History, Mission, Vision

students balancing and throwing a ball

About the Program

Welcome to the Division of Physical Therapy. We encourage you to explore our program and compare it to others as you research physical therapy education.

Physical Therapy was one of the first programs added after Ohio University formed the College of Health and Human Services — the predecessor of today’s College of Health Sciences and Professions — in 1979. The Physical Therapy program accepted its first undergraduate students in 1984. The graduate program launched in 1996 with a master’s degree, followed by the doctoral program in 2003. The OHIO Physical Therapy graduate program has been consistently ranked among the top physical therapy programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and other respected publications.

Students begin the clinical education portion of the curriculum in the first year with a part-time clinical assignment locally. This integrated clinical experience allows the students to practice what they have been learning in the classroom. In addition, students often collaborate with students from other health professional programs in the College of Health Sciences and Professions and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in clinical settings to experience the continuum of care across disciplines.

Ohio University students are encouraged to participate in research, and physical therapy faculty frequently include students in their work. The school maintains labs for research in biomaterials, motor control, muscle mechanics and integrative muscle physiology where faculty and students alike can explore areas of interest.

Core Purpose/Mission

To cultivate a community connected by a lifelong desire to enhance the lived experience.


The Division of Physical Therapy will be distinctive in preparing expert movement specialists equipped with the capacity to transform clinical practice to meet local and global societal needs in the evolving health care environment.

The program imparts students and residents with the foundation to become expert clinicians through rigorous preparation built upon evidence-based practice principles, critical thinking, altruism, integrity, ethical conduct and professional and fiscal responsibility. The program generates and disseminates research and scholarship that advances the practice of physical therapy. Leading by example, we enrich our rural community through clinical outreach for at-risk and/or underserved populations.

Values and Goals              

Adopted in 1/2019

  1. OUPT will be diligent in maintaining a rigorous, progressive, and relevant entry-level curriculum with exposure to advanced clinical preparation.

Program goals

To offer a curriculum that:

  1. Prepares students with the knowledge and skills required for entry-level practice
  2. Includes elective courses that provide students with preparation beyond entry-level
  3. Maintains clinical partnerships with healthcare facilities that provide opportunities for advanced clinical practice

Student and graduate goals

  1. The student will demonstrate entry-level knowledge and skills reflecting a competent clinician in the contemporary healthcare environment.
  2. The graduate will meet employer expectations during the first employment position.

Faculty goals

  1. Faculty will regularly institute curricular assessment and improvement processes
  2. Faculty will collaborate to hold students accountable for material learned in previous courses
  3. Faculty will actively pursue opportunities for professional development that meet personal and departmental goals in order to maintain academic and clinical currency
  4. DCE/ADCE faculty will lead routine assessment of clinical education partnerships
  5. Program built upon evidence-based practice principles and productive scholarly activity

Program goals

  1. All coursework will be based on current research and clinical practices.
  2. All coursework will utilize teaching strategies that promote clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice.

Student and graduate goals

  1. The student will be able to critically evaluate evidence for effective patient care delivery

Faculty goals

  1. Faculty will contribute to and provide student mentorship in evidence-based practice including research development processes, analysis, and application to contemporary clinical practice.
  2. Faculty scholarship portfolio reflects activities that are consistent with professional development and appropriate to faculty status and rank.
  3. Provide an environment that fosters continual growth and development of professional behaviors in order to enhance quality in PT education and practice.

Program goals

  1. The program will provide PT services and community outreach to OHIO partners including underserved and underrepresented populations.
  2. The program will facilitate a culture of professional growth, development, and collaboration

Student and graduate goals

  1. Alumni will demonstrate professional leadership.
  2. Students will demonstrate continual growth in professional behaviors.

Faculty goals

  1. Faculty will model professional behavior.
  2. Faculty will mentor students in their development of professional behavior.
  3. Provide an inclusive environment that is supportive of faculty, staff, and student success.

Program goals

  1. The program will support opportunities that enhance personal and professional well-being.
  2. The program will recruit/admit a diverse student population.
  3. The program will strive to employ a diverse faculty.

Student goals

  1. Students will be provided with the opportunity for alternative curricular pathways to support student success and well-being.
  2. Students will have educational support to enhance student success.

Faculty/staff goals

  1. Junior faculty/staff will be provided support and mentorship from senior faculty/staff and program leadership.
  2. Faculty will be provided resources to support teaching, research and service.