Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
An Sc.D. Faculty demonstrates a manual manipulation on someone's foot and ankle.

What Is an Sc.D. Degree?

A Doctor of Science degree is a terminal academic degree awarded in recognition of a substantial and sustained contribution to scientific knowledge. It is similar to a Doctor of Philosophy in terms of telling people about your mastery of a particular field of study. The Doctor of Science is the highest academic degree awarded to disciplines in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The TTUHSC Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) in Rehabilitation Sciences is a post professional terminal doctoral degree designed for the you the practicing clinician. There is a knowledge revolution found in rehabilitation literature, advancing the boundaries of clinical science, technology, and therapeutic insight. The Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences program provides you a means to participate in this revolution by contributing to the growth and development of novel evidence-based practice as well as through refinement of current concepts and ideas that together foster innovation and effective care.


Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences

The TTUHSC Sc.D. degree is one of the most unique and thorough post-professional rehabilitation sciences programs in the country. It offers you a deliberate combination of foundational concepts with new paradigms to enhance patient care. Consider, unguided educational and clinical experiences can actually limit the ability of patients to receive exceptional care. Our interventions are at times inadvertently biased by previous educational and clinical experiences. These biases can be left unchecked as we are too busy or lack purposeful effort to refine skills and knowledge. The Sc.D. program will provide you with the opportunity to acknowledge and refine these past experiences. Advanced levels of information, skill, and critical thinking traits only come from a rigorous, formalized study and time that is not available in an entry level program or post-graduate continuing education. If clinicians make better decisions, patients will have improved physical, emotional, and financial health.

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An Sc.D. Program Designed for Professionals

The Sc.D. Program in Rehabilitation Sciences at TTUHSC is tailored to practicing clinicians who want to continue their post-professional education:

  • Admission is open to clinicians holding a bachelor's or master's, or doctor's degree in athletic training, occupational therapy, or physical therapy.
  • The program provides an advanced clinical curriculum that includes concepts from biomechanical, tissue specific, and motor control models that relate to a myriad of rehabilitation settings and patient populations.
  • The hybrid curriculum is presented in a weekend course format with web-based course enhancement.
  • The program allows clinicians to develop relationships and share ideas in the areas of clinical practice, research, and
  • You are encouraged to continue with your clinical employment while enrolled. Your professional work setting is the ideal setting for applying what you learn in the program.
  • As an Sc.D. student you have the option of clinical research or clinical teaching for your clinical dissertation project.
  • The curriculum serves as a potential option for continuing education units.


Advanced Rehabilitation Education With Professional Impact

The TTUHSC Sc.D. program in Rehabilitation Sciences expects to develop professional leaders, mentors, educators, and clinical researchers.

  • The previous Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy program allowed more than 45% of its graduates to gain faculty positions in entry-level physical therapy education programs.
  • Over 30% developed into post-professional educators outside the formal academic setting. These individuals continue to work in clinical settings while serving as educators to other clinicians through workshops or continuing education courses.
  • Several program graduates are serving in an academic leadership capacity and many have transitioned into clinical director or clinical owner positions.

For TTUHSC School of Health Professions to offer online courses in a state other than Texas, TTUHSC must first comply with that state's requirements. These requirements differ from state to state, with requirements being more rigorous and expensive in some states than others. TTUHSC SHP is currently working to gain authorization to offer online courses in all states. Please check your state’s individual requirements before enrolling in any online courses.

A doctor of Science in Physical Therapy Instructor performs an exercise on a patient

Careers With a Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences Degree

The Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences degree is a career gateway into professional leadership, mentoring, teaching and research opportunities. The Sc.D. program’s broad clinical emphasis encourages clinicians from every setting to acknowledge and refine past experiences and concepts that lead to innovation and improved patient care. These reflections will also prepare you to transition into mentoring roles to colleagues as well as leadership roles in professional, clinical and academic settings. 

The Sc.D. is a degree with practical career impact:

  • The program provides the toolsets necessary for clinical and academic teaching and collaborative research that advance the rehabilitation sciences profession.
  • The advanced critical knowledge and clinical reasoning gained in the program allow practitioners to thrive in rapidly evolving practice settings with competency and expertise.
  • The program opens options for post-professional residency and fellowship director opportunities.

The Sc.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences Degree Curriculum

The program is a hybrid of on-campus coursework and online learning. As an Sc.D. student, you’ll attend classes on long weekends, participating in both lecture and laboratory experiences. Your coursework is enhanced with additional web-based curriculum components including reading assignments, interactive sessions, website links, and case studies. As part of the Sc.D. Program, you will complete a clinical dissertation focused on clinical teaching or research.

Individual classes include:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice for the Hip Complex.
  • Sensorimotor Control Science and Practice.
  • Neurological Injury in Sports and Occupation.
  • Neuroscience of Pain.
  • Psychological-Behavioral Aspects of Health.

Successful completion of the program culminates in the Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences (Sc.D.) degree.

Learn more about the curriculum, research and clinical experiences.

"The TTUHSC Sc.D. in Physical Therapy has made me a better clinician, guided me through the process of conducting a successful research dissertation, and exposed me to teaching theory and curriculum design. The faculty are excellent instructors who all have clinical, teaching, and research experience. I am now empowered to join a DPT faculty and continue my clinical practice with expertise second to none."

John Hoops, PT, COMT

 TTUHSC Sc.D. student Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy

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Academic Classroom Building, Lubbock Campus

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Program Information, Admission, Application, Request a Tour

School of Health Professions Office of Admissions and Student Affairs

T: (806) 743-3220 


Brad Allen, Program Director
Brad Allen, ScD
Program Director