Program Overview

Rehabilitation Science is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on human function, disability, and rehabilitation from the perspectives of the health sciences, psychology, engineering, and related fields. The environment is highly collaborative, with strong mentors and state-of-the-art facilities. While in the PhD Program, students develop a wide range of skills, including research and teaching; presenting nationally, learn to write grants and publish manuscripts. 

Mission: The mission of the University of Colorado Rehabilitation Science PhD program is to discover and apply knowledge that improves health and well-being. The mission is fulfilled through developing national leaders in rehabilitation research who advance evidence-based practice. 

Vision: The University of Colorado Rehabilitation Science PhD Program will be a premier training program in rehabilitation research with a reputation for excellence in innovation, research, teaching, and community engagement to advance clinical care.  

Who We Are: CU Rehabilitation Science is comprised of core and associated faculty, postdoctoral fellows, students and research assistants with a broad background, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine, psychology, engineering, and public health, all working together to improve the lives of people who live with disabilities. 

Rehabilitation Science PhD Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically analyze and integrate research findings from specialized disciplines to address complex problems of physical disablement.
  2. Design and implement rigorous, innovative, and ethical research that will advance theoretical and/or applied principles of clinical practice in rehabilitation.
  3. Disseminate findings of original research using standard scientific oral and written formats.
  4. Compete for funding from national agencies to support interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives in rehabilitation.
  5. Teach graduate level courses in a selected area of specialization within the field of rehabilitation.
  6. Effectively communicate with clinicians, research scientists, and students in the field of rehabilitation and its affiliated disciplines using the common language of disablement.
  7. Serve in leadership roles for professional activities that will advance the science and practice of rehabilitation medicine.

Institutional Overview

Aerial of Anschutz Medical Campus

About the Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz)

CU Anschutz is a healthcare campus dedicated to fostering collaboration among students, researchers and clinicians and the largest academic health center between Chicago, Texas and the West Coast.

The campus consists of three zones that promote collaboration and innovation:

  • Education zone with remarkable facilities for training future physicians and other health professionals;
  • Research zone with ground-breaking, internationally renowned research;
  • Clinical care zone with the University of Colorado Hospital and The Children's Hospital, the University of Colorado School of Medicine's primary adult and pediatric hospital partners, nearby.

CU Anschutz is home to six schools and colleges:

  • School of Dental Medicine
  • School of Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Colorado School of Public Health
  • Graduate School


About CU Physical Therapy

The University of Colorado has established a tradition of excellence in the educational preparation of physical therapists for over 70 years. Our strong ranking is linked to our superb faculty, our location on the state-of-the-art Anschutz Medical Campus​, commitment to the education of our students and a strong network of supportive alumni and clinical faculty throughout the Rocky Mountain Region and the country. Learn more about the physical therapy program.

About Colorado

CU denver to dia skyline

The Colorado Trail Explorer, developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, includes 17,099 trails and 1,431 trailheads. The mapped trails include 5,683 miles of hiking trails, 6,821 miles of mountain biking trails, 24,906 miles of motorized trails and unpaved roads, and 1,746 miles of paved bike trails. 

Students spend a lot of their free time exploring all that Colorado and the immediate Denver area has to offer. The Anschutz Medical Campus is 25 minutes away from Downtown Denver. 

300 Days of Sunshine

53 Mountains over 14,000ft

42 State Parks

8 Mountain Ranges

7 National Forests

5 River Systems