Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt


Course Outline

PhD, Physical Therapy Research

Our curriculum integrates rigorous course work with mentored research experiences and unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Physical therapists with a graduate degree (e.g., DPT, MA, MS) must complete 45 credits of course work, including a dissertation. Students will develop an individualized plan of study in close collaboration with the program director and their dissertation chair.

The following course work outlined provides a solid foundation in research while affording maximum flexibility:

  • Physical therapy specialization (15 credits)
  • Higher education (3 credits)
  • Specialized research methodology (9 credits)
  • Electives (9 credits)
  • Department doctoral colloquium (3 credits)
  • Dissertation proposal seminar (3 credits)

One-on-one research mentorship: doctoral students will be provided mentorship opportunities to work one-on-one with their faculty advisors. These opportunities will facilitate productivity in terms of manuscript publications, grant submissions, and/or conference presentations. This level of scholarly output provides an invaluable learning experience and positions our graduates competitively as they enter the job market in academia or industry. Each student develops their mentorship plan and annual benchmarks focusing on key experiential learning opportunities and scholarly productivity, in close collaboration with the program director and dissertation chair. A minimum of 10 hours per week of mentored research activity is expected in addition to the listed course work.

Students must take a qualifying examination after one year of full-time study and a candidacy examination after 2 years of full-time study, and complete a dissertation project.