Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Fresno State Department of Physical Therapy

Dr. Jenna Sawdon-Bea

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at California State University, Fresno. We have developed a program that is strong academically and clinically, and is staffed by an exceptional faculty committed to our profession and the community. The faculty prepare our students to grow and develop from novice learners into skilled, compassionate, culturally-competent, and ethical practitioners. 

As one of the public schools within California, Fresno State's program is most affordable. We have a 100% overall pass rate for the licensure examination and our graduates are regularly employed within weeks of seeking employment. Employment settings run diverse and include hospitals, outpatient facilities, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and private practices.

Let me congratulate you on your decision to consider a career in Physical Therapy.  We are excited that you have chosen a profession where you will have the opportunity to change lives on a daily basis. At Fresno State you would experience our strong sense of community, personalized and small faculty-student interactions, and a pursuit to seek excellence and be bold.


A student can complete a bachelor's degree in any field to apply to the entry-level DPT program. Please see the prospective student website for specific requirements for eligibility.


The Physical Therapy faculty members are an impressive group devoted to our students and the profession of Physical Therapy. Collectively, we are a professionally and personally diverse group with expertise in geriatrics, pediatrics, neurophysiology and neuro-rehab, orthopedics, manual therapy, anatomy, pharmacology, exercise science, biomechanics, gait, research methods, evidence-based practice and professional foundations. We have vast clinical expertise in all major areas of practice. The majority of faculty conducts research on an on-going basis and routinely present and publish work. Faculty members are highly visible and active in the American Physical Therapy Association and the community. The faculty are dedicated educators and highly accessible. In addition to the nine full-time physical therapist faculty members, many other professionals contribute to the Program including physicians, physical therapists, and other health care professionals. We are very fortunate to have a community that is supportive of this program achieving its mission with our students.


The curriculum is contemporary and innovative. Students learn in small class sizes in well-equipped classroom facilities. They have ongoing patient contact in the Program such as patients visiting the classroom and regular trips to local clinics, as well as our on-campus clinics. We have a Gait, Balance, and Mobility Education and Research Center that contains state-of-the-art equipment for testing and treating clients with balance, vestibular and mobility problems. As part of this clinic, students also participate in an outreach community project focused on providing free comprehensive balance screenings to seniors at risk for falls. Our students also participate in the Musculoskeletal Clinic located in the Student Health Center providing physical therapy services under the direction of clinical faculty to Fresno State students.

Clinical Internships

Students also complete 3 full-time clinical internships off camps during the summer between the first and second year and between the second and third year. The final internship is during the spring semester of the third year. Students are also required to pass a qualifying exam at the end of their second year inclusive of a patient case report demonstrating appropriate clinical decision making. The culmination for the DPT is an evidence-based practice DPT project required in the final semester of the third year.

Following successful completion of the curriculum, qualifying exam, DPT project and 30 weeks of full-time internships, students are eligible for state licensure.



Jenna Sawdon-Bea, PT, PhD 
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Phone: (559) 278-6376