Oregon State University – Cascades (OSU-Cascades) launched the first doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree program at a state public university this fall, welcoming an initial cohort of 45 students.
Beginning in their first year, DPT students will work with patients in local physical therapy clinics under the supervision of practicing clinicians. Students will engage in 35 weeks of clinical internships during the 3-year program, participating in at least 1 clinical rotation in a rural or underserved community. During the program, teams of students will also embark on capstone projects in the field focusing on areas including oncology, disparity in healthcare access in diverse populations, interventions for neurological conditions, and biomechanics.
The program will be housed in the newly opened Edward J. Ray Hall on the OSU-Cascades campus, which has state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, and research areas in the building, including a classroom with 24 treatment tables and a clinical skills classroom where students train on equipment used in physical therapy settings. The program also is served by a specialized laboratory for cadavers, which support students’ understanding of musculoskeletal anatomy and neuroanatomy.
The program employs 7 full-time faculty, 25 associate faculty who are primarily practicing physical therapists in Central Oregon, as well as other experts from around the state. Faculty represent a variety of specializations including orthopedics, neurology, physiology, sports medicine, biomechanics, and oncology.