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. (For transfer application guidelines, please visit the Department of Physical Therapy site.) The first three years 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.

After your junior year, you’ll move into the professional phase of the program, immersing yourself in vital physical therapy and dissection-based anatomy coursework in the summer between the junior and senior year, followed by hands-on practice in examination and intervention techniques via integrated clinical experiences in Ithaca and diverse clinical rotations in professional settings throughout the country–acute care, pediatrics, and outpatient orthopedics, for example. Coursework in Ithaca is complemented by instruction at our over 800 affiliated health care facilities nationwide. The curriculum requires study during some summers: 8 weeks of coursework after your fifth year; 10 weeks of clinical education during the spring semester of your fifth year, and 12 weeks of clinical education during the summer after your sixth year.

Ithaca’s professional facilities and emphasis on interprofessional education, movement science, 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. You’ll reap the rewards of Ithaca’s national reputation and strong alumni network long after graduation as well.