State University of New York Upstate Medical University

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




State University of New York Upstate Medical University (A4, D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 01/14/2005
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy Education
College of Health Professions
SUNY Upstate Medical University
750 East Adams Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone:   (315)464-6881
Fax:   (315)464-6887
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (315)464-4570
Financial Aid Phone:   (315)464-4329
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Susan D Miller, PT, DPT, MS, OCS
Interim Chair
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, April 1973 (no longer offered) Master's degree, November 1994 (no longer offered) DPT degree, 2004
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The mission of the Department is to educate students to become physical therapist professionals who are prepared to meet the current and future physical therapy needs of society. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Department supports the tenet that each student should become “all s/he is capable of being.” Class sizes are small, and students study under full-time faculty members who are the primary course instructors. Students benefit from the connection to Upstate’s medical school and teaching hospital. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program requires three years of professional study. The first year begins in the summer semester. The program of study includes three years of classroom instruction and clinical work spread over nine semesters. Students must attend the program full-time. All students participate in a White Coat Ceremony during their first year that welcomes them as they begin to make the transition to physical therapist practitioners.
Forty weeks of clinical education is interspersed throughout the program. Students participate in integrated clinical experiences during the first year of the program, two eight-week experiences in the second year of the program and a culminating 24 weeks of clinical experience during the last semester of the program.
There are nine full-time and four part-time faculty members. Eight faculty members hold or are completing post-professional doctoral degrees, five faculty members hold or are completing DPT degrees, five faculty members are APTA certified clinical specialists, and nine faculty members are engaged in clinical practice. Faculty members receive grants, publish in peer-reviewed journals, hold offices at the state and national levels, teach and present research at national and international conferences, and participate on national task forces. The faculty provide a rich blend of professional and clinical expertise. The faculty to student ratio is 1:7.
The University has a total enrollment of 1,128 students that includes health sciences, medical, nursing and graduate students. The College of Health Professions accepts 258 students. The physical therapy program accepts a maximum of 32 students each June, for a total maximum program enrollment of 96 students.
The information provided below is for admission to the entry-level doctoral degree program. Admission to the program is based on academic achievement and personal qualifications that are essential to the successful practice of physical therapy. Admissions requirements include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, including completion of 40 credits of prerequisite course work, GRE scores, first aid and CPR certification, and volunteer or work experience in physical therapy. Three years of professional study are offered at this college. Prior to making formal application, SUNY Upstate requires students to work or volunteer in a physical therapy department. A variety of volunteer experiences are encouraged. Applications are reviewed from October through March, with a deadline of March 15. All required course work must be completed prior to June 1. The prerequisite course work includes 4 credit hours of General Biology, 8 credit hours each of General Chemistry, General Physics and Anatomy & Physiology, 3 credit hours of English (composition recommended), 3 credit hours of Statistics, 3 credit hours of Psychology (Child or Developmental recommended), and 3 credit hours of Social Sciences. All science courses must include labs. Students with a minimum prerequisite and overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, are considered for interview, with priority given to those with a 3.3 or higher. The average GPA of the last three classes was 3.41 on a 4.0 point scale. 70% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
92% of admitted students graduate from the program; 92% pass the licensure examination; and 99% are employed (3-year averages).
The projected cost of tuition and fees for the 2004-05 academic year, including the summer, for in-state students is $10,920. Tuition and fees for out-of-state students is projected to be $17,540 per year. Eighty-five percent of the students at the College of Health Professions receive financial aid. Grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study are available to physical therapy students.
Student housing is available for all students. Eighty percent of the physical therapy students live on or near campus. The intimate campus is a health science university in the heart of Syracuse. Greater Syracuse is a scenic resort area. Each season offers special natural beauty and entertainment.