Physical Therapy

College of Health and Human Services
Dean: Donald P. Zingale

Physical Therapy Program
GYM 205
Fax: 415-338-0907

Director: Marsha Melnick
San Francisco State Program

Director, Joint Graduate Program: Nancy Byl
University of California, San Francisco

Program Director: N. Byl, 347 Parnassus

Graduate Coordinators: A. Hallum, N. Byl


Professors--Byl, Hallum, Melnick

Associate Professor--Radtka

Assistant Professors--Arriaga, Richards, Topp, Wanek


M.S. in Physical Therapy

Program Scope

The graduate program in physical therapy leads to the Master of Science in Physical Therapy and prepares the student to sit for licensure as a physical therapist. This degree is offered jointly with the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco campus. The curriculum prepares clinician-scholars who can assume leadership roles as physical therapy clinicians, clinical educators, clinical researchers, and managers. The program emphasizes a strong theoretical foundation in basic, medical, and applied sciences with the application of creative problem solving to mitigate disability, optimize function, and maintain positive health. The 27-month program (including summer quarters) consists of 64 semester units of academic course work, laboratory studies, clinical clerkships, and participation in research projects. Students must pass a patient problem-related comprehensive examination during their final semester. Courses are held at both San Francisco State University and the University of California, San Francisco; however, students do not travel between campuses during any single day. Clinical clerkships occur at affiliated agencies throughout California but are primarily located in the northern and central regions of the state.

Career Outlook

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


Admission to Program

Thirty-two students are admitted to the program 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 providing the applicant has completed the following program prerequisites before entry. 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.


Basic Courses

General Chemistry with laboratories		10
General Physics with laboratories		8
Human or Comparative Anatomy with 
laboratory 3
Human Physiology with laboratory		4
General Microbiology/Cell Biology/Histology		3

Social/Psychological Sciences

Abnormal Psychology or
Psychology of the Disabled 3

Applied Sciences

Kinesiology		3
Introduction to Statistics with Computer 
Applications 3

Highly Recommended

Organic Chemistry		3
Exercise Physiology		3
Motor Learning or Motor Development		3
Developmental Psychology		3
Introduction to Computers (if not incor-
porated in Statistics class) 3
Neuroscience		3

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must also:

Application Process

Students must submit preliminary applications by 5:00 p.m. of the first Monday in November of the year prior to desired entry (i.e., by November, 1996 for admission in June, 1997). Preliminary application materials are available each July from the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94143. The initial application materials must be submitted to UCSF.

Following preliminary evaluation, 80-100 applicants will be invited to interview. Students who are offered an interview will be required to submit SFSU application materials 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, thirty-two students will be accepted for admission to the Physical Therapy Program.

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. Evaluation of writing skills will be based upon an essay written at the time of the applicant's scheduled interview. The second level of written English proficiency will be demonstrated through papers and manuscripts prepared during the student's final semester in the M.P.T. program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students may be considered for advancement to candidacy for the Master of 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

Students will participate in a research project guided by a faculty member and complete a proposal and manuscript on one aspect of that research. As a culminating experience, students must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination.

Program Course Work

Courses shown below 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 can be found on the following page.

Semester Quarter

Basic Sciences

PT 200	Neuromusculoskeletal Anatomy				6
PHYS 125.01	Mammalian Physiology				5
ANAT 103.01	Neuroanatomy				3
ANAT 207	Neuromuscular Physiology				3

Medical Sciences

MED 170.12	Introduction to Geriatric Medicine				2
PT 110	Pathophysiology of Disease: Orthopedics				2
PT 111	Pathophysiology of Disease: Neurology				2
PT 112	Pathophysiology of Disease: Pediatrics				1
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 252	Research Seminar I				1
PT 253	Research Seminar II				1
PT 254	Research Seminar III				1
PT 730	Scientific Inquiry and Research Design		3
Select one of the following:
PT 890	Research Seminar in Physical Therapy		3
PT 250	Research Methods II				2

Physical Therapy Sciences

PT 201	Clinical Kinesiology and Physical Therapy Assessment				3
PT 202	Principles of Therapeutic Modalities				3
PT 701	Musculoskeletal Pathokinesiology I		4
PT 710	Neurological Pathokinesiology I		4
PT 720	Cardiopulmonary Pathokinesiology I		2
PT 737	Assessment of Pathological Movement		2
PT 800-1,2,3	Clinical Clerkships I, II, III		0
(Clerkships are 40 hrs/week during second and third summers)

Advanced course work in physical therapy and health electives, on advisement			9.5	to	14
Minimum total semester unit equivalent		64
andMaster's Written Comprehensive Examination

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