Department of Physical Therapy
Department of PHYSICAL THERAPY
Our faculty is committed to leadership in clinical doctoral education through academic excellence, scholarly contributions to the profession, service to the local and international community, and fostering moral agency/professional values within our graduates.
This program was the first in the nation to offer the clinical doctorate in entry-level physical therapy education. The curriculum continues to evolve through integrated course content that reflects the dynamic and ever-changing health care landscape. Our experienced faculty are national and international leaders in their areas of expertise who strive to mentor students to be the next leaders in the physical therapy profession.
Our graduates are positioned for success view our student achievement and accreditation for more information.
Faculty Expertise and Leadership
The Departments of Physical Therapy include skilled faculty who bring expertise in a variety of practice and research areas. Our innovative and cutting-edge faculty:
- developed the first Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the United States in Omaha, NE, a testament to the culture of excellence and innovation woven into the history of the program.
- are developing a second unique and collaborative Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in Phoenix, AZ to lead the way in PT education with 2 programs supporting one collective mission.
- includes Board Certified Specialists (ABPTS) in cardiovascular and pulmonary, geriatrics, orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, sports medicine, women’s health, and wound care.
- set research agendas that range from quantitative clinical trials to mixed methods educational research.
- possess a visionary and pioneering spirit that strives to meet the needs of developing healthcare professionals, the physical therapy profession, and the individuals and communities we serve.
- hold significant leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels, demonstrating expertise and a high level of commitment to furthering our profession.
- facilitate learning communities that are intentionally designed small groups of faculty and students learning collaboratively to promote leadership, advocacy, wellness, and professional formation.
Click here to learn more about the faculty in the Departments of Physical Therapy.
Leadership: Nationally Renowned Faculty
Our Faculty are Involved at all Levels
Excellence in Education
The Departments of Physical Therapy strive to demonstrate excellence in the theory, development, and provision of both the entry-level professional doctorate and post-professional residency education. Foundational aspects of our programs include:
- an educational process that incorporates a scientifically-grounded clinical reasoning paradigm unique to the practice of physical therapy.
- the development of adaptive learners and training of exceptional academic and clinical educators.
- innovative curricular revisions to integrate content across semesters to optimize student learning and ensure that it prepares physical therapists to meet the changing needs of society. Visit the Curriculum webpage for more information.
- active affiliations with over 400 clinical partners around the nation to support our mission to provide each student with 44 weeks of clinical experiences in a variety of practice areas. Visit the Clinical Education webpage for additional details.
- opportunities to enhance the student experience through individual electives or pursuit of a specialty track designation. Visit our Specialization Tracks page for more information. This specialization tracks flier can also be downloaded for your reference.
- the development of advanced practitioners in geriatrics, orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, and women’s health through five residency programs accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE). Click here to learn more about our post professional programs currently offered on the Omaha campus.
- a unique interprofessional common curriculum shared with occupational therapy fellows as part of post-professional residency education on the Omaha campus.
National PT Clinical Affiliation Locations
The Departments of Physical Therapy conduct research in clinical and educational theory, translational practice, and rehabilitation in biomechanical science. Faculty research agendas are diverse and impact the profession of physical therapy through:
- quantitative research in the Rehabilitation Science Research Laboratory and the Phoenix Rehabilitation Science Research Laboratories, including projects focused on knee and ankle injuries, healthy populations, movement patterns of pregnant and postpartum females, motor control for people with strokes, and early signs of autism.
- engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning utilizing mixed methods educational research to improve teaching and learning.
- educational research in the Excellence in Health Professions Education Collaborative (EHPEC) which is designed to advance learning for entry-level students, residents, clinical lab educators, clinical instructors, residency mentors, and new faculty. Research projects include the development of clinical reasoning skills across the continuum of physical therapy education, mentorship in residency education, and the impact of curricular innovations.
- research efforts that are enhanced by national and international collaboration and dissemination.
- the engagement of students and residents by faculty in ongoing research efforts to create an environment focused on evidence-based practice and teaching.
Global & Community Health
The Departments of Physical Therapy aim to promote social justice, minimize health disparities, and improve clinical practice in diverse environments to support local and global health initiatives. Students, residents, and faculty are regularly engaged in developing and sustaining relationships across local and international communities to optimize the human experience. We actively develop and promote:
- local engagement opportunities such as the provision of pro bono physical therapy services, the conducting of balance and health screenings, and the presentation of educational sessions to a variety of community groups.
- international service learning and clinical education opportunities within the department.
- a partnership with the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) in the Dominican Republic for the past 20+ years, offering a 4-week clinical education experience for entry-level students.
- new opportunities such as the China Honors Immersion Program (CHIP) in Habei, China.