This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Department Chair
Nancy Landgraff
B311 Cushwa Hall
(330) 941-2703


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. 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!


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:; website:

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%.

James A. Benedict, M.Ed., Instructor
Healthcare policy; CVA interventions and outcomes; SCI interventions

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

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

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

Nancy Crum Landgraff, Ph.D., Professor
Functional deficits in carotid artery disease; stroke outcomes; rehabilitation interventions in acute stroke

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

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

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

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.

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
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.