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Rehabilitation and Movement Science, PhD

Study Rehabilitation and Movement Science at Azusa Pacific University

You’ll conduct original research and learn from highly experienced professionals, graduating ready to advance allied health through a career in academia or research. Complete the majority of the PhD online, benefiting from a flexible format in this hybrid program—the only one of its kind on the West Coast.

Program at a Glance

The APU PhD program in Rehabilitation and Movement Science equips students for compassionate leadership in academia and research, guided by experienced faculty and hands-on learning.

Application Deadline

  • Early Admission Deadline: January 15
  • Advanced Standing Deadline: January 15
  • Regular Admission Deadline: March 1

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Program Information

  • Program Units: 61
  • Cost per Unit: $1,157
  • Base Cost: $70,577*


  • Online: Low Residency at Azusa (Main Campus)
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Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Use Christian principles to guide research and contribute to the professional community.
  • Learn and research alongside an accomplished faculty-mentor.
  • Gather scientific evidence to improve health and rehabilitation outcomes.
  • Utilize research instruments such as motion capture, pain measurement tools, and more. 
  • Translate findings into clinical practice.

By the Numbers

50 % of the top 30 fastest-growing fields are in the allied health professions, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
1:1 Students enjoy one-on-one mentoring from accomplished faculty who draw on decades of experience and knowledge to guide and shape the next generation of disciples and scholars.


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Program Details

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Rehabilitation and Movement Science program at Azusa Pacific University prepares graduates to practice as academic faculty and clinical researchers in the fields of rehabilitation and movement science. These graduates are guided by Christian principles and ethical values, and are critical thinkers and lifelong learners, supporting the global community and the rehabilitation and movement science profession as service-oriented practitioners.

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.


  • Proof of a graduate degree (master’s or clinical doctoral degree) in a field of rehabilitation from an accredited U.S. college or university, or equivalent from a non-U.S. university or college.
  • Licensed clinical work experience
  • Minimum 3.0 graduate GPA

Admission Requirements

The university graduate and program admission requirements below must be met before an application is considered complete.

This program is not open to F-1 or J-1 international students, because the low-residency format doesn’t meet the full-time face-to-face requirement set by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you are an international student who does not require an F-1 or J-1 visa, you may be considered for this program.

Applicants must submit:

  • Graduate application for admission
  • $45 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees from a regionally accredited institution and all postbaccalaureate study

    An official transcript is one that Azusa Pacific University receives unopened in an envelope sealed by the former institution and that bears the official seal of the college or university. A cumulative minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average on the posted degree is required for regular admission status. Provisional admittance may be granted to individuals with a lower GPA if competency can be shown through multiple measures.
  • Two professional letters of recommendation, completed by individuals who have supervised and/or mentored the applicant. All recommendations should be from persons who can attest to the applicant’s potential for doctoral study and leadership.
  • Curriculum vita (résumé)
  • Statement of intent covering the following (5-7-page paper, double-spaced):
  • Educational goals in pursuing doctoral study
  • Short- and long-term professional or career goals
  • Current professional activities
  • Research interests to be pursued in the program
  • Reasons for choosing APU’s PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science
  • Academic writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to write cogently and use research and professional literature effectively in developing ideas and arguments (e.g., DPT capstone, master’s thesis, a scholarly article submitted to or published in a professional journal, a comprehensive course paper, or a major district report)
  • Other evidence of potential for leadership as the applicant desires

English Requirement

All students graduating from non-English-speaking institutions or from programs not taught in English and applying for graduate admission to Azusa Pacific University—with the exception of APU-approved programs in languages other than English—are required to submit proof of sufficient English proficiency. Additional information can be found in our online academic catalog.

Delivering high quality graduate programs takes a comprehensive support system. Your investment in an advanced degree includes those services and personnel that partner with you in pursuit of higher education. Below is a detailed breakdown of the fees associated with the benefits and services included in your degree program.

Department of Physical Therapy

Tuition and Fees
PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science (per unit) $1,157

View a complete list of university fees.

All stated financial information is subject to change. Contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 for more information.

Financial Aid

Several types of financial aid are available to graduate students. The resources range from federal loans and state grants to, for some graduate programs, fellowships and scholarships. For details about financial aid available for your program, please contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020.

Military Benefits

Military members—and in some cases their spouses and dependents—qualify for financial assistance covering tuition, housing, and books. Azusa Pacific is a Yellow Ribbon University and Military Friendly School, so you can be confident that you’ll receive the benefits and flexibility you need to complete your education.

To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

The PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science blends online learning with a one-week on-campus session per year. This format helps support working healthcare professionals who want to further their careers and pursue work in education and research.

Online Format

For online courses within the program, students will be required to use Canvas for the asynchronous online courses, and both Canvas and Zoom for the synchronous statistics courses. The statistics courses will have an online portion and a weekly real-time Zoom meeting. Additional instructions will be provided with each course.

On-Campus Sessions

Each year, during the fall semester, students participate in a one-week, on-campus boot camp with faculty and peers. Discussion and activities focus on research topic advancement, reviewing previous work, and preparing for the term to come. Additional on-campus meetings can be arranged by students with the respective course instructors and mentors.

If you have questions, we’re here to help! Connect with a representative who can walk you through the program details and application process.

Contact Your Admissions Representative


Additional Program Contact

Annette Karim, program director, [email protected], (626) 815-5072

Department of Physical Therapy


(626) 815-5020


Department of Physical Therapy
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000


Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Student Services Center

Contact (626) 812-3016 or [email protected], and visit for details on the admissions process, financial aid, and class registration.

International Services

International students should contact +1-626-812-3055 or [email protected], and visit

  • Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). 
  • Note: This program is not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Featured Faculty

Annette Karim

Annette Karim

Director, PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science and Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy

Derrick Sueki, PT, DPT, PhD

Derrick Sueki, PT, DPT, PhD

Director, DPT Program, and Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy

Christopher Patterson

Christopher Patterson

Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy

Career Outlook and Outcomes

Woman jumping during exercise research

Students Love APU’s PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science Program

Listen to program graduates describe why they chose this program, and why theyre glad they did.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.
*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.
All stated financial information is subject to change. View Tuition tab above.

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