The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Bellarmine University will be recognized for excellence in the preparation of physical therapists that are guided by professional core values for community engaged contemporary and future patient-centered practice.

Mission Statement

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program develops autonomous, patient-centered physical therapists, dedicated to service and life-long learning, with knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that are commensurate with societal expectations for outstanding care. Program faculty mentor and teach diverse learners to practice, serve and lead with integrity, sensitivity and commitment to excellence. This is accomplished by integrating Catholic liberal arts and professional education traditions with scientific inquiry, clinical expertise, and adherence to professional core values. 


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is an integral part of the School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences and Bellarmine University, the physical therapist professional community, and the local health care delivery system. We embrace our heritage of Catholic higher education excellence in undergraduate liberal arts and quality professional education programs. The program is dedicated to excellence in physical therapist education and service by providing comprehensive academic and clinical experiences for diverse and talented students. This is accomplished through

  • active faculty mentoring; 
  • instruction grounded in clinical, scientific and educational evidence;
  • learning experiences that are reflective, practical, directed, collaborative and innovative; and
  • directed and focused engagement with the community.

We are responsive to the needs and demands of contemporary physical therapy practice, which are evolving and dynamic. Our goal is to develop autonomous patient-centered practitioners of physical therapy, dedicated to service and life-long learning, with skills, attitudes and behaviors commensurate with societal expectations for outstanding care.

Student Goals

Students/graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will:

  1. demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to provide excellence in physical therapy care
    1. students will demonstrate entry-level competence in knowledge and skills in clinical internships 
    2. students/graduates will perform above the national average on the national licensure examination 
    3. students/graduates will demonstrate cultural awareness in personal interactions
  2. assume the responsibilities associated with innovative and dynamic physical therapy practice, including participation in community and professional service, active involvement as a health care professional, and continued responsibilities for learning
    1. students/graduates will be actively involved in professional organizations, including the APTA, KPTA and local groups
    2. students/graduates will participate in community service
    3. students/graduates will communicate professionally and effectively with multiple constituent groups, including peers, other health care providers, and patients/clients
  3. demonstrate a thorough understanding of how to apply evidence to physical therapy practice through critical thinking and inquiry
    1. students/graduates will demonstrate understanding of the application of current evidence guiding practice to multiple constituent groups, including faculty, peers, clinical colleagues and other health care professionals

Faculty Goals

Faculty of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will:

  1. facilitate student learning through mentoring and evidence based instructional strategies
    1. faculty will be actively involved with student advising, community partnership projects, capstone and research mentoring and international studies
    2. faculty will utilize innovative technologies that facilitate student learning
    3. faculty will participate in developmental activities to enhance student learning
  2. be engaged in scholarly activities that promote student learning, enhance clinical practice, and advocate for the individual and society
    1. faculty will demonstrate a record of scholarly accomplishments that meet university and accreditation standards for scholarship, including the demonstration of a well articulated scholarly agenda 
  3. serve as professional role models through the demonstration of professional core values in teaching, clinical, service and scholarly activities
    1. faculty will be involved in community, professional and university service activities

Program Goals

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Bellarmine University will:

  1. be responsive to physical therapy professional and community needs
    1. the program will provide professional learning opportunities for physical therapists
    2. the program will assume an active role in the university community
  2. strive to recruit outstanding students with diverse backgrounds for admission to the program
    1. the program will provide timely and accurate information to prospective students
    2. the program will increase the yield of students from the acceptance list over the wait list candidates
  3. strive to improve student retention and graduation rates
    1. the program will provide effective and timely remediation to students in academic difficulty