A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Physical Therapy (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physical Therapy (PT) is offered by the Department of Physical Therapy within the School of Allied Professions, one of the eight schools at Loma Linda University. This program provides national and international physical therapy graduates with the skills necessary to pursue careers as researchers and educators. The PhD in PT is a research-oriented degree with emphases on 1) Pain Science (Domain 1 – Core), 2) Movement Science (Domain 2 – Specialization), and Lifestyle Health & Wellness (Domain 4). This will give the PhD in PT a unique niche.

Program Objective

To prepare leaders in the profession of physical therapy who are capable of conducting research to improve the lives of people through whole person care, to serve as client/patient advocates, and to serve as educators in entry-level and graduate physical therapy programs.

Admission and Entrance Requirements

There are two possible entrance points for students in the PhD in PT program:

  • Track 1: Prior Bachelors of Science (BS) in PT plus a master’s degree or a Masters in Physical Therapy degree  (102 units minimum)
  • Track 2: Prior Doctor of Physical Therapy degree  (81 Units minimum)

Admission Requirements:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) Minimum 3.3/4.0.
  • GRE or approved substitution (e.g., structured interview)

International Students:

  • TOEFL score of 80 or higher
  • Foreign Transcript Evaluation (ECE or WES)

Learning Objectives

PhD Program Graduates will demonstrate:

  • Skills to design and conduct novel, original research, provide evidence of an understanding of research designs and the ability to formulate, develop methodologies, collect data, excogitate conclusions, and effectively disseminate research findings;
  • Qualities of lifelong learning and commitment to scholarship after graduation;
  • The ability to add to the body of knowledge in physical therapy research literature through publications and presentations;
  • A commitment to conducting research in lifestyle health and wellness and providing whole-person care.
  • The ability to serve as an educator in entry-level, post-professional and graduate level programs; and
  • Personal and group leadership skills at institutional, professional, national, and global levels.

Target Applicant

This program is for physical therapists interested in obtaining skills needed for academic/research careers.

Delivery

The curriculum is delivered in a face-to-face format on the LLU Southern California campus. Students will be required to be on campus for all four quarters each year for four to seven years of the program.

Program Completion Requirements

The total units required to complete the program will vary depending on your past level of education. Students entering the program with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT) and a master’s degree or a Master of Physical Therapy Degree (MPT) will be required to complete a minimum 102 quarter units.  Students matriculating with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree or a MPT degree plus another doctorate degree will need to complete a minimum of 81 units.  The curriculum is made up of a total of seven domains: 1) Core, 2) Clinical Specialization, 3) Sciences & Applied Sciences, 4) Lifestyle Health & Wellness, 5) Education & Administration, 6) Religion and 7) Research & Statistics.

Program Costs

 Each quarter the student will pay a quarterly enrollment fee even during quarters that they are only enrolled in an “In Progress” course. Each student is required to have an iPad for course materials provided by the instructor and for electronic examinations. Each student will be required to perform one or more research projects in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy. The typical costs for student research projects range from $2,500 to $10,000. The physical therapy department will cover the first $2,500 of approved research expenses.  The student and/or their sponsor will be required to cover any research-related expenses over this amount. When necessary, the program director and dissertation chair will assist the student in attempting to secure funding for unmet research expenses.

How to apply

Complete the online application and refer to the school's admissions information. 

Contact Us

Everett B. Lohman III, DSc, PT, OCS

Physical Therapy Program
Loma Linda University
24951 N. Circle Drive, Room A-620
Loma Linda, CA 92350

(909) 558-1000, ext. 83171.

Email the Director:  elohman@llu.edu