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To earn a Ph.D. in rehabilitation science from KU, expect at least four years of full-time study.

The program consists of coursework, research experience, and completion of a doctoral dissertation including its oral defense. Relevant prior graduate work is taken into consideration in setting up individual programs of study leading to the degree.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the KU Medical Center Office of Graduate Studies, the basic requirements for the PhD degree in rehabilitation science include successful completion of the following:

  • Curriculum core courses, a minimum of 8 credit hours of research tools courses, 6 credit hours of elective courses and 12 credit hours of doctoral dissertation research.
  • University’s Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship.
  • The oral comprehensive examination, which is an oral defense of a dissertation proposal written in a research grant application format. You are recognized as formal doctoral candidates after passing the comprehensive examination.
  • The final oral examination with an oral defense of a written dissertation.
REHS 803 Research Observations (Take a minimum of one semester during the first year.) 1
REHS 805 Seminar in Rehabilitation Science (Take in Fall and Spring semesters for the first two years.) 1
REHS 856 Research Design and Methods I 2
REHS 857 Research Design and Methods II 2
REHS 862 Cellular and Molecular Basis of Rehabilitation 2
REHS 864 Introduction to Rehabilitation Science 3
REHS 866 Developing Research Aims in Rehabilitation Science 2
REHS 870 Teaching Practicum 1-3
REHS 873 Research Practicum 1-3
REHS 889 Grant Writing 3
REHS 980 Graduate Research 1-10
NRSG 870 Designing a Student Learning Environment 3
REHS 970 Instrumented Analysis of Human Biomechanical Function 3
BIOS 714 Fundamentals of Biostatistics I 3
BIOS 720 Analysis of Variance 3
EPSY 710 Introduction to Statistical Analysis 3
EPSY 711 Lab for Introduction to Statistical Analysis 1
NRSG 700 Analysis of Variance 2

Electives may be chosen from REHS courses listed below and courses offered by other departments:

REHS 760 Introduction to Matlab Programming 1
REHS 865 Independent Study 1-3
REHS 887 Neurorehabilitation 3

Successful completion of the following courses meets the research skills requirement:

REHS 856 Research Design and Methods I 2
REHS 857 Research Design and Methods II 2

Successful completion of the following courses meets the responsible scholarship requirement:

REHS 856 Research Design and Methods I 2
REHS 857 Research Design and Methods II 2
PRVM 853 Responsible Conduct of Research 1
REHS 990 Dissertation in Rehabilitation Science 1 - 10

For complete, current information about requirements and courses in our rehabilitation science program, please visit the Academic Catalog.


Learn about what our alumni are doing.

"Many times I faced situations in my work where I felt thankful for being prepared for these situations during my education and training. In my clinical research where I feel there will be a challenge to start or continue my research, I always knew that I had the experience, the ability, the knowledge, and the desire to face the challenges and proceed."

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center, including the University of Kansas School of Health Professions and this academic program, partners with multiple health systems and health care providers to provide clinical and programmatic experiences for its students. Many of our clinical partners are currently requiring all students to have received the COVID-19 vaccine before their on-site experiences and training may begin. As a result, unvaccinated students could be precluded from participating in these activities, potentially impacting their ability to complete all program requirements. Students with concerns should speak with the clinical coordinator or department chair.

KU School of Health Professions

Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training
University of Kansas Medical Center
Mail Stop 2002
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160