300 Days of Sunshine
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 Sciences 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 Sciences 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 Sciences 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
Students typically require 4-5 years of full time study to complete the required curriculum. The program requires a total of 60 semester credit hours (sch), consisting of 30sch of core coursework and 30sch of doctoral thesis credit. All coursework
and a written preliminary examination are completed during the first 2 years of the program. Following an oral comprehensive examination, students complete their dissertation research and thesis examination in years 3-5.
Required core coursework includes lecture- and laboratory-based instruction in foundations of Rehabilitation Science, statistical methods and data management, scientific writing, research ethics, professional skills, and electives in the student’s primary area of specialization.
At the end of the first year of graduate study, students must complete a written preliminary examination to demonstrate successful progress in the program. The preliminary examination assesses core content knowledge from coursework completed in the first year (Foundations in Rehabilitation Science, Research Ethics, and Biostatistics).
Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination to advance to candidacy for the PhD. The Comprehensive Examination Committee (CEC) will administer the student's comprehensive examination no later than Jan 1 in the third year of enrollment. Students must have completed 30 didactic credit hours and have completed or be enrolled in all required and elective course work prior to obtaining approval to schedule the Comprehensive Exam. Additionally, students must be registered for at least five thesis credit hours during the semester in which the examination is taken (this includes exams taken in the summer semester). Students defending between semesters must register for the subsequent semester.
A student must present his or her research results and plans to the TAC at annual meetings after advancing to candidacy. The Program Director, upon recommendation from the TAC Chair, must approve the thesis prior to the defense. Once approved, the
student is responsible for scheduling the Thesis Defense. The student must be registered for five thesis credit hours in the semester of the thesis defense and must fill out required forms for scheduling an examination at least 4 weeks before
the Thesis Defense date. Students defending between semesters must register for the subsequent semester. Instructions and requests to schedule the PhD Thesis Defense can be obtained from the Graduate School Office or website.
Following the comprehensive exam, students focus on their final research thesis. All students must take a total of 30 sch of doctoral thesis credit and should meet with their thesis committee at least once per year.
|Course Number||Course Name|
|RHSC 7000||Foundations in Rehabilitation Science (2 sch)|
|RHSC 7001||Rehabilitation Science Seminar I (1 sch)|
|RHSC 7001||Rehabilitation Science Seminar II (1 sch)|
|RHSC 7910||Research Practicum in Rehabilitation Science I (3 sch)|
|RHSC 7911||Research Practicum in Rehabilitation Science II (3 sch)|
|RHSC 7002||Professional Skills in Academia (2 sch)|
|See Coursework Document for options||Biostatistics I (3-4 sch)|
|See Coursework Document for options||Biostatistics II (3-4 sch)|
|See Coursework Document for options||Statistics/Data Management Elective (1-3 sch)|
|See Coursework Document for options||Scientific Writing (1-2 sch)|
|See Coursework Document for options||Research Ethics (1 sch)|
|See Coursework Document for options||Specialization Electives (5-8 sch)|
|RHSC 8990||Doctoral Thesis Credit (30 sch)|
Note: sch = semester credit hours
Download Coursework Document
The campus offers additional professional development opportunities. Learn more about the Career Development Office.
The Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program is committed to diversity and equity in the recruitment and retention of students. We actively seek persons from underrepresented populations, which include, but are not limited to, underrepresented ethnic groups, disabled persons, and those students who are economically disadvantaged, from rural areas, or first-in-family college graduates.
Application Fee Waivers | Waivers are available for students who meet certain criteria. Learn more about Application Fee Waivers.
Office of Disability, Access, and Inclusion | Recognizes, welcomes, and celebrates disability as an integral part of a diverse health professions campus and workforce. To facilitate inclusion, we partner with students and programs to identify opportunities to create and promote meaningful access. Learn more about the ODAI.
Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement | implements best practices as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion for students, staff, faculty and visitors at CU Anschutz. Learn more about the ODEI&CE.
LGBTQ+ HUB | Creates and maintains an inclusive campus environment for LGBTQ+ and allied students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors on campus and within the Aurora community. Learn more about the LGBTQ+ Hub.
Office of Inclusion and Outreach | Providing sustained, comprehensive programs across all educational levels to promote access and increase numbers of underrepresented populations in healthcare, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and research professions. Learn more about he OIO.
Undocumented Student Services | Serves DREAMer and mixed status students at all intersections of documentation and equity needs, to support DREAMers in achieving their degree, to create an equitable educational environment, and to advocate alongside students for continuous improvements in the DREAMer college experience. Learn more about Undocumented Student Services.
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:
CU Anschutz is home to six schools and colleges:
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.
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