Once core courses are successfully completed, students must pass written and oral comprehensive examinations before transitioning to candidacy. These examinations will test students on their basic knowledge of rehabilitation and movement science principles (primarily in their chosen track) and research methods as obtained through core, research and elective courses of the curriculum. The student must demonstrate a firm grasp of the material and the potential to become an independent researcher.
The written exam will be given to students during their second spring semester in the program. The written exam will consist of an area paper pertinent to the student’s area of interest. The student’s adviser and advisory committee must approve the topic and an outline of the area paper. The student’s adviser is responsible for grading the area paper. If a student receives a less than satisfactory grade on the area paper, he/she will be afforded the opportunity to make appropriate revisions. Students will only be allowed to revise the area paper once. The area paper should be a minimum of 15 double-spaced pages in 12-point font. The area paper must be in a form suitable for submission for publication to a journal whose content addresses topics consistent with the area paper. The student’s adviser and advisory committee must approve the journal selection and manuscript prior to submission. A passing grade on the written exam is not contingent upon the manuscript being accepted for publication.
Following acceptance of the area paper, the student will write a research proposal. The structure of the proposal will follow federal grant submission guidelines such as those specified by the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control. The analytical research proposal must be submitted to and approved by the student’s advisory committee prior to the oral examination.
The oral exam should be conducted within three to six months of successful completion of the written exam with the goal of proceeding to candidacy by the end of the fall semester of the student’s third year. The oral exam will be based on, but not primarily limited to, the student’s proposed analytical research project. The student must receive a satisfactory grade from each committee member to pass the oral exam. The student may proceed to candidacy and begin the research outline in the proposal once successful completion of the oral examination is achieved.