Physical Therapy and Clinical Laboratory Science

College of Health and Human Services
Acting Dean: Don Taylor

Physical Therapy Program
GYM 105
Fax: 415-338-0907
Web Site:

Director: Linda Wanek
San Francisco State Program

Director: Nancy Byl
University of California, San Francisco

Graduate Coordinators: L. Wanek, N. Byl

Clinical Laboratory Science Internship Program
SCI 202
Fax: 415-338-7747

Program Director: Geraldine Albee
Associate Directors: McClenny, Rogers


Professors—Byl, Hallum, Radtka, Topp
Associate Professor—Wanek
Assistant Professor—Rosi
Associate Clinical Professors—Arriaga, Richards
Assistant Clinical Professor—Galvan
Lecturers—Albee, McClenny, Rogers


M.S. in Physical Therapy
Certificate in Clinical Competence in Physical Therapy
D.P.T. (Doctor of Physical Therapy)
D.P.T.Sc. (Doctor of Physical Therapy Science)
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Laboratory Science

Physical Therapy Program Scope

Entering the Profession of Physical Therapy

Master of Science - Doctor of Physical Therapy (MS-DPT) Program

A student applying to become a physical therapist applies to the MS-DPT Program. This is a 3 year program (36 months) including 24 weeks of full time clinical affiliations. The MS in Physical Therapy program is accredited by the APTA Commission on Physical Therapy Education. In the MS-DPT Program, the student completes 27 months of study to complete a Master of Science degree, sits for the National Licensing Examination and then continues in the Post-professional DPT Program (9 months). This program is designed to prepare scholarly clinicians, educators, collaborative clinical researchers, administrative managers and community leaders. The MS-DPT program accepts 28-32 students and requires 36 months of study (including summers). The curriculum is built on a strong theoretical foundation in basic, medical and applied sciences. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning are woven into all aspects of the program and creative problem solving skills are developed to work with patients to mitigate disability, optimize function and maintain positive health. The graduates are well prepared to pass the National Licensing Examination and are considered top applicants for positions in physical therapy.

Courses are held at both San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco. Clinical clerkships occur at affiliated agencies throughout California but are primarily located in the northern and central regions of the state.

The MS in Physical Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Doctor of Physical Therapy Science

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Science degree prepares physical therapists for positions in academic and/or clinical research settings. This degree is offered jointly with the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. The curriculum prepares scholars who can assume leadership roles as physical therapy educators, basic science, or clinical researchers. The program emphasizes a strong theoretical foundation in which to develop clinical research skills. The 24-48 month program (including summer semesters) consists of academic course work, laboratory studies, teaching practica, and participation in original research. Courses are held at both San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco. Course work and research opportunities make full use of the expertise available at these two campuses.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for physical therapists is very good with graduates employed in acute and rehabilitation hospitals, private practice, outpatient clinics, schools, community agencies, and academic programs.

The career outlook for physical therapist educators is excellent with opportunities for graduates to work in academic settings and/or research medical centers.


Admission to Program

Twenty-eight to thirty-two students are admitted to the MS-DPTprogram each June. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and meet all general admissions requirements for graduate study at both San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco. Any major is acceptable provided the applicant has completed the following program prerequisites before entry. Survey chemistry and physics courses are not acceptable. Separate anatomy and physiology courses are preferred. Students who do not have a strong science background should take additional science courses to demonstrate an ability to succeed in science-based course work. Students at SFSU are advised to take PT 300 when entering the junior year.

Basic Courses
General Chemistry with laboratories
General Physics with laboratories
Human or Comparative Anatomy with laboratory
Human Physiology with laboratory
General Microbiology/Cell Biology/Histology
Social/Psychological Sciences
Abnormal Psychology or
  Psychology of the Disabled
Applied Sciences
Introduction to Statistics
Exercise Physiology
Highly Recommended
Introductory course in Physical Therapy (PT 300 at SFSU)
Organic Chemistry
Motor Learning or Motor Development
Developmental Psychology
Introduction to Computers (if not incorporated in Statistics class)

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must also:

Application Process

Students must submit applications postmarked by November 1 of the year prior to desired entry (i.e., by November, 2006 for admission in June, 2007). Application materials are available to download from the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy web site. The initial application materials must be submitted to UCSF.

Following preliminary evaluation, 60–80 applicants will be invited to interview. Students who are offered an interview will be required to submit official transcripts for their SFSU application at the time of the interview. Those materials will be provided to each student prior to interview time. Following an interview and an assessment of writing skills, 28-32 students will be accepted for admission to the physical therapy program. Once accepted into the program, students will then complete an online application for admission to SFSU.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Students must meet the first level of proficiency in written English as a condition of admission to the physical therapy program. Students must complete the GRE analytical writing section prior to enrollment. Evaluation of writing skills are also based upon an essay written at the time of the applicant's scheduled interview. The second level of written English proficiency is demonstrated through papers and manuscripts prepared during the student's final semester in the M.S. program and a written comprehensive examination.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students may be considered for advancement to candidacy for the Master of Science in Physical Therapy after completing the equivalent of 30 semester units, and following the adviser's approval of the student's proposed courses for an area of emphasis. The student may then formally request advancement to candidacy by filing a Graduate Approved Program.

Culminating Experience

As a culminating experience, students must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination during the final Spring semester of their Master of Science degree coursework.

Master of Science Program Course Work

Courses shown with quarter-unit values are taken at the University of California, San Francisco. Courses shown with semester-unit values are assigned to San Francisco State University. At San Francisco State University, courses numbering 700 or higher are graduate courses. At the University of California, San Francisco, courses with numbers between 100 and 199 are at the upper division level; courses with numbers between 200 and 399 are graduate courses.

Program Units
Basic Sciences
PT 200 Neuromusculoskeletal Anatomy   6
PHYS 1201 Mammalian Physiology   5
PHYS 122 Mammalian Physiology   2
ANAT 207 Neuroscience for Physical Therapists   5
Medical Sciences
PT 110 Pathophysiology of Disease: Orthopedics   2
PT 111 Pathophysiology of Disease: Neurology   3
PT 112 Pathophysiology of Disease: Pediatrics   2
PT 210 Therapeutic Pharmacology and Therapeutic Radiology   2
PT 700 Comprehensive Physical Therapy Management 3  
PATH 135.01 Pathology   3
Applied Social Sciences
PT 735 Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Disability 3  
PT 736 Ecological and Organizational Issues of Rehabilitation 3  
PT 704 Education, Learning, and Memory in Physical Therapy 2  
PT 705 Administration and Organization in Physical Therapy 2  
PT 253 Research Seminar II   1
PT 254 Research Seminar III   1
PT 730 Scientific Inquiry and Research Design 3  
PT 890 Research Seminar in Physical Therapy 3  
PT 899 Independent Study or 1-3 or


PT 206 Independent Study
Physical Therapy Sciences
PT 201 Clinical Kinesiology and Physical Therapy Assessment   3
PT 202 Principles of Therapeutic Modalities   2
PT 741 Musculoskeletal Pathokinesiology I 4  
PT 742 Musculoskeletal Pathokinesiology II 4  
PT 743 Musculoskeletal Pathokinesiology III 3  
PT 710 Neurological Pathokinesiology I 4  
PT 711 Neurological Pathokinesiology II 3  
PT 720 Cardiopulmonary Pathokinesiology I 2  
Minimum total semester unit equivalent 66
and Master's Written Comprehensive Examination


General Information

Students enrolled in the graduate program in physical therapy are required to complete a 24-unit Certificate of Clinical Competence prior to receiving the Master of Science in Physical Therapy. This certificate is also required prior to applying for the physical therapy licensing examination.

Clerkships are 40 hours per week during the second and third summers. These 24 units are in addition to the 66 units required for the M.S. in Physical Therapy. Completion of PT 801, PT 802, and PT 803 leads to the Certificate of Clinical Competence.

Admission Requirements

Students must successfully complete the first year of course work in the graduate program in physical therapy prior to beginning the certificate program.

Curriculum Units
PT 801 Clinical Clerkship I 6
PT 802 Clinical Clerkship II 6
PT 803 Clinical Clerkship III 12
Total for certificate 24


Admission to Program

Students who successfully completed the Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree in the UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy (final GPA of 3.0 or better, 80% or more on the comprehensive examination, satisfactory completion of the 24-unit Certificate of Clinical Competence, were not on multiple semesters of probation for academic or professional behavior reasons during their MS in PT program, and have met the licensure requirement) are automatically eligible for the DPT year of study. The DPT year is an additional 9 months of advanced study (51 quarter; 34 semester units).

Culminating Experience

Students research and write an in-depth patient case report following the guidelines of evidence-based practice and physical diagnosis. The case report must be prepared in a manuscript-ready format as well as presented orally to an audience of faculty and peers.

Program Course Work

Courses shown with quarter-unit values are taken at the University of California, San Francisco. Courses shown with semester-unit values are taken at San Francisco State University.

Evidence Based Practice Units
Mentored Clinical Research Clerkship 9.0 quarter units
Evidence Based Practice 3.0 quarter units
4.0 semester units
Muscle Nerve Biology 3.0 quarter units
Movement Science 3.0 quarter units
Professional Colloquium 1.5 quarter units
1.0 semester unit
Clinical Primary Care
Mentored Clinical Clerkship 6.0 semester units
Case Reports 5.0 semester units
Grand Rounds 3.0 quarter units
Physical Diagnosis 4.5 quarter units
Total 51 quarter units/
34 semester units

Program Self-support Fee

The DPT year is offered as a self-support year and therefore, additional fees apply. Please refer to the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy web site or contact the physical therapy program office for updated information.


Admission to Program

One to four students are admitted to the program each September. Applicants must hold a degree in physical therapy from an accredited institution; meet all general admission requirements for graduate study at both San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco; and be eligible for licensure in California.

Application Process

Students must submit applications by January 2nd for Summer or Fall admission. Application materials are available to download from the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy web site. The initial application materials must be submitted to UCSF.

Following an interview, research interest compatibility, and the assessment of all application materials, students are accepted for admission to the doctoral program. Following admission to the DPTSc program, students are then required to apply online to SFSU.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students are considered for advancement to candidacy for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Science after completing course work in one's area of emphasis, teaching practica, preparation of a written research proposal, and a comprehensive oral qualifying examination.

Culminating Experience

Students participate in an original research project guided by a faculty member. The student completes an oral defense of the research and writes a manuscript suitable for publication.


Students complete fifteen units in an area of emphasis, a minimum of two statistics courses, two semesters of teaching practicum, grand rounds, and the doctoral colloquia. Students also take Directed Research in the completion of their research requirement. All students serve as teaching assistants in the classroom situation and in the clinic. All students are required to pass an oral qualifying examination.


Advisors—Albee, McClenny, Rogers

Program Scope

The SFSU Clinical Laboratory Internship Certificate program (CLS) provides students with the theoretical and practical skills necessary to work in hospitals, clinics, or biomedical research environments. The program prepares students at the post-baccalaureate level to sit for licensure as Clinical Laboratory Scientists. In addition, the program is fully accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) and meets the educational standards required for licensure as a CLS by the California State Department of Health, Laboratory Field Services (LFS). The program seeks to develop critical thinking skills for clinical and administrative decision making in the complex and ever-changing healthcare environment.

Career Outlook

Clinical laboratory scientists are employed in healthcare settings such as medical laboratories within large medical centers, community hospitals, public health, clinics and private industry. Excellent employment opportunities exist in research and development, medical informational technology, laboratory administration and education.

Admission to Program

Prerequisites are: (1) admissibility as a SFSU graduate student (2.75 GPA and a score of 550 on the written TOEFL or 213 on the computer test); (2) the science course preparation of the SFSU Bachelor of Science in Clinical Science or the equivalent (including courses in hematology, immunology, medical microbiology, quantitative chemistry analysis, biochemistry, physics, and college-level mathematics); (3) an active Trainee license from the State of California Department of Health, Laboratory Field Services; (4)completion of the application form, which includes three letters of reference; and (5) interviews at SFSU. The program faculty is available to advise applicants about admissions procedures. Classes start in August and January.


The CLS program consists of (1) a 16-week semester of on-campus didactic and laboratory work and (2) a 40-week off-campus internship at affiliated clinical laboratory sites. Students enroll for 16 units for the on-campus semester. For the 40-week off-campus portion, students enroll in a combination of regular university sessions and special sessions through the College of Extended Learning.

First Semester Units
CLS 701 Clinical Chemistry and Urinalysis 4
CLS 706 Contemporary Clinical Science Issues 4
CLS 731 Clinical Hematology 4
CLS 753 Clinical Microbiology 4
CLS 790 Clinical Serology & Immunohematology 4
Total Units First Semester 16
Subsequent 40 Weeks
CLS 702

Clinical Laboratory Internship I
(4 units of CLS 702 taken twice)

CLS 705 Clinical Laboratory Internship II
(3 units of CLS 705 taken twice)
CLS 709 Clinical Laboratory Internship III 3
CLS 707 CLS Bridge to Clinical Practice 3
Total Units Subsequent 40 Weeks 20
Total Units for Entire Program 36

English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: Students complete a two-page, proctored essay at the time of their application interview. If necessary, remediation will be fulfilled by successful completion of SCI 614 or equivalent course.
Level Two: Successful completion of a series of written professional reports as required for a leadership role in professional environments: CLS 706.

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