California State University, Northridge

Information about Physical Therapist program at California State University, Northridge


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California State University, Northridge (A4, D5, F1, PU)


Last Updated by Program: 04/09/2004


Address:   Department of Physical Therapy

18111 Nordhoff Street

CaliforniaStateUniversity, Northridge

Northridge, CA91330-8411

Phone:   (818)677-2203 

Fax:   (818)677-7411

Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (818)677-4085 


Web Address:  

Program E-mail:  



Janna Beling, PT, PhD




  Accreditor:   Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for SeniorColleges and Universities

  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)



  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, July 1969 (no longer offered) Master's degree, May 2001

  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation

  Next Visit   2012

  Five Year History:   Accreditation



Master of Physical Therapy



The curriculum leading to the Master’s degree is a 3-year, full-time academic and clinical experience consisting of six semesters and three summers of 96 graduate units. Seven full-time and seven part-time faculty supported by clinicians in over 250 affiliation sites offer students a comprehensive curriculum including didactic instruction, laboratory experience and clinical education. The clinical component consists of 24-30 weeks of full-time, off-campus clinical internships leading to the “Certificate in Physical Therapy” required for licensure. Admission is once a year in the fall semester with 40 students accepted. Classes are offered primarily during the day, and full-time study is required. The culminating experience in the final semester is a comprehensive examination designed to prepare students for licensure. In the third year students choose among courses in advanced orthopedics, ergonomics, advanced neuroscience, ethics, cardiac rehabilitation, advanced analytical anatomy, or participate in faculty directed research to satisfy 8 units of electives. Useful web links include: PT Department website:  MPT Application: (download PDF file) Graduate Admissions:  University website:  Financial aid: finaid Housing:  



There are 24-30 weeks of full-time, off-campus, supervised clinical experiences though out the curriculum. Students are scheduled for three, 1-week practicums during the second, fourth and sixth semesters. Internships are scheduled during the summers; the first (6-8 weeks) follows the first year of academic preparation; the second (6-8 weeks) following the second year with the last internship (12 weeks) following the third academic year. Successful completion of the clinical component leads to the “Certificate in Physical Therapy” required for licensure eligibility.



There are 7 full-time and 7 part-time faculty members.. Faculty to student ratio is 1:12. Of full-time faculty, 71% (5/7) hold post professional doctorates, all are licensed physical therapists, one is APTA board certified as an orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS), one is APTA board certified as pediatric clinical specialist (PCS), another is CA licensed as a kinesiological electromyographer, and another is CA licensed to perform bone densitometry radiography.



The physical therapy program accepts 40 graduate students for each PT class once per year. The Master of Physical Therapy Program is open to all college graduates with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline who have met prerequisite requirements and demonstrate academic promise. In Fall 2003, 50% of applicant pool was admitted to the MPT program. A member of the 23 CaliforniaStateUniversity system, the university is one of the largest institutions of higher learning in California. In Spring 2003, student enrollment was over 32,000 served by approximately 1,700 faculty and a staff of 2,000. In 2001-2002, 4,387 students graduated with bachelors degrees in 59 disciplines; 798 students achieved master’s degrees in 41 disciplines.



Students must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college and a minimum “prerequisite” GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for admissions consideration. The GRE is required for all applicants. If an applicant’s undergraduate cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, they must score above the 50th percentile on one section. All applicants must complete the following prerequisites with a C or better: three courses in the biological sciences including general biology, a human anatomy and physiology (as separate courses), two semesters of both physics and chemistry (for science majors), one course of college pre-calculus and statistics, and two courses in psychology (intro and abnormal). All science courses must have laboratories. Candidates should be computer literate and pass the upper division writing proficiency exam the first semester they are enrolled in the PT program (if not taken as an undergraduate). One hundred hours of clinical experience (volunteer or paid) supervised by a PT and three recommendation forms (two from a PT) are required. Applicants must apply to both CSUN’s GraduateSchool and the Department of Physical Therapy to be considered for admission. Department applications are due Feb 15 for the class starting in the Fall. Admission decisions are made by a selection committee in late April/May; accepted students begin in late August. Health and liability insurance, and CPR certification is required throughout the academic and clinical portions of the curriculum. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained each semester throughout the program and any grade below a “C” is considered unacceptable. The website for Graduate Admissions is



97% passed the State licensure examination in 2000 (1st time test takers); 97% passed the State licensure examination in 2001 and 88% passed in 2002 (1st time test takers).



CSUN has four types of financial aid available to students and their families: grants, work study opportunities, loans, and scholarships. In Fall 2003, California resident tuition was $1128 per semester and $504 for summer session. (approximately $15,000 for the three year program). It is expected that tuition will increase 40% for Fall 2004 due to the State's budget issues. Nonresident students pay the resident registration fees plus $282.00 per unit. Additional costs include liability insurance, books, supplies and uniforms as well as housing, transportation and other living expenses. Students may apply to participate in the registration fee installment plan (IPP) to pay registration fees in a predetermined payment schedule. Average book costs are estimated at $600 per semester. The Financial Aid website is  



CSUN is located 25 miles from central Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. A car is a must for transportation in Los Angeles. Beaches and mountains are within a ½-1 hour drive. The Los Angeles/San Fernando area is served by LAX, Burbank, Long Beach and OrangeCountyAirports. Los Angeles is a wealth of cultural and social diversity with museums, concerts, theatrical productions, and multiple outdoor recreational activities. Located one half mile north of the University’s academic core, the University Village Apartment Complex is a community of one and two bedroom apartment located on CSUN’s North campus. The complex includes fifty-six one-bedroom and forty-eight two-bedroom units. Off campus housing is plentiful. The housing website is http// The PT program is housed in the CSUN’s EngineeringBuilding and has state of the art labs and equipment including a 3-D motion analysis system, a telemetered EMG system, force-plate, Biodex, telemetered O2 system, dexascan, balance master, Equi-test and Gait-Rite system for research and teaching.