Department Chair

Dr. Nancy Landgraff
B321 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 two or three 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 Program 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.

Mission Statement

The YSU Physical Therapy Program provides unique academic experiences creating Physical Therapists and doctoral graduates committed to excellence, collaboration, diversity, and service.

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 2.5 year (8 semester) 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  Physical Therapy website.

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

  1. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 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  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), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100 Alexandria, Virginia  22305-3085; 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 rate is 97%.

Degree Requirements

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

  • professional coursework,
  • professional conduct,
  • clinical affiliations.

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.

COURSE TITLE S.H.
Level I: Foundation Courses (waiveable)
PHYT 8810Human Gross Anatomy6
PHYT 8800Clinical Pathology 13
PHYT 8801Clinical Pathology 23
PHYT 8942Mental and Behavioral Aspects of Healthcare3
Level II: Core Courses
PHYT 8901Clinical Decision Making 14
PHYT 8902Functional Anatomy4
PHYT 8904Integrated Clinical Education Experience6
PHYT 8905Clinical Decision Making 26
PHYT 8907Special Topics: Pediatrics3
PHYT 8909Clinical Decision Making 36
PHYT 8911Special Topics: Geriatrics2
PHYT 8913Management and Leadership in Physical Therapy2
PHYT 8914Clinical Education 24
PHYT 8916Critical Inquiry in Physical Therapy3
PHYT 8918Professional Issues2
PHYT 8919Clinical Education 36
PHYT 8920Clinical Education 412
PHYT 8923Community Applications3
PHYT 8925Applied Neuroscience for Physical Therapists4
PHYT 8929Clinical Decision Making 3: Advanced Cases3
PHYT 8933Clinical Foundation Skills4
HAHS 5875Interprofessional Education for Health Professions3
PHYT 8944Clinical Decision Making 4-Part 13
PHYT 8945Clinical Decision Making 4-Part 23
PHYT 8938Special Topics in Physical Therapy1-5
PHYT 8921Evidence Based Practice in Health Sciences1
PHYT 8935Epidemiology in Health Sciences3
PHYT 8940Interdisciplinary Health Care Delivery3
PHYT 8941Psychosocial & Cultural Aspects of Healthcare3
Level III: Electives
Students are not required to take electives to be granted the D.P.T. degree.
Research
Total Semester Hours109-113

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 plan, organize, implement and assess a plan of care for a patient/client of all complexities of movement system problems across all contexts of care.
  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 be able to discuss the impact of the changing Healthcare environment on Physical Therapy practice and formulate appropriate responses.
  8. Students will demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills.

Graduate Courses

PHYT 8800    Clinical Pathology 1    3 s.h.

Study basic concepts of clinical pathology, imaging, histology, and pharmacology used in Physical Therapists clinical decision making. Study human disease processes and tissue injury and their effect on body structure and function. Learn relationships between pathology and clinical signs and symptoms, diagnostic imaging techniques, histological findings, etiology, differential diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

PHYT 8801    Clinical Pathology 2    3 s.h.

Study human disease processes and tissue injury and their effect on body structure and function. Learn relationships between pathology and clinical signs and symptoms, diagnostic imaging techniques, histological findings, etiology, differential diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

PHYT 8810    Human Gross Anatomy    6 s.h.

Knowledge of anatomy is essential in the practice of healthcare. In this course we will concentrate on the study of human gross anatomy, which includes the structure of the body and body parts that can be studied with the unaided eye. This course will include examination of the musculoskeletal, nervous and circulatory systems. This course will primarily encompass structural and functional relationships with clinical perspectives that relate to healthcare.
Prereq.: BIOL 3705.

PHYT 8901    Clinical Decision Making 1    4 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    4 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 8904    Integrated Clinical Education Experience    6 s.h.

Integrated first-time clinical education experience encompassing examination, evaluation, treatment, and documentation of patients in four distinct practice settings (Acute Care, Outpatient, Skilled Nursing, and Inpatient Rehabilitation). It is a full-time, 4-week experience based in a collaborative learning model in which a cohort of 3-4 DPT students will complete a 1-week rotation through each of the settings under the supervision and instruction of licensed physical therapists. CPR certification (American Heart Association}, required inoculations, annual physical exam, proof of health insurance, and any other requirements as set forth by the affiliating clinical sites.
Prereq.: All previous course work and permission of the DCE.

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 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 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 1    5 s.h.

This is a first-time, intermediate, full-time, 6-week clinical education experience (CEE). It is the first in a sequence of three experiences across the curriculum. This experience introduces the student to the general organization and operations of physical therapy practice as it pertains to the care of diverse patients/ clients being served in the inpatient or outpatient setting. It emphasizes the early phases of development toward entry-level PT competencies in professional practice and patient management across the lifespan. The student is responsible, under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist, for the examination, evaluation, diagnostic, prognostic, and intervention aspects in the delivery of patient care. The specific content and context of clinical practice for this experience will vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared readiness of each student. Grading is S/U.
Prereq.: Admission to the DPT program.

PHYT 8916    Critical Inquiry in Physical Therapy    3 s.h.

Student groups will analyze datasets and write up manuscripts for the methods, results and some discussion. Groups will peer review these written reports. Student groups will then revise the report and design a clinically-related project based on the findings of the project. Emphasis will be given to formal research proposals, clinical applications, and resources for project implementation.
Prereq.: Admission to the DPT program.

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 2    9 s.h.

This is a terminal, full-time, 12-week clinical education experience (CEE). It is the second in a sequence of three experiences across the curriculum in which all didactic curriculum is completed. This experience provides the student the opportunity to participate in physical therapy practice that pertains to the care of diverse patient/ client populations in an inpatient or outpatient setting. It emphasizes the on-going and progressive development toward entry-level PT competencies in professional practice and patient management across the lifespan. The student is responsible, under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist, for the examination, evaluation, diagnostic, prognostic, and intervention aspects in the delivery of patient care. Additionally, students are expected to function as part of a multi-disciplinary team and to participate in practice management activities. The specific content and context of clinical practice for this experience will vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT.

PHYT 8920    Clinical Education Exp 3    12 s.h.

This is a final, terminal, full-time, 15-week clinical education experience (CEE). It is the third in a sequence of three experiences across the curriculum in which all didactic curriculum is completed. This experience provides the student the opportunity to fully participate in physical therapy practice that pertains to the care of diverse patient/ client populations in an inpatient or outpatient setting and within the context of transforming society. It emphasizes the development of entry-level PT competencies in professional practice and patient management across the lifespan. The student is responsible, under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist, for the examination, evaluation, diagnostic, prognostic, and intervention aspects in the delivery of patient care. Additionally, students are expected to fully function as part of a multi-disciplinary team and to participate in practice management activities at the capacity of an entry-level physical therapist. The specific content and context of clinical practice for this experience will vary depending upon the learning experiences available and the perceived or declared readiness of each student.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program.

PHYT 8921    Evidence Based Practice in Health Sciences    3 s.h.

This course will help the student develop skills needed to formulate and answer clinical questions including: use of technology to obtain information, evaluation and application of the information for decision making needed to answer questions. Examine the application of current literature to clinical decision-making. Emphasis on written research communication methods: scientific writing, documentation and literature reviews.
Prereq.: Admission to DPT program, Admission to the PhD in Health Sciences.

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 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 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 8933    Clinical Foundation Skills    4 s.h.

Theories of professionalism in Physical Therapy practice including APTA/OPTA membership and benefits, fiscal responsibility, core values, professionalism, 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 8935    Epidemiology in Health Sciences    3 s.h.

The course will discuss various research designs and appropriate statistics germane to epidemiology. Common measures of effect will be discussed with appropriate interpretation of these effects. The student will be expected to implement their knowledge of the subject by designing or redesigning a study specific to epidemiological principles within their area of interest.
Prereq.: Admission to Physical Therapy Department.

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 8940    Interdisciplinary Health Care Delivery    3 s.h.

Foundational knowledge and skills necessary for legal and ethical practice of pertinent healthcare disciplines (Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy, Dietetics, etc.). Emphasis is on legal principles and concepts; contract, business, and educational law; licensure and state practice acts. Emphasis is placed on ethical theory and ethical decision making approaches; and professional code of ethics. Global study of the delivery of healthcare in a broad spectrum view is provided. Emphasis is on the societal, economic, legal/ethical and cultural factors that influence healthcare. Multidisciplinary views of healthcare are considered.
Prereq.: Admission to Physical Therapy Department.

PHYT 8941    Psychosocial & Cultural Aspects of Healthcare    3 s.h.

Investigation into the psychosocial and cultural issues related to a variety of common clinical pathologies. The dynamic impact of the interaction between the patient/client and persons involved in their healthcare, professionals and caregivers will be considered. Topics of interest include mental, physical, behavioral, and cultural issues across the lifespan. Cultural theory and its applications to clinical interactions will be examined and integrated. Topics include cultural assumptions and patterns of health-related activity related to: disability, socioeconomic status, age, gender, ethnicity/race, sexual orientation, and religion.
Prereq.: Admission to Physical Therapy Department.

PHYT 8942    Mental and Behavioral Aspects of Healthcare    3 s.h.

This course will examine various aspects of mental health and behaviors that may impact healthcare and wellness, both positively and negatively, using the ICF model. An in-depth examination of current theory and research associated with major psychological . disorders taken from the DSM-IV will be reviewed. Discussions and current criticism of genetic factors, ethics, the healthcare system, and treatment options will be further examined. The student will develop a comprehensive understanding regarding therapeutic approaches towards mental health issues that can maximize health related outcomes.

PHYT 8945    Clinical Decision Making 4    6 s.h.

Topics that integrate practice systems (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary) such as multiple trauma, burns, amputations, orthopedics, neurologic diseases 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 8962    Mentored Instruction    3 s.h.

Course is taken on an individual basis with an assigned faculty member during which the student assists in all teaching aspects of the undergraduate or entry-level course selected by the student. Individualized mentoring in the teaching-learning process is the focus of the course. Student will assist in course planning, syllabi construction, student facilitation, and student assessment.
Prereq.: TCED 6936 or equivalent.

PHYT 8970    Scientific Writing in Health Sciences    3 s.h.

PHYT 8970 will address four major areas of written communication for the scientific process: institutional review board, grant writing, thesis/dissertation, and writing for manuscript submission. This course will engage the student in the activity of writing clear and concise documents that are readable to large diverse audiences while remaining technically proficient. The course will address common pitfalls to written communication and will culminate in a project that is peer reviewed.

PHYT 8990    Graduate Research in Health Sciences    1-6 s.h.

PHYT 8990 is a graduate research experience that will allow the student the opportunity to contribute to research that is directed by an individual faculty mentor and refine their thinking on research design and implementation. This course will facilitate the student’s formulation of a potential dissertation topic or provide opportunity to create foundational work for their dissertation.

Graduate Faculty

James A. Benedict, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Healthcare policy; pro bono care; vulnerable populations

Matthew Campbell, Ph.D., ATC, Assistant Professor
Experiential learning in athletic training education; clinical education, youth sports, physical literacy/motor learning; social justice issues in athletic training and athletic training education

Cara A. Carramusa, Ed.D., PT, M.S., GCS, Assistant Professor
PT education research: employability skills and professional dispositions/identity, teaching and learning, clinical education; older adults: fall risk management/prevention, active aging, population health/socialization of the physical therapy profession

Shannon Joy Dudash, D.P.T., Assistant Professor

Weiqing Ge, D.P.T., Ph.D., Professor
Biomechanics; manual therapy including complementary and integrative approaches; telehealth; cultural competence; scholarship in teaching

David William Griswold, D.P.T., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Concussion management; vestibular rehabilitation; effects of manual therapy on pain and disability for orthopedic conditions; physiological and clinical effects from dry needling

Edmund C Ickert, D.P.T., M.S., Assistant Professor
Cardiopulmonary programs/outcomes/interventions; falls/fall prevention and outcome; geriatrics; education

Nancy Crum Landgraff, PT, Ph.D., Professor, Chair
Stroke rehabilitation and outcomes

Kenneth Learman, PT, Ph.D., Professor
Physical therapy interventions for the spine; concussion management; chronic pain phenotyping; headache differentiation

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

Omar Ross, D.P.T., O.C.S., Assistant Professor
Alternative methods of anatomy instruction