Department Chair
Dr. Nancy Landgraff
B311 Cushwa Hall
(330) 941-2703
nlandgraff@ysu.edu

Welcome

Welcome! Our entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program offers academically-talented students an opportunity to join a profession that contributes in countless ways to movement and health.

We are proud of the quality of our faculty and students. We have well-credentialed faculty--many hold doctorates and/or advanced specializations.  Many of our courses are team-taught by faculty in a case-based approach that helps students keep clinical practice in mind. Practice labs typically have 2 or 3 full-time faculty supervising and instructing students. Also, students practice hands-on skills with faculty in our Pro Bono Clinic. In addition, the faculty work hard to meet each student’s individual needs. Students work well together, learning to make clinical decisions and to be part of an exciting profession.

We are interested in attracting students who are self-motivated learners, willing to be active participants in the teaching-learning process. We also welcome other physical therapists to collaborate with us on clinical research or education. The coming years will be some of our best. Join us!

Vision

The Physical Therapy Department at Youngstown State University will provide the entry-level doctorate in physical therapy degree (DPT), selected doctoral programs and opportunities for professional development.  We will be recognized locally and statewide as a high quality program that prepares students to be autonomous professionals, leaders, good citizens and potential scholars.  We will be recognized for excellent academic preparation of students, utilizing an integrated case-based approach to learning, and for outstanding community service and research.

Program Description

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a professional program for the preparation of phys­ical therapists. The program is an entry-level, postbaccalaureate program consistent with the accreditation requirements of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Admitted on a competitive basis, students enter the three-year program of professional coursework and clinical education affiliations.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Physical Therapy program is competitive. Meeting eligibility standards does not guarantee admission.  Admissions are selective.  The admission deadline will be posted on the Department of Physical Therapy website.

Students should apply to the physical therapy program if the following eligibility requirements are met:

  1. A minimum overall GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 grading scale.
  2. A 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses. A minimum of 6 courses completed prior to applying. All prerequisite courses must be completed with "C" or better.  See the Department of Physical Therapy website for specific prerequisite requirements.
  3. Completion of a bachelor’s degree, and all prerequisite courses, prior to starting the program.
  4. A recommended GRE score of at least 295 on Part I and 4.0 on Part II.
  5. Documentation of 40 observation hours (paid or volunteer) under the direct supervision of a physical therapist(s) in a physical therapy setting. Two sites are recommended.
  6. References: 3 total, a combination of physical therapists and faculty.

In certain circumstances, Youngstown State University students may be provisionally accepted into the D.P.T. program as undergraduates during the summer semester of their senior year. They are not, however, admit­ted as graduate students until their application for graduate program admission has been accept­ed and approved and they are admitted to the College of Graduate Studies. Under no circumstances will this admission take place prior to their receipt of the bachelor’s degree.

Accreditation Information

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Youngstown State 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.

Current accreditation was granted in 2014 for 10 years.  The next accreditation visit will be in 2024. 

National Physical Therapy Examination pass rates for the last 3 years is 100%.

Graduate Faculty

James A. Benedict, PT, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Healthcare policy; CVA interventions and outcomes; SCI interventions

Cara A. Carramusa, PT, M.S., Instructor
Geriatrics/older adults; wellness; falls/fall prevention and outcomes; clinical education

Weiqing Ge, D.P.T., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Spinal characteristics; muscle stiffness; responses of paraspinal muscle spindles to forces in animal models

David William Griswold, D.P.T., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Vestibular rehabilitation; neurophysiological effects of manual therapy

Nancy Crum Landgraff, PT, Ph.D., Professor, Chair
Stroke; stroke outcomes; process and assessment of professional education

Kenneth Learman, PT, Ph.D., Professor
Physical therapy interventions for the spine

Cathy Bieber Parrott, PT, M.S., Assistant Professor
Orthopedic related disability measurement; program assessment.

Jane Wetzel, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Interventions for persons with cardiopulmonary dysfunction

Degree Requirements

There are four areas of program re­quirements that must be satisfactorily completed to be granted the D.P.T. degree:

  • professional coursework,
  • professional conduct,
  • clinical affiliations, and
  • critical inquiry project.

Students not making satisfactory progress may be required to repeat that year of the program or be dismissed based on established standards.

There are three levels of coursework in the D.P.T. program.

COURSETITLES.H.
Level I: Foundation Courses (waiveable)
BIOL 8868Human Gross Anatomy 14
BIOL 8869Human Gross Anatomy 24
PHYT 8800Pathology4
Level II: Core Courses
PHYT 8901Clinical Decision Making 16
PHYT 8902Functional Anatomy3
PHYT 8903Language, Culture, and Health2
PHYT 8904Integrated Clinical Education Experience6
PHYT 8905Clinical Decision Making 26
PHYT 8906Critical Inquiry 13
PHYT 8907Special Topics: Pediatrics3
PHYT 8908Legal and Ethical Issues in Physical Therapy2
PHYT 8909Clinical Decision Making 36
PHYT 8910Critical Inquiry 22
PHYT 8911Special Topics: Geriatrics2
PHYT 8913Management and Leadership in Physical Therapy2
PHYT 8914Clinical Education 24
PHYT 8916Critical Inquiry 32
PHYT 8918Professional Issues2
PHYT 8919Clinical Education 36
PHYT 8920Clinical Education 412
PHYT 8923Community Applications3
PHYT 8924Histology1
PHYT 8925Applied Neuroscience for Physical Therapists4
PHYT 8926Imaging and Lifespan Pathology for PT2
PHYT 8928Healthcare Delivery1
PHYT 8929Clinical Decision Making 3: Advanced Cases3
PHYT 8930Clinical Decision Making 4: Advanced Cases2
PHYT 8932Pharmacology for PTs1
PHYT 8933Clinical Foundation Skills 13
PHYT 8934Clinical Foundation Skills 22
PHYT 8944Clinical Decision Making 4-Part 13
PHYT 8945Clinical Decision Making 4-Part 23
PHYT 8938Special Topics in Physical Therapy (This class, Pro Bono Clinic, is taken 4 times for 1 credit each time.)4
Level III: Electives
Students are not required to take electives to be granted the D.P.T. degree.
Independent Study
Research
Total Semester Hours113

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to formulate a differential diagnosis regarding a patient and judge if a patient is appropriate for physical therapy evaluation and treatment.
  2. Students will be able to effectively manage a client in any of the four physical therapy practice patterns: cardiopulmonary, neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and integumentary.
  3. Students will be able to provide effective patient and family education regarding the physical therapy intervention and the patient’s pathology.
  4. Students will demonstrate ongoing commitment to professional conduct consistent with the APTA core values.
  5. Students will effectively relate the scientific evidence to patient cases and physical therapy questions.
  6. Students will apply knowledge of laws and ethics to patient management.
  7. Students will generate valid responses to changes in the Healthcare environment.
  8. Students will demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills.

Graduate Courses

PHYT 8800    Pathology    4 s.h.

Disease processes and trauma in humans from a structural and functional level; relationship between pathology and clinical signs and symptoms, etiology, differential diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

PHYT 8901    Clinical Decision Making 1    6 s.h.

Decision-making process for clinical management of uncomplicated cases in practice patterns. Emphasis on posture and movement assessment, safety, body mechanics, and monitoring physiological status.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8902    Functional Anatomy    3 s.h.

Study of kinetics, kinematic variables, and mechanical properties of tissue; motion analysis: posture, gait and functional activities; environmental contexts and constraints, and life span applications.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8903    Language, Culture, and Health    2 s.h.

Examination of cultural theory, language, and application to clinical interactions. Cultural assumptions and patterns of health-related activity related to disability, socioeconomic status, age, gender, ethnicity/race, sexual orientation, and religion.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8904    Integrated Clinical Education Experience    6 s.h.

Initial clinical experience in examining, evaluating and treating basic patients/clients in four practice settings (acute care, outpatient, geriatric and rehab). Part-time, 12 week experience (3 weeks in each setting) under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8905    Clinical Decision Making 2    6 s.h.

Decision making process for clinical management of both routine and less common cases in practice patterns. Emphasis on outcomes research, personnel supervision, individualized and culturally-sensitive intervention, and program design.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8906    Critical Inquiry 1    3 s.h.

Develop skills needed to create and answer clinical questions including: use of technology to obtain information: evaluation and application of the information for decision making. Examine the application of current literature to clinical decision making. Emphasis on written research communication methods: scientific writing, documentation and literature reviews. Examine the use of qualitative, quantitative and non-experimental research in health care that are used to inform physical therapy practices. Introduction of group research projects as a means of clinical inquiry.

PHYT 8907    Special Topics: Pediatrics    3 s.h.

Theories of human growth and development and application to typical and atypical motor development and illnesses or injuries of children. Clinical management of cases across the practice patterns with emphasis on family/caregiver participation, team approach, and setting-specific expectations.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8908    Legal and Ethical Issues in Physical Therapy    2 s.h.

Foundation knowledge and skills necessary for legal and ethical practice of physical therapy. Emphasis on legal principles and concepts; contract, business, and educational law; ethical theory and ethical decision-making approaches; and professional code of ethics.
Prereq.: Admission to the DPT program.

PHYT 8909    Clinical Decision Making 3    6 s.h.

Evaluation of decision-making process for clinical management of complex and complicated cases. Emphasis on reimbursement, professional development, interprofessional activities, and program evaluation.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8910    Critical Inquiry 2    2 s.h.

Analysis of literature based on historical and state of the art theories and methods. Evaluate research on selected physical therapy topics. Introduction to research ethicsfu, IRB process and funding. Participation in faculty led, group research projects.

PHYT 8911    Special Topics: Geriatrics    2 s.h.

Theories of life span development and human aging with application to systems development and dysfunction. Emphasis on prevention, well elderly, and illnesses/injuries common to the elderly. Clinical management of cases, considering functional goals; cognition; pharmacology; and reimbursement issues.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8913    Management and Leadership in Physical Therapy    2 s.h.

Theories of resource planning, management strategies for utilizing resources (human, information, fiscal, and space/equipment) for health care delivery, and clinical management issues in various physical therapy settings.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8914    Clinical Education 2    4 s.h.

Second clinical experience in evaluating and treating a diverse caseload of illness/injury prevention, posture and movement dysfunction, and specialty practice. Includes supervision of support personnel, interprofessional evaluation and treatment, and administrative tasks. Six week full-time experience. Grading is S/U.
Prereq.: Admission to the DPT program.

PHYT 8916    Critical Inquiry 3    2 s.h.

Peer review of formally-presented case reports. Each student will then revise the report and design a clinically-related project based on the findings of the case report. The proposed projects will be presented to an interprofessional audience of faculty and area clinicians for assessment and feedback. Emphasis will be given to formal research proposals, clinical applications and resources for project implementation.

PHYT 8918    Professional Issues    2 s.h.

Discussion of professional topics related to entry-level practice, such as leadership, interagency and interprofessional collaboration, future trends and technologies, and opportunities for professional growth.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8919    Clinical Education 3    6 s.h.

Continuation of clinical experience in evaluating and treating a diverse caseload illness/injury prevention, posture and movement dysfunction, and specialty practice. Includes supervision of personnel, inter professional practice, administrative tasks, and effective time management. Nine week, full-time experience. Grading is S/U.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT.

PHYT 8920    Clinical Education 4    12 s.h.

Final clinical experience in evaluating and treating a diverse caseload of illness/injury prevention, posture and movement dysfunction, and specialty practice. Collaborative client-oriented practice, professional conduct, and professional development. Fifteen weeks of full-time experience. Grading is S/U. 12 s.h.,.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8921    Independent Study    1-6 s.h.

Individual study and projects under faculty supervision. May be repeated for a total of six semester hours.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program, and permission of instructor and department chair.

PHYT 8922    Research    1-6 s.h.

Research under the supervision of a graduate faculty member. May be repeated for a total of six semester hours.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program, and permission of instructor and department chair.

PHYT 8923    Community Applications    3 s.h.

Community-based project that encompasses the aspects of advocacy, collaboration, social responsibility, consultation and leadership, marketing/PR, and fiscal management.
Prereq.: Admission to the DPT Program.

PHYT 8924    Histology    1 s.h.

The study of the histological basis of human tissue. Emphasis on the relationship between microscopic structure of tissue types and organ function.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8925    Applied Neuroscience for Physical Therapists    4 s.h.

Introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the human central and peripheral nervous systems. Interaction and relationships between the various structures are described in order to understand movement, sensation and higher cortical functions. Structure is related to function through clinical case examples with an emphasis on the importance for physical therapy assessment and intervention.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8926    Imaging and Lifespan Pathology for PT    2 s.h.

Imaging principles, methods and findings to illustrate the relationship to treatment options and plans of care. Case-based examples illustrate the implications for physical therapy practice and referral. Common pathology highly relevant to physical therapy throughout the lifespan are discussed. Introduction to common scenarios for differential diagnosis.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8928    Healthcare Delivery    1 s.h.

Global study of the delivery of healthcare in a broad-spectrum view. Emphasis is on the societal, economic, legal/ethical and cultural factors that influence healthcare. Multidisciplinary aspects are considered.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8929    Clinical Decision Making 3: Advanced Cases    3 s.h.

In-depth analysis of patient/client cases which includes pharmacology influences and diversity aspects. Differential diagnosis skills will be further developed in respect to each case. Evidence-based practice will be emphasized.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8930    Clinical Decision Making 4: Advanced Cases    2 s.h.

In-depth analysis of patient/client cases which includes pharmacology influences and diversity aspects. Differential diagnosis skills will be further developed in respect to each case. Evidence-based practice will be emphasized.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8932    Pharmacology for PTs    1 s.h.

The study of pharmacologic principles, classifications and common pharmaceutical agents.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8933    Clinical Foundation Skills 1    3 s.h.

Theories of professionalism in Physical Therapy practice including APTA/OPTA membership and benefits, fiscal responsibility, core values, professionalism, and healthcare compliance will be discussed. Basic patient assessment as it relates to anatomic principles will be taught and practiced and their clinical relevance will be reinforced.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8934    Clinical Foundation Skills 2    2 s.h.

This course is a continuation of PHYT 8933. Theories of professionalism in Physical Therapy practice including patient and professional advocacy, communication skills, safety, and healthcare compliance will be discussed. Basic patient assessment as it relates to anatomic principles will be taught and practiced and their clinical relevance will be reinforced.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8938    Special Topics in Physical Therapy    1-5 s.h.

Special interest physical therapy topics selected by the faculty which reflect current trends and issues in physical therapy practice. May be repeated as desired.
Prereq.: Admission to the DPT program.

PHYT 8944    Clinical Decision Making 4-Part 1    3 s.h.

Topics that integrate practice patterns (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary) such as multiple trauma, burns, amputations, and critical care. Also includes complex cases within routine diagnoses, due to severity, chronicity or comorbidity. Emphasis on outcomes studies.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT.

PHYT 8945    Clinical Decision Making 4-Part 2    3 s.h.

Topics that integrate practice patterns (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary) such as multiple trauma, burns, amputations, and critical care. Also includes complex cases within routine diagnoses, due to severity, chronicity or comorbidity. Emphasis on outcomes studies.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT.