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.

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Program Enquiries

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Contact the program

Meet a Representative

Finding and reaching out to prospective supervisors and referees

Date: Thursday, 23 September 2021
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

For many research-based graduate programs you’ll need to find and secure a supervisor before submitting your application. In this webinar we take a close look at how to search for a supervisor and once you have found them how to reach out. We’ll also discuss the importance of having good references as part of your application and how to identify and approach referees.

This is not a program specific event and is a general session from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.  

This session will cover:

  • How to find a supervisor using UBC’s supervisor database.
  • What to consider when looking for a supervisor.
  • Who makes a great referee?
  • Advice on reaching out to referees
  • Q&A

Who is this webinar for?

This webinar is for anyone who needs to secure a supervisor as part of the graduate program application to UBC. You can check if your program of interest requires this step by looking at the program’s admission information and requirements on the program page. Find your program at grad.ubc.ca/prospective-students/graduate-degree-programs

Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

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. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

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:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

23

Writing

23

Speaking

23

Listening

23

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.5

Reading

7.0

Writing

7.0

Speaking

7.0

Listening

7.0

Other Test Scores

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, course and other requirements

Prior Degree Requirements

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

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.

2) Meet Deadlines

January 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
15 February 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 October 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 October 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2021
Transcript Deadline: 15 October 2021
Referee Deadline: 15 October 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
07 February 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 October 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 October 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2022
Transcript Deadline: 15 October 2022
Referee Deadline: 15 October 2022

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2022
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2023
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2023
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2023
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2023

3) Prepare Application

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.

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.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.

Citizenship Verification

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

4) Apply Online

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

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,732.53$3,043.77
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,197.59$9,131.31
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,052.34 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,126.20 (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.

Financial Support

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.

Program Funding Packages

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.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 22 students within this program were included in this study because they received funding through UBC in the form of teaching, research/academic assistantships or internal or external awards averaging $28,886.
  • 11 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 11 students was $2,842.
  • 13 students received Research/Academic Assistantships. Average RA/AA funding based on 13 students was $11,783.
  • 22 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 22 students was $13,165.
  • 7 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 7 students was $23,060.

Study Period: Sep 2019 to Aug 2020 - average funding for full-time PhD students enrolled in three terms per academic year in this program across years 1-4, the period covered by UBC's Minimum Funding Guarantee. Averages might mask variability in sources and amounts of funding received by individual students. Beyond year 4, funding packages become even more individualized.
Review methodology
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their 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.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

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.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20202019201820172016
Applications161711611
Offers1411647
New registrations1110526
Total enrolment5138354041

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 94.12% based on 17 students admitted between 2007 - 2010. Based on 24 graduations between 2016 - 2019 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 7.66 years with an average of 5.39 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 April 2021]. 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: 29 October 2020].

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2016 Dr. Takacs studied balance and physical function deficits in people with knee osteoarthritis. Her work contributed to a better understanding of clinical dynamic balance assessment, and treatment of deficits in this population. Her findings provide new information that ultimately better help to address patients' assessment and training approaches.
2016 Dr. Kirkham studied the potential for exercise to protect the heart of breast cancer patients from the damaging effects of chemotherapy treatment. Her research showed that treadmill walking can alter the typical chemotherapy-related changes in heart function. This finding has implications for the heart and cancer-related health of cancer survivors.
2015 Dr. Gerlach identified how an early intervention program fostered health equity for Indigenous children, by being responsive to the lived realities and priorities of Indigenous families. This socially responsive form of intervention challenges our assumptions about early childhood programming for families and children who experience marginalization.
2015 Dr. Pollock examined how people control their balance after suffering a stroke. She found motor control deficits and heightened anxiety affect postural responses post-stroke. Her findings suggest there are positive and negative compensations in the way the body responds to loss of balance. Dr. Pollock aims to improve rehabilitation following a stroke.
2015 Dr. Best studied how adults living in the community use their wheelchairs. She contributed to our understanding of the challenges of using a wheelchair, and why improved wheelchair skills and confidence are important for achieving successful wheelchair use. Her findings support a new rehabilitative approach that may benefit adult wheelchair users.
2014 The 21st century marked a shift in the perspective of care for people with disabilities. Dr. Mousavi explored the views of Canadian occupational therapists on this Capabilities Approach. The study concluded that this approach could help to align rehabilitation services with human rights initiatives of the World Health Organization.
2013 Dr. Sakakibara studied the confidence, mobility, and participation in daily and social activities of adult wheelchair users. His findings demonstrate that confidence with wheelchair use has important implications for mobility and participation. His work provides a foundation for developing strategies to enhance confidence for those using wheelchairs.
2013 Dr. Casey engaged ten people living with schizophrenia to understand their "experience of meaning in activity". After two years of research, she concluded that participating in meaningful activity is influenced by notions of social inclusion and justice, that experiences are varied and ultimately connected to meaning in life, well-being and recovery.
2013 Dr. Al-Bannay focused on the health of women in Saudi Arabia, with special reference to type 2 diabetes mellitus. She studied the health beliefs and behaviours of the women, and the outcomes of a pilot diabetes education program. Findings show that Saudi women experience lifestyle-related conditions and could benefit from the education program.
2013 Dr. Haj Ghanbari examined muscle atrophy, pain and physical activity in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her research provides evidence that some muscles are more affected by this disease, and secondly, pain is very common and often limits physical activities in people affected by this chronic respiratory condition.

Pages

Further Information

Specialization

The Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science (MSc) is designed to prepare individuals to conduct research independently and in collaboration with other scientists. Students will investigate an area of research relevant to rehabilitation through critical analysis of problems related to basic sciences, clinical practice, or to development of theory.

The Master of Rehabilitation Science (MRSc) is designed for working health professionals and to enhance interdisciplinary practice. Unlike traditional thesis-based research master’s programs, the MRSc is a combination of courses and a work- or practice-based research project. The MRSc allows you to obtain a master’s degree without interrupting your work.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 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.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-VL

Classification

 

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January 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
15 February 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 June 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 June 2022

January 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
07 February 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 October 2022

September 2023 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2022
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 June 2023
International Applicant Deadline
15 June 2023
 
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