University of the Pacific

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of the Pacific



University of the Pacific (A4, D6, F1, PR)


Last Updated by Program: 08/17/2005


Address:   Department of Physical Therapy

School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

University of the Pacific

3601 Pacific Avenue

Stockton, CA95211


Phone:   (209)946-2886 Fax:   (209)946-2367

Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (209)946-2886 

Financial Aid Phone:   (209)946-2421 


Web Address: 

Program E-mail:  



Cathy Peterson, PT, EdD

Chair and Assistant Professor



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

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



  Date of Initial Accreditation:   March 1988

  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation

  Next Visit   2010

  Five Year History:   Accreditation



Doctor of Physical Therapy



The physical therapist professional education program consists of 25 months of classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning. A new class enters each fall. The program has eight full-time academic faculty members and several physical therapists, physicians and other health care professionals from the community actively engaged in the learning experiences. The mission of Pacific’s physical therapy program is to prepare lifelong learners who are skilled, reflective, autonomous practitioners. The program is committed to educating individuals who will be leaders within the profession advocating for optimal health, wellness and performance for all members of society. We accomplish this through a concise program of study emphasizing evidence-based reasoning and creative skills grounded in the basic and clinical sciences. Our academic program is enhanced by a wide variety of innovative clinical experiences and involvement in professional societies. Excellence in classroom teaching is emphasized for faculty. Students generally spend approximately 30 hours each week in lecture or laboratory classes with a minimum of two faculty in each laboratory session. All students enroll in each course. There are elective research courses in the latter portion of the curriculum to allow students to explore selected areas of their own interest in physical therapy in more depth. Students graduate following the completion of the sixth trimester. The final two trimesters include 22 weeks of clinical internships.



First-year students have a total of 10 days of interdisciplinary observations scheduled in the fall and winter trimesters, and two 2-weeks, full-time Physical Therapy hands-on experiences in the spring trimester. Second-year students have a 6-week, full-time internship during the winter trimester and two 8-week, full-time internships during the spring. These clinical experiences may occur in any state, but most are concentrated in the western US, including Alaska and Hawaii. The University maintains contracts with a wide variety of clinical settings in which the students may gain clinical experience.



There are eight full-time and eleven part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty 100% hold post-professional doctoral degrees, two are board certified clinical specialists, and three are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculties have published nine articles in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:9.



More than 6,000 students are enrolled at the University. The Physical Therapy Program accepts 36 students from a pool of approximately 100 applicants.



Applicants to the Physical Therapy Program must have a baccalaureate degree (in a major of the student's choice), observational or work experience in physical therapy clinical settings, and applicants must submit GRE scores. Prerequisites necessary for application include: 1 semester hour of medical terminology; 6 semester hours of psychology, including abnormal psychology; 3 semester hours of statistics; 8 semester hours of chemistry and physics; and 15 semester hours of biology (4 general, 4 anatomy, 4 physiology, all with labs, and 3 exercise physiology). Approximately 30% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).



97% of admitted students graduate from the program on time (3-year average). 98.75% of students pass the licensure exam (3-year average). 100% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed (3-year average).



Tuition for the 2005-06 academic year is estimated at $38,487. The total cost of books and supplies for the 25-month program is approximately $3,726. Additional various fees total approximately $1,550. Students planning to enroll in this program who wish to apply for financial aid should have the University of the Pacific Financial Aid Application form and a copy of their Student Aid Application for California (SAAC) (or the Financial Aid Form [FAF] for non-California students) on file in the University Financial Aid Office by March 2, in order to be given priority. Students entering the Program are eligible to apply for the following types of financial aid: Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan, work-study, supplemental loans for students (SLS), and state graduate fellowships (California students only). The University participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Student Exchange (WICHE) Program, which offers financial assistance to certified students from the following six states only: Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico (master's level only), Nevada, Oregon, and Wyoming.



The University's campus in Stockton combines many of the advantages of a larger University with those of a small liberal arts college. Although about two-thirds of Pacific's students are from California, the student body is large enough to include a cosmopolitan mixture of students from throughout the US and from many foreign countries. In addition to on campus housing specifically for graduate students, there are many reasonably priced apartments within easy walking or biking distance of the campus. A wide variety of extracurricular organizations and activities help the students attain the feeling they are an integral part of the University community, both academically and socially.