"I'm so excited to be a part of a greater future of medicine through my research, a future where we can diagnose and prognose brain injuries like TBI and CTE accurately and earlier than post-mortem. I'm also inspired to work hard in a field that is innovative and cutting edge."
— Nancy Sloan, PhD student, Rehabilitation Science

Rehabilitation Science

The Rehabilitation Science PhD program at UC San Francisco is offered in collaboration with faculty from both UCSF and San Francisco State University (SFSU). The program employs a non-traditional approach that addresses the broader perspective of basic and clinical sciences in the areas of musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation. This program takes advantage of the highly interdisciplinary nature of UCSF and the diversity at SFSU to expand the learning opportunities and enrich the collaborative science research experience for graduate students. Backed by the outstanding faculty in physical therapy at both institutions, as well as the state-of-the-art research facilities and clinical expertise at UCSF, the program is a preeminent center of learning and discovery in rehabilitation science at the doctoral level.

specialization areas

A central goal of the program is to capitalize on the highly interdisciplinary nature of UCSF and offer an academic program that integrates multiple disciplines. PhD students select one of the following specialized training areas:

musculoskeletal biomechanics
Musculoskeletal biomechanics is one of the foundational sciences of rehabilitation science. Within this specialization, new investigators are trained on the latest advancements in musculoskeletal biomechanics and are prepared for careers in research in academia and industry.

clinically informed neuroscience
The clinically informed neuroscience track offers either a clinically-focused pathway, which addresses neural injury and neurodegenerative disease, or a laboratory based translational research pathway that utilizes clinically relevant models of neurodegeneration to address mechanisms underlying activity-based restoration of function.

The Rehabilitation Science program office is located at the Mission Bay campus. Visit the program website for more information.


The Rehabilitation Science PhD program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Medicine, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF School of Medicine and at San Francisco State University.