Board of Governors approves USF PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences


On June 19, the Florida Board of Governors gave USF the green light to move ahead with a PhD Degree in Rehabilitation Sciences with applied concentrations in chronic disease, veteran’s health and reintegration, and neuromusculoskeletal disability. The proposed interdisciplinary research doctoral program will be only the second offered by a public university in Florida; the first was established at the University of Florida more than 20 years ago.

The USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences (SPTRS) expects to launch the PhD degree program in 2015, increasing enrollment from four to 20 students within five years. The program, designed to take three to five years to complete, will be supported by existing state funds, tuition fees and pursuit of grants and contracts to assist students.

The PhD program will prepare students to teach and conduct research in various rehabilitation-related programs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, speech therapy, audiology and rehabilitation counseling. Graduates would also be qualified for leadership roles in industry or government.

John Mayer, DC, PhD, the Lincoln Endowed Chair in Biomechanical and Chiropractic Research and associate professor at SPTRS, will coordinate the new program.

“We will help meet the state’s growing demand for faculty to prepare future health professionals with expertise in rehabilitation,” said William S. Quillen, DPT, PhD, SPTRS director and associate dean at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “This workforce need is fueled by medical advances that are helping people live longer and survive otherwise deadly injuries. More people are living with temporary or chronic disabilities and need therapies to recover, adjust and adapt to changes in health and functional performance.”
Students enrolled in the PhD program will leverage state of the art equipment in SPTRS’s Human Functional Performance Laboratory where they will conduct “real people – real world” research to reduce the burden of neuromuscular disease and conditions on Florida citizens.

SPTRS is also home to the Center for Neuromusculoskeletal Research (CNMSR) where multidisciplinary and integrative research of neuromusculoskeletal disorders utilizes evidence-based approaches for assessment, prevention, and treatment.

Source: The original news release was written by Anne DeLotto Baier and appeared Hot News, Morsani College of Medicine on June 19, 2014.