Graduate

Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)

YOU ARE BOUVÉ

Translating innovative research from bench to clinic

Our PhD in Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences prepares you to conduct independent and original basic, translational, and applied research to restore and maximize human functional capacity and promote health and wellbeing across the lifespan.

Our interdisciplinary program and its faculty, emphasize core competencies in movement and rehabilitation science, cognitive and behavioral science, and communication science.

Students get: 

  • Interdisciplinary mentoring by distinguished faculty 
  • To conduct innovative research that positively impacts human lives and wellbeing 
  • Core training in movement and rehabilitation science, cognitive and behavioral science and communication science 

We leverage our unique faculty and research laboratories as well as our highly ranked programs in Bouvé College of Health Sciences, the College of Science, the College of Engineering, College of Arts, Media and Design, and Center for Cognitive and Brain Health. 

Northeastern is dedicated to advancing the field of clinical and rehabilitation science, translating research from bench to clinic and promoting lifelong wellbeing from early development through successful aging in the community.

Students benefit from our new research laboratories utilizing state-of-the-art movement and rehabilitation methods including virtual reality, ultrasound, neuroscience, neurophysiology, robotics, and movement measurement technologies. 

Quickview

Degree Type:
Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD

Study options:
– On-ground (Boston Campus)
– Full-time or part-time

Application deadline:
Dec 6 (for full consideration)

GRE: Not required

Applicants accepted:
Domestic and International

Term Start: Fall only*

* Requests for a Spring start are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director.

Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD

Curriculum

Our doctoral students conduct research that address several factors in human movement, rehabilitation, cognition, behavior and communication science, including but not limited to: 

  • Health promotion across the lifespan from early childhood to aging 
  • Psychology of human movement and communication 
  • Exercise, speech and cognitive neuroscience  
  • Rehabilitation and assistive technology 
  • Virtual environments for rehabilitation 
  • Biomechanics and ergonomics 
  • Science of human communication and neurodevelopment 

Students must complete 32 credit hours of courses, complete a comprehensive exam, and publish a doctoral dissertation. The course requirements include five required courses and then a set of electives determined by the student and their research advisor to provide the individual set of skills needed for their research project and career.

Our graduates are well-prepared to enter into a number of post-doctoral career paths including:

  • Industrial research positions
  • Government consultants
  • Post-doctoral or junior faculty positions in academic institutions in either technology programs or schools of health science, public health, or medicine

Sample Curriculum

Curriculum subject to change.
See the course catalog for most up-to-date information.

Required Courses

We expect each student in the program to have core knowledge and skills addressing the common issues for human movement and rehabilitation sciences as well as research methods. These are reflected in the core courses in:

Biostatistics (3 SH)

Core Concepts in Rehabilitation Science and Research (3 SH)

Measurement and Analysis of Human Movement and Bioinstrumentation (4 SH)

Technologies in Movement and Rehabilitation (4 SH)

Interdisciplinary Seminar in Rehabilitation Science (1 SH)

Admission Requirements

Our program does not have specific requirements with regard to classes applicants must take or have taken prior to applying. While competitive applicants typically already possess an advanced degree, we will consider exceptionally qualified applicants with a bachelor’s degree, as well.

Completed application
All applications must be submitted through the University PhD application system. In addition to the application, applicants must submit a resume and a personal statement.

Personal statement
Your personal statement should discuss how your background informs your research interests. It should demonstrate how your training and experience motivates you to pursue a type of research. The type of research doesn’t have to be specific, but it should also not be too general (e.g. movement and rehabilitation sciences). Prospective students are highly encouraged to reach out to research faculty in the program with overlapping areas of interest.

A CV or Resumé (no more than 3 pages) 

Three letters of recommendation
Only academic and professional letters of recommendation will be accepted.

Official transcripts
Official transcripts generated by the registrar’s office at all previous institutions attended should be submitted. Student generated/unofficial transcripts are not accepted. If transcripts are being mailed, use the below mailing address.

Transcripts mailed from inside the US:

Northeastern University
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Applicant ID: XXXXXXX (insert your applicant ID number
Graduate Application Processing Center 
P.O. Box 1434 
Portsmouth, NH 03802 USA 

Transcripts mailed from outside the US:

Northeastern University
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Applicant ID: XXXXXXX (insert your applicant ID number
Graduate Application Documents 
360 Huntington Ave. 
Boston, MA 02115 USA 

TOEFL scores are required from international applicants who possess degrees from institutions outside the United States. Use code #3629. The PhD Program requires a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL (official test scores from similar English-language tests may not be substituted in place of the TOEFL).

Faculty and Research

Our program focuses on research within a highly interdisciplinary setting using multidisciplinary and multidimensional concepts of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health model (ICF). It operates with the support of University based research activities at the interface of rehabilitation, neuroscience, and movement sciences that span the colleges of the university. All students will have exposure to basic, translational, and applied research training since these are considered hallmarks of the program. The curriculum incorporates global concepts for human movement and rehabilitation sciences.

Kristen Allison, Northeastern University

Kristen Allison, PhD, CCC-SLP

Faculty Biography | Speech Motor Impairment Lab (SMILe)

open to research assistants

Leanne Chukoskie — Northeastern University

open to research assistants

Behrakis Health Science Center at Northeastern's Boston Campus

Kris Dorsey, PhD

Faculty Biography |

open to research assistants

Neha Gothe, Northeastern University

Neha Gothe, PhD

Faculty Biography |

open to research assistants

CJ Hasson — Northeastern University

open to research assistants

Charles Hillman — Northeastern University

open to research assistants

Winston Kennedy, PhD, DPT, MPH

Faculty Biography

open to research assistants

Aston McCullough, PhD, M.Phil

Faculty Biography

open to research assistants

Entrance to building with a bicycle and blooming tulips

open to research assistants

Timothy Morris, PhD

Faculty Biography |

open to research assistants

Jonathan Peelle, Northeastern Univeristy

Jonathan Peelle, PhD

Faculty Biography |

open to research assistants

Zhenghan Qi, Northeastern University

open to research assistants

Lauren Raine, PhD, MPH

Faculty Biography |

open to research assistants

Aaron Seitz, Northeastern University

open to research assistants

Max Shepherd — Northeastern University

Max Shepherd, PhD

Faculty Biography | Shepherd Lab

open to research assistants

Joshua Stefanik — Northeastern University

Joshua Stefanik, PhD

Faculty Biography | Musculoskeletal Epidemiology and Biomechanic

open to research assistants

Gene Tunik, Northeastern University

Gene Tunik, PhD

Faculty Biography | Movement Neuroscience Laboratory

open to research assistants

Mathew Yarossi, Northeastern University

Mathew Yarossi, PhD

Faculty Biography | Movement Neuroscience Laboratory

open to research assistants

Emily Zimmerman, Northeastern University

open to research assistants

Faculty in the News

You’ve heard it at least 100 times — regular physical activity does wonders for your health. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and dramatically reduce your risk for developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. But less well-known is the impact of physical activity on the mind…

Woman exercising with overlay of how exercise is impacting brain function.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transfer credits and can I waive submitting official test scores?

A maximum of 9 semester/12 quarter hours of credit obtained at another institution may be accepted towards the degree, provided the credits consist of work taken at the graduate level for graduate credit, carry grades of 3.000 (B) or better, and have not been used toward any other degree. These courses must have been taken within 5 years prior to the transfer.

TOEFL scores are required from all international applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States. Guidelines for submitting a request to waive the TOEFL requirement are outlined in the Admissions section.


How much does the program cost and what kind of funding is available?

Doctoral students in the Human Movement and Rehabilitation Science PhD program pay per credit taken. The latest cost per credit for Bouve College of Health Sciences programs can be found on Northeastern’s Student Financial Services webpage.

Our program offers a select number of graduate assistantships for doctoral students, which covers tuition and includes a yearly stipend in exchange for 20 hours of work each week. You do not need to do anything further than submitting an application to the Program to be considered for a graduate assistantship.


Can I be waived from submitting official test scores?

Applications to the Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program must include GRE scores (taken within the past five years) from all applicants. This requirement cannot be waived.

In addition, TOEFL scores are required from all international applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States. Guidelines for submitting a request to waive the TOEFL requirement are outlined in the Admissions section.


Can I speak with faculty in the PhD program that share my interests?

Yes, we would be happy to put you in touch with our faculty. Please send your query along with a description of your research interests so you can be appropriately matched to:

Kinaesiaa Carrington
Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program Administrator


Do you offer online courses?

Some required courses have online course equivalents that doctoral students may choose to take, but it is not required.

Still have questions?

We welcome any questions you might have about our program. Please feel free to send general program inquiries and admissions-related questions to Elizabeth Holaday, the Program Manager.

This program is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Elizabeth Holaday

Program Manager Physical Therapy, Human Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences

Program Leadership

Leanne Chukoskie

PhD

Associate Professor Physical Therapy, Human Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences

Neha Gothe

PhD

Associate Professor; Assistant Director of the PhD in Human Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences Physical Therapy, Human Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences