Rehabilitation Sciences

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

An Interdisciplinary Program

The PhD program in rehabilitation sciences is an interdisciplinary degree across NYU Steinhardt's health and therapeutic professions: physical therapy, occupational therapy, art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, applied psychology, communicative sciences and disorders, and nutrition. The program will prepare you for a scholarly career in interdisciplinary rehabilitation research that will enhance human performance and quality of life for people with disabilities or individuals who may benefit from social, physical, or cognitive adaptations. You will further your specialized knowledge, take advantage of extensive interdisciplinary study opportunities, work collaboratively with faculty mentors across health fields, and build a strong foundation in applied research and scientific inquiry.

What you'll learn

At the completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate applied scientific inquiry that is relevant to enhancing human performance and quality of life for persons with disabilities
  • Develop theories and critically examine integrative, holistic, multi-disciplinary approaches to enhancing the functioning of people with disabilities (physical, cognitive, sensory, psychological) across the lifespan
  • Experience successful collaboration with one or more mentors in the development of original interdisciplinary rehabilitation research projects
  • Analyze theory, research, and health care policy relevant to the promotion of rehabilitative health.
  • Develop a unique area of research leading to externally funded research grants
  • Investigate and compose significant and original contributions to the rehabilitation field by undertaking original research resulting in scholarly works presented at professional conferences and published in science journals
  • Analyze research and scholarship in ways that inform practice

See the curriculum and requirements for this doctoral degree. 

How you'll learn

A Biopsychosocial Paradigm
The program uses a biopsychosocial paradigm to prepare you to become a scientist-practitioner who studies physical, cognitive, and psychological conditions across the developmental continuum in diverse contexts, both nationally and globally, and promotes those studies for better human development and functioning.

A Rigorous Scientific Training Model
The curriculum is designed around a rigorous scientific training model that includes advanced courses in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods  research design. The core research methodology component offers cutting-edge applied statistical courses and workshops in methods and measurement with options for advanced modeling and statistical analysis relevant to your research interests and goals.

Collaborative Mentorship
As a student in this program, you’ll be engaged in ongoing research in collaboration with one or more faculty members, who will also help you plan coursework, identify sites and resources throughout New York City for your research, and focus your specialization toward a dissertation topic. 

Competitive Funding Program
We offer a competitive funding program for full-time PhD students that supports tuition and living expenses. See more information about the funding program or visit the Financial Aid website. You can complete this degree in five years or less of full-time study.

What can I do with a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences?

Our program is designed to prepare students, with and without professional degrees, for outstanding and fulfilling academic careers in research and teaching.  

For more information about this program, please contact
(212) 998-5825

Core faculty

Ikuko Acosta, Ph.D, Art Therapy
Kenneth Aigen, Ph.D, Music Therapy
Judith Alpert, Ph.D, School Psychology
Tamara Bushnik, Ph.D, NYU Langone Medical Center, Rusk Rehabilitation
Ying Lu, Ph.D, Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities
Ericka Merriwether, Ph.D, Movement Science
Sonja Molfenter, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Anna Maria Norweg, Ph.D, NYU Langone Medical Center, Rusk Rehabilitation
Preeti Raghavan, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center, Rusk Rehabilitation
Nisha Sajnani, Ph.D, Drama Therapy
Gerald Voelbel, Ph.D, Occupational Therapy
Kathleen Woolf, Ph.D, Nutrition and Food Studies

Additional faculty members

Alisha Ali, Ph.D, Applied Psychology
Kelly A Bridges
, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Adam Buchwald, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Luke DuBois, Ph.D, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Yael Goverover, Ph.D, Occupational Therapy
Barbara Hesser, Ph.D, Music Therapy
Amy Hurst, PhD, Human-Computer Interaction
Grace Kim, Ph.D, Occupational Therapy
Kristie Patten Koenig, Ph.D, Occupational Therapy
Susannah Levi, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders 
Anat Lubetzky, Ph.D, Physical Therapy
Tara McAllister Byun, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Charles Mueller, Ph.D, Nutrition and Food Studies
Anita Perr, Ph.D, Occupational Therapy
Smita Rao, Ph.D, Physical Therapy
Christina Reuterskiöld, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders
John Ross Rizzo, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Department of Neurology
Celia Stewart, Ph.D, Communicative Sciences and Disorders