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Rehabilitation Sciences

What is it?

Rehabilitation Science is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on human function and disability.  Two disciplines often found within Rehabilitation Science are Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT).
 

Physical therapy is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention to improve physical mobility and health. Physical Therapist help people with joint and muscle injury and help them recover faster and regain their mobility. The injuries can range from sports injuries, falls or accidents.   For a fuller discussion look here:  Occupational Outlook Hand Book.

Occupational therapy
is a holistic health care profession that aims to promote health by enabling individuals to perform meaningful and purposeful activities across the lifespan. Occupational therapists use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients with a physical, mental or developmental condition.  OT's usually work closely with people with physical disabilities and educate them to improve activities of daily living. For example, people who have had serious injuries and may have compromised mobility may consult with an OT to see how they can regain abilities with their activities of daily living (taking a shower, dressing, eating etc).  For a fuller discussion look here: Occupational Outlook Hand Book

 

Where do PT's and OT's Work?

PT's and OT's can work both in the hospital or community clinics. They can also go into private practice (in the case of PTs) and private consultants (in the case of OTs).
 

Job Prospects

PT's and OT's continue to be in high demand. 

 

Academic Programs

Physical therapists typically need a doctoral degree in physical therapy. All states require physical therapists to be licensed.  Occupational therapists need a masterís degree in occupational therapy. Additionally, all states require occupational therapists to be licensed.
 

The competition for acceptance into these programs is very keen. Typically the GRE is required and a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 is needed in your junior and senior level courses. You will also need a 3.0 GPA or higher in all of the prerequisite coursework as well. Determine if volunteer (or paid) physical therapy experience is required by the PT programs) to which you are applying.

 

Sample of Graduate Programs

 

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