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Department of Physical Therapy College of Nursing and Health Sciences Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • Public
  • Urban
  • Not Reported
    student ratio
  • Not Reported
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 15
    fall application deadline
  • Not Reported
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees offered


Doctorate in Physical Therapy Awarded at Florida International University

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University (CNHS-FIU), located in Miami, Florida, is one of the university's 26 schools and colleges. Founded in 1982, it houses the Department of Physical Therapy, which offers a 3-year post-graduate course of study leading to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT).

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Overview

The Physical Therapy Department at Florida International University admits 54-58 DPT students annually. Our graduates are ethnically and racially diverse physical therapy practitioners poised to help eliminate health care disparities in the local, state, and national community. The FIU DPT curriculum features a progressive, problem oriented approach and includes rigorous coverage of the full range of basic medical sciences, clinical sciences, and hands on skills relevant to the current practice of physical therapy. There are 10 full time faculty and numerous adjuncts to prepare students to work in all areas of physical therapy practice.

Expansive Facilities

The Doctorate in Physical Therapy program is housed at FIU's Modesto Maidique campus. In December 2009, the program moved into a new 103,000 Square foot building with state of the art medical simulation, rehabilitation, and biomechanics laboratories and media classrooms. FIU Physical therapy program provides students with internship opportunities in over 450 clinical sites throughout Florida, the nation, and internationally. FIU Physical Therapy has won the APTA Minority Initiatives Award, not once but twice.

Faculty and Research

Dr. Gadotti

Evaluation of subjects with chronic neck pain due to motor vehicle accident-related whiplash - A driving context approach

1) Postural control and psychological disturbances in whiplash; 2) Impact of chronic neck pain followed whiplash on driving; and 3) Physical Therapy treatment for chronic neck pain due to whiplash.

In addition, the eye and head movement of subjects with chronic neck pain due to motor vehicle accident-related whiplash and controls will be investigated during target tracking tasks. The tasks will reproduce eye and head movements required while driving (e.g. reading traffic signs, shoulder checking, watching for pedestrians crossing and/or incoming traffic on intersections). Head movement will be captured with Qualisys motion analysis system, and the eye movement will be recorded by using an eye tracking system (ASL mobile eye). Surface electromyography will be used to detect muscle activity of sternocleidomastoid muscle bilaterally during the head movements. The data will be collected at the Human Performance Lab at the FIU's Department of Physical Therapy and potentially using a driving simulator at Lehman Center for Transportation Research (LCTR) at FIU.

Dr. Vieira

Patient falls and health care provider injuries in hospitals

1)To determine the rates of transfer-related patient falls and of health care provider musculoskeletal injuries in the participating hospitals as a baseline to evaluate the effects of interventions in future studies; 2) to evaluate the rate at which patient falls and health care provider musculoskeletal injuries are associated with transfers; 3) to evaluate transfers performed by health care providers with and without history of transfer-related musculoskeletal injuries in a high fidelity clinical simulation laboratory.

Approximately 3,000 patient fall reports and 200 reports of patient transfer-related health care provider injuries that occurred between January 2010 and December 2012 in seven hospitals will be reviewed. Rates of transfer-related patient falls and health care provider musculoskeletal injuries will be calculated to evaluate inter-relationships. In addition, the risk perceptions, movements, muscle activity, spinal compression and sheer forces of 30 hospital nurses with and 30 without history of transfer-related injuries will be compared while performing transfers in a high fidelity clinical simulation laboratory.

Dr. Rossi

The early recovery of function following knee replacement.

1) To develop a joint registry beginning with sample size of 70. 2) To determine the relationship between patient expectation before surgery and early functional recovery. 3) Evaluate and compare early functional recovery between individuals who have had different surgical procedures (i.e unilateral vs bilateral vs unicompartmental).

Using both subjective and performance based measures of function, Dr. Rossi's research involves the evaluation of early functional recovery after unilateral, bilateral, and unicompartmental knee replacement. This research is conducted in collaboration with the Holy Cross Orthopedic Institute in Fort Lauderdale. The performance based measures used are open and closed chain measures of strength, Timed Up and Go test (TUG), load-bearing during stand and squat tests, and the assessment of gait characteristics such as speed, stance time, and step length. Subjective measures of function include the WOMAC, Patient expectation survey, and the Pain Catastrophization Scale (PCS).

Faculty and Research -- Functional Skill Performance in Children

Techniques to improve physical therapy programs for children and the value of motion capture and other emerging technologies in physical rehabilitation are the research focuses of physical therapy associate professor Dr. Leonard Elbaum. In collaboration with faculty colleague Dr. Martha Bloyer, he is currently investigating the effect of intensive therapy training on functional skill performance in children with cerebral palsy.

The CNHS Physical Therapy Department has established a mobile motion analysis system that allows Dr. Elbaum to conduct this study in collaboration with Miami Children's Hospital and other healthcare facilities.

Recognized for Diversity

The FIU DPT degree prepares graduates for professional careers as physical therapists in a variety of environments. Graduates are ethnically and racially diverse physical therapy practitioners who are trained to help eliminate healthcare disparities at the local, state, and national levels. The program has twice won the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Minority Initiatives Award.

Positive Employment Outlook for Physical Therapists

The need for highly trained physical therapists -- licensed professionals who work with people that have sustained disabilities, impairments, or limitations ---- is on the rise. According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for physical therapists is excellent; the profession is projected to grow faster through 2018 than other occupations requiring at least a master's degree.

Rigorous, Comprehensive Curriculum

The 113-credit DPT curriculum comprises a progressive, solutions-oriented approach, including rigorous, comprehensive study of basic medical sciences, clinical sciences, and hands-on skills pertinent to the current practice of physical therapy. There are 9 semesters with 34 weeks of clinical internships.

Among first semester courses are "Analysis of Movement and Function," "Principles of Diagnostic Imaging," "Therapeutic Exercise," and "Clinical Anatomy for Physical Therapy." Second semester courses include "Musculoskeletal Diagnosis and Management," "Pathophysiology of Disease," and "Pharmacology in Physical Therapy." Third semester courses include "Applied Clinical Neuro Anatomy" and "Diagnosis and Management of Disease."

Coursework in the fourth semester emphasizes clinical biomechanics. Fifth semester coursework includes study in advanced pathology and cardio-pulmonary diagnostics.

Sixth semester courses focus on advanced therapy assessment for the elderly, as well as neurological diagnosis and management; students also begin research projects under the supervision of faculty advisers in the sixth semester. Seventh, eighth, and ninth semesters comprise electives and clinical internships.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

A variety of state grants, awards, and scholarships are available to eligible graduate students to assist with tuition and fees. Fulltime students in the DPT program may qualify for 1 of 3 scholarships offered through the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The Department has received strong support for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students.

Campus and Surroundings

Florida International University has 2 full campuses and 1 academic center in southern Florida. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is situated on the lush, 342-acre Modesto Maidique Campus (MMC) in Miami. Known for its thriving business and financial districts, the area affords a variety of potential internship opportunities for FIU students. It is also famous for its nightlife, world-class dining and shopping, arts and cultural scene, and natural attractions on land and sea.

Location & Contact

Department of Physical Therapy

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Florida International University

11200 Southwest 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Dr. Denis Brundt


Phone: 305-348-1652

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Physical Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Required
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $30
    • Application Fee - International $30
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th January 15th Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's Degreesminimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 in upper-level coursework; letter of intent; resume; at least 40 hours of observation within physical therapy clinic or facility
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableInstitutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total FacultyNot Reported
    • Full-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Part-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Female Percentage-2147483548%
    • Male Percentage-2147483648%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchIsokinetic test results and gait abnormalities after knee arthroscopy
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported



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