Physical Therapy

Stephen P. Lahr, Associate Professor and Department and Graduate Chair

Barbara C. Belyea, Clinical Professor and Associate Chair

The Department of Physical Therapy offers a six-year, dual-degree program in clinical health studies and physical therapy. Students receive a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in clinical health studies after four years of study and a doctor of physical therapy degree after two years of graduate study. The undergraduate component of the six-year program is described in the Ithaca College undergraduate catalog.

The graduate program builds on the undergraduate program’s depth and breadth in liberal arts and basic sciences, the students’ independent study skills, and their understanding of theory, communication, and critical thinking. The graduate program is approximately 24 months in duration. Students participate in classroom and clinical experiential learning opportunities on campus and in diverse clinical and research facilities to integrate learning and apply knowledge in health care settings. Graduate students participate in 36 weeks of full-time clinical education coursework at health care facilities throughout the United States.

(Students must complete all requirements to be eligible for licensure)

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the physical therapy doctoral program, undergraduate students must have completed the B.S. Degree in Clinical Health Studies (described in the Ithaca College Undergraduate Catalog), achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, and a GPA of 3.00 or higher for all professional year 1 PTBS 50000 level courses.

Departmental Regulations

Criteria for College or School academic status (warning, suspension, or dismissal) are specified in the graduate catalog. To review the criteria for departmental academic status, view the following link from the department's web page: http://www.ithaca.edu/hshp/depts/pt/docs/studentpol/

Housing and Transportation Arrangements for Clinical Education Courses

During the full-time clinical education placements, students are responsible for making housing arrangements and for transportation to and from clinical facilities.

PDPT 51004 Pharmacology (NLA)

The course analyzes the action of basic drugs, including such variables as how the drug is administered, absorbed, distributed, stored, metabolized, and excreted. Evaluation of how drugs are selected for specific pathology is also included. Special emphasis is placed on drugs that are commonly used to treat disorders seen in patients receiving physical therapy. (S,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 52506 Spine Examination and Rehabilitation (NLA)

Examination of and interventions for patients with neuromusculoskeletal conditions affecting the spine. Students learn objective measurements of spinal posture, mobility, and function to differentiate among various spinal conditions. Selected interventions are presented and practiced. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 54300 Preclinical Conference II (NLA)

Offers the student the opportunity to prepare for the second clinical internship. This includes site selection, cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures, updating immunizations, developing a student profile, and establishing contact with the assigned clinical site. In addition, the student will develop a personal plan and objectives for the affiliation experience. Pass/fail only. (F,Y)
0 Credit

PDPT 55900 Psychosocial Aspects of Patient Care (NLA)

A review of psychological and social issues affecting patients and therapists in the clinic, home, and community environments. Addresses special topics relevant to assessing a patient's and a clinician's response to illness. These topics include terminal illness, sexuality and illness or disability, psychosomatic illness, and selected psychiatric disorders. (F,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 56000 Clinical Adminstration in Physical Therapy (NLA)

This course focuses on the organizational structure, management, program development, facilities, staffing, informational systems, reimbursement, marketing, and fiscal planning related to the practice of physical therapy. Students apply these concepts and knowledge to the development and management of a "niche" physical therapy practice or service. (F, Y)
4 Credits

PDPT 56800 Research II: Evidence-Based Practice in Physical Therapy (NLA)

Focus is on how research is used to guide clinical decision making and form the basis for contemporary physical therapist practice. Specifically, this course will build upon principles introduced in PTBS 56701 and acquaint students with how to access and critically review the literature to answer clinical questions. Students will evaluate and categorize specific articles that illustrate various types and levels of evidence. Students will also explore specific clinical questions, access the scientific literature using computer databases, and plan interventions based on the strength of the available evidence. Finally, this course will prepare the student to enter PDPT 66900 in their final professional year so they will be able to examine the existing literature and identify areas for future research. (S,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 57000 Clinical Neuroanatomy (NLA)

Comprehensive study of the structural features and connectivity of the human central nervous system. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the clinical relationships of the morphological basis of neurological dysfunction. Exposes students to medical imaging techniques in order to provide a basis to begin neurological differential diagnosis for physical therapy. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 57100 Clinical Neurophysiology (NLA)

Clinical neurophysiology addresses the structure and function of nerve cells, somatosensory systems, motor control systems, and the autonomic nervous system. The emphasis of the course is on the development of an understanding of the processes associated with normal functioning of the nervous system in the control of posture movement. Selected examples of nervous system disorders are integrated into each major content area in order to illustrate how an understanding of normal function is important to the understanding of pathology in the nervous system. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 57200 Motor Development Across the Lifespan (NLA)

Normal motor developmental processes from the embryo to old age. Review of research in the theories of motor control, motor learning, and motor development. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of these theories to growth and development through the lifespan. Topics include the development of musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, sensory, and nervous system changes. Other lifespan issues include the development of posture, locomotion, fine motor, speech and language, cognition, fitness, cultural and diversity issues, and functional and developmental examination tools. (S,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 57300 Fundamentals of the Neurological Examination (NLA)

Prepares students to perform a complete physical therapy neurological examination of patients with peripheral and central nervous system disorders. Students will be directed to perform specific tests that examine cognition, sensation, perception, tone, motor function, balance, gait, and function. The measurement properties of these clinical tests will be discussed. Specific emphasis will be directed to the electrophysiologic examination of peripheral disorders. (S,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 59000 Clinical Education I (NLA)

The initial assignment to one of a variety of health care facilities for eight weeks. The student is assigned to specified clinical tasks under the close supervision of the clinical instructor. Professional conduct and appearance, basic musculoskeletal assessment and treatment, and application of physical agents are emphasized. Synthesis of all previous professional coursework is exhibited by designing a basic examination and intervention plan based on the results of the subjective and objective examination and substantiation of the intervention rationale. Prerequisites: PTBS 54102; PTBS 54203; PTBS 53101; PTBS 52304; PTBS 56701; PTBS 52405; PTBS 51103. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (Sum,Y)
4 Credits

PDPT 59102 Clinical Education II (NLA)

The second placement for the student in a clinical environment where he or she has the close supervision of a clinical instructor. This experience provides an opportunity to practice and develop skills in analyzing motor performance, in examination and intervention of joint and soft tissue pathologies and spinal dysfunction. The student should also exhibit an understanding of the administration of a physical therapy department. The student continues to synthesize all previous professional coursework. Prerequisites: PDPT 59000. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (S,Y)
4 Credits

PDPT 59500-59534 Clinical Grand Rounds (NLA)

Provides students with the opportunity to participate in physical therapy services for a variety of patients/clients with neuromusculoskeletal pathologies seen in the Ithaca College Occupational and Physical Therapy Clinic. Students participate in the physical therapy patient/client management model under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
1 Credit

PDPT 59900-59925 Selected Topics in Physical Therapy (NLA)

Clinical and professional topics of current interest to faculty and students. This course may be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Prerequisites: As appropriate to topics. Pass/fail only. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

PDPT 61200 Case-Study Seminar

Applies the principles of evidence-based practice to selected patient cases across a variety of physical therapy diagnoses from current practice settings. Emphasis will be placed on the complex patient who demonstrates multisystem involvement. The case studies are an intensive investigation designed to analyze and understand medical and/or surgical factors important to the etiology, care, and outcome of the patient's problems as they relate to the physical therapy plan of care. Included are factors related to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine/rheumatological, musculoskeletal, neurologic, genitourinary, pulmonary, psychological, and hemato-oncological problems. Pharmacological issues related to management of multisystem involvement and the interaction of drug therapy with rehabilitation will be addressed. Prerequisite: Matriculation into transitional D.P.T. program. (F)
2 Credits

PDPT 62607 Clinical Orthopedics

Reviews the medical and conservative management of common orthopedic disorders. Initially the course focuses on review of basic principles of orthopedic diagnosis and pathology, followed by medical and conservative management of common orthopedic disorders of the extremities. An expectation is that students will integrate information gained from prior coursework. (F,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 62900 Independent Clinical Study (NLA)

This course is designed to meet the individual needs of a student, which are identified during a clinical education course. Content of this course will address specific objectives identified by the student, the clinical instructor(s), and the director of clinical education. Prerequisites: All previous coursework; faculty permission required. (F,S,Y)
1-3 Credits

PDPT 63800 Pathokinesiology (NLA)

Presents specific pathological conditions (primarily organized according to anatomical regions) that result in disorders of posture, movement, and locomotion. The presentations and analyses of these pathokinesiological conditions include neurological, neuromotor, and musculoskeletal aspects with respect to the causes of dysfunction. Laboratory exercises require the student to use movement analysis equipment to demonstrate pathomechanics and abnormal movement patterns. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 63900 Orthotics/Prosthetics (NLA)

An in-depth review of the principles and practices of orthotics and prosthetics as applied by a physical therapist. This includes a survey of the basic biomechanical principles used in applying orthotic and prosthetic appliances, as well as principles of patient application, training, and management of complications. (S,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 64500 Pre-Clinical Conference III (NLA)

A series of sessions to explain the policies and procedures for graduate clinical education and choose sites for graduate clinical affiliations. Pass/fail only. (F,Y)
0 Credit

PDPT 64600 Professional Development III

A continuation of the professional development series, this course advances the students' understanding and application of their role as a professional in their relationship with patients/clients, in the practice setting and in our society. Prepares students for participation in clinical education coursework and clinical practice. Strategies for adaptability and time management in the clinical setting are presented. Analyses of clinical situations facilitate student exploration of ethical decision making, patient advocacy, cultural diversity, leadership, and application of professionalism. (S,Y)
1.5 Credits

PDPT 66900 Research III: Research Seminar (NLA)

Research III is a hour course designed to provide a mentored experience in evidence based practice to entry level physical therapy students. Working in small groups with a mentor, students use evidence based practice principles to make clinical decisions associated with diagnosis, therapy and prognosis. At the completion of each case students are expected to determine optimal diagnostic and intervention procedures for each case based on curent evidence. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 67400 Neurological Rehabilitation I (NLA)

This course focuses on the body structure / function impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions experienced by individuals with neurologic health conditions resulting from acquired disorders of the central nervous system. Students will apply a systematic clinical decision-making approach to the physical therapy examination of these individuals, integrating data from the patient's medical history with reports from interdisciplinary team members and findings from standardized examinations and functional tasks analysis to arrive at a movement system diagnosis and establish a realistic prognosis. Design and progression of the physical therapy plan of care will be considered, guided by current concepts of neuroplasticity and neurotherapeutics. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 67500 Neurological Rehabilitation II (NLA)

This course builds on concepts introduced in PDPT 67400, with a focus on the body structure / function impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions experienced by individuals with neurological health conditions resulting from specific acquired disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system. Students will gain continued exposure to the application of a systematic clinical decision-making approach to the physical therapy examination process, integrating data from the patient's medical history with reports from interdisciplinary team members and findings from standardized examinations and functional task analysis to arrive at a movement system diagnosis and establish a realistic prognosis. Design and progression of the physical therapy plan of care will be considered, guided by current concepts of neuroplasticity and neurotherapeutics as it applies to the health conditions that are considered. (F,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 67600 Pediatric Rehabilitation (NLA)

This course focuses on the etiology, pathology, diagnosis, medical, surgical, and physical therapy management of pediatric disorders of the neuromuscular system. Identification of body structure/function impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions experienced by children with inherited and acquired disorders of development and movement is emphasized. Students will apply a systematic clinical decision-making model that integrates review of records, data collection, hypothesis formulation and development of an appropriate pediatric plan of care. (F,Y)
2.5 Credits

PDPT 68100 Cardiac Testing and Management (NLA)

A review of normal cardiac physiology and the response of this system to exercise and disease. Cardiac pathologies are discussed, including a review of the medical and surgical management of specific disease groups. Evaluation procedures utilized to determine the status of the cardiac system's performance are studied and performed in the laboratory. Clinical management procedures used by all members of the rehabilitation team are reviewed with emphasis on specific physical therapy procedures. (S,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 68260 Medical Screening and Disease

General overview of common diseases and surgical interventions in the practice of general medicine and surgery that may be seen in physical therapist practice. Presentations by clinical practitioners will emphasize medical and surgical management procedures. With these topics serving as a foundation for medical screening of major organ systems within existing physical therapy examination techniques will enable the student to differentiate between patients and clients who are appropriate for physical therapy intervention, need closer monitoring and those who should be referred to other medical practitioners. Complex cases with multisystem diseases will be discussed. (S,Y)
4 Credits

PDPT 68300 Pulmonary Testing and Management (NLA)

Review of normal pulmonary physiology and the response of the pulmonary system to exercise and disease. Pulmonary pathologies are discussed, including a review of the medical and surgical management of specific disease groups. Evaluation procedures utilized to determine the status of the pulmonary system's performance are studied and performed in the laboratory. Clinical management procedures used by all members of the rehabilitation team are reviewed, with emphasis on specific physical therapy procedures utilized in treating patients with pulmonary disease. (S,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 68450 Advanced Clinical Reasoning

This course challenges students to explore a novel or controversial physical therapy management issue. The topics are chosen by the faculty and approached from three perspectives including 1) theory development, 2) evidence based medicine, and 3) management issues. Each project must include the following theory, evidence, and application to patients. Students are expected to gain practical experience implementing changes in care delivery. (S,Y)
2 Credits

PDPT 68500 Wellness and Prevention

The role of physical therapy in wellness and prevention for individuals, groups, and communities. The physiological rationale behind designing comprehensive wellness programs is presented. Topics include the development and implementation of general fitness and prevention programs for a variety of clients, including those with chronic disabilities. (F,Y)
1 Credit

PDPT 68700 Pre-Clinical Conference IV

The course provides for a formal series of sessions during which students will be provided pertinent information and instruction regarding Clinical Education IV-V and IV/V experiences. (S/Y)
0 Credit

PDPT 69000-69010 Selected Topics in Physical Therapy

Clinical and professional topics of current interest to faculty and students. This course may be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Prerequisites: As appropriate to topics. Pass/fail only. (IRR)
3 Credits

PDPT 69200 Clinical Education III (NLA)

A student's third placement in a clinical environment, giving the opportunity to apply more advanced theories and treatment procedures to a selected patient caseload with guidance from a clinical instructor. Eight weeks in length. Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of all prior required coursework. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (S,Y)
4 Credits

PDPT 69300 Clinical Education IV

This is the fourth course in the clinical education series. The student is expected to begin to assume the role of the primary physical therapist under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The student begins to manage all aspects of patient care. One six-week session. Student must register for this course and PDPT 69400 or register for PDPT 69500. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (Sum,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 69400 Clinical Education V

This is the fifth and final course in the clinical education series. The student is expected to begin to assume the role of the primary therapist under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The student achieves competency in managing all aspects of patient care. One six-week session. Student must register for this course and PDPT 69300 or register for PDPT 69500. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (Sum,Y)
3 Credits

PDPT 69500 Clinical Education IV/V

Clinical Education IV/V is one of the final options for placement of the student in a clinical environment. This course is the capstone course in the clinical education series. At the conclusion of the 12-week placement, the student is expected to demonstrate entry level physical therapy practice. One 12-week session. Students must register for this course or PDPT 69300 and PDPT 69400. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (Sum, Y)
6 Credits

PDPT 69900 Independent Study

This course, which requires a faculty sponsor, allows students to complete an in-depth study or project in an area of their interest related to physical therapy. Includes a final presentation. Prerequisites: Permission of faculty sponsor, academic adviser, graduate chair, and dean. May be repeated for a total of (F-S,Y)
1-3 Credits