Become a doctor in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University.

We welcome applications for admission to the PhD program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (HRS). The purpose of this interdisciplinary PhD program is to prepare health care professionals to become leaders, teachers, and scholars in their respective fields of allied health. Specific goals of our interdisciplinary program are to prepare allied health professionals to enter academic positions and to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in allied health disciplines.

University Fellowship

To be considered for the University Fellowship for the current school year, all application materials must be received by the HRS graduate program office by the November 1 deadline.  Please note Fellowship awardees will start the PhD program in the Autumn Semester.  For additional information regarding the competition, please visit

Application Deadlines

Generally, you should plan to apply for an autumn admission. If you are interested in applying for a University Fellowship, you must submit all fellowship materials by November 1. The admission committee will meet to consider all applications received for autumn admission. If the class fills at that time, then subsequent applicants will likely be deferred to the following year. However, the University does allow a rolling admission to graduate school, and the deadline for admission is the second week of the preceding term. If the class does not fill with qualified applicants, then admissions may continue up until that deadline.  The program is designed to begin in the fall. In exceptional circumstances, however, such as a transfer, a student could be admitted off cycle.The program strives to be flexible in accommodating individual circumstances. Because the School’s graduate associate positions are limited, students accepted prior to September will have priority for that year’s enrollment.
Review of Your Application 
Your application will be reviewed by:
  • The University Graduate School Office of Admissions
  • The Graduate Studies Committee of the School (GSC)

Finding a Potential Advisor

Finding a potential advisor is necessary for your application to be complete. Review the descriptions of Program Faculty to find potential advisors who seem to be a good match for your interests. Contact the potential advisor by email, telephone, or mail well in advance of the application deadline to begin a dialog.  You may identify more than one potential advisor. We recommend a face to face meeting with the potential faculty advisor(s) prior to consideration of your application. If the faculty member agrees to be a potential advisor for your application, he or she will submit a form so indicating to the Graduate Studies Office for inclusion with your application.

What does "Potential Advisor Agreement" Mean?

When a faculty member agrees to be a potential advisor for an applicant, this means that the faculty member has room to accept another student under their tutelage. It also means that the faculty member and the student have communicated and there appears to be a good potential fit between the student's interest and the faculty member's program of research. It does not imply a recommendation for admission.  A faculty member may agree to act as a potential advisor for several applications when only one spot is available under their tutelage. The faculty member and the GSC will work together to identify the student with the best qualifications and the best match with the faculty member's research to determine who is accepted into the program. Thus, a student who has found a faculty member to serve as a potential advisor is not guaranteed admission into the program.
A student who applies without a potential advisor may be contacted by program faculty if the student appears to be well qualified and the program faculty determine that there is a good potential fit for the student in the program. However, if an application is received without a potential faculty advisor identified and no fit for the applicant is apparent, the student may be rejected without further notice. Therefore, it is imperative for the student to contact potential faculty advisers prior to admission.​

HRS Admissions

Applicants must apply in conformance with graduate school requirements using the online application. In addition to the documents required by the graduate school (i.e. proof of degree, TOEFL, minimum GPA, etc), the applicant will provide recent GRE scores, a letter of intent and faculty will provide an HRS potential faculty advisor form and faculty sponsorship of student applicant form.  
To be admitted to the HRS PhD program, the applicant must fulfill the following criteria:
  • Minimum GRE scores at the 50th percentile or greater on the verbal and quantitative portions and 4 or greater for the written portion.
  • MS degree or professional degree in a health related field; or be an applicant to a dual degree program such as DPT/PhD, OTD/PhD, MS/PhD
  • Commitment of an advisor or sponsor from the faculty for the HRS PhD program
  • Determination by the advisor and the PhD graduate studies committee of the goodness of fit with the goals of the HRS PhD Program and scope of research by the faculty.
In rare cases, an applicant may request a review of their academic record by the HRS PhD Graduate Studies Committee in consideration of waiving the GRE minimums. The decision by the committee and the PhD program Director will be final.
The HRS PhD program is a rigorous program of study based on biomedical and health related sciences which demand a full-time commitment and availability to be successful. As such, special or conditional admission will be rare. Most if not all admissions will be in the regular classification.

General Admission Requirements and Criteria

General Requirements

The PhD program is open to applicants who have completed a graduate degree. This degree can be a Master of Science (MS) in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Masters of Physical Therapy (MPT), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Masters of Science in Dietetics. Other related graduate degrees may be appropriate; contact Lisa Terek at
In addition, specific courses are recommended:
  • Two graduate level research methods courses
  • One graduate level college teaching course
The documents required to apply for the PhD program include:
  • Graduate Program Application
  • Official transcripts (Send one set of official transcripts from each school attended, except The Ohio State University to Ohio State University's Graduate Admissions).
  • Graduate Record Examination scores (send to Graduate Admissions)
  • Three letters of recommendation (send to HRS Admissions Office or electronically via the application)
  • Statement of Intent (send to HRS Admission Office or electronically via the application)
  • An agreement from one of the School’s Graduate Faculty agreeing to act as a potential adviser
Additional materials to submit when available are:
  • CV with a list of publications and presentations
  • Copies of research reports or other publications that you have authored
Note: International students, whose native language is not English, must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Candidates for admission into the program will be interviewed. The interview will include at least two of the graduate faculty and may be in person or by phone.

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