State University of New York Downstate Medical Center

Information about Physical Therapist program at State University of New York Downstate Medical University





State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (A2, D6, F1, F4, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 03/13/2007
Address:   Physical Therapy Program
State University of New York
Downstate Medical Center
450 Clarkson Avenue, Box 16
Brooklyn, NY 11203-2098
Phone:   (718)270-7720
Fax:   (718)270-7439
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (718)270-7720
Financial Aid Phone:   (718)270-2488
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Joanne S Katz, PT, DPT, PhD
Chairperson and Associate Professor
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelors degree, June 1968 (no longer offered); Masters degree, October 1999; DPT degree, July 2006
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2012
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Master of Science (Physical Therapy), no longer admitting students Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Sciences
The physical therapy program is a 3-year curriculum format that is nine semesters in length, including summers. The program may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The academic faculty consists of five full-time and two part-time instructors. Twenty-three physical therapists are employed as adjunct instructors and 47 academic faculty from the Colleges of Medicine and Health Related Professions teach basic, applied and clinical science related courses. The mission of the Physical Therapy program is to prepare students to become Doctors of Physical Therapy who will assume leadership roles as advocates of accessible health care for society. Students’ education emphasizes the needs of the individual within the framework of sociocultural differences. The program prepares them to assume the roles of clinician, educator, consultant, researcher, and administrator, with a commitment to lifelong learning. Students are guided to develop critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills based upon evidence-based practice and the ethical standards set forth by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Graduates of the Physical Therapy Program at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center will be prepared as primary health care providers, performing screenings, examinations, evaluations, differential diagnosis and prognosis, and developing plans of care. They will demonstrate the ability to predict outcomes based on scientific evidence, administer and design patient/client-appropriate physical therapy interventions, develop wellness and prevention programs, and conduct discharge planning. Students will be educated in a college environment that truly supports the multi-disciplinary concepts of patient care and a hands-on, accessible approach to learning. During the first year, students concentrate on the foundational sciences, clinical sciences, research methodology, psychosocial aspects of patient care, and ethics in clinical practice. In the second year, students begin their first clinical internship, focus on developing their knowledge and skills in the theory and practice of physical therapy, begin to implement their group research project, and explore the basic concepts of education as they relate to the profession. Understanding of the psychosocial and cultural issues that affect patients and their families, and the role of the physical therapist in helping patients function in a variety of environments (home, work, school) is stressed in all professional courses. In the third year, students continue with courses focused on the theory and practice of physical therapy, complete and present their group research study, engage in more advanced topics in professional practice such as administration, preventative care and health and wellness, and differential diagnosis. They engage in extensive clinical education as well as clinical internship seminars, which enables them to integrate theoretical and practical skills, develop self-confidence, and become aware of their responsibilities as members of the health team. The students are supervised by experienced clinicians who will meticulously evaluate their clinical performance in an effort to maximize their overall effectiveness supervise students. This curriculum allows the students at Downstate to develop the critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills warranted of graduates of a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program. SUNY Downstate occupies 13 acres. It is one of 64 campuses in the SUNY system and is the sixth largest provider of health care to an urban population in the U.S. As the only academic medical center in Brooklyn, it has served the community of 2.6 million for over 130 years and is aware of its special obligation for public service and its contribution to the health care needs of under-served and underprivileged citizens in Brooklyn. SUNY Downstate is recognized nationwide for its innovative research in the medical and biological sciences. SUNY Downstate comprises the largest medical school in the state and includes the School of Graduate Studies, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Related Professions, and University Hospital.
Over 100 physical therapy centers, representing a variety of practice settings, are affiliated with SUNY Downstate's physical therapy program. The majority of these clinical centers are located in the New York metropolitan area. However, to accommodate the interests of students who would like to explore other settings and cultures, clinical affiliation sites outside the tri-state area and overseas are available. The clinical education program has been developed to reflect the importance of professional growth and good patient/client care. In the curriculum, clinical education is integrated with the progressively increasing levels of expected student performances in various domains of physical therapy clinical practice. The objectives of each clinical education course are derived from the knowledge and skills developed in the previously completed academic components of the curriculum. Students complete 40 credits in full-time Clinical Internship courses in four separate clinical sites, for a total of 40 weeks.
Forty percent of the full-time core faculty hold a PhD degree, 20% is near-completion of the PhD degree, and 20% is enrolled in a post-professional doctoral program. Eighty percent are engaged in clinical practice. The core faculty-to-student ratio is 1:7.
Enrollment at the Brooklyn Campus is 1,600 students. Twenty to thirty students are accepted into the physical therapy program in June of each year. There were nearly 100 applicants for the class that will enter in June 2007.
Applications for entry to the class beginning in June are accepted from September through January 7. Applicants to the program will be expected to have completed a minimum of 80 credits of liberal arts and science courses from an accredited institution. At least 9 credits must be taken at the upper division (junior and senior) level from a 4-year college. Prerequisites include 2 semesters of anatomy & physiology -or- 1 semester of biology and 1 semester of anatomy & physiology, 2 semesters of chemistry, 2 semesters of physics, 2 semesters of psychology, 1 semester of English, 1 semester of statistics, and 44 credits of additional coursework. Science prerequisites must be for science majors and must include labs. Applicants are also required to have 50 hours of volunteer experience in a physical therapy setting, take the Graduate Record Exam, and submit two letters of recommendation (one from a physical therapist and one from a science professor). Personal, on-campus interviews are required of all competitive applicants. Sixty percent of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (three-year average).
Eighty-nine percent of admitted students graduate from the program (three-year average).
New York State resident tuition is $2,175 per semester, or $137 per credit, for undergraduates. Doctor of Physical Therapy tuition for New York State residents is $5,460. per semester, or $455. per credit. The non-resident tuition for undergraduates is $5,150. per semester, or $346 per credit. Doctor of Physical Therapy tuition for non-residents is $8,770. per semester, or $731. per credit. Health insurance and fees are an additional $500 per semester, for both New York State resident and non-resident students. The tuition and fees stated above are for the 2006-2007 school year, and are subject to increase at the discretion of the Board of Directors at the State University of New York. A small amount of institutional aid is awarded on the basis of financial need. Federal and state funding is also available for undergraduates in the form of scholarships, grants, and student loans. Several work-study jobs are also awarded.
This is a culturally diverse student body. On-campus residence halls house 30% of the student body. Cars are permitted without restriction. Located in Brooklyn, many museums, galleries, theaters, and sporting events are available and easily accessible. The campus is a short drive or subway ride to Manhattan.