Rehabilitation Science PhD
Our interdisciplinary approach offers students a unique opportunity to participate in cutting-edge rehabilitation research on health issues that impact millions of people.

As the population continues to age, new research in the interdisciplinary field of rehabilitation is essential to support the healthcare needs of society. With this increased demand, rehabilitation scientists with advanced research training are in critical demand to evaluate the effectiveness of current injury prevention and rehabilitation science, and to develop new potential injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies.

The UCSF Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, in collaboration with faculty from the Department of Physical Therapy at San Francisco State University (SFSU), provides a unique opportunity to study rehabilitation science. Our PhD in Rehabilitation Science program addresses the broader perspective of basic and clinical sciences in two research tracks: Neuroscience and Musculoskeletal Biomechanics.

  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics: Students are trained on the latest advancements in musculoskeletal biomechanics and are prepared for careers in research in academia and industry. Areas of study include assessment of normal and pathological human movement using motion analysis and wearable sensors; robotics for gait augmentation; functional assessments in performance and quality of life measures; and advanced quantitative imaging of bone, muscle, cartilage, and tendons.
  • Neuroscience: Students can follow a clinically-based pathway focused on neural injury and neurodegenerative disease, or laboratory-based bench science research that focuses on experimental models of neurodegeneration and chronic neuroinflammation. Area of study include assessment of activity and function in patients with neurodegenerative disorders; development of new tools for remote movement evaluation; and evaluation of motor outcomes following interventions. 

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