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School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences—Master’s Programs: Coordinated Master, Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Arts, Master of Science

 

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers the following master’s degree programs and two certificate programs:

Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics (Coordinated Master)

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree

Master of Arts (MA)/Master of Science (MS) degrees in Communication Science and Disorders with concentrations in:

Master of Science degree program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with concentrations in:

Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies

Master of Science degree in Prosthetics & Orthotics

 

Advanced certificates through the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology

 

Academic Standards

Specific SHRS academic standards are outlined below. In addition, SHRS students are governed by the University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this bulletin.

Maintenance of Active Status

All students working toward graduate degrees must be registered for a minimum of 1 credit in each 12-month period from the time of admission until the degree is granted. Those students who fail to observe this rule will be placed on inactive status and will have to seek formal readmission in order to continue their graduate programs.

Readmission

Inactive students cannot apply to graduate or take preliminary or comprehensive examinations. While on inactive status, a student is not eligible to use University facilities and should not expect to receive counseling by the faculty or active supervision by his/her advisor and committee.

Readmission is not automatic nor does it necessarily reinstate the student to the academic status enjoyed prior to becoming inactive. If the requirements for successful completion of the specific graduate program in which the student was enrolled have changed during the period of non-enrollment, the re-admitted student may be required to meet the revised requirements of the program that are in effect at the time of readmission. This will be decided by the Department Chair of the student's particular program; for the doctoral program the decision will be made by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

However, readmission is automatic for students who receive prior approval for a formal leave of absence.

Academic Probation

Graduate students must have a 3.000 cumulative GPA to be eligible to graduate.

Graduate students who have completed at least 9 credits and whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.000 will be placed on academic probation and will receive written notification of this status. At this point it is the student's responsibility to meet with his or her advisor.

To be removed from academic probation, the student will need to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.000 within his or her next two terms of study. Failure to do so may subject the student to immediate dismissal from the program at the discretion of the SHRS Dean, taking into account the Department Chair’s recommendation.

Students who fail to demonstrate progress toward meeting graduation requirements in a timely manner may be placed on academic probation or recommended for dismissal from the program by the Department Chair, in collaboration with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. SHRS reserves the right to terminate a student at any time for academic or other reasons. Dismissal from the program is at the discretion of the SHRS Dean.

Thesis Option

Students pursuing a master’s degree with a thesis option are required to take a minimum of 6 credits of research over a period of no less than two terms. See individual program sections for program-specific guidelines.

Non-Thesis Option

Students pursuing a master’s degree with a non-thesis option are required to take a minimum of 6 credits (students in the rehabilitation counseling program are required to take 3 credits) in an area in which they want to further their professional skills. For program-specific guidelines, see individual program sections.

Comprehensive Examination

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to give students an opportunity to show their integration of information presented to date, to see how well they communicate in written form, and to test if adequate clinical skills have been achieved before allowing them to proceed in graduate study. This diagnostic tool gives the faculty an opportunity to evaluate the student’s comprehension of content to date, whether the student is ready for more advanced work, and the student’s potential to successfully complete the program. All students must take the comprehensive examination when they have completed at least two-thirds of their graduate program. Any student who fails to perform satisfactorily on the comprehensive examination will be given a second chance to qualify. The student will be examined only on those areas in which the student did poorly. Grading will be the same as on the first exam. However, a second failure will be cause for dismissal from SHRS. Please refer to the individual program concentrations for specific program requirements.

Statute of Limitations/Leave of Absence

The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that a graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh represents mastery of current knowledge in the field of study. All requirements for MA and MS degrees must be completed within a period of four consecutive calendar years from the student's initial registration for graduate study; all professional master's within five years. Dual degrees and joint degrees that require course work in excess of 50 credit hours may be granted a longer statute of limitations by the University Council on Graduate Study.

From the student's initial registration for graduate study, all requirements for the PhD degree must be completed within a period of 10 years or within eight years if the student has received credit for a master's degree appropriate to the field of study. A student who is unable to complete all degree requirements within a five-year period after passing the comprehensive examination may be re-examined at the discretion of the department or school. Programs for professional doctoral degrees, for which the majority of candidates pursue part-time study while working full-time within their chosen disciplines, may be granted a longer statute of limitations by the schools offering the degrees.

Under exceptional circumstances, a candidate for an advanced degree may apply for an extension of the statute of limitations. The request must be approved by the department or departmental committee (master's or doctoral) and submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for final action. Requests for an extension of the statute of limitations must be accompanied by a departmental assessment of the work required of the student to complete the degree as well as documented evidence of the extenuating circumstances leading to the requested extension. Students who request an extension of the statute of limitations must demonstrate proper preparation for the completion of all current degree requirements.

 

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts, Master of Science, or Master of Occupational Therapy from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences must, in addition to completing all course and other degree requirements, have a minimum GPA of 3.000. All students must be registered for at least 1 credit during the term in which they plan to be graduated. No student will be graduated with an existing F, G, or I grade in a required course. No student will be graduated who has not resolved all financial obligations with the University.

Please review the SHRS Graduate and PhD Handbook for more detailed information on the above topics.  They can be found on the SHRS website under Student Handbooks

 

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Degree

 

The Department of Occupational Therapy now offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree program.

The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree program is only available to candidates with a University of Pittsburgh Freshman Occupational Therapy Guarantee who began undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall of 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016.  Candidates with Freshman Occupational Therapy Guarantee status should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu or 412-383-6620.

 

The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree program prepares students for entry-level practice as occupational therapists. The MOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number-c/o AOTA- is 301-652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Contact Information

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
5012 Forbes Tower
412-383-6620
Fax: 412-383-6613
E-mail: OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/ot/

Admission Requirements/Application Process

The MOT program begins in June of each year. The MOT program subscribes to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as OTCAS.  Applicants for the entering class need to apply online using the OTCAS application.  The deadline for applying to the MOT program is February 1; however, we encourage applicants to apply before this deadline as the Department of Occupational Therapy will begin reviewing applications in November. Prerequisite courses must be completed by January 1.

Program Requirements 

The entry-level MOT program is a two-year professional course of study requiring 78 credits, including fieldwork education.

Certification

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may prevent a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain a state licensure.

 

MOT Curriculum and Course Descriptions

Candidates with Freshman Occupational Therapy Guarantee status should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy at OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu or 412-383-6606 for the MOT Curriculum and Course Descriptions.

 

Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics/Master of Science

Preparation for a career in dietetics as a Registered Dietitian requires the completion of an approved 4-year college degree program, completion of an accredited supervised practice experience (providing a minimum of 1200 hours), and successful performance on the National Registration Examination for Dietitians. Effective January 1, 2024 the requirement for dietitian registration eligibility will require a minimum of a graduate degree from an ACEND-accredited program.

The Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics is currently granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/899-5400.

Contact Information

Deborah Hutcheson, DCN, RDN, LDN
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
4036 Forbes Tower
412-383-6747
Fax 412-383-6636
E-mail:  dhutches@pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/cmd/

Admissions Requirements/Application Process

Application Deadline:

March 15; however, we encourage students to apply prior to the deadline as the program will begin reviewing applications in January.

Prerequisite Courses

 

Course Title
Credits
Foundations of Biology 1 with Lab
4
Genetics or Foundations of Biology 2
3
Human Physiology
4
Intro to Microbiology
3
General Chemistry 1 with Lab
4
General Chemistry 2 with Lab
4
**Principles of Organic Chemistry
3-6
*Biochemistry
3
Public Speaking
3
Intro to Economics
3
Writing/English Composition
6
Algebra
2-4
*Intro to Nutrition
3
Intro to the Profession of Dietetics
1
Nutrition Assessment 1
3
Food Science with Lab
4
Social Cultural Determinants Food Behavior
3
Macronutrient Metabolism
3
Micronutrient Metabolism
3
Nutrition in the Lifecycle
3
Nutrition Therapy 1
3
Nutrition Therapy 2
3
Intro Psychology
3
Intro Sociology
3
Nutrition Education and Counseling
3
   
*These courses need to be completed within the last 5 years.

 

** CHEM 0350 (3 cr.) offered each Spring Term will satisfy the Organic Chemistry requirement. Students who do not take CHEM 0350 must take OCHEM 1 & 2 (6 cr.).

+Genetics is preferred, however, a Biology 2course with a strong genetics component will fulfill the requirements.

Registration

This graduate curriculum provides students with a Master of Science degree and the accredited supervised practice component. The MS program will offer supervised experiences in a variety of major health care and community settings including the renowned University of Pittsburgh Health Care System (UPMC). Upon successful completion of the MS program, graduates are eligible for the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.

 

Program Requirements

The Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics is a two-year Master of Science course of study requiring 53 credits including supervised practice.

Curriculum


First Year  
Fall Term  
HRS 2008

Entrepreneurial Skills for Nutrition Professionals

3

HRS 2631 Nutrition Assessment 2 with Lab
3
HRS 2999 Independent Supervised Practice
2
HRS 2004 Pathophysiology
4
PSYED 2018 Statistical Methods 1
3
TOTAL CREDITS
15

Spring Term  
HRS 2633 Professional Trends and Issues
3
HRS 2634 Food Service Management with Lab
3
HRS 2625 Advanced Nutrition Counseling
3
HRS 2901 Intro Research Methodology
3
HRS 2640 Supervised Practice: Community Nutrition
   2
TOTAL CREDITS
14

Second Year  
Fall Term  
HRS 2623 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy 1
3
HRS 2600 Nutrition Research Seminar
1
HRS 2641 Supervised Practice: Food Service Mgt
2
HRS 2642 Supervised Practice:  Clinical 1
5
HRS 2637 Practical Applications of MNT 1
1
TOTAL CREDITS
12

Spring Term  
HRS 2624 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy 2
2
HRS 2643 Supervised Practice: Clinical 2
5
HRS 2644 Supervised Practice Management of Nutrition Care
2
HRS 2645 Supervised Practice: Management in Long-term Care
2
HRS 2638 Practical Applications of MNT 2
   1
TOTAL CREDITS
12

 

TOTAL CREDITS = 53

* Courses may vary dependent on transfer courses accepted.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation from the Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics requires completion of 53 credits as follows:

  • 26 credit hours of core academic requirements.
  • 20 credit hours of supervised practice.  This will provide the minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice as specified by ACEND.
  • 7 credit hours of research requirements.

 

Master of Arts and Master of Science Degrees in Communication Science and Disorders

 

The Communication Science and Disorders program provides students with a specialized academic education in communication processes and disorders, including disorders of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing; the anatomical, physiological and cognitive mechanisms that subtend these pathologies; the knowledge and skills needed to critically evaluate empirical research; and clinical expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals having communicative disorders.

The master’s degree program has two concentrations: One in speech-language pathology and one in audiology There is also an option for meeting public school practice requirements. For students interested in the clinical practice degree in audiology, please see the section on the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree in this bulletin.

A research track (resulting in the Master of Science degree) in audiology and speech-language pathology is also available.

The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) accredits professional entry-level programs (MA/MS for Speech-Language Pathology and AuD for Audiology).

Contact Information

Program Director
Department of Communication Science and Disorders
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
6035 Forbes Tower
412-383-6540  
Fax: 412-383-6555
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/CSD/
 

For Admission Requirements and the application process, please click on this link, Admission Requirements and Application Process

 

Communication Science and Disorders Program Requirements

In addition to the General Academic Regulations of the University and the SHRS Academic Standards, students in both the speech-language pathology and audiology concentrations have a series of shared requirements:

Comprehensive Examination for the Master of Arts (MA) and AuD degrees

All students in the Master of Arts and AuD degree programs are required to pass a two-part oral and written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination assesses students’ ability to think critically, to communicate their thoughts in written and oral form, and to demonstrate their grasp of the major academic and clinical content provided in their graduate program.

Students pursuing the Master of Arts (MA) degree in audiology must successfully complete a comprehensive examination in the spring of the second year of study. This is a written test that assesses the depth and breadth of the student's knowledge attained during the first four semesters of graduate study. (Students seeking the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree must complete a second comprehensive examination. Details about that comprehensive examination can be found in the section on the AuD.)

Students pursuing the Master of Arts (MA) degree in communication disorders with a concentration in speech-language pathology must satisfactorily complete a one-credit course, typically taken in the fall or spring term of their last year in the graduate program. The course includes a final oral examination which consists of a brief presentation by the student followed by an extended question and answer session by selected members of the faculty. Requirements for passing the comprehensive examination course are provided in the course syllabus.

Proseminar Requirement

All students must complete the proseminar requirement, which consists of attending a specified number of scientific and professional presentations that have relevance to communication science and disorders.

Clinical Practicum

Clinical practicum requirements are met in Communication Science Disorders Clinical Network which consists of more than 100 facilities in Western Pennsylvania with which the program is affiliated. These include hospitals, home based services, specialty clinics, not-for-profit clinics, early intervention, and private practices in the area, as well as public and private schools. All course work and practicum credits must be completed with a minimum grade of C to satisfy requirements for the degree.

Thesis Option for Master of Science (MS) degrees

Students pursuing the Master of Science degree in speech-language pathology or audiology must successfully complete a thesis project. Students who complete a Master’s thesis are exempt from the comprehensive examination. Thesis students will have an examining committee of at least three University of Pittsburgh faculty members, including the research director, who serves as chair.

Additional requirements are outlined in the academic handbook, which is distributed to students at the beginning of their academic programs.

 

Master of Arts Degree in Communication Science and Disorders with a Concentration in Speech-language Pathology

 

The master’s degree program with a concentration in speech-language pathology has a generally predefined curriculum with some options for electives.  Students have the option to take either an adult or pediatric hearing management course. Students participate in at least 10 credits of practicum and have the option to complete a School Practicum making them eligible for State of Pennsylvania Educational Certification in Speech-Language Impaired. 

Program Requirements

The program is designed to require at least 5 terms of study, though some students complete the requirements in six terms. Course work must be passed with a C grade or better in order to count for graduation and to qualify the student for the comprehensive examination.

General Clinical Track

This track requires 60 credits distributed as follows: Required Coursework (50 credits) and Clinic Practicum (10 credits).

Public School Option

For school certification, students must complete the regular master's degree requirements plus the following: a 3 credit child/human development course (typically taken as an undergraduate); a Language Development course (typically taken through the CSD undergraduate program); a one credit School-Based Service course and CSD 2067 School Practicum (4 days per/week for a full semester). Addtionally, the stusdent must pass specific Praxis examinations as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

The progression of courses for the general clinical requirements and the public school option are outlined on the Department’s web site. Includes the following Program Curriculum.

Speech-language Pathology Curriculum

CSD 2020 Audiological Assessment – 1 credit

CSD 2022 Audiological Assessment Lab – 1 credit

CSD 2039 Motor Speech Disorders – 3 credits

CSD 2041 Management of Hearing Problems – 3 credits OR

CSD 2055 Pediatric Audiological Rehabilitation – 3 credits

CSD 2060 Proseminar (each term) – 0 credits

CSD 2062 Intro to Client/Clinician Communication – 1 credit

CSD 2063 Developing Client/Clinician Communication – 1 credit

CSD 2064 Introduction to Clinical Decision Making – 3 credits

CSD 2070 Articulation and Phonological Disorders – 3 credits

CSD 2071 Child Language Disorders I – 3 credits

CSD 2072 Fluency Disorders – 3 credits

CSD 2073 Voice Disorders – 3 credits

CSD 2074 Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Disorders – 3 credits

CSD 2075 Aphasia – 3 credits

CSD 2076 Dysphagia – 3 credits

CSD 2077 Augmentative Communication – 3 credits

CSD 2081 Research Strategies and Tactics – 3 credits

CSD 2082 Professional Issues – 2 credits

CSD 2250 Child Language Disorders II – 3 credits

CSD 2275 Cognitive-Communicative Disorders – 3 credits

Optional

CSD 2500 Medical Speech-Language Pathology – 1-2 credits

CSD 2514 School-Based Service Delivery – 1 credit

Clinical Practice (variable, minimum of 10 credits)

CSD 2056 – Clinic Practicum in Audiology

CSD 2059 – Audiology Clinic Practicum

CSD 2065 – Clinic Practicum in SLP-Network

CSD 2066 – Clinic Practicum in SLP-Outplacement

CSD 2067 - Practicum in Public Schools

Other Requirements:

CSD 2069 Written and oral comprehensive examination

Thesis Option

CSD 2000 Master’s Thesis

 

Master of Science Degree in Communication Science and Disorders with a Concentration in Audiology

 

This program is designed for those students who do not plan to provide clinical services, but would like to pursue a research track in audiology.  Students pursuing the AuD degree (Clinical Doctorate) may also pursue a research track.  The audiology concentration for the master’s degree requires 68 credits of coursework.  All credits must be passed with a B grade or better in order to count for graduation.

Audiology Curriculum

CSD 2021 Clinical Procedures Lab 1-1-1 credit

CSD 2022 Clinical Procedures Lab 2-2 - 1credit

CSD 2038 Physiological and Psychological Acoustics - 3 credits

CSD 2040 Audiologic Assessment – 3 credits

CSD 2041 Management of Adult Hearing Problems - 3 credits

CSD 2042 Audiologic Assessment Lab – 1 credit 

CSD 2044 Differential Assessment – 4 credits

CSD 2045 Physiological Assessment – 3 credits

CSD 2046 Pediatric Evaluation - 3 credits

CSD 2047 Amplification I - 3 credits

CSD 2048 Sound and Vibration - 3 credits

CSD 2049 Aging Auditory System - 3 credits

CSD 2051 Clinical Procedures Lab 1-2 - 1-credit

CSD 2052 Clinical Procedures Lab 2-3 - 1credit

CSD 2053 Clinical Procedures Lab 2-1 - 1 credit

CSD 2055 Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation - 3 credits

CSD 2056 Audiology Practicum in Network (3 terms) - Variable credits

CSD 2057 Clinical Practicum in Audiology-Outplacement (5 terms) - Variable credits

CSD 2060 Proseminar/Research Round Table (6 terms) - 0 credits

CSD 2068 Speech Practicum Network - 1 credit

CSD 2251 Vestibular Assessment and Rehabilitation - 3 credits

CSD 2252 Advanced Physiological Assessment – 3 credits

CSD 2251 Comprehensive Examination I -1 creditt

CSD 2454 Amplification II – 3 credits

CSD 2456 Developmental Speech Perception – 3 credits

CSD XXXX SLP Graduate level course – 3 credits

 

Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science with a Concentration in Wellness and Human Performance

 

The Advanced MS in HRS will focus on wellness and human performance for those students seeking graduate training to develop knowledge and skills related to nutrition and exercise in maintaining and improving health and physical performance. The Advanced Program will include the integration of course work, clinical education, and research pertaining to nutritional aspects of health, fitness, and athletic training/performance. This Advanced MS Program in HRS with a concentration in wellness and human performance will parallel the Advanced MS with a concentration in sports medicine and provide students with access to the sports medicine research facilities and faculty.

Contact Information

Matthew Darnell, PhD, RD, CSSD, SCCC

           Assistant Professor
Program Director MS in Wellness and Human Performance
           Department of Sports Medicine
University of Pittsburgh

School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences

          
 

Warrior Human Performance Research Centers

           Neuromuscular Research Laboratory
3860 South Water Street
           Pittsburgh PA 15203

Tel: 412-246-0475

           Email: med30@pitt.edu

 

Program Requirements

This degree requires the completion of a minimum of 38 credits.

Core Requirements: 26 credits 

 

HRS 2004 Pathophysiology 4 credits
HPS 2650 Exercise Physiology with Lab 3 credits
HRS 2600 Nutrition Research Seminar 1 credit
HRS 2625 Advanced Nutrition Counseling 3 credits
HRS 2626 Special Topics in Eating Behavior 3 credits
HRS 2627 Diet and Exercise in Chronic Disease Management 3 credits
HRS 2628 Nutrition and Performance with Laboratory 3 credits
HRS 2629 Dietary Supplements for Health & Performance 3 credits
HRS 2646 Introduction to Functional Foods 3 credits

Research: 6 Credits

HRS 2901* Introduction to Research Methodology 3 credits
HRS 2910** Statistical Applications in Health & Rehabilitation 3 credits

 

*Required

**Alternate selections require approval.

Additional Requirements: 6 Credits

 

HRS 2999 Independent Study 3 credits
Electives in a designated specialty area 3 credits

 

Wellness and Human Performance Curriculum and Course Descriptions

 

Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science with a Concentration in Health Information Systems or Health Care Supervision and Management

 

The Department of Health Information Management (HIM) offers two concentrations leading to the Master of Science degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science, Health Information Systems (HIS) which also offers an RHIA option and Health Care Supervision and Management (HSM).

Contact Information:

Mervat Abdelhak, PhD, RHIA, FAHIMA, Chair
Department of Health Information Management
6051 Forbes Tower
412-383-6650  
Fax: 412-383-6655
E-mail: him@pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/HIM/

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Financial Aid

There are scholarships and loan opportunities available to graduate students from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Further information can be obtained from the AHIMA web site at www.ahima.org under the career and student center tab. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association (PHIMA) awards scholarships to qualified students in Pennsylvania.  Further information can be obtained from PHIMA’s web site at http://www.phima.org/members/scholarships/

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) also awards scholarships to HIMSS student members who have achieved academic excellence and have the potential to be future leaders in the health care information and management systems industry. Visit the HIMSS site at http://www.himss.org/ and navigate to "Scholarships" under the Professional Development menu.

Health Information Systems (HIS) 

The concentration in health information systems (HIS) prepares professionals for the development and management of health information systems consistent with the clinical, fiscal, administrative, ethical, and legal requirements of health care institutions. Graduates of this program analyze, design, implement, and evaluate health information systems. As members of the health care team, they interact with other health care professionals and administrators, and provide health care data for patient care, research, quality improvement, strategic planning, reimbursement, and related managerial functions.

MS-HIS/RHIA Option: Students enrolled in the HIS graduate program may choose this option for eligibility to sit for the AHIMA Registration Examination to become credentialed as a registered health information administrator (RHIA).

Program Requirements 

The HIS concentration requires a student to complete 41–42 credits, including foundation courses in health informatics and health management, as well as an internship.  Courses are chosen with the advisor and a Plan of Study developed to enable each student to design in-depth study of Health Informatics taking into account student’s previous academic preparation and experience. A written comprehensive examination is also required. See SHRS Comprehensive Examinations.

Thesis Option

Students are required to take 6 credits, HRS 2924 and HRS 2925.

Non-Thesis Option

Students are required to take 6 credits in an area in which they want to further develop their professional skills; courses offered within the Department, School, or within the University.

HIS Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The HIS curriculum allows students to choose from required core courses and elective courses. Elective courses can be chosen from SHRS or other academic programs within the University.

Health Care Supervision and Management (HSM)

The concentration in Health Care Supervision and Management provides health professionals an opportunity for career advancement in areas of administration and supervisory management in health care, long-term care, and rehabilitation.

This program is designed for health care professionals who wish to attain skills and knowledge at the graduate level to prepare for a supervisory management position or to upgrade competencies.

Program Requirements 

Students are required to take a minimum of 41–42 credits and must take the comprehensive examination. HSM offers students the thesis or non-thesis option. Students electing the thesis option must complete 6 credits, HRS 2924 and HRS 2925. Students choosing the non-thesis option must complete 6 credits in an area in which they want to further develop their professional skills.

HSM Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The Health Care Supervision and Management curriculum allows students to choose from required core courses and elective courses. Elective courses can be chosen from SHRS or other academic programs within the University.

 

Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science with a Concentration in Occupational Therapy

 

Post-professional graduate studies in this field enable occupational therapists to pursue an area of interest in clinical practice, management, education, research, or health and disability policy.

Contact Information

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
5012 Forbes Tower
412-383-6620  
Fax: 412-383-6613
E-mail: OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/msot/

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Program Requirements

This degree requires 30 credits distributed as follows:

  • Four core courses (12 credits):  HRS 2501, 2502, 2503, and 2504.
  • Career Design/Redesign (18 credits): See Program Curriculum below.

A written comprehensive examination prepared by the faculty and covering content of the four core courses is also required. A thesis is not required but is an option.

Program Curriculum and Course Descriptions

Career Design/Redesign (18 credits) is the largest component of the curriculum and is designed to meet the individual needs of the student. Courses are chosen with the advisor and a plan of study is developed that enables each student to design in-depth study in a particular area, or to redesign a new career path.

 

Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies

The Physician Assistant Degree program prepares students to become highly qualified physician assistants.  The University of Pittsburgh graduates  will go on to serve as tomorrow’s leaders in patient centered care, education and professional service.

Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs practice primary and specialty patient care in medical and surgical settings throughout the United States and worldwide. In order to practice, Physician Assistants must graduate from an accredited educational program and become certified through an examination by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Studies Program received Accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) in March of 2012, following a site visit in September 2011. This program was awarded continuing accreditation through March of 2018. Students are admitted into the program upon successful completion of:  an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution and fulfillment of all prerequisites.

Contact Information

Marsha LaCovey, MS 

Physician Assistant Studies

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences  

3010 William Pitt Way

Pittsburgh, PA 15238

412-624-6719 

Fax: 412-624-7934

E-mail: mlacovey@pitt.edu                                                                                               

                                                   

Webpage: http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/pa

 

Admission Requirements/Application Process

Applications are accepted through CASPA each year from mid April to November 1.  Students are admitted each spring semester.

Program Requirements

Prerequisite course work

  • Anatomy and Physiology, two semesters*
    • This requirement may be met by taking either one semester of Anatomy with lab and one semester of Physiology or two semesters of Anatomy & Physiology combined.
  • Biology with lab designed for Science Majors, two semesters*
  • Chemistry with lab designed for Science Majors, two semesters*
  • English Composition/Writing, two semesters
  • Microbiology with lab, one semester*
  • Organic Chemistry with lab, one semester*
  • Psychology, Introduction, one semester
  • Psychology, Upper Level, one semester
  • Statistics, one semester
  • Medical Terminology, one semester, at least one college credit

*Prerequisite Science Courses GPA of 3.0 or higher is required

Other admission criteria

Successful completion of an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution

  • A valid Healthcare Provider BLS course certification from AHA. CPR certification must be maintained throughout the two year program.
  • Overall grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in all college-level course work and a minimum (GPA) of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in the prerequisite science courses marked above with an asterisk (*).
  • Three letters of recommendation, one from a former college/university instructor and one from a supervisor of the required clinical experience.
  • A minimum of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience.

The patient care experience must be direct, "hands-on" patient contact e.g., RN, EMT or paramedic, health educator, patient care attendant or nurse's aide, clinic assistant, Peace Corps volunteer or other cross-cultural health care experience, technologist, therapist, clinical research assistant, respiratory therapist/aide, medical assistant, PT/OT assistant, therapist.

The GRE is required for applicants seeking seats. The Program Code in CASPA is 0452.

All coursework, requirements, and degree must be completed by August 31st each year in order to be considered for a seat in the class that will begin the following January.

Although not required, the following will be considered when determining the applicant's candidacy score:

  • Biochemistry with lab, one semester
  • Advanced Biology Courses
  • Calculus, one semester
  • Nutrition, one semester
  • Shadowing a PA

The program is two full years (six consecutive semesters) and classes start each January (spring semester). Applications will be considered until the class is filled. Students are highly encouraged to apply early. The program does not offer advanced standing. All courses within the curriculum are required. No credit is granted for pre-admission experiential learning. Only full-time students are admitted.

Interview Process

Applications for admission will be reviewed by the PA Program Admission’s Committee. Candidates selected will be required to meet with the Admissions Committee. The University of Pittsburgh’s PA program finds the personal interview to be a necessary and important component to the admission process. The faculty looks for such personal attributes as maturity, empathy, compassion, motivation, ability to communicate, cultural sensitivity, critical thinking skills and the potential to achieve career fulfillment within the PA role. Interviews will be conducted on campus to provide the candidate and faculty an opportunity to meet and discuss the program objectives, student’s goals, rationale for choosing the PA profession and more specifically the program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Plan of Study


The Physician Assistant curriculum is comprised of a rigorous 24 month Master of Science Program. The goals and objectives of our program are guided by the criteria set forth in the Standards and Guidelines for an Accredited Educational Program for the Physician Assistant as established by ARC-PA. The first three semesters (12 months) are made up of classroom instruction. Course content is presented through traditional lecture, integrated instruction, case based and hands on skills labs.  The clinical year is comprised of rotations in internal medicine, primary care, emergency medicine, general surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, geriatrics and behavioral health.  The curriculum is presented by practicing physician assistants, medical and surgical physicians and providers who have the expertise in their respective specialty.

Each course in the program is offered only once during the academic year, therefore, any departure from completing a course in its planned sequence (e.g. failure to receive a passing grade of 'C' or better; leave of absence from program) will result in the delay of completion of program requirements and graduation from the program. 

Didactic Year 1:

Semester 1:

Course Credits
PAS 2101 Introduction to the PA Profession 1
PAS 2102 Human Anatomy/Lab 4
PAS 2103 Medical Physiology 4

PAS 2105 Health Policy 2
PAS 2106 Interpreting & Evaluating the Medical Literature 1

PAS 2205 Pathophysiology 3
Semester Total Credits: 15

Semester 2:

Course Credits

PAS 2104 Genetic and Molecular Mechanisms of Health and Disease 1
PAS 2107 Patient Education & Counseling 2
PAS 2201 History Taking and Physical Examination I/ Lab 3
PAS 2202 Clinical Medicine I/ Lab 3
PAS 2203 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures in Medicine I/ Lab 3
PAS 2204 Pharmacology I 3
Semester Total Credits: 15

Semester 3:

Course Credits
PAS 2301 History Taking and Physical Examination II/ Lab 3
PAS 2302 Clinical Medicine II/ Lab 3
PAS 2303 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures in Medicine II/ Lab 3
PAS 2304 Pharmacology II 3
PAS 2305 Health Issues Across the Life Span 2
PAS 2306 Fundamentals of Surgery 1
Semester Total Credits: 15

Year 1 Total Credits: 45

Clinical Year 2:

Clinical Year 2

The schedules presented in Semesters 4, 5, and 6 are an example. The actual clinical schedule and order a student will complete the identified clinical rotation may vary.

Semester 4:

Course Credits
PAS 2701 Internal Medicine I 4
PAS 2702 Family Medicine I 4
PAS 2703 Emergency Medicine 4
Semester Total Credits: 12

Semester 5:

Course Credits

PAS 2704 Pediatrics 4
PAS 2705 General Surgery 4
PAS 2706 Behavioral Health 4

Semester Total Credits: 12
Clinical Year 2

Semester 6:

Course Credits
PAS 2707 Women's Health 4
PAS 2708 Geriatrics 4
PAS 2711 Elective 4
PAS 2712 Summative Evaluation 1
Semester Total Credits: 13

Year 2 Total Credits: 37

Program Credits Total: 82

 

Certification

Graduates of the professional program are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of the Physician Assistant (NCCPA). All States and the District of Columbia have legislation governing the qualifications or practice of physician assistants. All jurisdictions require physician assistants to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. Only those successfully completing the examination may use the credential “Physician Assistant-Certified.” To remain certified, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every 2 years. Every 10 years, they must pass a recertification examination.

Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science with Concentrations in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy and Neuromuscular Physical Therapy

 

Post-professional graduate studies enable physical therapists to improve their clinical knowledge and clinical skills through a specific program of advanced physical therapy practice and scholarship. The Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Science program offers a choice of concentrations in Physical Therapy: Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy and Neuromuscular Physical Therapy. This program is designed to provide advanced clinical skills in the areas of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular physical therapy. The program leads to a professional clinical degree at the post baccalaureate level. The program is 12 months in length and 33 credit hours.

Program Requirements

Failure to meet any of the above requirements may result in the student not being recommended for graduation from the program.

 

Contact Information

Program Director
Department of Physical Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Bridgeside Point 1
          100 Technology Drive Suite 210
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
           Phone: 412-383-8169    
Fax: 412-648-5970
E-mail: ptinfo@shrs.pitt.edu 
www.shrs.pitt.edu/mspt/

Admission requirements and Application Procedures

 

Examination and Testing Requirements

Throughout the plan of study, a series of written and/or oral-practical examinations are integrated within the formal course work. These examinations are used to determine mastery of the core elements of the plan of study.

The written examination will cover the levels of "application and analysis" and "synthesis and analysis" so as to gauge the student's ability to utilize information in their clinical decision making.

The practical examinations will focus on the clinical application of therapeutic assessment and treatment techniques. Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate patient handling, awareness of safety issues, application of technique, and decision-making rationale at the level of an advanced clinician.

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

 

The Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology within SHRS offers two Master's Degree Programs in Counseling: Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a Concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling & Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitations and Mental Health Counseling

 

Contact Information

Michael McCue, PhD, CRC
Rehabilitation Counseling
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology
5040 Forbes Tower
412-383-6589
Fax: 412-383-6597
E-mail: mmccue@pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/msrc/

Program 1: Master of Sciences in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a Concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling

 

Admission Requirements and Application Process

The curriculum of study for rehabilitation counseling is based upon having experienced a strong undergraduate education that has provided a sound foundation in knowledge, methods, and attitudes. Specific requirements for admission to rehabilitation counseling are:

1.           A Baccalaureate degree. (No specific major is mandated; however, prerequisite study for post baccalaureate advanced education should include a well-rounded general education that includes a distribution of studies in psychology, counselling and social sciences) Computer literacy is essential.

2.           Prerequisite coursework includes foundation courses in the following areas:

  • Psychology, counseling, or human development (2 courses)
  • Statistics or research design
  • English composition or Technical Writing

3.           Students must possess foundation knowledge of the concepts and terminology in medical, psychological, and sociological sciences on which to build the rehabilitation counseling curriculum.

4.           The applicant must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00, and a 3.00 in the prerequisite courses

5.           The applicant should demonstrate knowledge of rehabilitation through previous work experiences, internships or field experience, or volunteer work experience.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

 

Program Requirements

Students participate in the equivalent of full-time graduate study for two academic years (i.e., a minimum of 60 semester hours). The emphasis in rehabilitation counseling requires two practicum experiences (minimum of 100 field hours each) and an internship (minimum of 600 hours). One practicum is recommended in the area of counseling or job placement and the other in assistive technology. The internship must be in rehabilitation counseling.

Clinical Capstone Examination

All Counseling students are required to pass a clinical competency examination.  The Clinical Capstone Exam focuses on student demonstration of knowledge and skills that reflect the competencies of the rehabilitation and mental health counselor.  Students will be assessed on their knowledge and skills accumulated through coursework and clinical experiences.  The course requires students to synthesize and apply advanced concepts into clinical practice.

The course implements a case study approach.  Students are provided real and/or simulated clients to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.  Students are expected to analyze and synthesize case materials for case conceptualization and then develop appropriate and realistic intervention plans.  Students are expected to apply appropriate counseling techniques included in their intervention plan via role-play simulations.  Successful completion is needed for the student to demonstrate mastery of graduate study.

 

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

The program curriculum is designed to permit the student to obtain the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function effectively as a professional rehabilitation counselor.

Program 2:  Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

Overview

Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling is a program that blends the important concepts of rehabilitation and mental health counseling to make a strong, cohesive training for clinical and professional counselors. Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counselors are uniquely qualified to work with individuals with disabilities, particularly those who are experiencing psychiatric disabilities or other mental and behavioral health concerns.

This program prepares students for the clinical practice of rehabilitation and mental health counseling. The two-year, 60-credit hour curriculum includes courses on foundations of rehabilitation and mental health counseling, human development across culture and the lifespan, individual, group, family and couples counseling, substance abuse, evidence based practice in counseling, crisis management, risk assessment and disaster preparedness, clinical assessment and diagnosis, case conceptualization and treatment planning, medical and psycho-social aspects of disability, case management, vocational and career development,  job development and placement, and assistive technology.

Graduates meet eligibility criteria for national certification in rehabilitation counseling (i.e., certified rehabilitation counselor, CRC), professional counseling (National Counselor Certification, NCC and the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). 

Prerequisites

The curriculum of study for clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling is based upon having experienced a strong undergraduate education that has provided a sound foundation in knowledge, methods, and attitudes. Students must possess foundational knowledge of the concepts and terminology in medical, psychological, and sociological sciences on which to build the rehabilitation and mental health counseling curriculum.

Students must have the ability to communicate in a clear, organized, and logical fashion with appropriate grammar, both verbally and in writing.

Admission is available on a full-time or part-time basis. Provisional special status may be granted to outstanding students who do not meet all of the prerequisite requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in psychology, human services, rehabilitation sciences, social sciences, or related field of study from an accredited post-secondary institution
  • Minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.00

Application Requirements

All applicants must:

  • Complete the SHRS ApplyYourself online application
  • Submit the $50 application fee (U.S.)
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Submit a minimum of three letters of recommendation – Preferably from individuals who have instructed you in academic settings and/or supervised research activities
  • Submit a personal statement – Description of educational and long-term professional goals
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Participate in an interview – Applicants are required to complete a group interview with the counseling faculty as a part of the application process. Face to face interviews are preferred but other means can be arranged if indicated.

This program requires that student’s complete clinical internships at facilities external to the University, and such facilities may require a criminal background check, an Act 33/34 clearance, and a drug screen to determine whether the student is qualified to participate in the clinical internships.  Additionally, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.

Clinical Capstone Examination

All Counseling students are required to pass a clinical competency examination.  The Clinical Capstone Exam focuses on student demonstration of knowledge and skills that reflect the competencies of the rehabilitation and mental health counselor.  Students will be assessed on their knowledge and skills accumulated through coursework and clinical experiences.  The course requires students to synthesize and apply advanced concepts into clinical practice.  

The course implements a case study approach.  Students are provided real and/or simulated clients to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.  Students are expected to analyze and synthesize case materials for case conceptualization and then develop appropriate and realistic intervention plans.  Students are expected to apply appropriate counseling techniques included in their intervention plan via role-play simulations.  Successful completion is needed for the student to demonstrate mastery of graduate study.

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

 

Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a Concentration in Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST)

 

Contact Information

Dan Ding, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL)
6425 Penn Avenue, Suite 400
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
412-822-3684
E-mail: dad5@pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/RST/

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Required credits/degrees: Bachelor's degree

Required quality point average (QPA): 3.0

Other admission criteria: The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of rehabilitation science and technology through volunteer or work experience.

Prerequisites:


• Statistics- 3 credits
• English Composition- 3 credits
• Human Anatomy and Physiology- 3 credits
• College Physics- 3 credits


*prerequisite waivers are permitted, pending applicants can demonstrate proof of equivalent knowledge/experience

Application Procedures

 

The applicant must:

  • Present a description of professional and educational goals that are realistically attainable
  • Forward 3 letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s academic, professional, and personal attributes and potential for meaningful graduate study

Program Requirements/Minimum Credits

All students enrolled in the RST concentration are required to complete 44 credits to meet degree requirements. Students must complete a common set of core courses (HRS 2704, HRS 2705, HRS 2706, HRS 2708, HRS 2715, HRS 2718, HRS 2724, HRS 2901, HRS 2731, HRS 2905, and HRS 2921 a set of relevant electives. The curriculum covers basic science, engineering principles, assistive technology, pathology, rehabilitation, and consumer advocacy.

Students must complete all core courses. Other units may be taken as electives to meet the required number of credits for graduation.

Thesis/Non-Thesis Options 

Students in the rehabilitation science and technology program are encouraged to pursue graduate research by completing a master’s thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor and thesis committee. However, a non-thesis option of a scholarly paper is also available.

RST students who choose the scholarly paper option may take about one year to complete the program. The scholarly paper may take the format of a literature review, program development, or other product as approved by members of the student’s Scholarly Paper Committee.

 

Master of Science Degree in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with a Concentration in Sports Medicine

 

The Master of Science in Sports Medicine is a two-year intensive program focused on enhancing the knowledge base in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries and illness.  The program accomplishes this by providing a core curriculum that is central to the pathokinesiology of joint injury and the principles by which restoration of joint function is accomplished.  Students are provided with a research experience within the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory.  A clinical experience is available for some students through graduate student assistantships in exchange for providing certified athletic training services.  The research experience in the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory (home of the Warrior Human Performance Research Center) focuses on issues central to clinical research in orthopedics and sports medicine. Research includes the use of electromyography, motion analysis, isokinetic dynamometry, physiological, proprioceptive, and balance assessment modalities for the purpose of defining and restoring function as well as optimizing performance in military personnel, injured athletes, and in physically active individuals.  Weekly seminars sponsored by the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine provide students with access to the most current research and clinical developments related to patient care. Master's degree candidates must successfully defend a thesis research project or scholarly paper (non-thesis track) in the second year for completion of the program.

 

Contact Information

Timothy C. Sell, PhD, PT
Director of Graduate Studies in Sports Medicine
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition
4033 Forbes Tower
412-246-0460  
Fax: 412-246-0461
E-mail: tcs@pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/mssm/

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are available to master’s candidates who are athletic trainers and include appointments at the University of Pittsburgh. The yearly assistantships include tuition remission and stipend.

 

Academic Standards 

 

An average of at least B (GPA=3.00) is required in all courses that make up the MS emphasis in sports medicine. A student who receives a grade lower than a B is required to retake the course according to School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences policy. A student with full graduate status who has obtained at least 9 quality point credits will be automatically placed on probation by the dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences whenever the student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.00. After one academic year of probation (fall and spring semester), a student who fails to obtain the required GPA of 3.00 will be dismissed from the academic program. This policy is in compliance with the general policy published in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate and Profession Bulletin 2002–03 and the University of Pittsburgh Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh (rev 5/98).

 

Student Scholarship Appointment Standards

The Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, in accordance with the University of Pittsburgh and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, defines a student scholarship as a teaching assistant, teaching fellow, graduate student assistant, or student employee trainee (TA/TS/GSA/SET). Although student scholarship appointments may not be made for more than one year, a student may be reappointed. While it is impossible to guarantee reappointments, most students making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree and whose teaching or other service performance is satisfactory will receive at least one renewal of their appointment or an offer of other financial assistance. If it is impossible to offer renewal or other appointments, priority will be given to those with superior academic, teaching, and service qualifications.

The criteria for reappointment are the quality of assigned work and academic achievement. Unsatisfactory academic performance is a cumulative GPA below 3.00 or completion of fewer than 9 credits of graduate work per term. As such, students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.00 at the time of scholarship reappointment will not receive reappointment of their scholarship. This policy is in accordance with the University of Pittsburgh Policy Statement for Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and Graduate Student Assistants.

 

Program Requirements

The concentration in sports medicine requires a student to successfully complete a minimum of 36 credits and is available with a thesis and non-thesis option. Master’s degree candidates must successfully defend a thesis research project or scholarly paper (non-thesis track) in the second year for completion of the program.

 

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

In addition to the course work, students who are certified athletic trainers and are awarded graduate student assistantships are provided with clinical experiences in athletic training and sports medicine settings. All students are provided the opportunity for research experience within the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory.

 

SHRS Certificate Programs

SHRS offers two certificate programs for graduate students or for professionals who hold graduate degrees.

Certificate in Assistive Technology

The Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology has developed an innovative program that prepares individuals to be well-versed in assistive technology, and able to either work directly with persons with disabilities or participate in a research environment related to assistive technology and rehabilitation.

Eligibility

To be eligible for admission into the certificate program, a student must:

  • currently be enrolled in a Master of Science or PhD program in RST, physical or occupational therapy, communication science and disorders, or engineering program or
  • possess an MS, PhD, or MD degree in an appropriate health-related or technology field.

Program Requirements

The certificate will be awarded upon completion of a Master’s or higher degree and completion of 15 credits. The following courses are required:

 

HRS 2704 Fundamental of Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology 3 credits
HRS 2705 Practice in Rehabilitation engineering and Assistive Technology 3 credits
HRS 2708 Individual and Social Experience of Disability 3 credits
HRS 2921 Clinical Internship OR 3 credits
HRS 2748 Assistive Technology Practicum 3 credits

 

And at least three credits must be completed from any combination of the following courses (or other courses if approved by the Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology):

 

HRS 2709 Manual Wheelchair Design and Evaluation 2 credits
HRS 2711 Computer Access 3 credits
HRS 2723 Home and Work Modifications 3 credit
HRS 2724 Assistive Technology Funding and Policy 1 credit
HRS 3705 Wheelchair Biomechanics 1 credit
HRS 3702 soft Tissue Biomechanics 2 credits
HRS 3710 Clinical Applications in Seating 4 credits

 

Certificate in Disability Studies

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers a 15-credit certificate program in disability studies. This multidisciplinary field of inquiry examines how psychosocial and societal participation issues potentially affect the estimated 45 million people with disabilities.

Eligibility

Students enrolled in MS, PhD, or MD degree programs in health-related or technology fields and professionals working in a variety of fields (minimum of bachelor degree required) are eligible to apply for this certificate program. Admission is offered on a rolling basis.

 

Program Requirements

The certificate will be awarded upon completion of the following courses. These 15 credits can be taken over two or more semesters:

 

HRS 2708 The Individual and Social Experience of Disability 3 credits
LAW 5339 The Law of Disability Discrimination 2 credits
or
ADMPS 2114 Disabilities Law and Society 3 credits
HRS 2474 Disability Policy and Services 3 credits
HRS 3412 Directed Study in Psychosocial, Social, and Cultural Aspects of Rehabilitation and Disability 3 credits
  or  
HRS 2905    Ethical Issues in Health Care 3 credits
  or  
HRS 2902 Topics in Health Care 3 credits
HRS 2475 Disability Relations, Policy and Services Internship 3 credits

 

Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Contact Information

Meghan Wander
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
6425 Penn Ave., Ste. 401

Pittsburgh, PA 15206
412-624-6214
Fax: 412-624-6501383-6597
E-mail: mew135@pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/po/

 

Program Overview

Orthotics and Prosthetics is the evaluation, fabrication and custom fitting of artificial limbs and orthopedic braces. Orthopedic braces, or orthoses, are used to stabilize or unload joints, normalize motion and stresses on tissue, substitute for muscle weakness or paralysis, and assist in normal growth, development and function. Orthoses can be applied to the head, neck, trunk, or limbs. Artificial limbs, or prostheses, are used to replace missing limbs or portions of limbs, and to restore more normal function of the upper or lower extremities.

Orthotists and prosthetists work in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, and home health settings. Orthotists and prosthetists are currently in high demand, and the demand is expected to increase in the future.

Orthotists and prosthetists are part of the health care team, and as such, work with physicians, therapists, and other health care professionals to provide the orthotic and prosthetic needs of patients. Orthotists and prosthetists are responsible for 1) performing a comprehensive assessment of the patient's orthotic/prosthetic needs, 2) creating a comprehensive orthotic/prosthetic treatment plan to meet the needs and goals of the patient, 3) performing the necessary procedures to deliver the appropriate orthotic/prosthetic services, which may include fabrication of the orthosis/prosthesis, 4) providing continuing patient care and periodic evaluation to assure/maintain/ document optimal fit and function of the orthosis/prosthesis, 5) participating in personal and professional development through continuing education, training, research and organizational affiliations, and 6) developing, implementing and/or monitoring policies and procedures regarding human, business, and organizational management.

The MSPO Program is five consecutive terms in length, including one summer term, and requires a total of 66 credits. It is designed to meet all standards for accreditation by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) and for preparing students to complete residencies and take the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics examinations.

The curriculum includes clinical internships at various internship sites which are available in the Pittsburgh area and throughout the country. The first set of internships are integrated into the curriculum and are completed within the Pittsburgh area. During the last term of the Program, the student completes a more extensive internship, and the student may have to relocate out of the Pittsburgh area during this term. We can work with the student to set up additional internship sites for this final term if necessary.

Accreditation Status

The Master of Science Program in Prosthetics and Orthotics has been granted accreditation by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). Our graduates are fully eligible for NCOPE residencies, and, upon successful completion of an NCOPE residency, they are fully eligible to take the certification examinations of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC).

 

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Prerequisite courses

1) Baccalaureate Degree.  No specific major is mandated; however, the degree should include a well-rounded general education with a distribution of courses in the sciences, mathematics, psychology, social sciences, and humanities.

2) Prerequisite coursework includes foundation courses in the following areas:

•                Physics with lab                            4 credits

•                Biology with lab                            4 credits

•                Chemistry with lab                        4 credits

•                General Psychology                      3 credits

•                Mathematics (algebra or higher)  3 credits

•                Human anatomy                           3 credits

•                Human physiology                        3 credits

•                Statistics                                      3 credits

*These courses may not be taken in an online or e-learning setting.  Candidates who apply to the program with the latter will be asked to retake said courses prior to enrolling in the program.

3) Recommended minimum overall grade point is a 3.0 grade-point average in all college-level courses and a 3.0 average in prerequisite courses.  Applicants with less than a 3.0 but with other outstanding qualifications will be considered.

4) Demonstration of knowledge of the profession of orthotics and/or prosthetics through volunteer or work experience. We suggest 250 hour minimum of O&P shadowing to allow the practitioner plenty of time to write a recommendation.

5) Recommendations: (Three): At least one academic reference from a college instructor, and at least two references from a health-care professional (preferably a certified orthotist or prosthetist).

6) Essay describing background leading to the choice of this profession and long-term goals.

7) Completed Application form.

8) Official transcriptions from all college level course work.

9) Graduate Record Exam General Test (institution code - 2927).

Applicants applying to the Prosthetics and Orthotics (MS) program will apply online using the Orthotics & Prosthetics Centralized Application Service, known as OPCAS, https://portal.opcas.org/and submit one copy of their official transcript, letters of recommendation, and other required information directly to OPCAS.

To be assured inclusion in the review process, applications should be completed by the date posted on the MSPO website (http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/po. Application information which must be submitted includes:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcriptions of all college-level courses
  • Letters of recommendation (three)
    • At least one from a college instructor
    • At least two from a health care professional (preferably a certified orthotist or prosthetist)
  • Essay describing background leading to your choice of this profession and your long-term goals.
  • Graduate Record Exam Scores (General GRE) (Institution Code 2927)
  • Record of work, shadowing, or volunteer experience related to the profession of orthotics and prosthetics

Please note that the University of Pittsburgh’s program requires that you complete clinical internships at facilities external to the University, and such facilities will or may require a criminal background check, an Act 33/34 clearance, and perhaps a drug screen to determine whether you are qualified to participate in the clinical internships. Additionally, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.

Admissions process, application deadline and prerequisites requirements are available on the Prosthetics and Orthotics webpage.


The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences does not require a supplemental application.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete all admission requirements prior to enrollment.

 

Program Requirements/Minimum Credits

Students enrolled in the MSPO Program are required to complete 66 credits to meet degree requirements.  The curriculum meets all requirements for students to do NCOPE residencies and take the American Board of Certification in Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Pedorthics certification examinations.  Specific courses include:

Fall term, year one

HRS 2771 Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology, 3 credits
HRS 2772 Clinical Pathology, 2 credits
HRS 2773 Introduction to Materials, Equipment, and Fabrication, 2 credits
HRS 2901 Introduction to Research, 3 credits
HRS 2706 Rehabilitation Biomechanics, 3 credits
HRS 2776 Professional Issues in Prosthetics and Orthotics, 1 credit
HRS 2779 Patient Management, 1 credit

Spring term, year 1

HRS 2883 Trans-Tibial Prosthetics, 5 credits
HRS 2785 Lower Extremity Orthotics I, 5 credits
HRS 2926 Scholarly Paper, 1 credit
HRS 2775 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice, 1 credit
HRS2905 Ethics and Health Related Professions, 3 credits

Summer term, year 1

HRS 2786 Lower Extremity Orthotics II, 3 credits
HRS 2883 Trans-Femoral Prosthetics, 3 credits
HRS 2783 Spinal Orthotics, 3 credits
HRS 2921 Internship (4 hours/week) = 56 hours, 1 credit
HRS 2778 Research Seminar, 1 credit

Fall term, year two

HRS 2781 Upper Extremity Orthotics, 3 credits
HRS 2881 Upper Extremity Prosthetics, 3 credits
HRS 2708 Individual and Social Experience of Disability, 3 credits
HRS 2903 Issues in the Health System, 2 credits
HRS2704 Fundamentals of Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology, 3 credits
HRS 2921 Internship (4 hours/week) = 60 hours, 1 credit

Spring term, year two

HRS 2921 Internship (280 hours), 6 credits
HRS 2926 Scholarly Paper, 2 credits
HRS 2777 Practice Management in Prosthetics and Orthotics, 2 credits

Program Total = 66 credits

 

*Each course is offered only once during the academic year, therefore, any departure from completing a course in its planned sequence (for example: failure, for any reason, to satisfactorily complete a required course; an unresolved "G" or "Incomplete" grade) will result in a one year delay in completing the course, the remaining program requirements, and the year of graduation.

Comprehensive Exam

 

At the beginning of the final term of study, a comprehensive examination will be given, covering all aspects of the Program. Students will be required to pass this examination prior to graduation.

 

Thesis/Non-thesis Options

All MSPO students are required to complete at least a Capstone Project, under the direction of a faculty advisor and an additional faculty reader. However, as a substitute for the Capstone Project, the student may elect to complete a master's thesis, under the direction of a faculty advisor and thesis committee. Students electing to pursue the thesis option will complete 3 credits of Graduate Research Proposal (HRS 2924) in place of the 3 credit Capstone Project (HRS 2926) and will also complete 3 credits of Graduate Research (HRS 2925).

 

Tuition and Fees

 Tuition and Fee rates for the MSPO program can be found at the following websites:

 Tuition

 •Pennsylvania Residents:  http://www.ir.pitt.edu/tuition/pghpagrad.php

 •Out-of-State Students:  http://www.ir.pitt.edu/tuition/pghosgrad.php

 

University Fees: 

 •http://www.ir.pitt.edu/tuition/reqfees.php

In addition to University Fees, some of the MSPO courses have lab fees associated with them. Current Fees are available on the Prosthetics and Orthotics webpage.

 

Master of Science Programs

Doctoral Programs

Certificate Programs

SHRS Graduate Course Listing

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty 

 

 

 

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