Structural Anatomy & Rehabilitation Sciences

Magdalena N. Muchlinski, PhD, Graduate Advisor for Structural Anatomy
Research and Education Building 232 | Phone: 817-735-2037 | E-mail:
Nicoleta Bugnariu, PhD, Graduate Advisor for Rehabilitation Sciences
LIB 218 E | Phone: 817-735-2976 | E-mail:

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The Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs are 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, universities, and community colleges. The program can also assist in training students in obtaining skills valuable for industry (e.g., athletic shoe industries). The programs focus on structural anatomy, biomechanics, movement science, and evolutionary morphology 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; and 5) studies of educational pedagogy in anatomy/movement science through the development of unique educational tools, techniques, and assessment strategies.

The qualifying examination within Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences 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. 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. Following the submission of an approved research proposal, the student is advanced to candidacy.


This page was last modified on September 11, 2018