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Physical Therapy Department

  • Welcome to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Erie Campus

    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 Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Gannon University in Erie, PA is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program directly, please call 814-871-5639 or email To verify accreditation status, click on the link below:

    Program Vision

    Gannon University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the Erie Campus will be a leader in educating autonomous physical therapists who participate in integrative and collaborative practice to facilitate high quality health and educational outcomes. We will be practitioners of choice in the community, recognized as experts in movement, function and health. As leaders we will embrace our social responsibility, promote humanistic care, and contribute to the profession's body of knowledge.

    Program Mission

    The mission of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Gannon University Erie Campus facilitates holistic patient/client-centered management related to movement, function and health. We prepare our graduates to be knowledgeable, service-oriented, reflective practitioners. Our graduates render evidence based, professional judgments concerning patient /client needs by virtue of critical thinking, interprofessional collaboration, lifelong learning and ethical principles. They possess the intellect, psychomotor proficiency, leadership capabilities, and core values to meet the current and future needs of the profession, the health care system, and society.

    Philosophy of Physical Therapist Education

    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 Erie Campus 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.
    • Global citizenship  is expressed within the practitioner's life by advocating for equitable allocation of healthcare resources, providing of culturally sensitive care; maximizing multicultural learning; cultivating awareness and perspective of the global society; and understanding the existence of. the cause of, and our role in addressing health disparity.
    • 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.