Marquette University News Release

Marquette to offer new doctoral degree

December 9, 2010

Degree focus is clinical and translational rehabilitation health science

Marquette University will offer a doctoral program and master’s degree in clinical and translational rehabilitation health science beginning in fall 2011. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the new programs Wednesday.

The programs will be part of the Department of Physical Therapy in Marquette’s College of Health Sciences. The university’s PT program ranks in the top 10 percent of the more than 200 accredited physical therapy programs nationwide.   

“The CTRH degrees will focus on improving the human condition through research, with a strong emphasis on neuromuscular conditions,” said William Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Clinical and translational research allows us to use our faculty expertise to make discoveries, prevent injuries, develop better treatments, and test new methods that will benefit our patients and ensure best practices within our professions.”

Cullinan said Marquette’s PT department has a strong history and national reputation for excellence in the training of health care professionals and in working to rectify the growing disparities in the healthcare work force and the delivery of care. For fall 2010, Marquette received 920 applications for 62 spaces in the doctor of physical therapy degree program.

Paula Papanek, associate professor of physical therapy and graduate director for CTRH, said the program will appeal to health care professionals interested in clinical and translational research, including physical therapists, athletic trainers, exercise physiologists, dentists, nurses, speech pathologists, physician assistants and physicians in rehabilitation medicine. “This will be one of only three clinical and translational programs nationally with an emphasis on rehabilitation and the only one specifically focused on PT,” she said.

The new Ph.D. was one of the programs called for in the $20 million Clinical and Translational Research Institute grant the National Institutes of Health recently awarded to the Medical College of Wisconsin, in  partnership with Marquette, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee School of Engineering and area health care organizations. CTSI has committed to funding two Ph.D. assistantships at Marquette beginning in 2012, and the CTRH curriculum includes a number of existing courses at MCW. New courses that will be offered at Marquette include Neuromuscular Fatigue in Health and Disease, Physiology of Aging, Advanced Biomechanics, Advanced Topics in Pain Processing, Physiology of Obesity and Elite Performance Enhancement and Rehabilitation.

The Ph.D. in CTRH will require 69 credits, including a 12-credit dissertation and up to 25 credits which may be transferred from a professional or master’s degree program. The 36-credit Master of Science degree will allow students to choose from among three areas of emphasis: community wellness, sports medicine or performance enhancement; students may also choose a thesis or non-thesis track. Undergraduates in Marquette’s exercise science and athletic training programs may enroll in an accelerated degree program, completing both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in CTRH in five years.

For more information about the CTRH program, contact Papanek at (414) 288-5069 or visit the program website.

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