PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science

The Mizzou PhD in Health & Rehabilitation Science is an interdisciplinary, research-focused doctoral program designed to prepare you for a career in research, higher education, or organizational leadership in the health disciplines. These include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, health psychology, health science and public health.

You may be a practitioner with a clinical or advanced degree who intends to pursue research-focused career opportunities, or you may be entering immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree.

a student studies in the lobby of Clark Hall

Mentorship model

The PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science program uses a mentorship model in which you are accepted to work in the labs of specific faculty and to learn through hands-on research experience. It is geared towards students who are interested in developing research skills and an independent research program. The curriculum is flexible, with opportunities to learn from faculty across the MU campus.

Because much of the learning occurs in the context of the faculty mentor and student mentee relationship, it is critical that you identify a faculty mentor(s) with whom you would like to work based on shared research interest.

As you prepare to apply for this program, you should review faculty profiles and reach out to specific faculty members with whom you’d like to work. In doing so, you will learn more about the faculty member’s work and how it may fit your own research interests.

Faculty mentors

Identify faculty members with whom you’d like to work and submit the faculty interest document with your application.

Course work

  • 72 credit hours of post-baccalaureate study
    • Core curriculum: foundational theory and research in health and rehabilitation science (4–6 credit hours), statistics and research methodology (12 credit hours)
    • Research area courses: minimum of 15 credit hours of 8000-9000 coursework from within the MU College of Health Sciences and across MU departments
    • Research area directed study: minimum of 11 credit hours
    • Thesis/Dissertation: up to 28 credit hours
  • Research and examination requirements
    • Research project completed within the first two years of the program
    • Comprehensive written and oral examination at the end of required coursework
    • Doctoral dissertation focused on original research
    • Submission of at least one research article (may be co-authored) to a peer-reviewed journal prior to defense of the doctoral dissertation
  • Tailored requirements for students entering with prior professional/graduate training
    • Up to 30 credit hours from professional/graduate training may count towards total credit hour requirement, pending approval
    • If graduate degree did not include a research thesis, students will complete a preliminary research project prior to advancing to the comprehensive exam

Speech, language and hearing sciences emphasis

This degree may be completed with an emphasis in speech, language and hearing sciences. Candidates who are interested in completing this degree with an emphasis in speech, language and hearing sciences should review emphasis area requirements.

Program requirements

The PhD student handbook contains information on program procedures and requirements.

Admission and application

View admission criteria and required application materials.

Program cost

Total cost includes graduate tuition plus Health Professions required course fees, and is based on the number of credits of instruction.

Graduate assistantships

We offer graduate assistantships! They include a stipend and a waiver of MU graduate tuition rates. Health Professions required course fees are not waived.