Clinical Health Studies/Physical Therapy (B.S./D.P.T.)
Ithaca’s physical therapy program is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country. To meet the growing responsibilities and demands of this profession, we offer a six-year doctorate program. This curriculum results in a bachelor’s degree in clinical health studies and a professional doctorate in physical therapy. By the end of our program, you’ll be well prepared for the clinical, managerial, and educational roles of a physical therapy practitioner.
Admission to the D.P.T. program is highly competitive and occurs in the freshman year. (For transfer application guidelines, please visit the Department of Physical Therapy site.) The first three years, which take place on the Ithaca campus, are grounded in liberal arts to enhance your intellectual flexibility and provide the creative thinking skills you’ll need to meet the challenge of independent physical therapy practice. Besides taking core coursework in the sciences, you’ll explore other disciplines through a required minor and the fulfillment of general education requirements. This curriculum also affords the opportunity to study abroad.
Following your junior year, you’ll move into the professional phase of the program, immersing yourself in vital physical therapy and dissection-based anatomy coursework, as well as hands-on practice in treatment and exam techniques via diverse clinical rotations -- acute care, pediatrics, and outpatient orthopedics, for example -- in professional settings. Coursework in Ithaca is complemented by instruction at our Rochester facility, as well as at any of our over 1,200 affiliated health-care facilities nationwide.
The curriculum requires study during some summers: 10 weeks of coursework after your third year; 8 weeks of clinical internship following your fourth year; and 12 weeks of clinical internship during the summer of your sixth year. Additionally, your final year and the summer following your junior year will be spent on our Rochester campus, where you’ll benefit from instruction provided by our full-time faculty, supplemented by guest lecturers and health-care personnel at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital.
Ithaca’s professional facilities and emphasis on collaborative training and research foster a wonderful sense of camaraderie among physical therapy students and their fellow students in our other health-related programs. And our low student-faculty ratio ensures that our top-notch faculty will have plenty of time to focus on your training. It’s no wonder that the mean pass rate for our graduates who took the national licensing exam for the first time over the past three years -- 95 percent -- was well above the national and state averages. You’ll reap the rewards of Ithaca’s national reputation and strong alumni network long after graduation as well.