Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)

Overview

The Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Sciences (RHSC) is jointly run by the Department of Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy (OSOT) and the Department of Physical Therapy (PT). It is a program for advanced research study and original investigation in areas relevant to the Rehabilitation Sciences at the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) level. It focuses on the discipline of Rehabilitation Sciences - the study of providing treatment and education to persons with temporary or permanent disability to return them to maximum function, well-being and personally-satisfying levels of independence.

It encompasses the three dimensions of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (body structure and function, activity and participation) and thus spans the individual, community and society. Our faculty have active research programs that cover this diverse spectrum.

In the Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation Sciences, we strive to create outstanding learning and research experiences for occupational therapists, physical therapists and others with various health-related disciplines. Through these opportunities, in combination with the PhD thesis, graduates advance the science of rehabilitation which aims to promote physical, mental and social well-being among people of all levels of ability. Our collaborative initiatives result in a reciprocal transfer of new knowledge among academic, clinical, and community settings.

What makes the program unique?

Our faculty have an outstanding record of scholarly productivity, receiving funding from provincial and national research granting agencies. Over 30 graduate students from a broad range of backgrounds including occupational therapy, physical therapy, recreation therapy, social sciences, human kinetics, and engineering have graduated from our program. These students have authored numerous peer-reviewed journal publications and won various scholarships and awards.

Program faculty members are well integrated with several of the world class research facilities established here in BC including: Arthritis Research Centre, Brain Research Centre, Centre for Hip Health, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, Centre for Heart and Lung Innovation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Providence Health Care Research Institute, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, and the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Health and Medicine
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full or Part-time
Specialization
Rehabilitation Sciences
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Medicine

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

100
23
23
23
23
7.5
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
Yes

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is required by some applicants. Please check the program website.

Prior degree requirements

Completion of a recognized baccalaureate degree and thesis-based master’s degree in Rehabilitation Sciences, or other related field.

Prerequisites / Course Requirements

A minimum of 3 credits in research methods or statistics

Other Requirements

Applicants from non-Canadian or United States universities may be required to provide general (GRE) (Graduate Record Examination) scores as part of their application at the request of their proposed supervisor. Scores must be valid within the past 2 years.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Funding Sources

PhD students will be provided with a Minimum Funding Package for each of the first four years of a PhD. The funding package may consist of internal or external awards, scholarships or bursaries, teaching and research assistantships, or any combination of the above. This policy only applies to full-time students. The minimum funding amount will be equivalent to the UBC Four-Year Fellowship (4YF) stipend (excluding the tuition waiver) for a given academic year.

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

18 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 18 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
Simon Fraser University (3)
McGill University (2)
Universite de Montreal (2)
University of British Columbia (2)
Saad College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences
McMaster University
Douglas College
Trinity Western University
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Burrard Physiotherapy
Sanctuary Ministries
Vancouver Coastal Health
Fortius Sport and Health
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Physiotherapist
Founding Director
Physical Therapy Teaching Supervisor
Co-founder
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Graduates from our programs go on to become faculty members that teach and conduct research at universities. They also work as research scientists, clinical scientists and consultants to government, health authorities and other organizations with interests in rehabilitation specifically, and health care as a whole.

Alumni on Success

Amy Kirkham

Job Title
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Employer
University of Alberta

Hana Al-Bannay

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Employer
Saad College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences

Jill Zwicker

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Employer
University of British Columbia

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications116111410
Offers647128
New registrations52677
Total enrolment3540414438

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 92.86% based on 14 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 21 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 7.33 years with an average of 5.32 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Backman, Catherine (occupational balance, activity disruption, social role participation, arthritis, chronic illness, health & well-being, occupational therapy)
  • Barbic, Skye (mental health, measurement , recovery, community integration, Rasch Measurement Theory, Implementation Science, Patient Engagement, Supported Employment, Individual Placement Support, assessment, health and well-being, metrology, occupational therapy, youth)
  • Boyd, Lara (Motor learning, Plasticity / Neuronal Regeneration , Motor System, Learning, Neurophysiology)
  • Camp, Patricia (pulmonary rehabilitation, health services delivery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Indigneous health, mixed methods, knowledge translation, physical activity, e-Health)
  • Campbell, Kristin (exercise physiology, physical function, oncology, biomarkers)
  • Eng, Janice (Neurorehabilitation, spinal cord, brain)
  • Forwell, Susan (Neurological conditions and their impact on chosen occupations)
  • Guenette, Jordan (exercise physiology, respiratory physiology, respiratory diseases, sport performance )
  • Holsti, Liisa (premature infants, neurodevelopment, stress, pain , measurement, technology transfer, sucrose, rehabilitation, pediatrics)
  • Hunt, Michael Anthony (biomechanics, rehabilitation, musculoskeletal, physical activity, exercise)
  • Huot, Suzanne (occupational science, migration studies, immigration, refugees, asylum seekers, intersectionality, francophone minority communities, francophones, bilingualism, french, community-engaged research, qualitative research, critical theory, social inclusion, social integration, gender)
  • Li, Linda (Patient help-seeking experiences , Shared decision-making, Patient self-management , E-health, Rehabilitation and lifestyle interventions in arthritis management , Health services research, Patient engagement, Knowledge translation, Implementation science, Digital media)
  • Liu-Ambrose, Teresa (Healthy Aging, Fall Prevention, Cognitive Aging, Sleep, Physical Activity, Mobility)
  • Miller, William (disabled people with respect to mobility (wheelchairs); influence of self-efficacy with respect to participation in daily activity, social activity and general quality of life especially among disabled adults and elderly; wheelchair prescription, performance and function; outcome measurement in health care, Use of power wheelchairs, fatigue, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation)
  • Mortenson, Ben (Accessibility, Assistive technology, Occupational therapy, Caregiving, Social participation, Spinal cord injury, Outcome measures, Robotics)
  • Nimmon, Laura (Health professions education, Qualitative research, Interdisciplinary team communication, Patient centered care, Chronic disease care, End of life care, Collaborative pratice, Teamwork, Families and Caregivers, Adult education)
  • Scott, Alexander (musculoskeletal, sports medicine, physiotherapy, physical therapy, orthopaedics)
  • Virji-Babul, Naznin (Concussion/mild traumatic brain injury, Developmental disabilities (Down’s syndrome), Developmental neuroscience (mirror neurons, perception-action coupling) )
  • Zwicker, Jill (developmental coordination disorder, brain development, neuroplasticity, rehabilitation)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Megan Kathleen MacGillivray
    "Dr. MacGillivray studied wheelchair training in older adults. She conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of motor skill-based wheelchair propulsion training. Results showed that older adults significantly improved their wheelchair propulsion biomechanics with training but not with unguided practice." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Bolette Skjodt Rafn
    "Dr. Rafn's research focused on delivery of rehabilitation for women with breast cancer. She provided insight into the experiences and preferences for delivery, and developed resources to support self-managed detection and rehabilitation of issues. This work may improve early detection, access to care, and prevent the development of chronic issues." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Stephanie Miranda Nadine Glegg
    "Dr. Glegg's research informs the use of network analysis as a method to study the social drivers that mobilize evidence-informed change in healthcare. Research and healthcare centres can apply the social and organizational strategies she identified, to support faster access to the safest, most effective healthcare innovations for Canadians." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Emma Maria Smith
    "Dr. Smith developed a training program facilitated by novel technology, to teach older adults with memory loss to drive powered wheelchairs. Her research explored the skills required for powered wheelchair use and demonstrated that individuals with memory loss are capable of learning to use a powered wheelchair, promoting mobility and independence." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Kristine Annette Sabine Theurer
    "Dr. Theurer examined a novel, social citizenship-based, peer mentoring team program addressing loneliness among people living in residential care homes. She found significant decreases in loneliness and depression among mentors and mentees and increased engagement. This research illuminates the potential capacity for residents to help one another." (May 2019)

Further Program Information

 
 
 

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