Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences

Dept Faculty

    • Doctorate in Physical Therapy
    • M.S. Speech Language Pathology
    • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

The Rutgers Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences currently houses our nationally ranked, entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a three-year, full-time degree program that prepares students for practice in physical therapy. This long-established program – accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education since 1980 – has relationships with clinical facilities throughout the United States and internationally where students can complete their clinical rotations.

We have Physical Therapy programs in two locations, Blackwood and Newark. Faculty are national and international leaders in the field of physical therapy. They are committed to offering students opportunities for scholarship, research and professional leadership. Scholarly work by faculty and students is regularly accepted for dissemination at national and international conferences, and by top journals in our faculty members’ fields of expertise.

With a 100% employment rate among graduates, Rutgers physical therapists are sought after for residency programs and clinical practice in every practice venue.

Department Chair: Alma S. Merians, PT, Ph.D.

Vice Chair: Nancy R. Kirsch, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA

Rutgers is excited to announce that we are currently developing two new programs: a unique diversity-focused Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MSSLP) program and an entry-level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

Increasing diversity in the country and the world steadily has resulted in larger multiethnic patient groups in healthcare facilities. This program will emphasize service delivery for multiethnic populations, including dialectal speakers of English and bilingual/multilingual individuals, with speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders within an interdisciplinary context. With a curricular emphasis on interprofessional services for communicatively-impaired, ethnically diverse populations, our MSSLP program is expected to train students to work with both child and adult caseloads in complex multidisciplinary healthcare and education settings serving multiethnic communities. Both unilingual and multilingual students will be accepted, with an integrated curricular option to pursue bilingual certification.

It is anticipated that the MSSLP Program will open Fall 2021 in Newark on the Rutgers University Health Sciences campus  pending candidacy status by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA).

Founding Faculty
Valerie E. Johnson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP – MSSLP Program Director
Jose G. Centeno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP – Bilingual Competency Training Coordinator

The Accreditation Council on Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) recently announced that the entry-level degree requirement for an occupational therapist will be moving to the doctoral level beginning with 2017 graduates. As the complexity of health care advances, occupational therapists need to be prepared to provide consultation, care coordination, and promote advocacy. The new standards for occupational therapy professionals, as for most health care professionals, place greater emphases on leadership and advocacy, demonstration of scholarship, use of evidence for practice and the promotion of the scholarship of practice, as well as advanced practice skills. Occupational therapy maximizes health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living (AOTA, Vision 2025). Occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations), help people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community) and address the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation (everyday activities). The need for occupational therapists is projected to grow 24 percent until 2026 in a variety of settings including skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation settings, schools, and home health care (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018).

The doctoral program (OTD) is currently at the applicant status with the Accreditation Council on Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The program is in development and anticipates accepting students in the Fall of 2021 at the Rutgers University Health Sciences campus in Newark.

Founding Director
Sandra L. Rogers, Ph.D., OT

 Graduate – Physical Therapy