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Doctor of Philosophy
Rehabilitation Sciences

Prepare for a scholarly career in interdisciplinary rehabilitation research that will improve the quality of life for individuals across ability levels who may benefit from social, physical, or cognitive adaptations. You will further your specialized knowledge by working collaboratively with leading faculty across health fields, and build a strong foundation in applied research and scientific inquiry.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

The Rehabilitation Sciences doctoral program held an Open House in October 2023. If you wish to view the recording please reach out to

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 generous Steinhardt Fellowship Program, which includes a scholarship and tuition remission. Learn more about our funding opportunities.

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

A Biopsychosocial Paradigm

Our 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 

Our 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.

Throughout your degree, you’ll develop a strong network through ongoing research in collaboration with one or more faculty members as they help you identify sites and resources throughout New York City for your research, and focus your specialization toward a dissertation topic. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared for an outstanding and fulfilling academic career in research and teaching.

Rehab Sciences Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Mark Vorensky

Mark Vorensky holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences and is a board certified specialist in orthopedic and sports physical therapy. Mark's dissertation, which can be found on ProQuest using ISBN 9798379549046, investigated the effect of patient-clinician relationships on objective measures of function and appraisals of pain for individuals with chronic low back pain, and examined the presence of health disparities in patient-clinician relationships. Currently, Mark is an Assistant Professor in the department of physical therapy at Touro University in Manhattan and an orthopedic physical therapist at NYU Rusk.

Dr. Claire Kearney-Volpe

Dr. Claire Kearney-Volpe holds a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences and is trained in Art Therapy and Interactive Telecommunications. Claire's dissertation, on accessible web development, can be found on ProQuest using ISBN 28409956. She is an Accessibility Specialist and Senior UX Researcher at Verizon. Her research focuses on digital accessibility, STEM education, and human-centered design.

News & Events

Rehabilitation Sciences Research Featured at Rusk Rehabilitation 75th Anniversary Research Symposium

Core faculty, as well as current and former students representing the PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences, presented recent research at the NYU Rusk Rehabilitation 75th Anniversary Research Symposium on September 22, 2023.

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Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Candidate among 2023 Recipients of Saffran Student Scholar Award

Farha Najah Hussain has received a Saffran Student Scholar Award for the 17th Annual Eleanor M. Saffran Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience and Rehabilitation of Communication Disorders, to be hosted by Temple University on September 28-30, 2023.

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PhD Student Receives 2023 Diversity Innovation Grant

Farha Najah Hussain, PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences, was awarded a 2023 Diversity Innovation Grant from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging at NYU Steinhardt.

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PhD Student Receives NIH Grant

Anna Palumbo has received a F31 grant from the NIH, which is the most prestigious pre-doctoral award that the NIH grants.

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Rehabilitation Sciences student Annalissa Vicencio received the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's 2022 HEAL Scholarship

Annalissa Vicencio, a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student, was awarded the 2022 ACLM HEAL Scholarship.

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Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Students Presented at CoHRR's 2022 Spring Research Showcase

Five Rehab Sciences PhD students presented at CoHRR's annual Spring Research Showcase in May

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