PhD/MS Requirements

PhD Degree Course Requirements

The PhD degree requires a minimum of 36 graduate credits not including dissertation credits. The minimum of 36 graduate credits is broken down as follows:

16 credits of Rehabilitation Science (RSC) courses, which includes 6 credits from a core group of courses (RSC 5106, RSC 5206, RSC 5306, RSC 8106, RSC 8206, RSC 8306).

12 additional graduate credits from RSC courses, non-RSC courses, or a combination of both.  Students are welcome to declare a minor, but a minor is not required.

8 credits of statistics are required. Acceptable statistics courses include, but are not limited to:

  • EPSY 8251 – Statistical Methods I
  • EPSY 8252 – Statistical Methods II
  • PUBH 6450 – Biostatistics I
  • PUBH 6451 – Biostatistics II

In addition to these minimum requirements, student advisor may require additional courses. 

Minimum Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all course work taken in the degree program and coursework listed on the student’s Graduate Degree Plan form, including minor or supporting program and statistics coursework.

Language Requirement: None

Thesis: Minimum of 24 thesis credits (RSc 8888). Students register for thesis credits after the minimum of 36 graduate credits are completed.

Exam Requirements

Preliminary Written Exam

All doctoral students are required to pass a written examination. This examination covers all work completed in the major field and must include work completed in the minor or supporting field, plus questions probing the student’s ability to collect and interpret information from the scientific literature.

Preliminary Oral Exam

All doctoral students are required to pass a preliminary oral examination administered by the student's examining committee.  This exam is not public.  The exam includes the student and examining committee only. The preliminary oral examination covers the major field, the minor field or supporting program, and any work fundamental to these areas, including possible plans for thesis research. Additionally, the oral examination can include questions elaborating on earlier responses from the preliminary written examination.

Final Oral Exam

The final oral exam consists of a seminar in which the candidate defends their thesis to an examining committee and other members of the scholarly community. The examining committee is the same as the committee assembled for the Preliminary Oral Exam.

Other Requirements

Ethics in Research Training

Students must complete training in research ethics, as required by the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota. The Graduate School requires that all Graduate Students receive Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Training

Students will train in the following areas:

  • Conflict of interest
  • Responsible authorship
  • Code of conduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • Policies for use of human and animal subjects, informed consent, patient privacy
  • Data management (record keeping; data archival and storage; data practices)
  • Intellectual property, copyright issues, data ownership
  • History of ethics in research
  • Interaction and communication with advisors and collaborators
  • Plagiarism, peer review, scientific fraud
  • Research funding and fiscal responsibilities
  • Mentorship and responsibility to others
  • Environmental health and safety issues (may be discipline specific)
  • Social responsibility in research

Depending on the student's research area, additional training may be required in human and/or animal subjects. 

HIPAA: The Program in Rehabilitation Science is a part of the Academic Health Center (AHC) at the University of Minnesota. The AHC requires all students and faculty to be compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Once a student is admitted to the Program in Rehabilitation Science, they will receive instruction on completing HIPAA training.

Immunization: The Rehabilitation Science Program is a part of the University's Academic Health Center (AHC). According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, and Academic Health Center (AHC) policy, all AHC students are required to have a health clearance as a condition of enrollment. This information must be completed to register for classes in the AHC. When you are notified of acceptance to the Program, the Graduate School will also inform you of the University’s immunization policy and direct you to Boynton Health Service’s web site for information and immunization form.

MS Degree

Plan A: Master’s Degree with Thesis

This plan consists of a minimum of 23 graduate credits not including thesis credits.

Major Field: 14 credits or more including 4 credits of seminars in rehabilitation science (RSc 8100) and a research design course in rehabilitation science (RSc 8192 or advisor approved course).

Minor or Supporting Field: 6 or more credits in a minor or supporting field.

Statistics: A statistics course, 3 credits. Acceptable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • PUBH 6450 – Biostatistics I
  • PUBH 6451 – Biostatistics II
  • EPSY 8261 – Statistical Methods I
  • EPSY 8262 – Statistical Methods II

Minimum Grade Requirements: Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all course work taken in the degree program and course work listed on the student’s Graduate Degree Plan form.

Language Requirement: None.

Thesis: Minimum of 10 thesis credits (RSc 8777). Students register for thesis credits after the minimum of 23 graduate credits are completed.

Preliminary Oral Examination: Defense of thesis proposal to an examining committee, following Graduate School guidelines.

Final Oral Examination: Defense of thesis research to an examining committee, following Graduate School guidelines.

Plan B: Master’s Degree without Thesis

This plan requires a minimum of 30 graduate credits without a thesis. 

Major Field: 14 credits or more including 4 credits of seminars in rehabilitation science (RSc 8100) and a research design course in rehabilitation science (RSc 8192 or advisor approved course).

Minor or Supporting Field: 6 or more credits in a minor or supporting field.

Statistics: A statistics course, 3 credits. Acceptable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • PUBH 6450 – Biostatistics I
  • PUBH 6451 – Biostatistics II
  • EPSY 8261 – Statistical Methods I
  • EPSY 8262 – Statistical Methods II

Additional Courses: The balance of courses to comprise the overall 30 credit minimum is chosen by agreement between the student and advisor.

Minimum Grade Requirements: Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all course work taken in the degree program and course work listed on the student’s Graduate Degree Plan form.

Language Requirement: None.

Plan B Project(s): Demonstration of familiarity with the tools of research or scholarship in the major field, ability to work independently, and ability to present the results of investigation effectively.

Final Examination: Written or oral (or both) responses to questions from an examining committee.

Other Requirements

Ethics in Research Training: The Graduate School requires that all Graduate Students receive Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Training

Students will train in the following areas:

  • Conflict of interest
  • Responsible authorship
  • Code of conduct and policies for handling misconduct
  • Policies for use of human and animal subjects, informed consent, patient privacy
  • Data management (record keeping; data archival and storage; data practices)
  • Intellectual property, copyright issues, data ownership
  • History of ethics in research
  • Interaction and communication with advisors and collaborators
  • Plagiarism, peer review, scientific fraud
  • Research funding and fiscal responsibilities
  • Mentorship and responsibility to others
  • Environmental health and safety issues (may be discipline specific)
  • Social responsibility in research

Depending on the student's research area, additional training may be required in human and/or animal subjects. 

HIPAA: The Program in Rehabilitation Science is a part of the Academic Health Center (AHC) at the University of Minnesota. The AHC requires all students and faculty to be compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Once a student is admitted to the Program in Rehabilitation Science, they will receive instruction on completing HIPAA training.

Immunization: The Rehabilitation Science Program is a part of the University's Academic Health Center (AHC). According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, and Academic Health Center (AHC) policy, all AHC students are required to have a health clearance as a condition of enrollment. This information must be completed to register for classes in the AHC. When you are notified of acceptance to the Program, the Graduate School will also inform you of the University’s immunization policy and direct you to Boynton Health Service’s web site for information and immunization form.