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School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences—Doctoral Programs

 

The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers

  • Professional doctoral degrees: Doctor of Audiology (AuD), Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), and Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Communication Science and Disorders and Rehabilitation Science

 

Doctor of Audiology (AuD) Degree

 

The primary objectives of the AuD program are to provide students with academic course work as well as the clinical skills and experience (beyond that obtained with the master’s degree) to enter the professional community and assume independent leadership roles. Graduates will be prepared for independent clinical practice and academic positions upon graduation and will be immediately eligible for professional licensure and for Certification of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and American Board of Audiology Certification.

The Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program is offered through the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. The AuD is the required entry-level degree for audiologists.

This AuD program prepares entry-level audiologists to assume independent clinical and leadership roles within the professional communities of the region, state, and nation.

Contact Information

Admissions Assistant
Department of Communication Science and Disorders
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
6035 Forbes Tower
412-383-6540  
Fax: 412-383-6555
E-mail: csdadmissions@shrs.pitt.edu
www.shrs.pitt.edu/aud/

For Admissions Information and the Application Process, please click on the following link Admission Requirements/Application Process

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.

In order 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 Department Chair.

Students who fail to demonstrate progress toward meeting graduation requirements in a timely manner may be placed on academic probation or be dismissed from the program at the discretion of the Department Chair.

 

Academic Standards

In addition to following the University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this bulletin, the AuD program is regulated by the SHRS Academic Standards, as well as the departmental Student Handbook on Academic and Clinical Requirements.

Degree Requirements

Students with bachelor’s degrees in communication science and disorders can complete the program in four years while students with a master’s degree in CSD can complete the program in approximately two years. Students applying to the AuD program with a completed master's degree will be required to complete two years of study with approximately 51 credits to satisfy academic and clinical requirements for the degree. A review of successfully completed graduate coursework in the master's degree in CSD (focus in Audiology) will be conducted after being admitted to the AuD Program. Students applying to the AuD program with a completed bachelor's degree (major in CSD) will require four years of study with a minimum of 92 credits to satisfy academic and clinical requirements for the degree. Students with a bachelor's degree without a CSD major will have to complete an additional year of post-baccalaureate study. Other requirements include the successful completion of two comprehensive examinations, a mentored research project, and a full-time clinical externship.

Comprehensive Examinations

Students in the AuD program are required to successfully complete two comprehensive examinations before the Doctor of Audiology degree can be awarded. The Comprehensive Exam I is a formative examination that will identify strengths and/or weaknesses in the student’s knowledge base.  An ad hoc committee of audiology faculty members administers this comprehensive examination.

In addition, students pursuing the AuD are required to successfully complete Comprehensive Exam II. During this examination, the student will demonstrate an ability to apply theoretical knowledge to a real clinical case with which the student has been extensively involved during clinical training. Comprehensive Exam II will have both written and oral portions. The student will identify a case from the student's own clinical experience in which they have been primarily responsible for case management. This case will be thoroughly presented, together with in-depth background information, including relevant clinical research on all aspects of the case. A panel of three faculty members will be constituted to evaluate each individual student’s examination performance

All audiology students in good academic standing are expected to pass their comprehensive examination(s). However, and regardless of academic standing, failure to pass either of the above examinations within three examination cycles will result in the student’s dismissal from the audiology training program.

AuD Curriculum

CSD 2040 Audiologic Assessment – 3 credits

CSD 2042 Audiologic Assessment Lab – 1 credit 

CSD 2044 Differential Assessment – 4 credits

CSD 2045 Physiological Assessment – 3 credits

CSD 2252 Advanced Physiological Assessment – 3 credits

CSD 2251 Vestibular Assessment and Rehabilitation – 3 credits

CSD 2046 Pediatric Evaluation – 3 credits

CSD 2047 Amplification I – 3 credits

CSD 2454 Amplification II – 3 credits

CSD 2041 Management of Adult Hearing Problems – 3 credits

CSD 2055 Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation – 3 credits

CSD 2456 Developmental Speech Perception – 3 credits

CSD 2038 Physiological and Psychological Acoustics – 3 credits

CSD 2048 Sound and Vibration – 3 credits

CSD 2600 Medical Rotation – 1 credit

CSD 2602 Educational Audiology – 2 credits

CSD 2081 Research Strategies and Tactics – 3 credits

CSD 2971 Research Practicum (2 semesters) – 1 credit

CSD 2049 Aging Auditory System – 3 credits

CSD 2654 Practice Management – 3 credits

CSD 2062 Intro to Clinician-Client Communication – 1 credit

CSD 2063 Developing Clinician-Client Communications – 1 credit

CSD 2110 Neuroscience of Communication – 3 credits

CSD 2601 Supervision – 1 credit

CSD 2089 Graduate Special Topics-Genetics – 3 credits

CSD 2054 Implantable Hearing Devices – 3 credits

CSD XXXX SLP Graduate level course – 3 credits

                Elective (2000 level) – 2 credits

                Elective (Any level) – 2 credits

                Statistics I – 3 credits

                Statistics II – 3 credits

CSD 2056 Audiology Practicum Network (3terms) – Variable credits

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

CSD 2068 Speech Practicum Network – 1 credit

CSD 2060 Proseminar/Research Round Table (6 semesters) – 0 credits

CSD XXXX Clinical Procedures (5 semesters) – 1 credit

CSD XXXX Advanced Clinical Seminar (6 semesters) – 1 credit

CSD 2659 Externship (3 semesters) – 4 credits

Comprehensive Examination I

Comprehensive Examination II

Research Project (Fulfilled by 2 credits of CSD 2971)

 

Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) Degree in Speech-language Pathology

 

The CScD is an advanced clinical doctorate recommended for the student or clinician seeking to employ state of the art clinical excellence and leadership as a speech-language pathologist in settings such as modern primary, tertiary, or rehabilitation medical centers and academic institutions.

The primary objectives of the CScD program are to provide new and continuing graduate students and returning clinicians with advanced academic course work, clinical skills, case based learning experiences, medical team rotations, and extensive mentored clinical practice. Graduates of this program will excel in their medical specialties and assume leadership roles. Graduates will be prepared for independent clinical practice in the medical setting and clinical faculty positions.

Students are expected to meet the eligibility requirements for application for both American Speech Language and Hearing Association certification (Certificate of Clinical Competence CCC-SLP) and Pennsylvania state licensure over the course of their studies. There is no dissertation project required for the CScD degree, however, students will demonstrate expertise in the critical analysis and application of scientific information.

Contact Information

Admissions Assistant
Department of Communication Science and Disorders
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
6035 Forbes Tower
412-383-6540
Fax: 412-383-6555
Email: csdadmissions@shrs.pitt.edu
www.shrs.pitt.edu/csd

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree. Students with higher grade point averages and GRE scores will be ranked higher in the screening process.

Post baccalaureate requirements for admission to the CScD match those for the Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and must be completed before graduate-level course work and practicum may begin. Those requirements are found in the Admission Requirements section for the master’s degree in this Bulletin.

All applicants considering the CScD must e-mail CSD admissions before starting the application process.

Please direct all inquiries to the CSD Admissions Office.

Students with master’s or doctoral degrees in speech-language pathology, with or without a completed clinical fellowship, may apply for advanced academic and clinical standing. Students admitted without a degree in Communication Science and Disorders may be eligible to transfer some equivalent graduate-level course work, based on review of the transcripts and other documentation.

Degree Requirements

The CScD degree is a 5-year program (3 years post master’s degree). Entry-level students without a Master’s Degree will complete five years of study. Students entering at Year 3 will complete 87 credits of study. Specific programs of study will be tailored to the individual student after consideration of their previous experience and desired professional pathway.

Comprehensive Examinations

Students in the CScD program are required to successfully complete oral and written comprehensive examinations. These are cumulative examinations covering the core clinical sciences and theoretical basis supporting diagnosis and intervention. Students are required to be engaged in clinical practice throughout their program. Students are also required to demonstrate clinical decision-making and clinical practice knowledge and skills using principles of evidence-based practice.

Academic Standards

In addition to following University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this bulletin, the CScD program is regulated by the SHRS Academic Standards, as well as the departmental Student Handbook on Academic and Clinical Requirements.

 

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Degree

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is an entry-level educational program, which prepares students for careers as occupational therapists.

The OTD program has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (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.

The program must be granted Candidacy Status, have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

 

 

Contact Information

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
5012 Forbes Towers
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
           412-383-6620
Fax: 412-383-6613
E-mail: OTpitt@shrs.pitt.edu
http://www.shrs.pitt.edu/ot/

Admission Requirements/Application Process

Admission to the OTD program is only available on a full-time basis. The OTD program begins the first week of June of each year. The OTD program subscribes to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).  Applicants for the entering class need to apply online using the OTCAS application.  The deadline for applying to the OTD 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.

Degree Requirements

The OTD program is a three-year (9 term) professional course of study requiring 112 credits, including fieldwork education and an experiential preceptorship. Students in the OTD program must successfully complete all didactic coursework, Level II fieldwork, and pass a competency examination prior to the commencement of the experiential preceptorship. Students must complete Level II fieldwork and the experiential preceptorship within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

 

OTD Curriculum and Course Descriptions

Academic Standards

In addition to following University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this bulletin, the OTD program is regulated by the SHRS Academic Standards, as well as the departmental Student Handbook.

 

Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) Degree in Occupational Therapy

The Doctor of Clinical Science (CScD) Program in Occupational Therapy provides training in advanced practice, clinical education, and professional leadership. The CScD program offers six areas of concentration: Master Practitioner (Geriatric, Musculoskeletal, Neurologic, or Pediatric Practice), Clinical Education, and Professional Leadership. Core courses focus on assessment, intervention, evidence-based protocols and guidelines, and data-based decision making.  Each Core course is paired with a colloquium or clinical rotation that provides students with mentored opportunities to apply their skills in the appropriate setting. Cognate courses focus on theory, evidence, and data collection in the student’s chosen area of concentration.

 

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/cscdot/

 

Admission Requirements 

The CScD program begins in July of each year. Applications are due by May of the year in which students are seeking admission. However, the Department of Occupational Therapy encourages applicants to apply as early as possible.

Degree Requirements

The CScD degree requires 72 credits post-baccalaureate degree. Students with an entry-level master’s degree in occupational therapy or a baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy and a master’s degree in occupational therapy or another field may be eligible to transfer 30 credits from their master’s degree, leaving a remaining 42 credits, thus being able to complete the program in 4 terms or 13 months. Students without a master’s degree will be required to take all 72 credits, culminating in two full years of study.

 

Curriculum and Course Descriptions

Comprehensive Examination

Students in the CScD program are required to successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations, describing and defending the culminating capstone project.

Academic Standards

In addition to following University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this bulletin, the CScD program is regulated by the SHRS Academic Standards, as well as the departmental Student Handbook on Academic and Clinical Requirements.

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Degree

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is the entry-level educational program, which prepares students for careers as physical therapists. Upon successful completion of the curriculum, a student is eligible for the licensure examination, which is required to be a practicing physical therapist. The goal of the DPT curriculum is to prepare students to become self-directed, self-accountable physical therapists who can function in a cost-effective manner in all settings, and with persons of all ages. Graduates of the program will be prepared to enhance human movement and function through the use of evidence-based practice principles. Physical therapy graduates will have a foundation on which to base further knowledge and skills in specialty areas and to contribute to development of the art and science of physical therapy.

 

Contact Information

M. Kathleen Kelly, PhD, PT
Vice Chair, DPT Program
Department of Physical Therapy
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Bridgeside Point 1, Suite 210
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3130
           412-383-6637
Fax: 412-648-5970
E-mail: ptinfo@shrs.pitt.edu
www.shrs.pitt.edu/dpt/

Admission Requirements/Application Process

Admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is only available on a full-time basis. The DPT program begins the first week of June each year.

Financial Aid

Academic Standards

In addition to the University-wide academic rules and regulations as detailed in the General Academic Regulations section of this bulletin, the DPT program is regulated by the SHRS Academic Standards.

Statute of Limitations

All requirements of the DPT must be completed within three years. Extension of the statute of limitations may be granted if there are extenuating circumstances. Such requests, listing reasons for the extension and the amount of additional time needed, must be approved by the department chair.

Comprehensive Examinations 

Students in the DPT program are required to pass a written comprehensive examination before the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree can be awarded. The written comprehensive examination is a cumulative examination covering the core clinical sciences and focusing on physical therapy practice.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a three-year (9 semester) professional course of study including clinical internships.

DPT Curriculum

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy – PhD in Bioengineering program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) – PhD in Bioengineering program combines the entry-level DPT leading to licensure as a physical therapist, with a PhD in Bioengineering that will prepare the student to become an independent researcher. The program will integrate clinical and research experiences, with students receiving mentorship from faculty in the departments of Physical Therapy and Bioengineering. Students should have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in engineering or engineering-related discipline, with a strong interest in physical therapy.

 

Contact Information

        Patrick Sparto, PhD, PT

        Co-Director, DPT-PhD Program

        Department of Physical Therapy

        Bridgeside Point 1, Suite 210

        Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3130

        Phone: 412-647-8069

        Fax: 412-648-5970

       E-mail: psparto@pitt.edu

       https://www.shrs.pitt.edu/DPT_BIOEPHD/

 

 

Application Process

Applications will need to be submitted through the PT Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) by December 1 for admission to the program the following June. The application is reviewed by faculty in both departments.

Admission Requirements

Students will need to meet the admission requirements of both programs. Applicants must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a field of engineering or closely related (e.g. physics, or applied mathematics, kinesiology). Applicants must demonstrate evidence of exposure to the field of PT through volunteer or work experience. Applicants must submit 4 letters of reference: one physical therapist with whom the student has volunteered or worked for, two academic advisors, and one work supervisor. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required but competitive applicants typically have a 3.5 GPA or greater. Applicants must take the GRE exam; typically, admitted students have GRE scores greater than the 50th percentile.

Curriculum Overview

Students will follow the typical plan of study for DPT students for the initial seven terms (i.e. 2 1/3 years) of the program. Then students will follow the plan of study for PhD students in Bioengineering. Clinical internships and research experiences will be performed throughout the program. At a minimum, the program will take 6 years to complete.  After completing the didactic and clinical requirements of the DPT program, the student will be allowed to take the licensing exam. Students are required to write and orally defend a dissertation to complete their PhD degree.

 

DPT Curriculum

The course requirements for the DPT include the following:

  • Basic Science (Anatomy, Neuroscience, Exercise Physiology, Pharmacology)—17 credits
  • Clinical Science (Kinesiology, Musculoskeletal PT, Neuromuscular PT, Cardiopulmonary PT, Patient Management, Human Disease, Geriatrics Growth and Development)—54 credits
  • Critical Inquiry (Research Methods, Evidence-Based Practice) —9 credits
  • Leadership and Professional Development—7 credits
  • Clinical Education—36 credits

Total number of credit hours: 123 credits. Students are required to pass a written comprehensive examination before the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree can be awarded. The written comprehensive examination is a cumulative examination covering the core clinical sciences and focusing on physical therapy practice.

 

PhD Requirements

 

The course requirements for the PhD in bioengineering for the combined program include the following:

  • Bioengineering Track Courses—9 credits
  • Graduate Electives—6 credits
  • Seminar-5 credits total—4 credits must be Bioengineering Seminar
  • Graduate Engineering Mathematics—3 credits
  • Statistics for Bioengineers—3 credits
  • Societal, Political, and Ethical Issues in Bioengineering—3 credits
  • Teaching Practicum—2 credits
  • Grant Writing in Bioengineering-1 credit
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research—40 credits

Total number of credit hours: 72 credits minimum (plus the credits associated with the remedial courses, as applicable.) Students typically take the PhD preliminary exam after their first year in the program, and PhD proposal (comprehensive examination) is presented generally at the end of the second year. A final public PhD defense is made by each PhD candidate based on the student's research work.

 

Doctor of Philosophy Degrees

The University-wide academic requirements for students pursuing a PhD are detailed under General Academic Regulations, beginning on page 17 of the bulletin. Students pursuing the PhD should review Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees before reading their program-specific requirements below. The residence and registration requirements detailed below apply to students in both SHRS PhD programs, and are specifications of previously detailed University-wide requirements:

Residency and Registration Requirements

It is beneficial for most students to register for full-time study (9–15 credits) throughout their PhD program. However, in some instances students have significant off-campus responsibilities. Therefore, if the student receives approval, the PhD can be completed by a combination of full-time and part-time study. All students must engage in a minimum of one term of full-time PhD study, which excludes any other employment except as approved by the department chair.

Active Status

PhD students are required to register for at least 1 credit or full-time Dissertation Study course within each 12-month period to maintain active status.

Readmission

A student who has not registered for at least 1 credit or full-time dissertation study during a 12-month period will be transferred automatically to inactive status and must file an application for readmission to graduate study (and pay the application fee) before being permitted to register again.

Upon readmission, the student's Plan of Study will be adjusted to meet the PhD requirements at the time of 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.

Re-admission 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 re-admission. 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.

Re-admission is automatic, however, for students who receive prior approval for a formal leave of absence.

Probation and Dismissal

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.

In order 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 department chair.

Students who fail to demonstrate progress toward meeting graduation requirements in a timely manner may be placed on academic probation or be dismissed from the program at the discretion of the department chair.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Communication Science and Disorders

 

           Contact Information

           Connie Tomkins, PhD

           Professor

           6056 Forbes Tower

           Phone: 412-383-6536

           Email: tompkins@pitt.edu

 

The PhD program in communication science and disorders is oriented toward the basic scientific questions in the discipline, with an emphasis on basic and applied research.

The expectations of graduating PhD students are that they are able to conduct a program of independent, creative, scholarly research and that they can plan and execute effective teaching at all levels of pedagogy.

Admission Requirements

Financial Aid

Financial assistance is often available from a variety of sources, including teaching assistantships, doctoral traineeships, targeted Clinical Fellowship Years, and graduate research assistantships. Such appointments typically require 20 hours each week of teaching, research, and/or clinical service, in exchange for a monthly stipend. A scholarship based on merit covers at least partial tuition remission, fees, and health insurance. The Department's Financial Aid Committee works with each admitted student's advisor to secure a funding opportunity that is rewarding academically and financially. Prospective applicants who are interested in financial support should indicate this on their application for admission.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor's degree level is needed for the PhD degree in communication science and disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. For further detail on allowable credits, see Credit Requirements under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study.

All CSD PhD students are required to take the PhD Research Seminar (CSD 3048) and a minimum of three additional departmental doctoral seminars: one in speech and language, one in hearing, and one in the student's major area of study.

CSD PhD students also take a minimum of 12 credits of course work in statistics and experimental design, and 6 credits of research practicum. PhD students are required to attend the departmental Proseminar (CSD 3060), to participate in poster sessions, listen to invited speakers and present "think aloud" research talks at various stages of their development. Students also have the opportunity to take courses in teaching and grant preparation, and to complete teaching practicum.

Three formal degree requirements must be satisfied before a student initiates PhD dissertation work:

  1. The student maintains an academic portfolio until the time at which the student takes the comprehensive examination. The portfolio, which the student recompiles on an annual basis, consists of at least three pieces of written work that are presented to the student's Plan of Study Committee prior to an annual review meeting. The student's Plan of Study will also be reviewed at these annual meetings.
  2. The student must complete a pre-dissertation research project, culminating in a publishable data-based manuscript resulting from a research practicum experience. This project must be completed prior to the comprehensive examination.
  3. The student must pass a comprehensive examination consisting of two substantive written projects, and an open-ended oral examination. Students on provisional or special status, or on probation, are not eligible to take the comprehensive exam.

Students must then successfully complete both the written dissertation overview (prospectus document) and file the oral examination application for admission to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. For details see below and also Admission to Candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in this bulletin for details.

Major Advisor and Advising Committees

Students admitted to the PhD program are assigned a major advisor in their main area of specialization. The advisor is primarily responsible for providing assistance and advice to the student throughout all facets of the doctoral program, and typically serves as the chair of the Plan of Study, Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Committees. Either PhD students or their advisors may initiate a change of advisor, but no student may remain in the program without an advisor.

The student, upon consultation with the student's major advisor, secures the agreement of at least two other departmental faculty members with graduate faculty status to serve with the advisor on the student's Plan of Study Committee. This committee initially convenes to review and make recommendations concerning the student's Plan of Study. Thereafter, the committee meets annually with the student to review, and make recommendations concerning, the student's portfolio and general progress in the PhD program. This committee, with or without changes in faculty membership also administers and evaluates the student's comprehensive examination.

See Doctoral Committee under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Degrees for an overview of the dissertation committee's makeup and responsibilities.

Overview or Prospectus Meeting

See Overview or Prospectus Meeting under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study for the regulations pertaining to this meeting and then read the following information that is specific to the doctoral program in Communication Science and Disorders. After securing the advisor's approval, each student must submit a written dissertation proposal to the Dissertation Committee at least two weeks prior to a formal overview meeting with that committee. (See Dissertation and Abstract section for details on the characteristics of an appropriate dissertation.)

Final Oral Examination

See Final Oral Examination under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study and then note the following additional program-specific information. After securing the advisor's approval, the student submits copies of the complete document to the dissertation committee at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Rehabilitation Science

Contact Information

          Debby Keelan

          Administrator for Student Services

          4019A Forbes Tower

          Phone: 412-653-6538-6538

          Fax: 412-383-6535

          Email: dkeelan@pitt.edu

          www.shrs.pitt.edu    

The mission of the doctoral program in rehabilitation science is to advance the frontiers of knowledge underlying the practice of health and rehabilitation disciplines and professions through research, teaching, and professional development. Graduates of this program will have a specific area of expertise in rehabilitation science as well as a core of interdisciplinary knowledge related to this specific area. They will become the researchers, scholars, teachers, thinkers, and planners in the demanding and changing field of health and rehabilitation sciences.

Admission Requirements/ Application Process

 

Financial Aid

Financial assistance is often available from a variety of sources, including graduate student assistantships and teaching assistantships. These assistantships typically require 20 hours per week of research, teaching, or clinical service in exchange for a monthly salary. A scholarship based on merit covers tuition, fees, and individual medical insurance. Other forms of financial assistance, including fellowships and support as graduate student researchers, may be available through individual faculty grants. Applicants interested in financial support should indicate this on their applications. Acceptance into the PhD program does not assure that a student will be offered financial aid.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor's degree level is needed for the PhD degree. See Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study for further information on University-wide credit requirements.

The following courses or credit hours in content areas are required as part of the 72 credits:

 

HRS 3000 Doctoral Seminar 4 credits
HRS 3002 Methods of Inquiry for Rehabilitation Scientists, Modules 1,2 1 credit
HRS 3003 Core concepts in Disability and Rehabilitation, Modules 1, 2 1 credit
HRS 3004 Methods of Inquiry for Rehabilitation Scientists, Modules 3,4 1 credit
HRS 3005 Core concepts in Disability and Rehabilitation, Modules 3, 4 1 credit
HRS 3001 Dissertation Research 18 credits
Content in the areas of research design and statistics: 9 credits

 

The student will also be expected to participate in the teaching of at least one course and show competency in the area of statistics and research methodology related to the student's area of research interest.

Areas of Study

 

  • assistive technology
  • biomechanics
  • evidence-based practice and epidemiology of disability
  • functioning, disability and health
  • psychosocial, cultural, and behavioral aspects of rehabilitation and disability
  • health information systems and information technology related to health and rehabilitation sciences
  • neural basis of sensory and motor function and dysfunction
  • neuromuscular aspects of sports injuries

 

Academic Advisor

Upon admission into the PhD program, the student will be assigned an academic advisor in the student's main area of specialization. The academic advisor and student will plan course work and other experiences to enable the student to meet program requirements and his/her academic goals.

Plan of Study

The student and academic advisor will prepare a Plan of Study during the student's first year. This Plan of Study will include transfer credits, course work, proposed date of preliminary examination, and dissertation credits leading to the PhD degree. This Plan of Study should be submitted to the Student Services Office for approval by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. A copy of this plan will be placed in the student's file.

This Plan of Study should be reviewed each term at registration and updated as needed by the student and academic advisor. Changes or additions to the Plan of Study should be submitted to the Student Services Office for approval by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Preliminary Examination

Prior to taking dissertation credits, the student must demonstrate competency in the materials covered in the Core Areas - Methods of Inquiry for Rehabilitation Scientists and Core Concepts in Disability and Rehabilitation through the preliminary examination. The preliminary examination will be administered by the associate dean of graduate studies once each year, typically in May.

 

Doctoral Committee and Committee Chair

The makeup and duties of the doctoral committee are detailed under Doctoral Committee under Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study. In addition, the following regulations and practices apply in SHRS:

After the student has passed the preliminary examination and has completed most of the course work needed for the PhD, the student and academic advisor are responsible for identifying a research mentor who will serve as chair of the doctoral committee, subject to approval by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. The student and research mentor will form a doctoral committee, again subject to approval by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. In addition to the standard makeup of the committee as detailed in the section referenced above, non-faculty with appropriate expertise may serve on the committee with the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

The student will prepare a dissertation proposal, which must be approved by the Doctoral Committee. The Doctoral Committee will administer the comprehensive examination and review and approve the proposed research project before the student may be admitted to candidacy.

Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Proposal

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to assess the student's depth of knowledge and ability to use research methods in the area of specialization. The administration of this examination is the responsibility of the Doctoral Committee. According to University of Pittsburgh doctoral guidelines, the Comprehensive Examination "should be administered at approximately the time of completion of the formal course requirements and should be passed at least eight months before the scheduling of the final oral examination and dissertation defense." The chair of the Doctoral Committee will inform the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies as to the results of the comprehensive exam and dissertation proposal by submitting the Comprehensive Examination Performance form.

See Regulations Pertaining to Doctoral Study for requirements for admission to candidacy, requirements for the dissertation, and regulations regarding the final oral examination.

Dissertation

The student needs to complete at least 18 credits of dissertation research. The dissertation must be submitted to all members of the Doctoral Committee, and then must be defended orally to the Doctoral Committee. The dissertation defense will be advertised and will be open to other interested individuals. After final approval of the dissertation by the Doctoral Committee, the student has then completed all requirements for the PhD degree. The chair of the Doctoral Committee will inform the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies when the student has successfully completed the dissertation defense and all revisions to the dissertation.

 

 

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