Program director
Terry D. Douglas

The School of Allied Health Professions offers the Doctor of Philosophy degree in rehabilitation science. By design, the degree program is inclusive of the many rehabilitation professions and offers opportunities for qualified clinical professionals in allied health to prepare for careers in independent research, teaching, and administration.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of the program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Provide vision and direction for the integration of the rehabilitation professions.
  2. Commit themselves to whole-person care.
  3. Advance the theory and practice of rehabilitation science through research.
  4. Acquire and integrate knowledge related to the social and basic medical sciences.
  5. Assess, develop, and implement interdisciplinary community-based services.

In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Master's degree in any allied health professions area or discipline related to rehabilitation science.
  • Minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 in academic and professional coursework.

Prospective students are required to submit the following:

  1. A formal letter of support from a primary research faculty member at Loma Linda University whose research interests and availability most closely match those of the applicant. The program director will coordinate meetings between applicants and prospective research faculty members.
  2. Curriculum vita, including work history, formal education, continuing education, licensure or certification, professional organizations, honors, awards, publications, presentations, and grants.
  3. At least one example of written work (e.g., term paper, course assignment, publication, master's degree research project or thesis).
  4. Proof of involvement in a complete research project (group or individual) that involved data collection and production of a research paper or research poster.

A minimum of 80 units beyond the master's degree is required for students holding a master's or doctoral degree in a professional area.   The student's program coursework for the degree must be approved by the Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science Committee.

Domain 1
Rehabilitation Science and LLU Values (16 units)
RESC 517Profession Advocacy in Allied Health Professions4
RESC 519Rehabilitation Theories and Applications in Health Care3
Choose from the following (9 units minimum):9
Lifestyle Health and Wholeness
Managing Stress
Legal and Ethical Issues in the Health Professions
Spirituality and Health: The Wholeness Connection
Vegetarian Nutrition: Person, Population, Planet
Couples, Families, and Disabilities
Domain 2
Choose from the following (6 units minimum):6
Human Resource Management in the Health-Care Environment
Administration in Higher Education
Leadership for Health Professionals
Professional Leadership
Building Healthy Individuals
Building Healthy Communities 1
Building Healthy Systems
Professional Systems in Management I
Clinical Issues in Speech-Language Pathology
Domain 3
Choose from the following (6 units minimum):6
Educational Evaluation and Clinical Assessment
Transformational Teaching and Learning
Curriculum Development in Higher Education
Collaborative Learning in Higher Education
Instructional Design I
Education for Health Professionals
Pedagogy: The Art and Science of Teaching
Transformative Communication
Religion and wholeness
Include 9 units of religion, chosen from the following ethical, theological, and relational courses; and the Graduate Wholeness Portfolio
AHCJ 519Graduate Wholeness Portfolio1
Choose from the following (3 units minimum):3
Bioethics and Society
Ethics for Scientists
Ethical Issues in Health-Care Management
Christian Social Ethics
World Religions and Bioethics
Philosophical Ethics
Choose from the following (3 units minimum):3
Wholeness and Health
Culture, Psychology, and Religion
Religion and the Social Sciences
Choose from the following (3 units minimum):3
Biblical Perspectives in Religion and Health
World Religions and Human Health
Theology of Human Suffering
Research and dissertation
Didactic coursework (15 units minimum)
AHRM 581Research and Statistics I3
AHRM 582Research and Statistics II3
EPDM 509Principles of Epidemiology3
Select from the following (6 units minimum):6
Writing for Health-Care Professionals
Nonparametric Statistics for the Health Professions
Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature
Data Collection Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Components of Clinical Inquiry
Grant- and Contract-Proposal Writing
Advanced coursework in speciality area6
RESC 697Research (1-12)21
Total Units80

Fulfills service learning requirement

Service learning requirement

This requirement may be met by taking PHCJ 610 Building Healthy Communities or a religion course designated as a service learning course. For more information about this requirement and a list of religion courses that fulfill it, see section on academic service learning in this CATALOG.

Comprehensive examinations

The written comprehensive examination is designed to establish that the student has a broad understanding of rehabilitation science. A student is eligible to take the written examination after completing coursework from the three domains and  six units in research and statistics.

The oral examination is designed to establish that the student has adequate foundational information in appropriate content areas, as well as a plan to answer a research question appropriate for a doctoral dissertation. Following successful completion of the written comprehensive examination, the oral examination will be scheduled by the student's research mentor in consultation with the program director. The examination will cover the student's research proposal and content areas on which the proposal rests.

Advancement to candidacy

The student may apply for admission to doctoral candidacy after (a) passing the written and preliminary oral comprehensive examinations, and (b) securing the approval of their research advisory committee.


The candidate's capacity for independent investigation and scholarly achievement must be demonstrated by the presentation and oral defense of an acceptable dissertation, resulting in at least two publications in peer-reviewed journals. One paper must be accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal before the candidate's graduation.

General requirements

For information about requirements and practices to which all graduate students are subject, the student should consult the Policies and General Regulations sections of this catalog for the University and the School of Allied Health Professions.

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) to five (5) years based on three-quarter-time enrollment


RESC 517. Profession Advocacy in Allied Health Professions. 4 Units.

Examines legislative and regulatory bodies that define and regulate health-care practice in California. Identifies techniques to advance the profession's advocacy. Field training experience includes district and state capitol meetings with legislators and policymakers.

RESC 519. Rehabilitation Theories and Applications in Health Care. 3 Units.

History of and current trends in health care theory and applications, emphasizing successful approaches to integration of the rehabilitation professions.

RESC 697. Research. 1-12 Units.

Must be repeated to complete the total required units.