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Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences

The Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) in Rehabilitation Sciences program will not be accepting any additional students. The program has merged with the College Interprofessional Doctor of Health Science initiative. No faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation are available to serve as advisors for students enrolling during the 2019-2020 academic year. Please contact Lisa Chiarello, PT, PhD at to discuss exploring advisors in other departments or plans for enrolling in future academic years.


The Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) in Rehabilitation Sciences program is designed to be an advanced doctoral degree program open to physical and occupational therapists seeking leadership roles in education and/or clinical practice.

The mission of the program is to prepare these individuals to take leadership roles as educators and master clinicians in rehabilitation sciences and to promote transfer of knowledge, evidence-based practice, professional responsibility, and lifelong learning across a variety of academic and clinical settings. The DHSc program encompasses four areas: leadership, education, scholarship and health care practice.

The DHSc Program consists of a minimum of 48-quarter credits completed part-time over 3 to 5 years. Coursework for this program is predominantly online. Most of the coursework will be offered without pre- or co-requisites to maximize students' ability to balance his or her work and personal lives while completing the degree. Each student chooses an area of practice that matches the expertise of one of our faculty members; an arrangement that ensures optimal mentorship for the students.

What you'll learn

The DHSc curriculum includes foundation courses in the health professions, teaching, research, and the opportunity for focused study in a specialized area of clinical practice such as pediatrics, orthopedics and hand rehabilitation. The program provides comprehensive preparation for clinical leadership and academia.

The objectives of the DHSc program include four areas: leadership, education, scholarship, and clinical health care practice. Graduates of the Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences program will be prepared to:

  • Practice as a master clinician in an area of advanced practice through clinical decision-making that is consistent with concepts of client-centered care and current best evidence;
  • Synthesize theory, research, and health care policy relevant to individuals with movement dysfunction to promote transfer of knowledge into clinical practice;
  • Serve effectively as consultants to patients, clients, community organizations, and professional colleagues;
  • Serve effectively as educators in rehabilitation sciences in the academic, clinical, and community settings;
  • Develop and evaluate structure, tests and measures, process, and outcomes of service delivery and/or intervention through scholarship in an area of advanced practice or education;
  • Communicate information effectively through peer-reviewed professional presentations publications.

Prospective students are encouraged to explore our faculty research areas and information on our DHSc faculty mentors.

What makes the DHSc in Rehabilitation Sciences program unique?

  • Specifically designed to accommodate working professionals.
  • Resources to prepare for specialty certification.
  • Concentrations in pediatrics, orthopedics, and hand rehabilitation.
  • Dynamic online learning supplemented with onsite sessions to provide mentorship and foster student engagement.

DHSc Faculty Mentors

The Doctor of Health Science (DHSc) in Rehabilitation Sciences program will not be accepting new students in the 2019-2020 academic year. Please contact us for additional updates


As a distance education learner, students in the Doctor of Health Sciences in Rehabilitation Sciences will only need to complete the compliance requirements if indicated for their plan of study.

Admission Requirements

A master's or clinical doctoral professional degree in physical therapy or a related field such as MPT, MSPT, MOT, DPT, or OTD. Minimal overall GPA of 3.0

Standardized Tests:
GRE scores are required, current or expired. If you're unable to attain a copy of your expired scores, you may request a waiver and your file will be evaluated on your GPA and the rigor of your professional degree program. International applicants must also submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score unless they have completed their bachelors, master’s or clinical doctoral professional degree at an accredited institution in the United States (programs must be on-site).


Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended.
  • You must supply transcripts regardless of the number of credits earned or the type of school you attended.
  • Instead of hard copy transcripts, your post-secondary institution can supply official electronic transcripts directly to Drexel University Online through a password secured link or website (use our email address,
  • If you don’t list all post-secondary institutions on your application and these appear on transcripts received from other institutions, your application will not be reviewed until you have submitted the remaining transcripts.
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions


Submit 2 recommendations from previous supervisors, mentors or advisors.

  • You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service 
  • If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
Personal statement describing current leadership, teaching and research activities and how they have prepared you for the DHSc program, your scholarship/research interests within the program, and include your future career plans.

Interview may be required.


Copy of current, active US or Canadian professional license.

Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
It is preferred that applicants have a minimum of 2 years of relevant clinical experience.

International Students:
International applicants must have their transcripts evaluated and sent to us by one of the following agencies: World Education Services ( International Consultants of Delaware (

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Drexel Online Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences tuition page

Application Link (if outside organization):
All applicants of the DHSc program must apply via the Drexel Online Student Application Website.


MSA: Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences has 9,000 sq ft of dedicated research laboratory space. Learn more here.