About Us

Description of the Profession 

Physical therapy is a dynamic health profession, which utilizes both scientific knowledge and evidence based clinical expertise to:

  • Provide care for patients who have a wide variety of physical dysfunctions (due to accident, illness, disease or disability).
  • Restore, maintain, enhance, and promote health and wellness.

It is a challenging and rewarding profession, which provides the opportunity for the professional to make a difference in the quality of people's lives. Physical therapists are responsible for the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and management of patient problems, utilizing various physical modalities and techniques. They also assume leadership roles in prevention and health maintenance programs. Physical therapists work in various settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, private offices, rehabilitation centers, community health centers, home health agencies, research centers, and industrial sites. They also work as health care administrators, consultants, and educators in colleges and universities. The profession is filled with multiple opportunities for growth, advancement, and diversification.

Programs Offered

The Department of Physical Therapy offers two programs:

  • A pre-professional program leading to a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Sciences.
  • The professional program was started in 1976 and has offered the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree since 1996; and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from Fall 2009.

Professional Certification and Accreditation

Howard University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The professional Physical Therapy program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).The program accreditation is current through 2016*. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the state licensure Examination, and are entitled to full membership in the professional organization, the American Physical Therapy Association. Information regarding state licensure can be obtained from the individual State Licensing Boards.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Howard University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. The program’s current status is probationary accreditation; for more information see http://www.capteonline.org/WhatWeDo/RecentActions/PublicDisclosureNotices/.


The mission of the program is to recruit and prepare promising African Americans and underserved minority populations with leadership potential to become compassionate, and competent physical therapists, with expertise in clinical decision making, problem solving and research. The program is committed to attracting and sustaining a cadre of faculty who promote critical thinking, self-inquiry, active learning, community service, cultural sensitivity, ethical behavior and contribute to research, practice, and enhancement of the profession nationally and internationally."