To develop collaborative professionals in physical therapy practice, education, social responsibility, and discovery and translation of science to improve health.

Our Philosophy

We are committed to our professional and community stakeholders to promote and provide accessible, affordable, and high quality health care. Our academic programs support this philosophy by educating collaborative professionals who advocate for the profession and the patient. We maintain a collegial and supportive environment that enables professional growth, research advancement, and instructional excellence. Our program philosophy aligns with the values of the APTA Code of Ethics, which includes: accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility.

Differences Between the DPT and PhD Programs

The Doctor of Physical Therapy is a joint degree offered by UCSF and SFSU. The DPT is a 36-month continuous program designed to matriculate clinicians in the practice of physical therapy, with a combination of didactic and clinical skills-based coursework and clinical experiences spaced throughout the three years of the program. The program admits 50 students per year into a cohort-model based program. The curriculum is designed to prepare collaborative and expert clinicians who will advance the quality of health care through a currency in the relevant literature and a commitment to evidence based practice. The program boasts extremely high licensure exam pass, employment and graduation rates.

The PhD in Rehabilitation Science is a research-based degree program that leverages the vast expertise at UCSF in the basic and clinical sciences. The program educates new investigators on the latest advancements in musculoskeletal biomechanics and neuroscience, and prepares them for careers in research in academia and industry. The program takes a nontraditional approach that addresses the broader perspective of both basic and clinical sciences in the areas of musculoskeletal and neurorehabilitation. A central goal of the program is to capitalize on the highly interdisciplinary nature of UCSF and deliver an academic program that integrates multiple disciplines.