PhD Admissions

The Rehabilitation Science PhD program seeks the next generation of diverse researchers and educators, including those from medically under-served and disadvantaged backgrounds, who are committed to the quest for knowledge discovery and contributing to an equitable and inclusive scientific process.

Application Deadline

We admit a new class of PhD students every other year. For admission for Fall 2025, the anticipated opening date for applications is September 2, 2024, and the anticipated application deadline is January 15, 2025.

General Qualifications

  • Degree: To qualify for admission, applicants must have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in physical therapy, kinesiology, neuroscience, exercise physiology, biomedical engineering, or a related rehabilitation science or professional field.
  • GPA: Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or greater (or its equivalent).
  • GRE: GRE scores are not required.
  • Prerequisites: Because of the broad and varied interests of PhD in Rehabilitation Science applicants, prerequisite courses vary depending on each applicant’s area of study. Applicants are expected to have previous research experience, whether through undergraduate training or post-graduate work. Applicants with a master’s degree or higher may petition 30 units to cover certain coursework requirements. All applicants are expected to have completed preparatory coursework in the following areas: Biology (minimum 2 semesters), Chemistry (minimum 2 semesters), Physics (minimum 2 semesters), Mathematics (through calculus), Statistics, Anatomy, and Physiology

How to apply

Submit the following in the UCSF Graduate Division Online Application:

  • Transcripts: unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) required. Official transcripts must be submitted upon acceptance to the program. 
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Purpose: 3-5 pages discussing your background, interests, research goals, purpose in applying, and plans for the future.
  • Letters of Recommendation: at least 3 letters from individuals who know you well and can speak to your ability to succeed in graduate school


Additional Information

International Students

In addition to meeting the same admissions requirements domestic students meet, international applicants from non-English speaking countries must also demonstrate proficiency in English. Please visit the International Admission Requirements website to learn more about satisfying the English proficiency requirements and about submitting international transcripts.

Student Success at UCSF

Success in graduate school requires care and attention to all aspects of your life: health and wellness, community, career development, personal and professional relationships, and security and safety. UCSF is committed to providing a full range of resources and services to help you succeed. Learn more about these resources by visiting the Student Success website.

Student Disability Services

UCSF is committed to ensuring access to graduate education for all students. Early communication with the relevant administrators is critical to successful partnership in arranging accommodations. SDS is the appropriate and confidential office for seeking accommodations, and will coordinate communications and procedures with you and the graduate faculty and programs. Please visit the UCSF Student Disability Services website for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to know what lab and PI I want to work with before applying?
    No, you don't! The program includes three lab rotations, and your graduate advisor will help you identify appropriate labs which align with your research interests.
  • Do I need to be a physical therapist to apply?
    You do not need to be a physical therapist to apply. A bachelor’s, master’s or a doctoral degree in physical therapy, neuroscience, exercise physiology, biomedical engineering, or a related rehabilitation science or professional field is required.

Contact Information

Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any other questions.