Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences

Rustin Reeves, PhD
Research and Education Building 232


Nicoleta Bugnariu, PhD,
Graduate Advisor for Rehabilitation Sciences
Medical Education Training Building, Room 531
Phone: 817-735-2976


Visit the Center for Anatomical Sciences website

The Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences Ph.D. program is a collaborative, interprofessional program offered by the Center for Anatomical Sciences and the department of Physical Therapy. This program, through research opportunities, coursework, and teaching experiences will develop and train students who will be qualified to serve as faculty members and independent researchers in various departments at health science centers and universities. The program will focus on anatomy, biomechanics and movement science using advanced experimental, computational, and clinical tools. The major impetus of the research in the discipline will consist of but not be limited to: 1) neuroscience of movement production, learning and control; 2) biomechanics, including the study of the structure, function, evolution/adaptive significance, and mechanical behavior of musculoskeletal soft and hard tissues, 3) anatomical studies linked to clinical applications in orthopedics and physical therapy, 4) the analysis, design, and/or development of rehabilitation protocols, assessment tools and techniques, assistive devices and instrumentation used in rehabilitation practice, 5) studies of educational pedagogy in anatomy/movement science through the development of unique educational tools, techniques and assessment strategies.


Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy


Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination within the Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences Track must be successfully completed prior to concluding 72 semester credit hours (SCH). The main goal of the examination is to ensure that each doctoral student has a broad knowledge base in biomedical sciences and has mastered the fundamental principles of anatomy and rehabilitation science in order to be a successful doctoral candidate and an independent researcher. The qualifying examination consists of written and oral phases. The examination will be directed towards the didactic course work of the student, with an emphasis on the anatomical and rehabilitation sciences. Basic knowledge and understanding of microbiology, immunology, and physiology will be assessed; however, the emphasis of this assessment will be on anatomy and/or biomechanics and the principles of movement and motor control. The initial phase of the qualifying examination consists of a set of written questions administered by a qualifying examination committee (QEC) composed of faculty members of the Department of Integrative Physiology and Anatomy and/or the Department of Physical Therapy. Within 4 weeks of taking the written examination, the chair of the QEC will schedule the oral examination. The oral examination will consist of questions that further explore the student’s answers in the written phase, as well as questions on additional topics in anatomy, cell biology and/or rehabilitation sciences as deemed appropriate by the QEC. The University Committee Member must be in attendance for the oral phase of the examination. The qualifying examination will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Successful completion of the qualifying exam must be accomplished before the student can register for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310). Two attempts to pass the qualifying examination will be allowed. Failure to pass the qualifying examination after 2 attempts will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

Grant Writing (BMSC 6310)


After passing the qualifying examination, but prior to the completion of 84 SCH, the student must register for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310). This stage of the advancement to doctoral candidacy evaluates a student’s aptitude for independent thought and scientific writing. The student is required to (a) prepare an NIH-style research proposal; (b) present the proposal in a public seminar; and (c) orally defend the proposal before the grant writing committee composed from members of his/her doctoral advisory committee. The proposal should be based on an original hypothesis and should describe specific experimental approaches to address the hypothesis. The graduate advisor will appoint a member of the student’s advisory committee to coordinate the process. The student will meet with the advisory committee at least two times during the semester to review drafts of the proposal. The final written proposal must be typed in NIH format and presented to the advisory committee at least two weeks prior to the public seminar and oral defense. The grant proposal and the student’s oral presentation and defense will be evaluated on the basis of originality and ability to synthesize and communicate the proposal content. The student’s University Member must be present for the public seminar and oral defense of the proposal. Upon successful completion of Grant Writing (BMSC 6310), the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy. Two attempts to successfully complete Grant Writing will be allowed. Failure to pass Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) will result in dismissal from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

This page was last modified on January 13, 2016