The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's rehabilitation science degree is an excellent choice for those interested in kinesiology and providing care for special populations, such as older adults, individuals with disabilities and those with chronic health conditions. The first degree of its kind in the UW System, the growing major will prepare you for success in a variety of careers, including physical therapy, occupational therapy and chiropractic care.
Throughout the program, you'll learn the physiological basis of human movement and the functional changes in body systems. Comprehensive coursework, presentations and projects will introduce you to special topics and areas of focus within the field, such as human performance, cancer recovery, injury prevention and adapted physical education.
The kinesiology department prides itself on providing students with opportunities to apply what they've learned in the classroom to real-world situations. As part of the program's curriculum, you'll participate in various practica at local hospitals and clinics, gaining real, professional experience along the way. Work with the Community Fitness and Cancer Recovery and Fitness outreach programs offered on campus will further provide you with critical skills and valuable connections.
Graduates leave the program prepared to demonstrate and teach patients how to best care for themselves and to promote physical activity as an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Equipped with the knowledge, tools and experience necessary to provide effective health care, you'll graduate ready to improve the quality of life for all your future patients.
UW-Eau Claire has built a supportive community and alumni network that can help students pay for college. For example, the Jason Schluter Memorial Scholarship awards $750 to a student pursuing a career in exercise who has demonstrated leadership and service.
Learn more about additional scholarships and resources available to you by checking out our scholarships page.
Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire
Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your rehabilitation science degree.
Learn more about our financial aid process at UWEC.
Rehabilitation science program details
- Program length: four years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- This major does not require a minor.
- Students majoring in this program will earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- Kinesiology Club
- Pre-Physical & Occupational Therapy Club
- Pre-Chiropractic Club
Relevant student organizations. On-campus student organizations — like the Pre-Physical & Occupational Therapy Club and the Pre-Chiropractic Club — connect students like you who are also interested in careers in health and rehabilitation. These extracurriculars are an excellent way to volunteer, job shadow and learn about potential graduate schools and employers.
Convenient resources. The kinesiology digital library, available to anyone involved in the kinesiology program, houses a collection of images, strength training videos, general movement videos and vodcasts to help you better understand human movement and injury. You can also take advantage of the university's gyms, tracks, courts and other recreation facilities.
Innovative facilities. UW-Eau Claire is one of only a few schools of its size with a career center dedicated to supporting pre-professional health studies. The William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center offers one-on-one advising, opportunities to meet with professional school admissions representatives, connections to health-related clinical research, and volunteer opportunities and workshops designed to build effective tools for career development and competitive applications.
Skill-building curriculum. Rigorous coursework will prepare you for the unique challenges and demands of a rehabilitation career. Students develop critical skills in areas like problem-solving, interpersonal communication, active listening and treatment planning. Faculty experts will also help you learn best practices and keep up on the industry's latest techniques.
Connection to local employers. Meeting potential employers and gaining a better understanding of the different types of careers available to you is a critical component of all kinesiology programs. To help you explore career paths, we host an annual Nursing & Health Care Professional Fair, an on-campus career fair specific for those looking to enter the healthcare field. This event is an excellent opportunity to make connections and submit your resume for current and future job openings.
The rehabilitation science major provides a clear path for students to continue their education in graduate or medical school. Graduates also have the option to immediately enter the workforce, pursuing careers in medical-based fitness centers, cardiac rehabilitation programs, gerontology/senior fitness programs and community centers.
Rehabilitation science jobs
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Certified prosthetist/orthotist
- Rehabilitation technology specialist
- Certified special population specialist
Rooted in kinesiology and physiology, our comprehensive curriculum will prepare you for responsibilities involving the development of physical activity programs for individuals of varying ages, disabilities and special needs. Coursework provides a broad, liberal arts education with classes in chemistry, biology, physics and psychology.
Those wishing to declare a pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy or pre-chiropractic career path may find that majoring in rehabilitation science is beneficial.
Classes for rehabilitation science majors may include:
- Anatomical Kinesiology
- Motor Development Across the Lifespan
- Foundations of Rehabilitation Science
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I
- Biomechanical Kinesiology
- Exercise Physiology
- Community Fitness Programming
- Cancer Recovery and Fitness Lab
Learn more about the comprehensive rehabilitation science major in the UWEC course catalog.
Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation science? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.