Academic Programs


The University of Miami, Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy Program is designed to prepare physical therapists for leadership positions in academic and research settings. The program also promotes professional socialization into the role of an academic faculty member. We believe that this preparation should include the following:

1) Expertise in a specified content area
2) Advanced knowledge and skill in research methods, design, and implementation of analysis and communication of results
3) Proficiency in instructional design, teaching methods, and evaluation.

The successful integration of these three dimensions, each complex in its own right, provides the means for the student to develop expertise in testing, analyzing, researching, and teaching about disorders that interfere with function. Unifying these three core areas is the process of socialization to the role of a faculty member, including an awareness of academic responsibilities and sensitivity to the needs of the adult learner.

To accomplish this students are required to complete coursework and structured experiences in the areas of “Teaching and Faculty Leadership” and “Research”. Students develop expertise in a specific content area under the guidance of the faculty mentor by developing an individual plan of study that may include both coursework and independent study and by completing their dissertation research.

Because the faculty mentor plays a critical role in developing the student’s individual plan of study, students are required to identify an appropriate faculty mentor prior to beginning the admissions process. Please refer to the section of the Web Site describing the PhD admissions process.