About the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Educating physical therapists since 1973, we have a sustained record of excellence in education, research, leadership, and service. Working in our state-of-the-art teaching facility and in concert with our world-class teaching hospital, our students engage in interprofessional groups that mirror the world beyond our classrooms.


The three-year DPT program begins with foundational learning, and students have the opportunity to progress to clinical coursework with community-based service and interprofessional learning embedded throughout. The curriculum then culminates in a series of clinical practicums that allow students to pursue their passions.

Our faculty have received numerous accolades for teaching excellence and innovative curricular design at the local, regional, and national levels. Post-professional educational opportunities are available including a Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science.


While on campus, students have the opportunity to work with our nationally acclaimed research teams in our cutting-edge laboratories. The college houses the Center for Rehabilitation Research in Neurological Conditions with a concentration in two areas: 1) neuro-rehabilitation and 2) risk assessment and prevention of adverse health outcomes.


Our students and faculty are recognized as leaders at the university, community, and professional level. For example, two of our graduates have served as president of the APTA Student Assembly, and each year several students are chosen to serve as MUSC Presidential Scholars .


Our students and faculty are engaged in initiatives that benefit the community we live in and beyond. The MUSC CARES and CARES Therapy Clinics involving dental, medical, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and physical therapy students recently received the 2011 SC Governor’s Volunteer Award for service to the community.


The mission of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is to prepare evidence-based, ethical, inclusive, and compassionate entry-level physical therapists with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. The program seeks to improve the human experience for the citizens of South Carolina and beyond by emphasizing promotion of health, prevention of disease and injury, and the optimization of movement.

The mission statements for the University, College, and Program share the common goal of improving not only lives beyond those we physically touch [in clinical care], but also human life in and beyond our [geographic] area by being agents of change for the next generation of healthcare professionals. The DPT Program strongly feels that “promotion of health, prevention of disease and injury, and the optimization of movement” are critical to the improvements in population health desperately needed in the current healthcare environment and that physical therapists are uniquely positioned to lead these initiatives.

The MUSC DPT Program revised its Program, Student, and Faculty Goals and Objectives in 2016 to reflect alignment with the mission statements of the University, College, and Program. The Program, Faculty, and Student goals were written collectively by the core faculty to reflect PT education, translation of evidence, and contemporary practice.

Program Goals

The goals of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are to:

  1. Recruit, educate, and graduate a student population of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  2. Prepare evidence-based, ethical, inclusive, and compassionate graduates.
  3. Provide a curriculum to emphasize promotion of health, prevention of disease and injury, and the optimization of movement.
  4. Prepare students to work interprofessionally to improve the health outcomes and human experience of individuals in SC and beyond.

Student/Graduate Goals

The goals are that each student/graduate will:

  1. Perform effective patient/client management through the determination of physical therapy needs of any individual, designing a plan of care that synthesizes best available evidence and individual preferences, implementing safe and effective interventions, and determining efficacy of outcomes.
  2. Demonstrate professional behavior that is ethical, inclusive, compassionate and interprofessional in the communication and delivery of services.
  3. Conduct independent practice with respect to established institutional, state, federal, and professional standards.
  4. Become life-long learners and leaders in the use of research and clinical evidence to expand knowledge and become influential change agents for health care delivery.