PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science

The Ph. D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science is an interdisciplinary research-focused doctoral program that will prepare students for high-impact careers in research, post-secondary education, and organizational leadership in the health disciplines (including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and public health).  Students will be prepared to serve as faculty in health professions schools and colleges, and will have a range of other opportunities including working in non-governmental organizations and government agencies addressing community health problems and contributing to product development in rehabilitation/health care industries. 

The program curriculum is based on a mentorship-model of graduate education.  Students who are accepted to the program will work with a specific faculty mentor or mentors.  Coursework will be tailored to ensure breadth and depth of didactic learning that will provide the foundation for development of an independent research program. 

Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete 72 credit hours of post-baccalaureate study.  Curriculum will include foundational course work in Health and Rehabilitation Science, and core courses focused on statistics and research methodology.  Students will complete additional graduate coursework that advances their line of research and is approved by their faculty mentor(s).  Students will complete at least 15 credit hours of 8000-9000 level coursework in their research area, along with an additional 11+ mentor-directed learning credit hours in readings, problems or research.  Up to 28 credit hours of research credits may be counted towards the 72 hours minimum required, though students may take more than 28 credit hours of research to complete their research and defend their dissertation.    

Students will collaborate with their faculty mentor to create a plan of study for their doctoral degree by the end of their first semester in the program.  The program will consist of core courses and additional coursework decided upon with their mentor.  Students will be expected to take courses from academic programs outside of their faculty mentor's home department to allow for interdisciplinary research.

Required Core Courses
Health and Rehabilitation Science (4-6 credit hours)
HR_SCI 8440Health and Rehabilitation Science I Pending approval2-3
HR_SCI 8442Health and Rehabilitation Science II Pending approval2-3
Research Methodology and Statistics (12 credit hours)
STAT 7510Applied Statistical Models I (or approved alternative)3
STAT 8220Applied Statistical Models II (or approved alternative)3
Research methodology and statistics electives6
Other Course Requirements
Research Area Courses15
To include courses from within SHP and across campus, approved by faculty mentor.
Research Area Directed Study
HR_SCI 8001Topics in Health and Rehabilitation Science1-3
HTH_PR 8001Topics in Health Professions1-3
HR_SCI 8085Problems in Health and Rehabilitation Science1-3
HTH_PR 8085Problems in Health Professions1-3
Thesis/Dissertation Courses (up to 28 credit hours)
HR_SCI 8090Research in Health and Rehabilitation Science Pending approval1-99
HR_SCI 9090Doctoral Dissertation Research in Health and Rehabilitation Science Pending approval1-99

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Qualifying Process

Comprehensive Examination Process

All students will complete a comprehensive examination at the end of required coursework that will include written and oral sections. 

Dissertation Requirements

All students will complete a minimum of two independent research projects, including their dissertation research.  Students will write a dissertation proposal that must be reviewed and approved by the student's doctoral committee and must successfully complete a doctoral dissertation focused on original research. 

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Admissions procedures will follow those specified by the MU Graduate School (  Candidates will be asked to specify faculty member(s) they would prefer to work with.  Students will be selected for admission based on recommendations by the program faculty and with final approval by the Program Director. 

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