Frequently Asked Questions

What are potential backgrounds of PhD students?

Students come from various backgrounds related to or of interest to health and rehabilitation science. See below for examples of relevant fields.

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Exercise Science
  • Kinesiology
  • Athletic Training
  • Biomechanics
  • Engineering
  • Assistive Technology
  • Architecture–Universal Design
  • Neuroscience


  • Neurology/
  • Physiology
  • Community Health Behavior
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Mental Health
  • Chiropractic
  • Medicine
  • Prosthetics/orthotics
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Lifespan Physiology–pediatrics through geriatrics

When are applications considered for admission? When are applicants informed of their acceptance or rejection?

Applications are submitted to the Rehabilitation Science Admissions Committee as soon as they are received. Applicants are informed once the committee makes a decision, usually before March 1. Apply by December 15 for the fullest consideration for financial aid.

Is a master’s degree required?

No, however, research experience is required prior to application.

How much research experience is required before applying to the PhD program in rehabilitation science?

Applicants should show evidence of participation in the research process, ideally through the completion of a master’s level thesis. However, comparable research experiences will be considered.

Are there options for part-time study?

The PhD program in rehabilitation science is a full-time only program.

Can I transfer in graduate credit from other programs?

Students are able to transfer credits on a case-by case basis. Courses will be considered for transfer with approval from the program director and student’s mentor.

Are GREs required?

Yes. They must be taken within four years of applying.

How long will it take to earn a PhD?

All graduate work credited to the doctoral degree must be completed within seven years of the first registration date in the program.

What are possible career opportunities with a PhD degree in rehabilitation science?

Career opportunities may include academic faculty positions, research positions in the public and private sectors, and clinical and/or administrative positions.

What is the difference between a PhD and an OTD or DPT?

The PhD is a research doctorate designed to add to the body of knowledge in rehabilitation science. It requires original research and writing and defending a research dissertation. The OTD and/or DPT are clinical doctorates where the focus is on clinical practice rather than research.

Are there opportunities to interact with other departments?

In addition to working with the Department of Rehabilitation Science, you may interact with faculty from departments throughout the university, including architecture and planning; communicative disorders and sciences; and exercise and nutrition sciences.

Where can I find housing convenient to the campus?

UB offers a variety of campus living options for graduate students, including townhouses and traditional residence hall accommodations. An off-campus housing division can also help you find a place in the area.