PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Transform our current approach to rehabilitation theory and practice

UIC’s PhD in rehabilitation sciences give you a unique, intensive and interdisciplinary experience in the theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical aspects of rehabilitation sciences. We combine the study of clinical and behavioral sciences, enabling you to produce a focused line of rehabilitation-related research that might transform theory, scholarship and practice.

Rehabilitation sciences is a broad field with contributions from many types of professional and scientific disciplines. Current students in our program have degrees in:

  • Medicine
  • Kinesiology
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Engineering
  • Religious studies
  • English
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Statistics

This broad range of backgrounds necessitates a personalized approach to the program as a whole. Key core courses prepare you for thesis and dissertation work, and elective courses allow you to specialize in several thematic areas.

Our home in the College of Applied Health Sciences allows us to provide research and educational expertise through the AHS departments. Drawing upon our experts in occupational therapy, physical therapy and other rehabilitation-related disciplines, we seek to promote function and prevent or reduce disability.

Your career

A PhD in rehabilitation sciences prepares you to become a researcher, educator or scientist-practitioner. You’ll be skilled at conducting applied and translational research in a wide range of rehabilitation settings, such as:

  • Universities
  • Teaching hospitals
  • Clinical settings
  • Private industry
  • Government facilities
  • ​Community-based and non-for-profit organizations

With a PhD in rehabilitation sciences, you’ll be perfectly suited for a traditional faculty role in physical therapy, occupational therapy and kinesiology. ​There’s a significant faculty shortage in the rehabilitation disciplines, specifically in physical and occupational therapy. We focus on filling those roles, as well as those of other rehabilitation professionals, such as speech and language pathologists, and rehabilitation nurses or physicians.

Learn from the best

  • Tanvi Bhatt

    Tanvi Bhatt

    Examining effects of alternative therapies for improving impairment, function and community participation in stroke survivors

  • Sangeetha Madhavan

    Sangeetha Madhavan

    Developing individualized therapeutic approaches to advance existing rehabilitation practices using state-of-art technologies

  • Shane Phillips

    Shane Phillips

    Expert in acute and critical care physical therapy and cardiovascular rehabilitation

Understanding by doing

​In our mentor-driven program, you’ll immerse yourself in an area that is of shared interest with your primary mentor.​ This allows you to determine your individual course of study and pursue the topics that are of most interested to you.

You’ll perform at least 32 hours of research in your focus area, but you won’t do it alone. With your faculty advisor, you’ll work through specific areas of investigation aligned with their expertise and contribute to breakthroughs in the field that allow us to transform our current approaches to rehabilitation theory and practice.

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We're here for you

Still wondering what a PhD in rehabilitation sciences can do for you? Contact Dr. Alex Aruin and get your questions answered.

You can contact Dr. Aruin at: