Physical Therapy

Major Advisers: Kathleen Buccieri, Co-Chair of Graduate Studies, kbuccieri@ithaca.edu and Andrew Robinson, Co-Chair of Graduate Studies, robby@ithaca.edu

The Department of Physical Therapy offers a six-year, dual-degree program in clinical health studies and physical therapy. Students receive a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in clinical health studies after four years of study and a doctor of physical therapy degree after two years of graduate study. The undergraduate component of the six-year program is described in the Ithaca College undergraduate catalog.

The graduate program builds on the undergraduate program’s depth and breadth in liberal arts and basic sciences, the students’ independent study skills, and their understanding of theory, communication, and critical thinking. The graduate program is approximately 24 months in duration. The first graduate year academic courses are delivered on the Ithaca College campus, and the second graduate year academic courses are taken at Ithaca College’s Rochester Center. Students participate in classroom and clinical experiential learning opportunities on campus and in diverse clinical and research facilities to integrate learning and apply knowledge in health care settings. Graduate students participate in 36 weeks of full-time clinical education coursework at health care facilities throughout the United States.

Candidates for a doctor of physical therapy degree are required to meet all requirements for graduation within four years of their matriculation date as a graduate student into the second professional year of program.  Students must complete all requirements to be eligible for licensure.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the physical therapy doctoral program, undergraduate students must have completed the B.S. Degree in Clinical Health Studies (described in the Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog) and have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Transfer students may be accepted directly at the beginning of the professional phase of the curriculum if they have a B.S. Degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and have completed specified undergraduate prerequisite courses. When openings exist, credentials of the applicants will be reviewed by the Department’s Transfer Coordinator who then makes recommendations regarding admission to the Department Chair. The Department Chair reviews the recommendations and renders a final decision regarding admission.

Departmental Regulations: Criteria for College or School academic status (warning, suspension, or dismissal) are specified in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. The criteria below apply to departmental academic status.

Academic Warning

A graduate student in the Department of Physical Therapy will be placed on academic warning by the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies if he or she

  • receives less than a 3.00 GPA in an academic block or semester,
  • withdraws from a required course,
  • fails to remove a grade of incomplete (I) in the specified time,
  • drops, withdraws, or receives an unsatisfactory (U) grade from a clinical education course, or
  • has a documented pattern of unprofessional behavior.

Students on academic warning may be allowed to progress in the curriculum only under conditions specified and approved by the department. Remediation for removal of academic warning status will be determined by the faculty. Graduate students on academic warning may not be allowed to progress to clinical education courses.

Warning due to academic status will be removed when the student’s GPA for the following block or semester is 3.00 or greater and the cumulative GPA is 3.0 or greater. Warning due to unprofessional behavior will be removed when the student completes the following block or semester without additional documented incidences of unprofessional behavior.

Graduate students on academic warning due to performance in a clinical education course may be allowed to progress in the curriculum only under conditions specified and approved by the faculty. Removal of this academic warning status may be achieved in one or more of the following ways, as recommended by the faculty:

  • perform remedial work under the supervision of one or more faculty members,
  • satisfactorily complete the course Independent Clinical Study (PDPT 62900), and/or
  • attend an equivalent clinical education placement and receive a grade of S (satisfactory).

Academic Dismissal

A graduate student in the Department of Physical Therapy is subject to dismissal for any of the following reasons:

  • receives more than six credits of C (C-, C, C+) per academic year or 9 credits total during the graduate years, or
  • receives a grade of F for any course in the graduate years (including independent clinical study), or
  • remains on academic warning for any two consecutive full-time academic blocks or semesters, or
  • drops, withdraws, or receives an unsatisfactory grade (U) from any two clinical education courses, or
  • receives an unsatisfactory grade (U) in a clinical education course in the final year of the graduate program due to unsafe conduct, or
  • fails to successfully complete departmental remediation as prescribed by the faculty within the allotted time, or
  • repeated instances of unprofessional conduct.

A student dismissed from the program is not eligible to remain in the Department of Physical Therapy but may be eligible to pursue other Ithaca College programs. If academic performance deficiencies include failure to meet minimum standards of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance or the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies, suspension or dismissal from Ithaca College may result.

Housing and Transportation Arrangements for Clinical Education Courses

During the full-time clinical education placements, students are responsible for making housing arrangements and for transportation to and from clinical facilities.