Department Mission

Mission of the Program:

The mission of the department is to graduate a diverse physical therapy practitioner of the highest quality, committed to life-long learning, self-development, and critical inquiry, with the ability to apply researched data and physical evidence in order to function autonomously in current and future culturally sensitive healthcare environments. The professional physical therapy education at Fresno State seeks to stimulate scholarly inquiry and critical thinking, while supporting and encouraging research and its dissemination, to develop future leaders of the profession engaged in the community who will enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for all.

In concert with the American Physical Therapy Association 2020 Vision Statement, we will prepare graduates to examine, evaluate, and establish a diagnosis and prognosis within the scope of physical therapy practice; implement and manage a physical therapy plan of care; and provide a sound rationale for evaluation and treatment procedures, based on a theoretical framework for practice including evidence-based practice.

Departmental/Program Goals:

The department seeks to 1) attract high quality applicants from a variety of academic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, 2) develop a diverse faculty engaged in high quality teaching, research and service to the department, university, career and community, 3) develop clinical partnerships and professional alliances to enhance the quality of the graduate program and delivery of health care services by our graduates and 4) prepare graduates to meet the program student learning outcomes listed below, in accordance with current Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education criteria and the American Physical Therapy Association's 2020 Vision statement.

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

The graduate will be a competent physical therapy practitioner who can function safely and effectively. Successful completion of the DPT program will prepare students with the following outcomes and abilities in physical therapy practice or patient/client management and professional development:

  1. Demonstrate comprehension and integration of the foundational, applied and clinical sciences of anatomy, physiology, neurology, and pathology for application to the physical therapy clinical setting.
  2. Expressively and receptively communicate in a professional and ethical manner to a culturally diverse population in classroom activities and in clinical settings including patients/clients, families, care givers, practitioners, consumers, payers, and policy makers utilizing terminology appropriate to the context of the communication.
  3. Demonstrate competent professional practice independently and interdependently while providing patient centered care services, including wellness/prevention, to patients whether referred or self-referring. And, to know federal and state regulations, professional practice and association history and regulations, payer requirements and state practice acts.
  4. Demonstrate appropriate clinical decision-making skills, including clinical reasoning, clinical judgment, differential diagnosis, reflective practice, and self-reflection/assessment.
  5. Critically review existing research and expand their clinical research skills in order to build the evidence of practice for clinical decision making skills and innovative physical therapy interventions based on solid theoretical constructs.