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Application for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree - Health and Rehabilitation Science


The Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science is an interdisciplinary post-baccalaureate degree program with concentrations in Pathology and Impairment, Functional Limitations, and Health Services. The concentration areas encourage interdisciplinary collaboration between students and faculty and train team scientists to approach complex disorders and conditions from a cross-discipline and cross-system perspective. The doctoral program fits the conceptual framework established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and strategic initiatives set forth by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Graduates of the Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science will become the scholars, researchers, program directors and educators who advance the body of knowledge about health and rehabilitation sciences.

The interdisciplinary nature of the program emphasizes curriculum and research that center around function, factors, and interventions that disable or enable people. Qualified students may enter the program with a bachelor’s or graduate degree in several health related areas such as, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology, medicine, occupational therapy, exercise science, health administration, biology and engineering.

Within MUSC, the College of Health Professions (CHP) collaborates with the College of Graduate Studies (CGS). Students have the opportunity to take courses with peers from other basic and translational research-based master’s and doctoral programs at MUSC. The relationship with CGS greatly increases the number of potential faculty mentors and advisors for students and enhances the program’s ability to partner and collaborate with other disciplines critical to the study of rehabilitation science.


Admissions Criteria: The program enrolls students once a year in the fall semester who meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate the likelihood of success in the Ph.D. program and research career based on previous academic work and relevant professional experience.
  • Potential for successful pairing with a faculty mentor and mentorship team conducting research in the student’s area of interest.

To determine the likelihood of success, the admissions committee will review:

  • Grade-point average in prior academic work (3.0 minimum required) Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended must be submitted. For foreign institutions, the applicant must submit an international transcript evaluation.
  • Personal Statement
  • Scores on the Graduate Record Exam
  • Baccalaureate or graduate degree in a relevant discipline or first professional degree (such as DPT, OT, SLP)
  • Professional experiences in the discipline
  • Letters of professional and academic reference


The Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science requires a minimum of 90 semester hours organized as follow:

  • Professional Development Core (14 semester hours)
  • Research Core (minimum 20 semester hours)
  • Concentration Core (30 semester hours) in Pathology & Impairment, Functional Limitations, or Health Services
  • Electives (14 semester hours)
  • Dissertation (minimum 12 semester hours)

The Professional Development Core and the Research Core are required, ensuring that all students receive a thorough grounding in Health and Rehabilitation Science, a teaching practicum, and a critical overview of key issues in the profession. All students acquire the research skills (design, methodology, and analyses) and training necessary to position them to become leading research scholars in the field.

The concentration area will be designed and overseen by the primary mentor and academic advisory committee based upon the student’s previous preparation and experience, area of specialization, and research interests.


If you have any questions or would like to know more about the program, please contact Becca Barry at (843) 792-5323 or Visit us at

Application Process

In addition to the application itself, we must receive three (3) letters of reference from professionals and/or academics familiar with your research aptitude. At least two (2) of these must come from doctorally prepared faculty who have taught you in relevant coursework and know the likelihood of your academic and research success in a PhD program.

Applicants must submit transcripts from all colleges / universities attended. An international transcript evaluation is required for all foreign institutions. 

Additional details and any forms needed will be provided within the application and will also be sent by email after submission of the online application. 

Application Deadlines

Start TermApplication TypeAvailableDeadline
Fall 2018RegularJuly 1, 2017February 28, 2018




Last Published with Edits:April 17, 2017 2:26 PM
Last Comprehensive Review:April 2017
Office of Enrollment Management
45 Courtenay Drive
MSC 203
Charleston, SC 29425-2030
Fax 843-792-6615


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