School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

DSc in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership

Doctor of Science


Program Contact

Martina Mcallister
Research & Post Professional Programs Graduate Assistant
Phone: 613.533 6000 ext 75302.

Program website:

Why Graduate Studies in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership?

The DSc (RHL) is a 36 month executive-style degree program that allows students to continue working while completing the degree through a blend of onsite sessions and online learning.

The DSc (RHL) equips currently practicing rehabilitation and health professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to confidently pursue career opportunities that require advanced competencies in leadership, program development, applied research and evaluation, advocacy, change management, and knowledge translation.

The program format and curriculum design are firmly rooted in the belief that collaboration, creativity, and the discovery of new knowledge can inspire changes that benefit people affected by or at risk of disability.

The program is open to all professionals, whose current work 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.

The cohort-based program has been designed with the working professional in mind. The blended program format includes short, intensive on-campus components (3-7 days) once or twice per year (depending on year of study), coupled with online learning.

Why Queen's

As the first professional doctorate program at Queen’s University, the DSc (RHL) will train leader scholars who are able to apply theory and use rigorous methodologies to inform decision-making in rehabilitation and health settings across the country and around the globe.

Where Can I Go?

A Professional Doctorate degree in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership can take your career in many directions. Our students are equipped with a strong foundation for careers in:

  • Leadership positions in organizations that provide direct healthcare services to those with or at risk of disability.
  • Policy advisory roles in government and non-governmental organizations.
  • Leadership roles in advocacy and non-profit organizations.

Program Outcomes

DSc (RHL) Graduates will be able to:

  • Critically appraise, synthesize, and integrate knowledge from multiple sources and consider the impact of its application on various stakeholders (e.g., patients/clients, practitioners, families, public and private systems that fund or deliver services), in order to improve rehabilitation and health practice and service delivery;
  • Design,  implement and evaluate novel services, programs and processes in diverse areas of rehabilitation and health;
  • Advocate  for and lead services and programs to enhance the lives of people affected by or at risk of disability. 
Program Structure and Method of Completion 

Students progress through the program on a full-time basis in order to complete requirements in 36 months. Students entering with a Master’s degree will complete a total of 5 required (core) courses (15 credits), two electives (6 credits), a comprehensive exam, and an applied dissertation. Students entering with a Bachelor’s degree will complete one additional core course (Critical Literature Review).

Core Courses Include:

  • Applying Theory to Enable Change
  • Applying Theory to Enable Change
  • Leadership Development
  • Communication, Advocacy and Action
  • Preparing Competitive Funding Proposals

Applied Dissertation: 
Students 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.

Diagram of REhab Leadership


The DSc (RHL) is a professional program designed to allow students to continue working throughout their studies.  While funding packages are not provided to students, all applicants are automatically considered for entrance scholarships specific to the program, are encouraged to seek external funding (including employer support), and are eligible to apply for Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantship positions. 


Admission and Language Requirements

RHL students will pay an annual program fee that will cover the cost of accommodation and meals during the onsite sessions, as well as some course-related learning materials throughout the program.

Information on tuition, the program fee and other fees are available through Queen’s University Office of the University Registrar website

Please note that the program fee amount is available in the Summer Graduate and Professional Programs Fee Schedules.

A B+ average in a Master’s degree with a minimum of one-year work experience in a setting that develops, implements or manages programs, services, policies or processes for people affected by or at risk of a disability and evidence of progressive involvement in leadership activities or roles as evidenced in a curriculum vitae and through letters of reference OR

A B+ average in a Bachelor’s degree (four-year undergraduate program or equivalent) with a minimum of 5 years work experience in a setting that develops, implements or manages programs, services, policies or processes for people affected by or at risk of a disability and evidence of progressive involvement in leadership activities or roles as evidenced in a curriculum vitae and through letters of reference.

Additional Requirements:

  • One Professional Reference: A reference that addresses your work and/or volunteer experience and potential for leadership in rehabilitation and health.
  • Two Academic References.
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV) or Resume - 4 pages maximum, submitted directly to the Graduate Assistant.
  • Letter of Intent: Maximum 2500 characters without spaces, submitted directly to the Graduate Assistant

Language Requirements

For international applicants, proof of acceptable competency in English is required, as detailed on the School of Graduate Studies website.  If required, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper based) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have the minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

However, if in the 12 month period prior to the month of application, an applicant has studied for at least one complete year at a post-secondary institution where English is the official language of instruction, a request to be exempted from the English language proficiency test requirement may be made to the Director of Admissions, School of Graduate Studies.

Application Deadline & Start Dates
  • Complete applications are reviewed and offers are made on an on-going basis by the program.
  • Applicants are encouraged to apply early, before the final application deadline of January 15
  • Start date Summer (May 1st each year)

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website

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