Physical Therapy Program students learning

Curriculum Overview

The entry-level 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 in terms of cognitive, psychomotor and affective behaviors needed to appropriately administer physical therapy services to patients, clients, and/or caregivers. 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, Prosthetics & Orthotics, and Neuromuscular, Cardio-Pulmonary, and Pediatric Rehabilitation. 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 begin the fall semester of their second year with Clinical Internship I, a 6-week, full-time experience. Clinical Internship II, a full-time, 8-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 10-weeks in duration and the final experience, 12-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 2020

For course descriptions, click on individual course links.

Summer Credits
HBA 540 — Human Anatomy for Physical Therapists 6.0
HAY 560 — Foundations of Professional Practice in Physical Therapy 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 3.5
HAY 519 — Kinesiology 5.0
HAY 526 — Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology I 3.5
HAY 544 — Modalities in Physical Therapy 3.0
HBA 542 — Advanced Human Anatomy for Physical Therapists 0.0
Total Credits 20.0


Spring Credits
HAY 552 — Research Methods for PT: Design and Statistics 5.0
HAY 534 — Motor Learning and Motor Control 4.0
HAY 527 — Principles of Inpatient Care 4.0
HAY 528 — Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology II 4.0
HAY 543 — Wound Care 1.0
HAY 557 — Introduction to Evidence Based Practice 1.0
HAY 561 — Teaching, Consulting, & Communicating in Clinical Education 2.0
HAY 589 — Case Studies I 1.0
Total Credits 22.0


Physical Therapy Curriculum: Second Year - Class of 2020

Summer Credits
HAY 507 — Orthopedic Physical Therapy 1a 2
HAY 501 — Growth and Development Across the Lifespan 4
HAY 504 — Adult Neurological Rehabilitation - Assess I 2
Total Credits 8


Fall Credits
HAY 595 — Clinical Internship I (full-time during first 6 weeks of the semester) 6.0
HAY 502 — Psychosocial Aspects of Disability I 1.0
HAY 505 — Adult Neurological Rehabilitation - Assess II 2.0
HAY 513 — Orthopedic Physical Therapy Ib 1.5
HAY 512 — Prosthetics and Orthotics 4.0
Total Credits 14.5


Spring Credits
HAY 503 — Psychosocial Aspects of Disability II 1.0
HAY 506 — Adult Neurological Rehabilitation - Intervention 4.0
HAY 508 — Orthopedic Physical Therapy II 3.5
HAY 509 — Pediatric Physical Therapy 5.0
HAY 590 — Case Studies II 1.0
Total Credits 14.5


Physical Therapy Curriculum: Third Year - Class of 2020

Summer Credits
HAY 692 — Clinical Internship II 8.0
Total Credits 8.0


Fall Credits
HAY 524 — Health, Wellness, and Prevention in PT 3.0
HAY 525 — Advanced Therapeutic Exercise 3.0
HAY 558 — Evidence Based Practice Seminar 2.0
HAY 602 — Issues in Health Care Administration 3.0
HAY 510 — Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation 4.0
HAY 545 — Ethics and Health Care for Physical Therapists 3.0
Total Credits 18.0


Spring  (Modules 4-8) Credits
HAY 693 — Clinical Internship III 10.0
HAY 694 — Clinical Internship IV 12.0
Total Credits 22.0


Total Credits for Graduating Class of 2020

Classroom Credits


Clinical Credits

36 (36 weeks)