The mission of the Department of Physical Therapy is to prepare knowledgeable and competent practitioners in the field of physical therapy by using current clinical and theoretical concepts, expanding the knowledge base of physical therapy through research, and providing physical therapy services to the Eastern Shore and the State of Maryland. Graduates will be prepared to carry out the expanding responsibilities as autonomous health care providers.


The program goal of the Department of Physical Therapy is to prepare physical therapists to contribute to the profession by meeting the needs of the patient/client, promoting clinical research, and integrating health promotion and wellness concepts into clinical practice.  

Physical therapy, which is the care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist, includes: 1) examining and evaluating patients with health-related conditions, impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in order to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention; 2) alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions; 3) preventing injury, impairments, functional limitations, and disability, including promoting and maintaining fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations; and 4) engaging in consultation, education, and research.

Certain philosophical tenets mandate the design and development of departmental teaching, research and practice.

  1. Each person has to be respected with dignity and has a right to health care. 
  2. The concept of total health care requires that rights and responsibilities are shared by consumers, practitioners, and students within the context of the health care system. 
  3. Physical therapists can make a unique contribution to total health care.
  4. Each physical therapist has a responsibility to make that unique contribution.
  5. For health care to be effective, practitioners must be culturally sensitive and appreciate the value of being associated with a multi-ethnic/social environment.


The Department of Physical Therapy’s program goal is to prepare graduates to become physical therapists with the ability to contribute to the profession by meeting the needs of the patient/client, and contributing to clinical research and health promotion and wellness.

Graduates of the program will demonstrate:

  1. competence in performing physical therapy examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcome measures;
  2. the ability to practice physical therapy legally and ethically;
  3. the skills to identify the need for referral to other healthcare professionals;
  4. the skills to facilitate health promotion and wellness within their practice setting and the community;
  5. the ability to attain, analyze, and apply current physical therapy and medical research as a basis for evidence-based clinical decision-making; and,
  6. a commitment to professional development by participation in continuing education, presentations, mentoring, and/or advanced credentialing. 

The program will:  

  1. advance the student’s capacity for critical thinking and clinical reasoning in order to effectively examine and treat the patient/client.
  2. expand the student’s ability to appreciate clinical research through the formation and completion of a faculty lead research project.
  3. promote the student’s ability to participate in service activities that involve health promotion and wellness in order to support the citizens of the Eastern Shore and the state of Maryland
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