Department of Physical Therapy

Chair and Associate Professor: K. Garrison (PhD), 450-3611

[1] Physical Therapy: A Dynamic Health Care Profession

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

Physical therapists:

  • Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
  • Restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but optimal wellness and fitness and optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
  • Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries.

The median annual earnings of all physical therapists in the United States were $89,440 in 2019. Employment of physical therapists is expected to increase 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook.)

[2] Mission

The mission of the UCA Department of Physical Therapy is educating leaders in physical therapy.

[3] Accreditation Status

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). CAPTE may be contacted via mail, telephone, or email as follows:

Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: 703/706-3245

[4] DPT Student Outcomes (updated 2022-08-02)

Graduation rate: 95%

Licensure Examination Pass Rates (2-year average): 99.2%

Employment Rate: 100% (for students passing the licensure examination)

[5] Requirements for Application to the DPT Program

Students who wish to apply for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program must first complete a baccalaureate degree and specific prerequisite courses. A complete list of prerequisites for the UCA DPT program may be found in the UCA Graduate Bulletin or on the UCA Physical Therapy website. Applicants for the DPT program may complete a baccalaureate degree in any field as long as all prerequisites for the program are complete by the time of matriculation and all other requirements for the DPT program are met. Questions and requests for additional information should be addressed to the program advisor.