Physical Therapy Department

  • Welcome to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Gannon's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program prides itself on its high degree of versatility. The Program accepts both Gannon and non-Gannon applicants with a variety of undergraduate degrees. 


    The mission of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is to facilitate holistic patient/client-centered management for body functions, activity and participation related to movement, function, and health. We prepare our graduates to be knowledgeable, service-oriented, collaborative and reflective practitioners.

    Our graduates render evidence-based, independent judgments concerning patient/client needs by virtue of critical thinking, commitment to lifelong learning and ethical values. They possess the intellect, psychomotor proficiency and core values to meet the current and future needs of the profession and the healthcare system.


    Physical therapists are integral members of the healthcare team who are recognized and respected for their education, experience and expertise in movement, function and health. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Gannon University is guided by the following tenets:

    • The essence of physical therapy practice is patient/client-centered management for body functions, activity and participation related to movement, function and health.
    • Professional physical therapist education should prepare individuals to be autonomous practitioners capable of providing direct access.
    • Active, integrative and experiential learning methods promote student self-reliance, increase self-assessment skills and develop a pattern of independent learning that will promote lifelong learning and continuing professional development.
    • Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the framework for physical therapy practitioners’ clinical decision making. EBP skills are cultivated through development of self-directed learning utilizing a variety of resources that are enhanced by technology.
    • The healthcare environment is continually evolving, Physical therapist practice encompasses roles in primary, secondary and tertiary care, as well as prevention, health promotion and wellness.
    • Practitioners are educators who use their knowledge, creativity, communication and interpersonal skills to promote the health of individuals and communities.
    • Competency-based education ensures that practitioners demonstrate proficiency in knowledge, psychomotor and affective domains.
    • Professionalism is an integral part of physical therapy education and practice.