Courses that focus on learning physical therapy clinical skills and knowledge are closely integrated with the basic sciences such as anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics. Pharmacology, imaging and the medical management of patients are simultaneously covered in concert with the corresponding clinical courses. Physical therapy services through the lifespan, from pediatrics through geriatrics, are interwoven in the clinical courses and there are additional, specific courses that address the needs of these special populations served by physical therapists. There are clinical case study courses in small-group seminar format that also synchronize with the other courses each semester. Students have part-time clinical experiences under the mentorship of physical therapists during which they are able to see patients who have problems similar to those being covered in the classroom.
Students see patients who have neuromuscular problems under faculty supervision in an outpatient free-clinic during two semesters. Two full-time clinical experiences are interspersed after key semesters so that classroom learning is reinforced with clinical experience. The importance of communication and relationship between the PT and patients in a culturally diverse environment and the multiple roles of physical therapists in the health care system are addressed throughout the program. Students begin the 34 month, full-time program each fall. The final 22 weeks of the program are spent on a full-time clinical internship.