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Doctorate in Physical Therapy Curriculum

Physical Therapy Program students learning

Curriculum Overview

The Doctorate in Physical Therapy program offers a combination of didactic and clinical experiences designed to prepare graduates to perform evidence-based practice in the contemporary health care environment. The program consists of three years of full-time study including summer sessions.

Case studies courses are incorporated in the curriculum to bridge or link course material to the clinical practice of physical therapy. The expectations placed on students throughout these integrative units become progressively more demanding, with students initially identifying and describing clinical observations and subsequently analyzing data and predicting outcomes in physical therapy practice.

Professional coursework during the first year provides many foundational courses and introduces students to critical inquiry to prepare them for the first clinical internship. The second year coursework emphasizes assessment and intervention utilized within any rehabilitation setting. The courses include: Othopedics, Neurological, Cardiopulmonary, and Pediatric Physical Therapy. The third year expects students to be active, independent learners. Course work is designed to develop skills in critical inquiry and management, and to master skills in therapeutic exercise.

Students end the fall semester of their second year with Clinical Internship I, an 8-week, full-time experience. Clinical Internship II, a full-time, 9-week experience is scheduled after the completion of Year 2, during the summer months. The third year ends with two clinical internships designed as final integrative experiences. Clinical Internship III and IV are both full-time experiences, the first 8-weeks in duration and the final experience, 10-weeks in duration. During Clinical Internship IV, students are expected to negotiate learning objectives, create learning experiences and participate in self-assessment practices. These learning experiences could include (but are not limited to) an administrative project, establishment of outcome databases, the development of a continuing education program or in-service program, development of a clinical evidence-based library in relevant practice areas or a case study project.

The physical therapy curriculum at Stony Brook undergoes a formal review process annually based on input from students, faculty and our clinical instructors. Modifications in course sequencing, content and descriptions often result from this ongoing assessment process and are reflected in the incoming class curriculum once approved by the Curriculum Committee within School of Health Technology & Management.

Physical Therapy Curriculum: First Year - Class of 2021

For course descriptions, see Health Science Center Bulletin 2018-2019.

Summer Credits
HAY 515  Foundations of Kinesiology 1.0
HBA 540 — Human Anatomy for Physical Therapists 5.0
HAY 560 — Professional Practice I: Foundations 2.0
Total Credits 8.0


Fall Credits
HAY 500 — Neuroscience for Physical Therapy 4.0
HAY 517 — Exercise Physiology 1.0
HAY 518 — Foundations of Exercise and Movement in PT 3.5
HAY 519 — Kinesiology 4.5
HAY 526 — Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology I 3.5
HAY 544 — Biophysical Agents in Physical Therapy 3.0

Total Credits 19.5


Spring Credits
HAY 512 — Prosthetics and Orthotics in PT 3.0
HAY 552 — Research Methods for PTs 3.0
HAY 534 — Motor Learning and Motor Control 3.0
HAY 527 — Foundations of Patient Care 4.0
HAY 528 — Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology II 4.0
HAY 543 — Integumentary & Vascular Physical Therapy 2.0
HAY 589 — Case Studies I 1.0
Total Credits 20.0


Physical Therapy Curriculum: Second Year - Class of 2021

Summer Credits
HAY 507 — Orthopedic Physical Therapy 1 2
HAY 501 — Growth and Development Across the Lifespan 3
HAY 504 — Neurological Physical Therapy I 2
Total Credits 7


Fall Credits
HAY 505 — Neurological Physical Therapy II 2.0
HAY 510 — Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy I 2.0
HAY 513 — Orthopedic Physical Therapy II 2.0
HAY 561   Professional Practice II: Clinical Education 1.5
HAY 595 — Clinical Internship I (full-time during last 8 weeks of the semester) 8.0
Total Credits 15.5


Spring Credits
HAY 502 — Psychosocial Aspects of Disability 2.0
HAY 506 — Neurological Physical Therapy III 4.0
HAY 508 — Orthopedic Physical Therapy III 4.0
HAY 509 — Pediatric Physical Therapy 5.0
HAY 557 — Introduction to Evidence Based Practice 1.5
HAY 590 — Case Studies II 1.0
Total Credits 17.5


Physical Therapy Curriculum: Third Year - Class of 2021

Summer Credits
HAY 692 — Clinical Internship II 9.0
Total Credits 9.0


Fall Credits
HAY 524 — Health, Wellness, and Prevention in PT 2.0
HAY 525 — Advanced Therapeutic Exercise 3.0
HAY 558 — Evidence Based Practice Seminar 2.0
HAY XXX — Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy II (*pending approval by SHTM Curriculum Committee) 2.0
HAY 562   Professional Practice III: Selected Topics
HAY 545 — Ethics and Health Care for Physical Therapists 2.0
HAY 602 — Issues in Health Care Administration 3.0
HBA 542 — Advanced Human Anatomy for Physical Therapists 0.0
Total Credits 15.5


Spring  (Modules 4-8) Credits
HAY 693 — Clinical Internship III 8.0
HAY 694 — Clinical Internship IV 10.0
Total Credits 18.0


Total Credits for Graduating Class of 2021

Classroom Credits


Clinical Credits

35 (35 weeks)