The Department of Physical Therapy is committed to improving physical therapy services through graduate education and research. The department participates in several cooperative and interdisciplinary doctoral programs. A physical therapy track is offered in the Ph.D. program of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. An interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Rehabilitation and Movement Science is offered in conjunction with two other departments at VCU: Department of Health and Human Performance in the School of Education and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the School of Medicine. Also, the department participates in the School of Allied Health Professions’ Ph.D. in Health Related Sciences.
Education at the Ph.D. level is a highly independent adventure. The curricula offered by the Department of Physical Therapy through joint ventures with other departments allow students the opportunity to focus on highly divergent aspects of research related to physical therapy. Each of the programs also offers students opportunity to hone teaching skills in preparation for a well-rounded academic career.
Regardless of the chosen program or track, each Ph.D. student conducts a substantial original research project. Individuals interested in doctoral education are encouraged to examine the research interest areas of faculty in each of the participating departments and to consult with the program directors before submitting their application to a specific program.