The Division of Physical Therapy has historically been a “top 10” physical therapy educational program and seen as a destination of choice for many prospective physical therapy students. This perspective has been nurtured through the unique design of the program that fosters exceptional skills, creativity, reflectivity, and humanity while instilling self-confidence as students transform into outstanding professionals by:

  • Fostering the skills of problem solving, interpersonal communication, and teaching-learning throughout the entire curriculum
  • Embedding clinical and ethical decision-making in clinical experiences within all aspects of the program
  • Understanding the nature and scope of physical therapy practice within the larger healthcare system in which it occurs
  • Providing research opportunities between faculty members and their students to nurture inquiry-based and evidence based practice
  • Encouraging independent judgment, innovative, competent and confident practitioners

More about Physical Therapy at Emory

The Division of Physical Therapy at Emory is ranked among the top graduate programs in physical therapy in the United States. At Emory, physical therapy students benefit from the resources of a university with a national reputation in medicine and movement sciences, while they enjoy personal attention in classes with a maximum size of 65 to 70 students. They represent all geographic regions of the United States, and their diverse life experiences and academic excellence are a great asset to the program. The greatest strength of the Emory program is the commitment of its faculty to a pioneering problem solving curriculum and the growth of each student.

Philosophy of the Program

The faculty of the Division of Physical Therapy are committed to creating an educational environment which allows our students to play an active role in their own learning. Through the use of problem-solving strategies, students develop a strong foundation in the basic and clinical sciences pertaining to movement. With these skills, the students proceed to develop the clinical competencies and professional values for physical therapy practice. The core competencies for physical therapy practice emphasized by the Emory curriculum are: interpersonal communications; teaching and learning processes; evaluation and treatment of clients; research; administration; and consultation. With experience, Emory graduates will become the caring leaders and innovators required for the optimal delivery of health care services to a changing community.

Physical Therapy Faculty

The faculty bring diverse academic and clinical expertise to the program while sharing a common commitment to excellence in education, research, and clinical services. In the basic sciences, members of the faculty pursue scholarship in the disciplines of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, immunology and neuroscience. In the clinical science courses, physical therapy procedures are taught by faculty members with board certification in their areas of practice. Through teamwork and communication, the faculty can provide coherent and unique educational experiences for each student, encompassing modern clinical procedures based on sound scientific principles. Committed to advancing the practice of physical therapy through research, the faculty guide the students through a rigorous research project and prepare them to be active members of the professional community.

Scientific Inquiry at Emory

The critical thinking and process skills of scientific inquiry are applied to clinical problem solving throughout the curriculum at Emory. Formal instruction in the fundamental concepts of the inquiry process and the critical analysis of reports of research begins early in the program and continues to graduation. Each student works with a group of three or four classmates and a faculty advisor to develop a research proposal, collect and analyze data, and report results in a journal article format. Scientific poster presentations of student research projects are a focal point of graduation week. Emory students have published the results of their student research projects in respected scientific journals and have presented their work at regional, national, and international scientific meetings.

Preparation for study at Emory

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of:
probable academic success in the program; experience and knowledge of physical therapy; and, personal attributes such as good judgment, empathy, maturity, reliability, emotional stability, and effective interaction with people.

Experience in physical therapy

Successful applicants will demonstrate knowledge of the multiple roles of physical therapists in health care and a commitment to physical therapy as a profession. All potential applicants should observe physical therapists at work in different settings and maintain a record of these experiences. The variety of clinical settings observed, the total time the student has spent with physical therapists, and the number of hours of experience are used to evaluate experience in physical therapy.



The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the School of Medicine at Emory University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Emory University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist’s, doctorate, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Emory.