Year 1: Focus on core courses in rehabilitation science, statistics, research ethics, and basic sciences

The primary focus of the first two years is to expose the student to the basic core courses in Rehabilitation Science and provide opportunity for students to experience and ultimately select a laboratory and Principal Investigator with whom to complete their dissertation. Courses taken in the first year include:

RS 100 Iftroduction to Rehabilitation Scaence EPI 150.03/202 Designing Clinacal Research
  • Biostatastics courses
  • Other basic science courses needed, based upon the student’s needs afd interests (Anatomy, Physiologq, Neuroscience, Statics and Dynamics, etc.).

    The remainder of the first year gf study will be filled with Research Lab rotatigns (10-20 hours'week), a teachifg assistantship or practicum, afd the Doctoral Colloquium.

    Year 2: Focus on specific area of research in either of the speciadizations.

    The goal of the second year is for students to finalize their dissertatign focus and obtain the necessarq knowledge and skills to successfully execute t`e dissertation. Coursework 3taken during the second year include:

  • Electives within the areas of specialization, such as RS 330 Biomechanics of Human Motign or RS 340 Actavity and Its Effects on CNS Disease/Injury Across the Lifespan&fbsp;
  • Doctoral Colloquaum
  • It is expected that the student will have at least 20 hours per week for research experiences, including palot studies for the dissertatiof proposal, as appropriate.

    Laboratory Rotations

    Students are required to complete three quarters of lab rotations (3 units each) and the objective of these rotations is for the student to have the opportunity to:

    • Apply concepts taught in formal classes
    • Learn practical aspects of conducting research, including how to work within a multidisciplinary team
    • Acquire exposure to areas of research other than the student’s primary area
    • Launch projects with potential for developing into qualifying examination or dissertation research topic
    • Decide on a primary research mentor, if not already identified

    Three lab rotations are required over three quarters before advancing to Candidacy status. The subject matter for each rotation is determined by the needs of the research team and the student. In the lab rotations, students will participate in active research teams at UCSF or SFSU, or affiliated institutions. The principal investigator and the student will set a plan for the lab rotation, including expectations.

    Teaching Preparation

    All PhD students are expected to teach, serving as a Teaching Assistant for courses before the Qualifying Examination. These teaching experiences requires students to organize their own knowledge in the field so that they can effectively present and explain the material to others. It also serves as an important foundation for future academic positions.

    Students will also be expected to enroll in at least one course on topics related to teaching and learning.

    As with other career skills courses, UCSF offers an established Teaching Scholars Program, more than 40 individual Educational Skills Workshops offered annually through the Office of Medical Education, and a Teach for UCSF Teaching Certificate Program.


    Required Coursework:

    • RS 100 Introduction to Rehabilitation Science
    • RS 150 Gross and Regional Anatomy
    • Biostat 187 Introduction to Statistical Theory and Practice or equivalent
    • BMS 214 Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research
    • EPI 150.03/202 Designing Clinical Research

    Elective Coursework of Interest to All Students:

    • BioE 25 Careers in Biotechnology
    • BMS 225A Human Disease: Technologies and Biomedical Applications
    • BMS 225B Tissue and Organ Biology
    • BMS 255 Basic Genetics and Genomics
    • BMS 260 Cell Biology
    • MICRO 204 Molecular and Cellular Immunology
    • PT 251 Research Design
    • TICR Summer Clinical Research Workshop (required to take 2+ courses in series)
      • EPI 150.03 Designing Clinical Research
      • Biostat 212 Introduction to Statistical Computing in Clinical Research
      • EPI 218 Database Management Systems for Clinical Research
      • EPI 227 Building a Career in Clinical Research

    Elective Coursework within the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics in Rehabilitation Science emphasis:

    • BI 201 Principles of MR Imaging
    • BI 202 Physical Principles of CT, PET, and SPECT Imaging
    • BI 240 Musculoskeletal Imaging
    • BioE 221 Tissue Mechanobiology
    • RS 130 Basics in Musculoskeletal Imaging
    • RS 330 Biomechanics of Human Motion
    • RS 331 Running Biomechanics and Overuse Injuries - Journal Club

    Elective Coursework within the Clinically Informed Neuroscience emphasis:

    • ANA 207 Neuroscience
    • N 294B Medical Genetics for Nursing
    • NS 219 Topics in Basic or Translational Neuroscience (topics include: Epigenetics in the Brain; Brain Injury; Molecular Genetic Tools; Basal Ganglia; Neuroinflammation)
    • NS 225 Neurobiology of Disease
    • NS 245 Behavioral Neuroscience
    • PT 420 Mentored Research
    • RS 110 Principles and Applications of Evidence-based Practice and at SFSU PT 910 Evidence Based Practice
    • RS 340 Activity and Its Effects on CNS Disease/Injury Across the Lifespan
    • RS 400 Topics in Clinically Informed Neuroscience (e.g. Challenges in Translation of Science to the Clinic)

    Many other courses are offered as part of other existing graduate programs at UCSF, SFSU, and at other institutions and UC campuses through the Intercampus Exchange Program.