Rehabilitation Sciences Bachelor's Degree Programs

Jul 13, 2020

Overview of Bachelor's Degree Rehabilitation Sciences Programs

Individuals who are interested in working with people who have specific types of medical problems, such as chronic pain or disabilities, may want to consider studying rehabilitation science. Students can develop a solid base of knowledge related to the human body and how it works and the ways specific types of conditions affect abilities. They will also learn about how these challenges can affect a person's mental state or how psychological conditions can impact health.

Admission Requirements for Rehabilitation Sciences Programs

Students begin the journey to acceptance in a rehabilitation science program when they are in high school, since postsecondary institutions consider high school grades and standardized test scores when reviewing applications. Recommendation letters from guidance counselors or teachers may also be part of the application process, and some schools also allow students to submit an essay or personal statement. Some institutions may consider a student's extracurricular participation and volunteer work, as well. Once a student is accepted to a postsecondary institution they must apply for their chosen major and have the approval of a faculty member in that department. In some cases, the college or university will not consider applications for the major until one or two years of studies have been completed, and they may expect students to finish specific courses to qualify for consideration in that major.

Rehabilitation Sciences Program Coursework

Students studying rehabilitation sciences must have a strong foundation in science, psychology and English. As they progress in their studies they will complete foundational courses in rehabilitation science so that they understand the governing principles behind rehabilitation science. They may also take practical courses about medical terminology and disabilities, which will help to prepare them for a career in rehabilitation science.

Rehabilitation Science Introduction

What is rehabilitation science? Students pursuing introductory studies in this field will learn about rehabilitation science and its applications. Students will be explore and assess applicable research articles.

Medical Terminology

Rehabilitation science is a component of healthcare, and in order to function effectively students need to be familiar with common medical terms. A course in medical terminology will ensure that they know the appropriate medical terms related to rehabilitation science and that they can use them properly. Students will also learn some of the most common medical abbreviations, as well as the meaning of medical symbols.

Introductory Psychology

What makes a person act the way that they do? What is considered normal behavior? What is abnormal behavior? Students taking introductory psychology begin to develop an understanding of how the mind works, the variables that govern the ways people develop and behave, and how to classify different types of behavior.

English Composition or Writing

Students who pursue a rehabilitation sciences degree must complete a strong foundational course in English. They may concentrate on reading, writing or both. It's important that these students be able to read materials and analyze the content. They also must be capable of producing written materials, such as essays and reports. An introductory English course will ensure that these students are prepared for the content analysis required in their other studies and that they will be able to produce the written materials required for their other classes.

Human Anatomy

How many bones are in the human body? What are all the parts of the human body that are involved in making a leg lift or a hand write? Students studying human anatomy will learn the parts of the body and how they work. They will be introduced to systems such as the nervous system. Students studying rehabilitation sciences will specifically focus on how the body is affected by medical issues stemming from illness or injury.


People who work in the field of rehabilitation science deal with individuals who have disabilities. Whether someone was born differently abled or became as such through an accident or illness, working with this population can present specific challenges. How society views the disabled, legal considerations concerning those who have physical challenges, and other factors that relate to treating these individuals will be explored.

How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree Program in Rehabilitation Sciences

Some students may plan to study rehabilitation science in order to prepare for a specific graduate studies program. They may want to consider whether the school they plan to attend has a relationship with a school offering that graduate program because that can make it easier for them to be accepted. It can also help them ensure they meet the admission requirements and complete all the necessary courses during their undergraduate studies. Location may also be a factor for some students, since they may wish to remain living at home while starting college. The specific courses offered by a college or university should also be given careful consideration. Students who have specific career goals may want to be sure that they can take courses that are tailored to their specific interests.

Career Options with a Rehabilitation Sciences Degree

With a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation science it's possible to become an exercise physiologist or a recreational therapist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2019 recreational therapists earned $48,220 per year, while exercise physiologists earned $49,170. The job growth the BLS projected for exercise physiologists from 2018-2028 was 10%, while recreational therapist jobs were expected to expand by 7% during the same time period. Students can also pursue graduate studies to qualify for a career as a rehabilitation counselor, an occupational therapist or a speech pathologist.

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