Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

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

Still have questions after reviewing this page thoroughly?
Contact the program

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

September 2024 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2023
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2024

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 January 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 October 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 October 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 October 2024
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 June 2024
Transcript Deadline: 15 June 2024
Referee Deadline: 15 June 2024

September 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
21 October 2024
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2025
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2025
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2025
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2025
Transcript Deadline: 15 January 2025
Referee Deadline: 15 January 2025

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 thesis supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding thesis 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$114.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,838.57$3,230.06
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,515.71$9,690.18
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$1,116.60 (approx.)
Costs of livingEstimate your costs of living with our interactive tool in order to start developing a financial plan for your graduate studies.
* 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

From September 2024 all full-time students in UBC-Vancouver PhD programs will be provided with a funding package of at least $24,000 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 $24,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Average Funding
Based on the criteria outlined below, 36 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 $34,284.
  • 15 students received Teaching Assistantships. Average TA funding based on 15 students was $3,610.
  • 24 students received Research Assistantships. Average RA funding based on 24 students was $14,208.
  • 5 students received Academic Assistantships. Average AA funding based on 5 students was $5,427.
  • 36 students received internal awards. Average internal award funding based on 36 students was $13,282.
  • 14 students received external awards. Average external award funding based on 14 students was $22,591.

Study Period: Sep 2022 to Aug 2023 - 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.

Graduate 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 supervision. The duties constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is considered a form of fellowship for a period of graduate study and is therefore not covered by a collective agreement. Stipends vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded.

Graduate 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.

Graduate Academic Assistantships (GAA)

Academic Assistantships are employment opportunities to perform work that is relevant to the university or to an individual faculty member, but not to support the student’s graduate research and thesis. Wages are considered regular earnings and when paid monthly, include vacation pay.

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 Estimator

Applicants have access to the cost estimator 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

 20232022202120202019
Applications99101918
Offers8881812
New Registrations4771510
Total Enrolment5245494834

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 82% based on 34 students admitted between 2011 - 2014. Based on 21 graduations between 2020 - 2023 the minimum time to completion is 1.37 years and the maximum time is 8.53 years with an average of 5.6 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each registration year, May to April, e.g. data for 2022 refers to programs starting in 2022 Summer and 2022 Winter session, i.e. May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023. Data on total enrolment reflects enrolment in Winter Session Term 1 and are based on snapshots taken on November 1 of each registration year. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Graduation rates exclude students who transfer out of their programs. 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.

Research Supervisors

Supervision

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

Instructions regarding thesis supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
All applicants need firm commitment from a supervisor prior to applying.
 
Advice and insights from UBC Faculty on reaching out to supervisors

These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor. They are not program specific.

 

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
2017 Dr. Wadden studied an individual's ability to re-learn motor skills following a stroke. She discovered the importance of the health of brain connections to determine an individual's capacity for motor learning post-stroke. This knowledge will encourage the delivery of individualized motor rehabilitation interventions to improve the effectiveness of treatments on motor recovery in people with stroke.
2017 Dr. Brown studied how sensory information from the environment can be used to inform movement. Her findings demonstrate that healthy aging and stroke change the neurophysiological processes underpinning this relationship. Her findings also suggest that interventions may be able to target this process to improve motor outcomes in these populations.
2017 Dr. Sima studied ischemic heart disease risk factors in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She found that exercise training reduces arterial stiffness, but does not impact the resting heart rate. Her findings contribute to the field of pulmonary rehabilitation.
2017 Dr. Imam studied the incidence of lower limb amputation and the provision of rehabilitation services in Canada. In addition she designed and evaluated a novel approach towards cost-effective and accessible rehabilitation for individuals with lower limb amputation.
2016 Older adults who use a wheelchair often experience restricted participation. Dr. Giesbrecht developed and evaluated a computer tablet-based, home training program monitored on-line by a therapist. This innovative approach to treatment could change how we provide rehabilitation for a growing number of older adults with mobility challenges.
2016 Dr. Field studied how children who have difficulty walking due to a chronic health condition use power wheelchairs to participate in daily life. Her findings explored the feasibility of research methods and the suitability of measurement tools describing children's participation and changes in their participation following receipt of a new power wheelchair.
2016 Dr. Mang demonstrated that performing a single bout of high-intensity aerobic exercise prior to practice of a novel movement skill, can enhance the learning of that skill. He examined the underlying neural substrates of these effects, the aspects of motor learning impacted, and the influence of genetic and epigenetic variation on the exercise response.
2016 Dr. Huisman's research focused on tendon degeneration. Specifically she examined the role of the protein MMP2 in response to tendons being mechanically stimulated and demonstrated that MMP2 plays a key role in the degenerative effects of tendons. This knowledge will aid in our understanding of tendon degeneration and in the treatment for tendon health.
2016 Dr. Zbogar investigated physical activity during inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation. His research shows that the physical activity currently experienced during rehabilitation is inadequate for cardiovascular health benefits or motor recovery, and highlights the potential barriers and facilitators of physical activity.
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.

Pages

Sample Thesis Submissions

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

 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2024 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2023
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 June 2024
International Applicant Deadline
15 June 2024

January 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
23 January 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 October 2024
International Applicant Deadline
15 June 2024

September 2025 Intake

Application Open Date
21 October 2024
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2025
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2025
 
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