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Faculty in a physical therapy class

Doctor of Philosophy
Physical Therapy Research

The NYU Steinhardt Doctor of Philosophy, Research in Physical Therapy prepares physical therapists who have attained master’s degrees for rigorous, independent research careers that advance the knowledge base of the profession. The degree combines course work and research opportunities focused on pathokinesiology. If you have any questions about our degree, please feel free to contact the Program Director, Dr. Smita Rao, at

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Doctor of Philosophy, Research in Physical Therapy

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Application Deadline

The goal of this doctoral degree is to prepare you to become a critical thinker and independent researcher. 

Through our curriculum integrating course work and research experiences focused on pathokinesiology, you will enhance your ability to critically review scientific literature, formulate questions, devise hypotheses, and test those hypotheses using valid and reliable research designs. 

You will develop:

  • The ability to analyze human motion in a variety of activities utilizing clinical and research instrumentation

  •  An understanding of research designs and the ability to draw conclusions from studies concerned with the improvement of physical functions

  • The ability to communicate the findings of studies to others concerned with the scientific study of human motion

  • The leadership skills to continue the advancement of the physical therapy research and education profession

The first post-professional doctoral program of its kind in the United States, this PhD program emphasizes pathokinesiology research and prepares you to work as an independent researcher, expanding the knowledge base of the physical therapy profession. You'll critically review scientific literature and devise and test hypotheses using research designs.

The NYU Steinhardt Doctor of Philosophy, Research in Physical Therapy degree will train you to implement your own research agenda as a scholar, investigator, and educator. 

As a graduate, you will have the leadership skills necessary to continue advancing physical therapy research and the academic profession.

Funding for Full-Time PhD Students

If you are accepted as a full-time NYU Steinhardt PhD student without an alternate funding source, you are eligible for our competitive funding package, which includes a scholarship and tuition remission. Learn more about our funding opportunities.

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