Division of Rehabilitation Science


RSC Research

Contact Us

Rich Adamczak
Program Coordinator

Phone: 612-625-3966
Fax: 612-625-4274

Mailing Address

Rehabilitation Science Program
MMC 388
420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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The mission of the Division of Rehabilitation Science is to discover and disseminate rehabilitation knowledge and improve the quality of life, participation, health, performance and well-being of people in Minnesota and throughout the world. Our mission further encompasses the cultivation of premier leaders and researchers in academia, industry and clinical environments to transform the science and practice of rehabilitation.

From its inception in 1997, the PhD in Rehabilitation Science program has provided students with:

  • A strong foundation in research methodology.
  • A concentrated educational experience tailored toward a student’s specific research questions.
  • A working knowledge of the importance of a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to the scientific process.

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Division of Rehabilitation Science Facts & Figures


60% of current students hold degrees beyond a bachelor's. Some majors held by past and current students include: Biology, Business, Education, Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy, Organic Chemistry, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Psychology, and Sports Medicine.

Admissions Data

  •  GPA operational standard = minimum 3.00 or greater
  •  GPA average of admits = 3.37 (undergraduate); 3.66 (graduate)
  •  TOEFL operational standard = minimum 79 or above, with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading
  •  TOEFL average of admits = average overall score of 83
  •  GRE average of admits = verbal 152 (53%), quantitative 153 (56%), analytical writing 4.0 (49%)


70% of current students hold research assistantships (RA), teaching assistantships (TA), or a combination of two. Several students each year are funded through training grants that their faculty mentors are associated with. These research training grants allow students to pursue full-time studies.

International Student Body

Students come to us from around the globe. Rehabilitation Science has welcomed students from as far as Brazil, China, India, Jordan, Taiwan and Thailand. Others have studied in Canada and South Africa. On the home front, students come from all regions of the United States, including locally.

Note from the Director

Dawn LoweWelcome to the Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Minnesota. This program was established in 1997 to provide a high quality post-professional educational experience to train future rehabilitation scientists who meet the growing demand for scientists and faculty in physical and occupational therapy program.

From its inception, the program’s philosophy has been to provide students with a strong foundation in research methodology; a concentrated educational experience specifically tailored toward a student’s specific research questions in rehabilitation science; and a working knowledge of the importance of a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to the scientific process.

The scientific basis of rehabilitation practice is at an important crossroad in health care. As the economics of health care has become increasingly stringent, third party payers are more and more restricting therapy to limited time frames and, furthermore, reimbursing providers only for therapy with scientific evidence. In this climate of medical cost containment, scientifically based and specifically targeted approaches are critical to maximize conservative treatment effectiveness and minimize progression of dysfunction.

Meeting these challenges requires that future translational research be directed to evaluate current methods and theoretical bases of practice, and to develop new methods of practice based on sound scientific principles. It is therefore a goal of the Rehabilitation Science Program to train students for research careers as scientists investigating the basic mechanisms and treatment approaches to rehabilitation science practice.

The University of Minnesota offers the student a rich environment for pursuing advanced studies. Students have unique opportunities to work in a variety of research laboratories with faculty who have drawn upon diverse resources of the University and who have established collaborative relationships with a broad range of University faculty with similar research interests. Opportunities exist for participation in multidisciplinary seminars, journal clubs and other interdisciplinary forums offered by departments and programs within the University of Minnesota.

Dawn Lowe, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies
Program in Rehabilitation Science

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