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Dr. Marcia Finlayson, Director, School of Rehabilitation Therapy

Looking Forward To Accepting Our First Students In The New Doctor of Science In Rehabilitation And Health Leadership

Through the spring and fall of 2017, the School of Rehabilitation Therapy received all of the necessary approvals from Queen’s Senate, Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to launch a new innovative doctoral-level program. The Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership (DSc RHL) is the first of its kind at Queen’s University. Our first cohort of students will begin their studies on May 1st, 2018.

Over the past two years, the faculty of the School has been working hard to develop this 36 month executive-style program. The program’s development and curriculum were informed by extensive consultation with stakeholders, including national-level healthcare organizations. We designed the curriculum to equip currently practicing rehabilitation and health professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently pursue career opportunities requiring advanced competencies in leadership, program development, applied research and evaluation, advocacy, change management, and knowledge translation.

The program and its curriculum was developed to fill a recognized gap in the preparation of leaders in the rehabilitation and health sector that has evolved as demographic shifts, funding challenges and other factors are pushing transformations in service delivery. Current entry-level programs for rehabilitation professionals must focus on knowledge and skills necessary to enter the profession, rather than to advance through one’s career and into more demanding and challenging roles. Our goal is to prepare individuals who want to feel confident and flourish in these roles – or who want to move into these roles in the future.

Students admitted into the program will be able to continue working while completing the degree, through a blend of on-campus intensive sessions and online-learning. The program will offer a mix of core and elective courses so that students can tailor their programs to their career goals. In addition, we developed a unique applied thesis model specifically for this program through which students will identify a real-world problem in a rehabilitation or health setting, and design, implement and evaluate a process, program or system to address this problem. This approach will enable students to carry out applied research that can have a direct impact on rehabilitation and health programs and services in real-life contexts.

Because rehabilitation is by nature inter-disciplinary, the program is open to all professionals whose backgrounds or future career goals focus on advancing programs, services, and systems that will positively influence the everyday lives of people affected by or at risk of disability. Our applications are currently open – for more information, please visit the program website at

All of the members of the School are very excited about this program, and look forward to accepting our first students!