Rehabilitation Science Program

man with wheelchairAre you interested in becoming an OT educator or researcher? If yes, the UMN Rehabilitation Science graduate program (PhD or MS) may be a good option for you. The program is designed for rehabilitation professionals and basic scientist who want gain the credentials and skills needed to:

  • be an independent researcher
  • teach in academia using technology-enhanced learning
  • contribute to evidence-based practice of occupational therapy
  • compete successfully for grant money
  • be a leader in your profession
  • advance in a current work environment (e.g., school system environment, administrative &/or research role)

The program will also help you to:

  • Improve critical thinking/problem-solving and writing skills
  • Pursue questions of personal interest
  • Fulfill the goal of life-long learning
  • Have the intellectual challenge

After reviewing the Rehabilitation Science website, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Mathiowetz for general information and relevant faculty to further explore your research interests.

The following OT faculty are currently Rehabilitation Science faculty: Dr. Peggy Martin, Dr. Virgil Mathiowetz, Dr. Corey McGee, Dr. Mike Potegal, and Dr. Patricia Schaber. All are potential advisers, except for Dr. Mathiowetz, who is in phased retirement. It is important for potential students to find faculty with similar research interests. Go to the Rehabilitation Science Meet our Faculty section for more information.


Sixtynine percent of current Rehabilitation Science students hold teaching assistantships (TA), research assistantships (RA), or a combination of two. Graduate assistantships at 20 hours/week provide salary and cover full tuition and benefits and at 10 hours/week provide salary and cover 50% tuition and benefits. Some OT students have received funding through the LEND grant. Some students have received financial support through their work sites. Most OT mentored students have been successful in obtaining partial or full funding of their dissertation projects.