California State University, Fresno Physical Therapy Department
5315 Campus Drive, M/S PT29 Fresno CA 93710 United States
1911 more than 3000
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Program Description
California State University, Fresno has a well-established and respected Doctoral program in physical therapy. The Physical Therapy faculty members are an outstanding group of educators devoted to their student learning and the profession of Physical Therapy. Collectively, they are a professionally and personally diverse group with expertise in geriatrics, pediatrics, neurophysiology and neuro-rehab, clinical orthopedics, manual therapy, anatomy, exercise science, biomechanics, motor learning, and motor control, electrophysiology, and women’s health. The faculty members have vast clinical expertise in all major areas of practice. The majority of faculty conducts research on an on-going basis and routinely present and publish work in collaboration with our students.

Students attending Fresno State will have an opportunity to work with faculty members in diverse research and clinical environments, including fall reduction in the older adult, balance and gait, stroke and spinal cord rehabilitation, use of technology in neuro-rehab, shoulder injuries and intervention for high school swimmers, electrical stimulation, osteoporosis, pre and post-concussion testing and intervention, biomechanics research in obese children, infant movement analysis, effects of language barriers on outcome measures in physical therapy, and gait training in Parkinson's disease.

Department classrooms and laboratories include state-of-the-art equipment to support both teaching and research, including three research laboratories: the Gait Analysis Movement Evaluation (GAME) laboratory; Pediatric Motor Control Research laboratory; and the Neuroscience Research laboratory as an extension of our Gait, Balance, and Mobility Research and Education Center (GBMC). The GBMC is one of two on-campus clinics that provide a unique opportunity for our graduate PT students to integrate classroom learning into patient care very early on in the curriculum. The GAME lab is currently equipped to do biomechanical research with technology that includes 3-D movement analysis, force production and measurement of muscle activity. Students and faculty can measure gait and movement using our Zeno Walkway by Protokinetics or the use of accelerometers. The lab is also equipped with an instrumented treadmill system, as well as equipment for cardiopulmonary and exercise physiology testing. The Neuroscience Research lab is equipped with state-of-the-art dynamic posturography systems including both the Balance Master by NeuroCom International, Inc and the new Bertec Balance Advantage System. In addition to testing, the Bertec system also offers a unique intervention for people with balance impairments using virtual reality. Students also have the opportunity to treat using functional electrical stimulation as a restorative therapy for people with loss of mobility. And, most recently we received the Galileo, a whole body vibration training device for use in our GBMC and for research.

The GBMC also has both adult and pediatric treadmill systems with overhead harnesses as well as the Bertec static forceplate systems for balance testing and training. The GBMC is a unique learning environment where students are exposed to cutting-edge treatment techniques and research, as well as an opportunity to treat clients with complex neurological conditions.

Faculty also have access to our college’s high-fidelity patient simulation laboratory where students are exposed to computerized manikins that simulate real-life scenarios for teaching. Another unique feature at Fresno State is the opportunity to work in an interprofessional team with Nursing, Kinesiology, and Pharmacy students during a community-based fall prevention program. Other service learning opportunities such as participating in adaptive sports, attending our Amputee Clinic or developing wellness programs in the community are available throughout the curriculum.

In addition to our GBMC on-site clinic, we have the Musculoskeletal Care Clinic where students begin as early as the first year to receive hands-on opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom in an orthopedic and sports medicine patient population. The program also has a human cadaver laboratory with an overhead dissecting camera system. In Fall 2015 the Department made its new home in a state-of-the-art new building, which expanded facilities to include two additional large teaching laboratories, as well as new faculty /staff offices, and student/faculty conference spaces with lockers.

The faculty are dedicated educators and highly accessible. In addition to the ten full-time physical therapist faculty members, many other professionals contribute to the Program including physicians, physical therapists, and other health care professionals. The curriculum is contemporary and innovative. Students learn in small class sizes in well-equipped classroom facilities. We are very fortunate to have a community that is supportive of this program achieving its mission with our students.

The aim of the DPT program at Fresno State is to create a preeminent center of learning and discovery in physical therapy at the clinical doctoral level to prepare physical therapists to meet new health care demands. To achieve this, the curriculum is designed over 3 years including summers. Students enter the program as a cohort with courses offered once a year. The program requires a total of 110 units with students maintaining a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout the program. Students accepted in the DPT are required to complete a Medical Terminology course the summer prior. The DPT program requires passing all coursework, a qualifying exam at the end of the second year, satisfactory completion of 30 weeks of full-time clinical externships, and successful completion of a culminating DPT project with an oral presentation during their third year in lieu of the dissertation. Students are eligible to take the national licensing examination only after the successful completion of the DPT program. Throughout the curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on an evidence-based clinical approach to patient care. Students will learn to be consumers of literature and know how to critique research evidence as it applies to patient care. Learning activities will center on active student involvement through clinical coursework, case studies, clinical investigations, literature critiques, and patient interaction and care.
Program offers a guaranteed freshman admission pathway?
Dual Degrees
Will the professional (entry-level) PT program offer a satellite or branch campus to applicants during the upcoming admissions cycle?
Admission Interviews
Program conducts interviews as part of the admissions process?
Additional information about interviews
If you have (1) fulfilled the minimum admission requirements and (2) you graduated high school from one of the following counties; Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, Kern, Tuolumne, Mariposa, or Kings, (or if you graduated from Fresno State) you will be invited for an interview. If you are not from one of the counties listed, you are still eligible for an interview. Meeting the foregoing criteria does not guarantee an applicant an interview.
Is a Deposit Required for Accepted Applicants?
Total cumulative deposit
Additional Information about Deposit
Additionally, there is a non-refundable $100 fee for professional materials.
Deposit Refundable?
Deposits collected on a rolling basis after offer of admission made?
Total Cost of Education for In-State Students
Total Cost of Education for out of State Students
Incoming Class Profile
Anticipated Size of the Next Entering Class
Size of Most Recent Entering Class
% of students from IN-STATE
% of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) students
% of students from OUT-OF-STATE
% of CANADIAN students
% of INTERNATIONAL (non-U.S/non-Canadian) students
% Male
% Female 
% Hispanic 
% Asian
% White (Not of Hispanic Origin) 
% Two or More Races 
% Declining to State 
Additional information about the class profile
If you have (1) fulfilled the minimum admission requirements and (2) you graduated high school from one of the following counties; Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, Kern, Tuolumne, Mariposa, or Kings, you will be invited for an interview. 
Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Status
Program housed at a Minority-Serving Institution Yes
Minority-Serving Institution
Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI)
Employeesmore than 3000