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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Students practicing physical therapy techniques

Physical Therapy

The Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Carolina offers students a unique opportunity to develop clinical physical therapy skills in an intimate learning environment. 

This dynamic program prepares you to diagnose and treat individuals of all ages that have health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move. As a physical therapist, you will diagnose and enhance physical and functional abilities; restore and promote optimal physical function; and prevent the onset and progression of limitations that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions or injuries.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings and nursing homes.

Students who complete the DPT program at the University of South Carolina have the option of applying, and if accepted, enroll in an accelerated Exercise Science Ph.D. program with a focus in one of three areas including Rehabilitation Sciences, Applied Physiology, or Health Aspects of Physical Activity.

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

The 3 year Clinical Doctoral program  starts in August of each year and admits a small class size that allows students an opportunity to get individualized instruction and closely interact with instructors. Students complete a research project focused on clinical practice and learn the value of evidence-based practice. Following completion of the Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT), students are eligible to sit for the national physical therapy licensure exam.

Students who complete the DPT program at the University of South Carolina have the option of applying, and if accepted, enroll in an accelerated Ph.D. degree in one of three areas including Rehabilitation Sciences [pdf], Applied Physiology, or Health Aspects of Physical Activity.

Explore the specific application deadlines and requirements.

To prepare graduates who skillfully deliver compassionate, evidence-based physical therapy care to maximize the function and health of their clients.

We strive to ensure our graduates and faculty are recognized as exceptional practitioners, researchers, and leaders in the PT community. This high degree of excellence is based upon the philosophy that physical therapy practice is dynamic and requires life-long learning including the application, evaluation, and generation of new knowledge with continued awareness of the unique needs of each individual client.

The Doctoral Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Carolina is dedicated to maintaining a culture that emphasizes life-long learning and excellence in evidence-based practice. The doctoral curriculum is sequenced to provide students with a foundation upon which clinical skills are developed and refined. Clinical experiences are designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice and advance clinical skills that are sequenced to complement didactic instruction. Graduates are encouraged to further their professional development though pursuit of advanced degrees, residencies, fellowships and employment in settings with active mentorship.

 

Physical Therapy News

Shana Harrington

Faculty launch free exercise program to learn how physical activity benefits cancer survivors

With funding from the UofSC School of Medicine Research Center for Transforming Health, exercise science faculty Shana Harrington and Ciaran Fairman are conducting a pilot study to investigate the implementation of an exercise program for individuals with cancer. 

Jenny Heiser

When Jennifer Heiser’s dad had a massive stroke, it changed everything. The Madison, Wisconsin-based family moved to South Carolina, and Heiser spent the next 10 years as a part-time student, part-time professional and part-time caregiver.

When Jennifer Heiser’s dad had a massive stroke, it changed everything. The Madison, Wisconsin-based family moved to South Carolina, and Heiser spent the next 10 years as a part-time student, part-time professional and part-time caregiver. 

Emma Mitsui

August graduate leaves mark on program by co-founding cultural, diversity group for physical therapy students

Emma Mitsui discovered public health when she took some courses as an undergraduate student. She became interested in the intersection of health and social justice and decided to pursue a career in physical therapy.

Stacy Fritz

UofSC researchers to acquire instrument for measurement of ground truth

Stacy Fritz, professor of exercise science and director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, is a co-investigator on a $500K National Science Foundation grant to bring and Omnipercipient Chamber to UofSC. 

Kelly Shepherd

December graduate makes UofSC and Doctor of Physical Therapy program a family tradition

Physical therapy appealed to Kelly Shepherd, who had always been physically active and appreciated the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. She also liked getting to know patients as individuals with specific goals.

Reed Handlery

Two-time Arnold School graduate (DPT, Ph.D. in Exercise Science) lands position as physical therapy assistant professor

After seven years at the Arnold School, Reed Handlery is leaving UofSC with the two highest degrees offered by the Department of Exercise Science: a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Exercise Science. 

  
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