Doctor of Philosophy in Therapeutic Science
Therapeutic Science is an interdisciplinary doctoral program involving faculty across a variety of departments and schools at KU. This program is part of a growing trend to provide interdisciplinary doctoral-level training addressing issues related to disability. The doctoral program in Therapeutic Science is administered through the Department of Occupational Therapy Education in the KU School of Health Professions.
This program is designed for graduate students with interests in disability and quality of life requiring an integrated, interdisciplinary course of study that cannot be provided by existing programs. Typically, applicants will already have obtained a graduate degree (or accumulated 24 research-related course credits at the graduate level) and have a professional credential or identity (e.g., occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, licensed clinical social worker, clinical psychologist, special educator). Many are likely to be working in their chosen field related to issues of disability, but now seek to generate knowledge for understanding disability and improving quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Recognizing the value of insights gained through application of theoretical knowledge in work place settings, the curriculum purposely is flexible to allow students to pursue this program of study while working professionally.
Applications to this program are submitted online. Detailed instructions on how to apply are posted on the program website. The program is administered through the Department of Occupational Therapy Education. Applications must be received by December 1 for consideration, with enrollment in course work typically beginning the following fall semester.
- A master's degree from a regionally accredited institution is required, and must be documented by submission of official transcripts indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Students with degrees from outside the U.S. must provide a transcript evaluation from an official, independent service, indicating the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and meets the minimum cumulative grade-point average requirement.
- Applicants must possess a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a bachelor's degree program.
- Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the minimum English proficiency requirement.
- A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program.
- A current curriculum vitae or resumé is required and must include details of the applicant's educational, professional, and research background.
- A brief statement of academic interests and professional goals will be submitted with the online application. This statement (no more than 300 words) should include how graduate education at the doctoral level will contribute to the attainment of the student's career goals.
- Applicants will also provide a brief statement (2-3 paragraphs) of their research interests, describing how these interests align with expertise of faculty in the Therapeutic Science program. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty prior to applying to the program.
- Three references are required and must be provided by faculty members, advisors, employers, or other people familiar with the applicant's work and character.
Applicants will be assessed based on these requirements. In addition, the extent to which the applicant's interests and goals correspond to those of the available faculty will be considered as part of the admissions review process.
Admission requirements are subject to change. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».
The Ph.D. in Therapeutic Science is an interdisciplinary program that involves faculty across a variety of departments and schools at KU that is administered through the Department of Occupational Therapy Education in the KU School of Health Professions. The program consists of coursework, research experience, and the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation. Dissertation research culminates in a final dissertation examination consisting of an oral presentation by the candidate and an examination by the faculty. Relevant prior graduate work is taken into consideration in setting up individual programs of study leading to the Ph.D.
- Degree requirements are normally completed within 5 years of admission to the program although a maximum of 8 years is allowed.
- Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate coursework.
- Successful completion of a written qualifying exam after three semesters or 18 credit hours (whichever is completed first)
- Successful completion of the University’s Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement prior to scheduling of the Oral Comprehensive Examination. The goal of the RS&RS requirement is to support the student in developing tools necessary for conducting ethical research, pursuing scholarly endeavors, and addressing research questions through a process that is thoughtful, strategic, and evidence-based.
- Successful completion of the Residence Requirement prior to the semester the Oral Comprehensive Examination is scheduled.
- Successful completion of TS 980 Advanced Study in Therapeutic Science which includes written preliminary examinations.
- Successful completion of the Oral Comprehensive Examination. Students are recognized as formal doctoral candidates after they have passed the comprehensive examination. The format for this examination is an oral defense of a written dissertation proposal.
- Successful completion of the Post-Comprehensive Enrollment requirement, typically through continuous enrollment TS 990 Dissertation in Therapeutic Science
- Successful completion of the Final Oral Examination (dissertation defense.) At least 5 months must elapse between the successful completion of the comprehensive oral examination and the date of the final oral examination.
- Successful Dissertation Submission and Publication (according to Office of Graduate Studies policy).
- Successful completion of a minimum of 60 credit hours including core courses, dissertation related coursework and interdisciplinary content coursework. This minimum number presumes the student already has at least 24 graduate credit hours in content courses and 6 hours in research methods and analysis courses that have been accumulated toward a master's degree before beginning the Ph.D. program.
In addition to the core courses, and reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the Therapeutic Science PhD program, students are required to complete elective courses, focused scholarship, and research outcomes. The student's mentor must approve the plan of study.
- Successful completion of the following courses:
Course List Code Title Hours Core Courses TS 800 Research Proseminar (Fall) 1 TS 800 Research Proseminar (Spring) 1 TS 800 Research Proseminar (Summer) 1 TS 850 From Beliefs to Evidence (Fall) 1 TS 850 From Beliefs to Evidence (Spring) 1 TS 900 Evolving Interdisciplinary Views of Disablement (Fall) 1 TS 900 Evolving Interdisciplinary Views of Disablement (Spring) 1 TS 950 Designing Effective Knowledge Transfer (Fall) 1 TS 950 Designing Effective Knowledge Transfer (Spring) 1 Dissertation Related Courses TS 980 Advanced Study in Therapeutic Science (no more than 6 hours in one semester) 9 TS 990 Dissertation in Therapeutic Science 9 Required Elective Courses 33 This interdisciplinary program requires students to complete course work in the areas of: Theory (3 credits), Interdisciplinary electives (6 credits), Advanced Study electives (3 credits), Focused Scholarship (6 credits), and Research (6 credits design and methods, 9 credits statistics/analysis) Total Hours 60
The department will provide a program-specific handbook to each student upon their entry into the program.
Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as an equivalent must be approved by the Therapeutic Science Program Director and the Office of Graduate Studies.
This table summarizes a typical plan of study for this program.
The details of these courses and their sequence have some degree of flexibility, and students should consult regularly with the academic advisor and research mentor to discuss options. A full-time student should expect to take 4-5 years to complete the minimum of 60 credit hours required by this program of study; most students accrue > 60 credit hours. Students pursuing the degree on a part-time basis will require proportionally longer. Unless special circumstances arise, the program must be completed within 8 years.
|TS 850 (core course)||1||TS 850 (core course)||1||Advanced Study (elective)||3|
|Advanced Theory (elective)||3||Interdisciplinary (elective)||3|
|Interdisciplinary (elective)||3||Research Design||3|
|TS 880 (focused scholarship)||3||TS 880 (focused scholarship)||3||Data Analysis||3|
|TS 900 (core course)||1||TS 900 (core course)||1||TS 800 (with Qualifying Exam)||1|
|Research Design (research process)||3||Data Analysis||3|
|TS 950 (core course)||1||TS 950 (core course)||1||TS 990 (dissertation related)||3|
|TS 980||2||TS 980 (develop dissertation proposal)||4|
|Data Analysis||3||Oral Comprehensive Exam may be scheduled as early as this semester if approved by committee to proceed.|
|TS 800||1||TS 800||1|
|TS 990 (dissertation related)||6||TS 990 (dissertation related)||6||TS 990 (dissertation related)||3|
|Final Oral Exam (dissertation defense) may be scheduled as early as this semester if approved by committee to defend and graduate.|
|Total Hours 66|
Doctoral Degree Program in Therapeutic Science
A Doctoral Degree in Therapeutic Science signifies that the holder is prepared to assume leadership in research programs related to human disability. It follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to articulate theory and perform scientific research. Therefore, all individuals admitted to the University of Kansas Medical Center Therapeutic Sciences degree program must have the following abilities and expectations with or without accommodations.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the Therapeutic Science program, and reasonable accommodation will be made for qualified applicants or students who disclose a disability. Candidates who indicate upon application or after acceptance to the program that they cannot meet an expectation listed will be reviewed further by the TS-PhD Program Director in collaboration with the ADA Panel for the School of Health Professions to determine if reasonable accommodations are likely to lead to successful completion of the therapeutic science graduate program.
- Problem Solving: Doctoral candidates are expected to develop advanced expertise and demonstrate skill in leadership, teaching, research design, and data analysis. Therefore, a candidate must be able to understand research, make correct observations, and engage in reasoning, analysis, and synthesis.
- Judgment: The doctoral candidate will be expected to demonstrate judgment in classroom, community, and other research settings that shows an ability to make mature, sensitive, and effective decisions in the following areas: a) relationships with supervisors, peers, and subjects/patients/clients/consumers/families, b) professional behavior, c) the effectiveness of intervention or other research strategies. The candidate must demonstrate and articulate an understanding of the rationale supporting decisions and processes, and be able to provide a justification for his or her actions and performance.
- Communication: A) Written communication: The candidate must be able to assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, databases, medical/school records, etc.). The candidate must be able to obtain, comprehend, retain, and use new information presented in written formats. Candidates are required to compile information from written sources, interpret that information, and produce appropriate written documentation. B) Verbal and nonverbal communication: Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in order to elicit information from subjects/patients/clients/consumers/families, as well as supervisors and peers. Candidates must possess the ability to convey factual information, but also to communicate the more subtle cues of mood, temperament, and social responses. Candidates must develop skill in providing feedback appropriately to others, as well as personal insight and responsiveness to feedback provided by others to the candidate. Communication with subjects/patients/clients/families and with all members of the research team or academic unit must be accurate, sensitive, effective, and efficient. Response time to emergencies/crisis situations, as well as more routine communication must be appropriate to the situation or setting.
- Sensorimotor: Candidates must have sufficient gross motor, fine motor, and equilibrium functions, and functional use of sensory systems to enable them to perform all tasks essential to their career paths.
- Behavioral and social attributes: Candidates are expected to exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during participation in classroom, clinical, or research experiences. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with subjects and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to, an ability to establish rapport and communicate with others, to use appropriate language, possess flexibility toward change, and to accept responsibility for one’s own conduct. Students are expected to exhibit a positive attitude toward patients/clients, peers, and supervisors.