Prospective Students

DPT/PhD program

The mission of this dual degree program is to prepare highly trained clinician-scientists in an accelerated experience.

About The Program
Individually, the DPT program at SHRP is a full time three-year 110 credit graduate program that prepares students to enter the physical therapy profession. The program has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education since 1980, and has just been re-accredited for another ten-year period valid through 2019. The program combines didactic courses that span areas of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, ethics, professional behavior, evidence-based practice, critical reasoning, diagnosis, and interventions, and is followed with 1 year of clinical clerkship.

The PhD program in the Biomedical Science Program at GSBS-Newark, located across the street from the DPT program, was founded in 1965 to provide graduate training in the many disciplines of biomedical science. Today the GSBS-Newark campus offers programs leading to PhD, DMD/PhD, MD/PhD, MS, MBS, MS/MBA, and MBS/MPH degrees. The program offers courses that cover broadly the Biomedical Sciences field, experimental design & statistics, ethics, professional skills (including proposal and grant writing), and track-specific electives depending on the studentís track of study. Students are also required to participate in seminars and literature reading courses.

The DPT-PhD dual degree program is a collaborative effort between the Newark Campus DPT and GSBS programs that will allow for accelerated standing in the PhD program through equivalence recognition of coursework completed in the DPT program. This is a parallel to (and was partially modeled on) the existing MD-PhD Program that currently exists between NJMS and GSBS. Similar to the MD-PhD program, there is a considerable degree of overlap between academic content taught in the DPT and PhD programs. Enrollees in the DPT-PhD program will take additional credits in selected semesters of the DPT program to promote advanced application and integration of research methods content and provide entry into research laboratories. The additional credits will be reflected in modifications, such as reading seminars linked to existing DPT courses and one experiential rotation in a research laboratory. The majority of the academic requirements in the DPT program will have the academic equivalence to many requirements in the PhD program, giving these students advanced standing when starting the PhD training phase. Thus, the remaining requirements to fulfill the GSBS PhD will include a minimum of 2 electives (for a minimum of 4 total credits) related to research specialization.

The dual degree program will be structured in two general phases. Phase 1 will be constituted by the studentís formal enrollment and completion of the DPT program, with selected additional PhD credits linked to DPT courses. This phase will be completed in 3 years, but will provide advanced standing in actual and equivalent PhD credits. Phase 2 will begin upon successful completion of the DPT degree and will be constituted by full-time training for the PhD (which will be awarded by GSBS). Phase 2 will be preferably completed in 3 years, contingent on the studentís successful fulfillment of academic and thesis requirements. 

Major Areas of Research
The dual degree program offers broad options for PhD education depending on the studentís interest and the availability of faculty affiliated with the program. Participating areas of research may be, but not limited to: biomedical engineering, neuroscience, rehabilitation science, exercise physiology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, cancer biology, radiation biology, physiology, biophysics, cardiovascular biology, molecular pharmacology, stem cell biology, immunology, infectious disease, microbiology, oral biology, and bioinformatics.

The Ideal Candidate
Students with a strong interest in pursuing a research career to bridge the gaps between health-care and clinical/translational/basic science, and who have demonstrated competitive academic success are ideal candidates.

For further information, contact:
Sandra L Kaplan PT, DPT, PhD
Director, Post Professional Education & DPT-PhD Program Coordinator
Assoc. Dir. DPT Program

Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science, Rutgers SHRP

Rutgers The State University of NJ
65 Bergen St, Room 718


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