Skip to main content

The Rehabilitation Science Program (MSc & PhD)

  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Decorative Image

The Rehabilitation Science Program (RHBS) offers graduate research programs of study leading to the MSc and PhD degrees. The RHBS Program is one of five programs in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. There are two clinical graduate programs leading to degrees in either Occupational Therapy (MScOT) or Physical Therapy (MScPT). The Aging and Health professional program offers a Graduate Diploma, a Master of Science, and a PhD in Aging and Health. The Rehabilitation and Health Leadership program offers an applied doctorate (DSc).

Rehabilitation Science is the systematic study of disablement within the individual, community, and society. Disablement is conceptualized as overlapping domains of pathophysiology, impairment, functional limitation, societal/environmental limitations, and social participation. Rehabilitation focuses on remediation, compensatory approaches and transformative change to enable individuals to live full and satisfying lives as members of their community.

The doctoral and master's programs in Rehabilitation Science at Queen's University stress the multi-disciplinary contribution of many health professions and disciplines to rehabilitation. Students are exposed to the broadest scope of rehabilitation science and are provided with a unique opportunity to develop insight and understanding of the multidisciplinary and inter-professional aspects of rehabilitation. This approach is an innovative feature of the program and is unique to the Queen's program in Rehabilitation Science. Prior to applying, applicants are required to contact a potential supervisor. The annual application deadline is February 15 for intake the following September. Late applications may be accepted depending on funding opportunities and supervisor availability.

Post-doctoral fellow positions are sometimes available. Please contact faculty directly to discuss opportunities for post-doctoral fellowships.


  1. Acquire and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to research in Rehabilitation Science;
  2. Develop a broad critical understanding of issues in Rehabilitation Science;
  3. Acquire and apply knowledge in their chosen area of specialization; and develop skills in communicating research findings through written and oral presentation.
  1. To educate researchers and professionals to identify and address critical issues in rehabilitation science;
  2. To prepare researchers and professionals in an integrated and interdisciplinary environment to conduct research in clinical, and/or laboratory, and/or community rehabilitation settings;
  3. To prepare rehabilitation scholars, scientists, research clinicians, and academics for leadership roles nationally and internationally; and
  4. To provide researchers and professionals with the scholarly, methodological, critical knowledge and skills to conduct independent or collaborative rehabilitation research and further our knowledge in Rehabilitation Science.

Program Requirements

The M.Sc. program will normally involve two years of full-time study. Students are required to follow a program of study within the framework of Program Pattern I of the School of Graduate Studies which requires as a minimum:

  1. Courses Four term-length graduate courses or equivalent (12.0 credit-units). Selection of courses is subject to departmental approval. The student must obtain a minimum standing of 70% or B- (gpa of 2.7) in each course.
    Core Courses
    (2) RHBS 833* Research Methods I and 804* Rehabilitation Science (3.0 credit-units for each course).
    Evaluation/Application Courses A minimum of six additional course credits selected from the calendar listings. Note that a minimum enrolment may be required for some courses. Where appropriate, a course may be offered as an independent study if the minimum enrolment is not met. Courses in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy Rehabilitation Science program are weighted either 1.0 or 3.0 credit-units.

    The program is designed to provide course work in:

    1. A broad theoretical review of the field of rehabilitation science.
    2. A specialized area within the field of rehabilitation science.
    3. Research skill development.

  2. Research and Thesis The student must prepare a satisfactory thesis and successfully defend it.
  3. Seminar Program RHBS 803* This non-primary course is obligatory for all M.Sc. students and includes mandatory attendance at all seminars, journal clubs, thesis proposal presentations (M.Sc.) and thesis proposal defenses (Ph.D.) that take place within the school.

The Ph.D. program will normally involve three to four years of full-time study. The program involves:

  1. Coursework Students entering the program from other universities or disciplines must take RHBS 933* Research Methods I and RHBS 904* Rehabilitation Science (3.0 credit-units each) plus three additional elective credits (i.e. an additional 3.0 credit units). Courses in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy Rehabilitation Science program are typically weighted either 3.0 credit-units for a term course or 1.0 credit-units for a module.
  2. Comprehensive Examination Ph.D. students are expected to successfully complete their comprehensive examination within the first five terms of their program. The comprehensive examination is a means of ensuring that all graduates of our doctoral program:
    1. Master the breadth and depth of knowledge related to Rehabilitation Science
    2. Are able to formulate and defend arguments based on critical appraisal of the research evidence within the rehabilitation science literature
    3. Integrate and situate knowledge generated in the rehabilitation science field more broadly, such as within the health sciences community and society in general
    4. Are able to competently discuss how different techniques of inquiry are used to create knowledge in the field of rehabilitation science.
    5. Demonstrate an ability to conceptualize and design research for the generation of new knowledge or for translation of knowledge in the field of Rehabilitation Science
    6. Apply their knowledge to critically appraise basic, clinical and applied research relevant to their research area
    7. Make informed judgments on the application of appropriate research methodologies to their research area
    8. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the scope, perspectives, concepts, current issues and research methods relevant to their area of study.

    The examination will comprise two parts:

    • An examination with written and oral components that will test the student's knowledge in Rehabilitation Science in general, research methods used in rehabilitation science, and in the area of the student's research focus; and
    • Submission of a written thesis proposal and oral defense of this proposal in front of a proposal examination committee.

  3. Thesis requirement Thesis research, written dissertation and oral defense.
  4. RHBS 903 Seminar Program This non-primary course is obligatory for all PhD. students and includes mandatory attendance at all seminars and thesis proposal presentations (MSc) and thesis proposal defenses (PhD) that take place within the program, attendance and participation in journal club, and delivery of two lectures within the MScPT or MScOT program.