Physical Therapy

Contact Information

phone: (716) 839-8345


Michael D. Ross, PT DHSc OCS FAAOMPT
(716) 839-8547

Degrees Offered

All students entering Daemen University intending to pursue studies leading to a Physical Therapy degree matriculate into the professional DPT Physical Therapy curriculum and abide by the associated admissions requirements described in the DPT program plan. BS/DPT students will complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science by the end of their fourth academic year (first-year professional phase); at the end of the sixth academic year (third-year professional phase) students will graduate with the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Daemen University reserves the right to make changes to the Physical Therapy curriculum, professional program entrance criteria, and/or professional program and graduation requirements. All enrolled students must meet all requirements if changed or amended by Daemen University.

Accreditation Information

The clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) is an accredited program. You can find PT accreditation information in our catalog and on the PT departmental web page.

Physical Therapy Program Mission Statement

The Physical Therapy Department at Daemen University will prepare students to become knowledgeable, skilled, and reflective physical therapists who are committed to serving the healthcare needs of a diverse society and to lifelong professional growth. This maturation will occur through contemporary physical therapy professional courses grounded in the humanities and natural and social science curriculum.

Physical Therapy Program Philosophy

The Physical Therapy Program at Daemen University supports the Mission and Goals of the University, with the ultimate purpose of developing well-educated individuals with critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills necessary to assume roles of responsibility as a clinician, consultant, educator, and administrator in improving the quality of life for all individuals.

Our philosophy emerges from the following values that are embraced by all departmental faculty. These values drive the design, implementation, and ongoing assessment of our curriculum:

  • The APTA Code of Ethics and APTA Standards of Practice guide the interactions of students and faculty.
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy education develops the foundation for life-long personal and professional development through active pursuit of knowledge.
  • Teaching and learning is a collaborative and dynamic process between faculty and students that requires passion, commitment, creativity, and ongoing assessment and self-reflection.
  • Learning experiences are deliberately structured to advance the development of effective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills of the student and varied in consideration of student learning styles.
  • Effective learning occurs inside and outside of the classroom in the context of professional, community, and service-oriented activities.
  • The use of best evidence drives the delivery of physical therapy services. It is the responsibility of faculty and students to engage in research that will contribute to the current knowledge base to promote effective and efficient clinical practice.
  • Physical therapists are instrumental in optimizing the function and participation of individuals through contemporary intervention and health promotion, prevention, fitness, and wellness to meet the changing health care needs of society.
  • Advancement of the physical therapy profession is the civic responsibility of faculty and students demonstrated through continued competency, service-oriented practice, advocacy, scholarship, teaching, and administration.
  • Service to the university and community is the responsibility of both students and faculty.

Physical Therapy Program Goals

Our program Mission and Philosophy, in combination with the Mission and Goals of Daemen University and the following professional documents, have guided the construction, implementation, and ongoing assessment of our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

APTA Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy
Standards and Required Elements for Accreditation of PT Education Programs
The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice
Professionalism in Physical Therapy: Core Values
APTA Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist
APTA Guide for Professional Conduct
APTA Minimum Required Skills of Physical Therapist Graduates at Entry Level
APTA Vision Statement for the Physical Therapy Profession and Guiding Principles to Achieve the Vision
International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)
Nagi Model of Disablement
Domains of Learning
Clinical Practice Guidelines of APTA Sections
APTA Clinical Performance Instrument
Blueprint for Teaching Cultural Competence in Physical Therapy Education
Outcome Assessment in Physical Therapy Education
A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education: Version 2004

In order to achieve the Mission of the Daemen University Physical Therapy Program, the faculty and students engage in an active educational process with a variety of learning experiences and collaborate in scholarly and service activities within a curriculum that is designed so that upon completion of the Program, graduates will have achieved the following Goals.


  1. demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the foundational sciences related to normal and abnormal human structure, function, and response to injury and disease and apply this information to the understanding of the clinical sciences.
    1. evaluate the basic science foundations of clinical sciences relating to medical and surgical conditions frequently seen by physical therapists.
    2. judge the validity of the basic science foundations of proposed patient/client management theories and approaches.
  2. demonstrate cultural competence while effectively communicating through written, verbal and non-verbal means with patients/clients and their families/caregivers, professional colleagues, payers, policymakers, and the general public.
    1. demonstrate verbal and non-verbal communication appropriate to a specific audience and the intended impact of the discourse.
    2. demonstrate concise and accurate professional written communication necessary for patient/client care, administration, and community service roles.
  3. apply educational concepts of learning theories in designing, implementing, evaluating, and modifying learning experiences based on the needs of the audience.
    1. describe the importance of instructional design and apply knowledge of the teaching and learning process and associated techniques in the practice of physical therapy.
    2. demonstrate cultural competence in the application of educational concepts when designing and implementing the intervention, and health and wellness prevention programs for patients or clients.
    3. evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of strategies used in clinical practice.
  4. use the principles of the scientific method and demonstrate sound problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the process of patient/client examination and evaluation in order to determine diagnosis, prognosis, and selection of the most appropriate intervention across different patient populations and practice settings.
    1. using the current best evidence, select and administer appropriate, valid, and reliable examination tests and measures of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities.
    2. evaluate examination data to generate an accurate and defensible physical therapy diagnosis and individualized patient prognosis.
    3. establish and administer an appropriate plan of care and discuss the evidence-based rationale for the selection of the intervention parameters.
    4. recognize their limits related to knowledge or scope of practice in determining the need for further examination or consultation by a physical therapist or for referral to another health care professional.
  5. consistently apply sound measurement principles to validly and reliably measure patient/client performance, response to therapeutic intervention, and outcomes assessment across practice settings.
    1. utilize a systematic approach to evaluating patient response to specific interventions.
    2. select and administer appropriate, valid, and reliable performance-based or self-report functional outcome measures to evaluate current status and progress toward specific patient-centered goals and outcomes.
    3. evaluate the goals and outcomes of physical therapy interventions.
  6. function safely, effectively, and efficiently as an autonomous practitioner, as well as in collaboration with other health care providers, while providing patient/client-centered physical therapy services in accordance with the APTA Code of Ethics and the State Practice Law.
    1. render independent judgments concerning patient/client needs and plans of care for individuals throughout their life span who have impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities to promote quality of life.
    2. describe the Physical Therapist’s role as a member of the health care team, work collaboratively with other members of the team, and participate in peer assessment.
    3. describe and function within the legal and ethical boundaries involved in the practice of physical therapy.
    4. demonstrate cultural competence when engaged in the practice of physical therapy.
    5. demonstrate altruism, compassion, caring, empathy, integrity, and effective behaviors for recognizing and resolving conflicts, in the context of physical therapist practice.
  7. provide physical therapy services for screening, prevention, health promotion, fitness, and wellness to promote health and quality of life.
    1. perform appropriate screening procedures to determine the need for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention.
    2. apply contemporary theory related to health behavior and current best evidence in designing and implementing educational materials and experiences to promote general health, wellness, participation, and prevent disease, impairment, functional limitation, or disability within the scope of physical therapy practice.
  8. exhibit leadership skills in the management and administration of physical therapy services in a variety of settings as part of professional physical therapy practice.
    1. discuss the complex interaction of social, economic, and political variables involved in health care practice management.
    2. recognize the importance of assuring excellence of care and of monitoring effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of care.
    3. effectively manage human resources to meet the patient’s/client’s goals and expected outcomes, and evaluate methods to increase staff productivity and satisfaction in a variety of health care settings without sacrificing the quality of care.
    4. participate in financial management and activities related to the marketing and public relations of practice.
    5. manage and administer health care services in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements.
  9. value the importance of continued personal and professional growth through lifelong learning.
    1. recognize the professional program as an entry-level curriculum designed to provide the foundation for autonomous physical therapy practice.
    2. express the importance of participation in professional continuing education throughout one’s professional career in order to assure continued competence, adaptation to the dynamic health care environment, and advancement of the profession.
    3. describe the importance of accountability in physical therapy practice and in personal and professional growth as an independent learner.
  10. value the importance of promoting the profession of Physical Therapy through contribution to research, participation in professional organizations, and advocating for physical therapists as autonomous practitioners of choice in this dynamic health care environment.
    1. design, conduct, and disseminate the results of research related to the field of physical therapy.
    2. recognize the importance of professional organizations and articulate their roles and functions and the need for participation.
    3. participate in service-oriented activities which promote knowledge of the doctoring profession of physical therapy.
    4. act as an advocate for the physical therapy profession, and the patients we serve, to other providers, payers, political leaders, and other members of the community.