A minimum of 72 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree level is needed for the PhD degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Some areas of focus within the PhD Program may require more than 72 credits. Up to 30 credits taken at the graduate level towards a master’s degree may be accepted for transfer. In recognition of graduate study beyond the master’s degree, no more than 12 additional credits may be accepted at the time of admission to meet the minimum credit requirement. Credit transfer requests are evaluated by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies after matriculation.
In all cases, at least 36 credits must be completed as a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh. No undergraduate credits (1000 level courses) may be applied towards the doctoral degree. Please note, credits transferred from another institution may not be used to substitute for credits of courses required in the degree study plan. For example, credits transferred for a statistics course taken at another institution will not count toward the 9 credits of statistics required in the PhD program here at the University of Pittsburgh. The student will still need to take 9 credits of statistics at the University of Pittsburgh.
The overall form and content of each student’s program is the responsibility of the Graduate Faculty of SHRS. To carry out this responsibility, each student has an Academic Advisor who, in consultation with the student, plans a program of study and research in accordance with SHRS guidelines.
Course and Competency Requirements
The following requirements apply to all PhD in Rehabilitation Science students:
HRS 3000 - Doctoral Seminar: 4 credits
There are two Core Areas which are required for all students in the PhD in the Rehabilitation Science Program - Methods of Inquiry for Rehabilitation Sciences and Core Concepts in Disability and Rehabilitation Sciences.
All students pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science degree will be required to demonstrate basic competency in designing and appraising research studies and to demonstrate basic competency in understanding the fundamentals of disability and rehabilitation sciences.
CORE: Methods of Inquiry for Rehabilitation Sciences
Upon completion of the courses, students will be able to design a research study to answer a specific research question, including the best design for the question asked, sampling, controls for bias or confounding, and basic statistical analysis. They will be able to critically appraise research and apply it to clinical practice.
CORE: Core Concepts in Disability and Rehabilitation Sciences
Upon completion of the modules, students will be able to describe and discuss core concepts in disability and rehabilitation sciences, and analyze and synthesize multiple perspectives on the current and future state-of-the science.
A grade of B or better for each term of the Methods of Inquiry for Rehabilitation Scientists Core and Core Concepts in Rehabilitation and Disability Core (2 terms, 2 credits)
- HRS 3002 - Methods of Inquiry I - 1 credit
- HRS 3003 - Core Concepts I - 2 credits
- HRS 3004 - Methods of Inquiry II - 1 credits
- HRS 3005 - Core Concepts II - 2 credits
HRS 3001 - Dissertation Research: 18 credits
Preliminary Examination for the Methods of Inquiry Core and the Core Concepts in Rehabilitation and Disability Core requires an unconditional PASS
Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations in the content area of the dissertation requires an unconditional PASS
Content in the areas of research design and statistics: 9 credits
Participate in the teaching of at least one course
Successful completion of manuscript submission requirement
Manuscript Submission Requirements
Prior to scheduling the dissertation defense, each PhD student will demonstrate a minimum amount of experience in manuscript writing and submission by completing:
- 1 co-author manuscript accepted for publication
- 1 first author manuscript submitted and reviewed by a peer-reviewed journal
- Data-based manuscripts are strongly preferred.
Successful completion of grant application submission requirement
Grant Submission Requirement
Prior to scheduling the dissertation defense, each PhD student will demonstrate a minimum experience with grant writing and submission by completing one of the following:
- Submission and peer-review of a Doctoral Research or Research Fellowship Grant applications (Can be NIH or Private Foundations)
- Submission and peer-review of Pilot study grant applications (e.g., foundations, professional societies, the UPMC Rehab Institute Pilot Award)
- Completion of a grant writing course
- Submission of a provisional and non-provisional patent application
- Submission and peer-review of an SBIR like applications, or other options to secure funding for technology development (pitching an idea for commercial development, etc.)
Note: The peer-review may be internal or external peer review. A copy of the summary report from the review should be submitted with a copy of the grant application to Debby Keelan (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be kept in the student’s file.
Also, note: Submission to the $1,000.00 SHRS scholarship award will NOT qualify for satisfying the grant submission requirement. A new SHRS Doctoral Scholarship Award will be available fall term 2017, that will satisfy this requirement.
Successful defense of the dissertation research
Note: PhD students are required to maintain a 3.000 Cumulative GPA and receive a grade of C or better in all courses required by their program curriculum.
Students who receive a grade below a C in a required course must repeat that course and attain a grade of C or better to graduate. (Note: University regulations state that a student may repeat any course in which a grade of B- or lower is received if an authorization to repeat the course is given by the student’s adviser/faculty.) Students will not be permitted to register for a course until they attain a C or better in its prerequisites. Failure to receive an acceptable grade after the second opportunity to complete a required course may result in the student being dismissed from the program and SHRS.