Graduate - Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Introduction

    Physical Therapy is a healthcare profession that primarily focuses on the preservation, development and restoration of optimal function. Physical therapists provide evaluative, rehabilitative and preventive health care services designed to alleviate pain; prevent the onset and progression of impairment, functional limitation, disability resulting from injury, disease or other causes; and restore, maintain and promote overall fitness, health and optimal quality of life. Physical therapists work with individuals of all ages who demonstrate movement dysfunction, or the potential for such dysfunction, of the neurological, musculoskeletal, sensorimotor and cardiopulmonary systems.

    Physical therapists practice in a hospital setting or provide services in out-of-hospital settings through home health agencies, in nursing homes, in industrial settings, through public health agencies, in private physical therapy clinics, in public schools and in a variety of other nontraditional settings.

    Goals and Objectives

    The Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides learning experiences that will enable each student to develop the competencies necessary as a physical therapist to meet the current and future physical therapy needs of society. At the completion of the program the graduate will function as a provider of physical therapy services within the scope of the profession and the culturally diverse healthcare system. Further, the graduate will strive for continued development personally and in the profession through participation in clinical, educational, research, professional and community activities.


    The doctor of physical therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association.


    Forty five percent of the Gannon physical therapy faculty are certified in clinical specialty areas including neurology, cardiopulmonary, geriatrics and pediatrics.

    The Doctor of Physical Therapy program has more than 200 clinical affiliations with physical therapy facilities in the country. This enables the student to have the opportunity to practice with a culturally diverse client population and learn various physical therapy approaches from experienced clinicians.

    Gannon University’s DPT curriculum is designed to allow immediate application of didactic material and integrate it into clinical practice by the placement of full-time clinical experiences throughout the program. Clinical exposure starts in the first year with the first full-time clinical experience occurring after only two semesters of classroom work.

    Since the program’s inception, Gannon physical therapy graduates have passed their state’s licensure exam on the first attempt at a higher rate than the national average.