Katherine L. Beissner, Professor and Chair
The mission of the physical therapy program at Ithaca College is to prepare skilled practitioners who render independent decisions and implement evidence-based, comprehensive care to maximize the function, health, and wellness of their clients. With an emphasis on professional behaviors and lifelong learning skills, our graduates are competent to meet the challenges in a rapidly changing health care environment and are prepared for the roles of practitioner, manager, consultant, clinical educator, and scholar in a variety of settings.
The physical therapy department offers a five-year, dual-degree program in clinical science/physical therapy. Students receive a B.S. degree in clinical science after four years of study and an M.S. degree in physical therapy after their fifth year of study. Students must complete the M.S. degree to be eligible for physical therapy licensure. The five-year program is designed for freshman entry. If class space is available, transfer students may be accepted as indicated on p. 81.
The first four years of the program are spent on the Ithaca campus. The final year is conducted at the Rochester Center of Ithaca College, which is affiliated with the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. Students spend the summer semester following the sophomore year on the Rochester campus in a 10-week concentrated study of human anatomy. Students gain practical experience through five full-time clinical affiliations -- a total of 30 weeks -- at sites throughout the United States. The program is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education and is approved by the New York State Education Department.
Note: This degree does not provide eligibility for licensure to practice physical therapy. It is awarded after four years of study in the five-year combined B.S./M.S. program in clinical science/physical therapy.
Special Academic Status Policy for Clinical Science and Physical Therapy Majors
Undergraduate Students -- Students in the clinical science major must receive at least a grade of C- in all required courses.
Students who do not have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70 at the completion of the spring semester of their sophomore year will be dismissed from the program.
To be eligible for admission to the master of science program in physical therapy (fifth year), applicants must have completed the B.S. program in clinical science and have achieved at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA.
Graduate Students -- Students are expected to enter the M.S. program the fall semester immediately following the awarding of the B.S. degree in clinical science. Fifth-year students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 through each academic block to avoid academic warning and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 to graduate.
During the fifth year of the program, any student receiving more than 6 credits of C (C+, C, or C-) or an F in a required course will be subject to dismissal from the physical therapy program and may not reenter the program. At the master's degree level, no grades of D are awarded; the lowest passing grade awarded is C-. Students must earn a satisfactory rating in all courses, including Clinical Education III, and either IV and V, or VI before the degree will be awarded and certification granted for licensing.
Courses and credits must be satisfactorily completed in the allotted time and in the sequence shown in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs unless permission to deviate from the sequence or time frame has been approved by the department faculty.
Candidates for a master's degree in physical therapy are required to meet all requirements for graduation within three years of their matriculation date into the graduate program.
Being placed on academic warning indicates that a student has a serious academic deficiency that, if not corrected, will result in suspension or dismissal from the clinical science/physical therapy program. Junior, senior, and graduate students on academic warning may not be allowed to progress to clinical education courses. Such students 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 department faculty.
Undergraduate Students -- An undergraduate clinical science major will be placed on academic warning within the Department of Physical Therapy for the following semester if he or she
1. receives less than a C- grade in, drops, or withdraws from any required course, or
2. does not complete the required courses in the allotted time, or
3. does not complete the general education requirements by the end of the junior year, or
4. does not complete the liberal arts focus area or comparable credits in the minor by the end of the junior, or
5. fails to remove an incomplete grade in the allotted time, or
6. fails, drops, or withdraws from a clinical education course, or
7. fails to complete the requirements for general education and the liberal arts focus area (or the minor).
Graduate Students -- A graduate student in the physical therapy major will be placed on academic warning if he or she
1. receives a GPA below 3.00 in an academic block, or
2. withdraws from a required course, or
3. fails to remove an incomplete grade in the allotted time, or
4. fails, drops, or withdraws from a clinical education course.
Warning will be removed when both of the following criteria are met:
1. the student's GPA for the following semester is 3.00 or greater,
2. the student's overall GPA for the graduate year is 3.00 or greater.
Clinical Education -- If the student receives a grade of F in a clinical education course, he or she will be placed on academic warning. The student must remediate this grade in one or more of the following ways as decided by the faculty:
1. attend an equivalent affiliation and receive a grade of pass,
2. perform remedial work under the supervision of one or more faculty members.
Suspension from the undergraduate program
A student who is subject to dismissal from the program may, under extenuating circumstances, be granted a suspension from the program. Alternatively, if the student is subject to warning, but not dismissal, and the academic deficiency is more severe than normal in warning situations, the student may be suspended from the program. A student on program suspension may not enroll in courses offered within the major. Such a student may apply for a leave of absence in accordance with College policy. To be eligible for readmission, the student will have to fulfill certain conditions prescribed by the department at the time of suspension.
Dismissal from the program
Undergraduate Students -- An undergraduate student is subject to dismissal from the program if he or she
1. receives less than a C- in two or more required courses in the same semester, or
2. is a freshman or sophomore on academic warning who fails to successfully complete (with grades of C- or better) at least 12 credits in a semester, or a junior or senior who has not successfully completed the minimum number of credit hours to progress to the next semester, or
3. has less than a 2.70 cumulative GPA at the end of the sophomore year, or
4. is a freshman or sophomore on academic warning for the preceding semester, or a junior or senior who has been on academic warning for any semester, and receives less than a C- (or fails to remove an incomplete grade in the specified period of time) in any required course, or
5. is a senior who receives less than a C- (or fails to remove an incomplete grade in the specified time) in any required course or clinical affiliation prerequisite, or
6. fails, drops, or withdraws from any two required courses, including clinical education courses.
In an exceptional case, a student may be readmitted upon the satisfactory completion of conditions determined by the department faculty.
Graduate Students -- A graduate student in the Department of Physical Therapy is subject to dismissal from the program if he or she
1. receives more than 6 credits of C (C-, C, C+) during the graduate year,
2. receives a grade of F for any course in the graduate year (excluding clinical education courses),
3. remains on academic warning for any two consecutive academic blocks,
4. fails, drops, or withdraws from any two clinical education courses (graduate or undergraduate), or
5. fails to successfully complete departmental remediation as prescribed by the faculty within the allotted time.
A student dismissed from the program is not eligible to remain in the physical therapy department 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 Studies, suspension or dismissal from Ithaca College may result.
A more complete description of the special academic policies and procedures for students is available at the physical therapy department office.
Requirements for the Major in Clinical Science -- B.S.
Major department requirements
Required courses outside major department -- in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Electives outside of major department -- General education requirements (see School of Humanities and Sciences)
Mathematics: Students must either achieve a score on the math placement exam placing them in Group 3, 2, or 1, or if placed in Group 4, earn a grade of C- or better in 313-10000 or 313-18000.
A maximum of 6 advanced placement credits may be used for appropriate courses to meet the general education requirement.
These general education requirements must be completed by the end of the junior year.
Students must include in their coursework at least 6 credits with a global designation and 6 credits with a historical designation. These credits may be fulfilled (in part) by courses taken to fulfill general education requirements, the liberal arts focus area below, or as unrestricted (open/free) electives.
Liberal arts focus
Students may obtain sample course sequences for meeting these requirements from the department office. The following departmental courses may be taken as open electives.
Housing and Transportation Arrangements for Clinical Affiliations
During each full-time clinical affiliation, students are responsible for making housing arrangements and arrangements for transportation to and from clinical facilities. Information on securing housing during affiliation placements is available from the department offices on the respective campuses. For more information on student expenses for the final year, see p. 530.
The fifth year in physical therapy at Ithaca College is an extension of the B.S. degree program in clinical science. The final year of study, a 12-month period, takes place at Ithaca College physical therapy department facilities located at the Rochester Center of Ithaca College, which is affiliated with the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, New York.
To be considered for graduation, all students must complete the following requirements:
1. B.S. degree program in clinical science at Ithaca College;
2. Required courses listed below;
3. Either a group research project or an individual thesis. The thesis option is available only to students with a GPA of 3.30 or higher who pass a faculty review.
Major department requirements
The Department of Physical Therapy has established contracts with over 500 clinical affiliation sites. It continues to explore new clinical sites to assure that students are offered the best clinical education. A current listing of sites is available in the Office of Experiential Learning. The directors of clinical education determine the sites to be used and the placement of the students for each of their clinical affiliations. Assignments to clinical affiliations are based on several factors such as program requirements for a variety of experiences, faculty advisement, student performance, and student preference.
A. Ozolins, Office of Publications, 21. October, 2002