Welcome to the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Program in Physical Therapy, which has a strong national reputation and a rich history of excellent student education, innovative research and valuable service to the profession of physical therapy and the community.
Physical Therapy is an exciting profession that offers countless opportunities in clinical practice, education and research. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks physical therapists at number eight among its 100 Best Jobs of 2013. Today physical therapists have ever-increasing independence and because of their unique qualifications, physical therapists help people of any age live healthier, decrease the risk of injury or disease, and regain their lives after being impaired or disabled by injury or disease. Being a physical therapist requires knowing the science of movement, understanding the dynamics of the health care system, and being skilled in the art of human interaction.
At the University of Minnesota, the Program in Physical Therapy offers a unique learning environment in a leading Academic Health Center. The Academic Health Center provides students, faculty, researchers and clinicians with unparalleled resources for learning, generating new knowledge, developing expert skills, and building leadership talent for the globally competitive healthcare marketplace of the future.
Students who join the University of Minnesota’s Program in Physical Therapy are constantly challenged to think, to learn, to do, and to reflect about the physical therapy profession. Program graduates are knowledgeable, self-assured, adaptable, reflective, and service-oriented practitioners who by virtue of critical thinking and ethical values render informed and independent judgments concerning patient/client needs, promote the health and quality of life of the client, and enhance the professional foundations for practice. These practitioners contribute to society and the profession through practice, teaching, administration, and the discovery and application of new knowledge about physical therapy.
The Program in Physical Therapy consists of faculty members who are dedicated clinical educators and scientists who embrace the Program's mission to improve the physical well-being and quality of life of people in the State of Minnesota and throughout the world by advancing the practice of physical therapy and the science upon which it is based. Through faculty members' clinical teaching skills and commitment to advancing new knowledge in physical therapy, students are artfully mentored to meet the challenges facing health care today. The experienced faculty provide students with rigorous academic, clinical and research experiences because they are committed to preparing students who will be competent, compassionate, ethical, and evidence-based practitioners of physical therapy.
Our fully accredited* doctoral program (Doctorate in Physical Therapy) is ranked among the top 10 percent of programs in the United States (US News 2012). Established in 1941, the Program in Physical Therapy has been preparing students for over 70 years. We also offer a doctoral program in rehabilitation sciences, an interdisciplinary field that focuses on enhancing both basic science and clinical research, as well as a Geriatric Physical Therapy Clinical Residency Program.
As one of the oldest and highly ranked physical therapy programs in the United States, we encourage you to consider seeking a University of Minnesota education. Your education will serve you exceptionally well in pursuing a long and rewarding career in physical therapy. You are encouraged to explore our website, visit our facility, and meet our students as you explore the possibilities in the profession of physical therapy.
LaDora V. Thompson, PhD, BSPT
Professor and Director
*Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)