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PhD Application Process and Requirements

Students pursue the RAPS PhD degree to generate knowledge to improve rehabilitation practices and thus people’s lives through participation. Students with a clinical degree at the bachelor's, master's or doctoral level are welcome to apply. Prior research experience is strongly encouraged.

In addition to meeting basic admissions requirements, there must be a fit between a candidate’s research interests and one or more RAPS PhD faculty members who are willing to supervise the student’s program. Please review the listing of our RAPS PhD faculty mentors to explore a potential match that will meet your training goals and needs.

Applications for Fall 2019 to the RAPS PhD program must be submitted by December 15, 2018 to the Graduate School at Washington University at more information about the RAPS PhD program, please contact Abigail King at 314-286-1619 or e-mail her at

Applicants must submit all of the following:

  • A completed Graduate School at Washington University application form
  • $45 application fee
  • An essay that details why you are choosing this program of study and Washington University to prepare for a scientific career. Please address your motivation for study in rehabilitation and participation science, prior research and/or clinical experience, short and long range career goals and the specific area of your interest.
  • An example of your scholarly writing such as a publication or college research paper 
  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary academic work. Applicants holding transcripts from institutions outside the United States are required to have the transcripts evaluated by a credentialing agency (names of agencies may be obtained by contacting the Program in Occupational Therapy). The evaluation must include course names, grades and credits in American terms. No international transcripts will be accepted without an evaluation from a credentialing agency.
  • Three letters of recommendation describing your capabilities for PhD studies
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores for an exam taken within the past five years. GRE score reports must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy.
    • For international candidates whose native language is not English, the tests below must have been taken within 12 months of the date on the application:
      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores; Minimum acceptable score = 600 (250 for computer-based test and 100 for iBT)
      • Test of Written English (TWE) scores; Minimum acceptable score = 5
      WUSTL accepts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module. We require a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS Academic module for applicants to be considered.

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid and employment.

Washington University - Non-Discrimination Statement

Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University's Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University, Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899.

For more information about the Rehabilitation and Participation Science (RAPS) PhD program, please contact Abigail King at 314-286-1619 or e-mail her at

Program in Occupational Therapy
Washington University School of Medicine
4444 Forest Park Blvd., CB 8505
St. Louis, MO 63108-2212
Phone: 314-286-1619
FAX: 314-286-1601

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