core Courses
NHP 762Health Professional Education3.0
RHAB 760Academia for Rehabilitation Scientists1.0
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 812Interpretation of Data3.0
RSCH 813Measurement Theory in Healthcare3.0
RSCH 815Scientific Inquiry and Writing3.0
In collaboration with advisor, students complete a minimum of 8.0 credits of electives, including independent study, to support their individualized research plan of study.
Independent Study
Students are required to complete a minimum of 6.0 credits of research practicum and 3.0 credits of teaching practicum.
Teaching Practicum
Research Practicum
Total Credits48.0

Sample Plan of Study (PhD)

Beginning in Fall 2018, this program is being renamed to "Health and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD."

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 812Interpretation of Data3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 4
RHAB 760Academia for Rehabilitation Scientists1.0
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


Teaching Facilities and Resources

Most classes are held in lecture halls, classrooms, or laboratories on the Center City (Health Sciences) Campus of Drexel University. The entire campus has wireless capability for easy internet access. The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences has two state-of-the-art dedicated laboratories. Our teaching resources also include supported distance learning technology. Instructional materials are provided through text, graphics, audio and video formats and are available online through a course management system 24 hours a day. Our online courses are highly interactive through the use of web discussion boards, audio chat tools, and video conferencing.

Research Facilities

The department's research facilities include over 9,000 square feet of well-equipped research laboratory space (Biomechanics, Gait, Pediatrics, and Neuromuscular Performance Labs), with equipment including force plates, EMG, motion analysis and human performance measurement equipment. This space includes conference rooms, PhD and post doc offices and is located next door to the Colleges 14,000 square feet, multi-disciplinary clinical practice.

The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation also values community partners as a central part of the research resources. Many faculty and students are involved in community-based research through collaborations with CanChild Centre, 11th Street Family Health Center, and numerous pediatric hospitals, out-patient facilities, and early intervention providers. Faculty are collaborating on research projects with nationally and internationally known researchers on several multi-site funded projects.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty

Maria Benedetto, DPT (University of Puerto Rico; Columbia University). Associate Clinical Professor. Pediatrics, Motor learning and motor control; yoga for children; dance prevention and injury rehabilitation
Lisa Ann Chiarello, PT, PhD, FAPTA (Hahnemann University) Director, PhD and Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences and Associate Director of Center for Family Intervention Science. Professor. Pediatric community-based practice; family-centered care; determinants of outcomes; and participation of children with physical disabilities.
David Ebaugh, PT, PhD (Drexel University). Clinical Professor. Identification and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal impairments associated with shoulder pain and dysfunction; differential diagnosis of shoulder problems; orthopedic examinations and interventions
Margaret Finley, PT, PhD (University of Maryland). Associate Professor. Upper extremity movement patters in persons with chronic neuromuscular disorders.
Kevin E. Gard, PT, DPT, OCS (Temple University) Vice-Chair, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences and Director, Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Clinical Professor. Orthopedics; sports medicine.
Noel Goodstadt, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS (MCP Hahnemann University; Temple University) Director of Residency Programs. Associate Clinical Professor. Orthopedic care of shoulder, knee and spine, residency training.
Margery A. Lockard, PT, PhD (Hahnemann University). Clinical Professor. Orthopedic/musculoskeletal physical therapy; management of patients using prosthetic and orthotic devices; and anatomy and physiology.
Robert Maschi, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS (Temple University). Associate Clinical Professor. Orthopedics, musculoskeletal disorders, lower extremity biomechanics and movement analysis
Clare Milner, PhD, FACSM (University of Leeds) Research Lab Coordinator. Associate Professor. Biomechanics of lower extremity injury, injury prevention, and rehabilitation; overuse injuries in runners; gait in people with knee pathology
Kathryn D. Mitchell, PT, DPT, NCS (Temple University) Assistant Director of Clinical Education. Associate Clinical Professor. Adult neurologic rehabilitation; vestibular rehabilitation/concussion; balance and falls in Multiple Sclerosis.
Margaret O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH (MCP Hahnemann University; Duke University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Associate Professor. Identification of psychometrically sound objective physical activity measures for use as outcomes in activity-based physical therapy interventions for children with chronic conditions (obesity) and those with physical disabilities (especially cerebral palsy) and designing flexible active video games to improve access and participation and increase fitness, physical activity, and functional mobility in youth with physical disabilities.
Robert J. Palisano, PT, ScD, FAPTA (Boston University) Associate Dean for Research, College of Nursing and Health Professions. Distinguished University Professor. Classification and prognosis for gross motor function in children and youth with cerebral palsy; interventions to improve activity and participation in children with physical disabilities; transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities.
Sheri Silfies, PT, PhD (MCP Hahnemann University). Associate Professor. Identification and treatment of impairments in neuromuscular control of trunk mobility and stability in patients with low back pain, focusing on mechanism of recurrent low back pain; core control in athletes.
Sinclair A. Smith, MS, DSc (Boston University) Chair, Health Sciences. Professor. The use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and near infrared spectroscopy to non-invasively study neuromuscular metabolism in humans; creatine supplementation on mitochondrial respiration; weight training studies.
Sara Tomaszewski, PT, DPT, OCS (Duke University). Clinical Instructor. Orthopedics and sports physical therapy, injury prevention, and return-to-sport decision making.
Sarah Wenger, PT, DPT, OCS (Arcadia University; Temple University) Coordinator, Professional Practice Lab. Associate Clinical Professor. Health and wellness in underserved populations, chronic care management, chronic pain.
Annette Willgens, PT, EdD, PCS (Northcentral University) Director of Clinical Education. Associate Clinical Professor. Qualitative and mixed methods research focus using survey data, phenomenology, and grounded theory to explore issues in clinical education including self-care and stress management. She is a yoga, mindfulness, and reiki practitioner. She teaches in the pediatrics and functional mobility courses as well as developing integrated clinical experiences during each term.
Glenn Williams, PT, PhD, ATC (University of Delaware) Chair, Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences. Associate Professor. Neuromuscular plasticity after joint injury, orthopaedic-sports rehabilitation, human performance, post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Emeritus Faculty

Margo Orlin, PT, PhD, FAPTA (Drexel University). Associate Professor Emeritus. Walking and running biomechanics and participation in children with developmental disabilities, evaluation of enhancing participation for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.
Patricia Rubertone, PT, MPT, MSW, EdD (Widener University). Associate Professor Emeritus. Student learning; course design; judgment of physical therapy student clinic performance by novice vs. experienced clinical instructors.
Susan Smith, PT, PhD (University of Connecticut, Texas Woman's University). Associate Professor and Dean Emerita, College of Nursing and Health Professions. Geriatrics: health promotion and interventions for manifestations of low bone mass; assessment of fall risk and fall prevention interventions for older adults
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