The Ph.D. program in Rehabilitation Science is a specialized curriculum in Orthopedics & Clinical Biomechanics. The curriculum is an integrative endeavor of the departments of Athletic Training, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. The academic course of study and the research focus are designed to meet the academic needs of the student and the collaborative research initiatives of the student and faculty. Graduates of the program will be productive members of the academic community who are engaged in teaching, research and scholarship.

Rehabilitation Science Learning Outcomes

By completion of the program, the student will:

  • Describe the detailed anatomy in his/her area of focused study;
  • Discuss anatomical structure and function in relation to clinical and research questions;
  • Apply biomechanical principles to physical assessment and rehabilitation of regional anatomical structures;
  • Integrate injury prevention and intervention strategies associated with clinical impairment of anatomical regions;
  • Critique the existing literature that supports interventions and evidenced-based clinical outcomes related to evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation;
  • Discern the appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods required to comprehensively answer a research question;
  • Appropriately use statistical methodologies and procedures to interpret data generated by quantitative and qualitative research designs;
  • Develop and demonstrate content expertise in a specific area of study;
  • Select and implement the most appropriate educational methodologies to maximize student learning within multiple teaching environments;
  • Exhibit the principles of sound scientific writing and perform ongoing self- assessment and improvement of his/her writing abilities;
  • Participate in grant and/or manuscript submission;
  • Conceive a realistic, multifaceted research agenda that will meaningfully contribute to the scholarly body of knowledge within the student's area of expertise

Rehabilitation Sciences Degree Requirements

The student will complete a minimum of 40 credit hours of coursework (excluding dissertation credits) for the M.S. in Rehabilitation Sciences degree on the way to earning the Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences degree. These 40 credits include a minimum of 22 credit hours of coursework taken on the Duquesne University campus. The total Ph.D. program is a minimum of 72 credit hours, which includes the 40 credits completed for the M.S. degree. The specific blend of coursework will be dependent upon the details and scope of the current undertaking as well as the past educational and professional experiences of the student.

Coursework is categorized in different domains.

Research Courses

  • Research Methods* ‡ (GREV 511)     3 cr.
  • Research Methods & Design (GREV 701)     3 cr.
  • Statistics I* (GREV 510)     3 cr.
  • Statistics II* (GREV 610)      3 cr.
  • Statistics III* (GREV 611)     3 cr.
  • Qualitative Research* (GREV 514) 3 cr.
  • Clinical Outcomes & Evidence Based Practice Research I (REHS 605)     3 cr.
  • Clinical Outcomes & Evidence Based Practice Research II (REHS 606)     3 cr.

Anatomy Courses

  • Specialized Topics in Anatomy I* (REHS 638)     3 cr.
  • Specialized Topics in Anatomy II (REHS 639)     3 cr.

Concentration Courses

  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics - Overview* (REHS 640)     3 cr.
  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics of the Upper Limb - Shoulder (REHS 641)     3 cr.
  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics of the Upper Limb - Elbow (REHS 642)      3 cr.
  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics of the Upper Limb - Wrist & Hand (REHS 643)     3 cr.
  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics of the Upper Limb - Hip (REHS 644)     3 cr.
  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics of the Upper Limb - Knee (REHS 645)     3 cr.
  • Orthopedics & Biomechanics of the Upper Limb - Ankle & Foot (REHS 646)     3 cr.
  • Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injury (REHS 650)     3 cr.
  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics (REHS 652)      3 cr.
  • Integrative Biomechanics of the Lower Limb (REHS 654)     3 cr.
  • Physical & Therapeutic Modalities (REHS 656)     3 cr.
  • Bioinstrumentation (REHS 658)    3 cr.
  • Seminar in Orthopedics & Sports Medicine* (REHS 660)     3 cr.
  • Supervised Research (REHS 670)     3 cr.
  • Directed Research (REHS 671)      3 cr.

Education Courses

  • Theories of Teaching & Learning* (GFDE 510)      3 cr.
  • Teaching Practicum* (REHS 615)      3 cr.
  • Technology & Education (GILT 511)      3 cr.
  • Psychology of Learning (GPSY 511)     3 cr.


  • Scientific Writing (REHS 682)      3 cr.
  • Grant Writing (REHS 684)      3 cr.
  • Neuroscience     3 cr.
  • Motor Learning     3 cr.

Independent Study

  • Independent Study I (REHS 600)     1-3 cr.
  • Independent Study II (REHS 601)     1-3 cr.
  • Independent Study III (REHS 603)     1-3 cr.

* Signifies ‘Required Course' unless waived by Program Director.
‡ Student need complete either GREV 511 or GREV 701 - both are not required.

Comprehensive Academic Project

The Comprehensive Academic Project (CAP) is intended to serve a role similar to that of a traditional comprehensive or qualifying examination. The CAP is an academic experience that requires the student to demonstrate his or her depth and breadth of knowledge relevant to his or her specific concentration of study in Orthopedics and Clinical Biomechanics. The CAP will take place after all required course work is completed but before the dissertation proposal. The CAP will consist of both a written and an oral component. To proceed to candidacy, the student must pass both written and oral portions of the CAP. The written component consists of a typed manuscript written by the student in journal format, which describes a formal supervised or directed research endeavor the student experienced during his or her studies within the Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D. program at Duquesne University. The required quality of the paper must be at a sufficiently high enough level that it may be submitted to a peer reviewed scientific journal with a reasonable chance of being accepted. The oral component must consist of a public presentation to members of the student's Program Committee and will be open to Duquesne University faculty, and students. The general format of the oral presentation is that of a professional podium presentation followed by questions and answers. The specific project selected for the CAP must be approved by the student's Program Committee prior to commencement of the project. The CAP serves as a measured directive that assesses the student's capability to successfully complete a dissertation.


Every student is required to complete a written dissertation and to successfully orally present and defend his/her completed dissertation. Every student working on a dissertation must maintain continuous enrollment (register each semester either for credit or for continuous registration) until the dissertation is complete. Students are strongly encouraged to become intimately familiar with dissertation format, procedures and deadlines by visiting the library's website for electronic theses and dissertations.

Rehabilitation Science Graduation Requirements

A student who has completed all requirements with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA will receive a Master of Science degree or a Doctor of Philosophy degree, as appropriate.