Department of Physical Therapy

The Department of Physical Therapy at Simmons University has been a respected leader in physical therapy education for over 50 years, known for world-class clinical training and innovative research.

Students in a physical therapy class

Studying Physical Therapy at Simmons University

We employ a problem-based, self-directed approach to learning, using case studies to integrate science and clinical knowledge with psychosocial, ethical, and behavioral aspects of patient care. Through research, our faculty are advancing the field and creating exciting opportunities for students to engage in knowledge building and discovery.

Our location in Boston’s medical area creates student training opportunities at some of the nation’s best hospitals and clinics. Students are prepared for a wide range of professional paths, from sports medicine and chronic pain, to emergent areas like regenerative medicine. We train physical therapists to be effective members of interprofessional health care teams and to serve diverse patient populations and communities.

As part of the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, we work closely with colleagues in many health and scientific disciplines. As part of Simmons University, we embrace Simmons traditions in leadership, science, and practice for the social good.

Programs in this department

Highlights of Physical Therapy at Simmons

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students have high pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Exam (96.7% and 100% in 2019 and 2020, respectively).
  • In a survey of 2018/19 DPT graduates, 96% of respondents were employed within six months of graduation.
  • Students in the Exercise Science 3+3 program complete a BS and DPT in six years.
  • The job market for physical therapists, regionally and nationally, is strong and growing.

One of our greatest strengths is our faculty, who demonstrate a truly remarkable commitment to their students. That personal touch helps students become outstanding clinicians, and life-long learners.

- Justin Beebe, Associate Professor and Chair of Physical Therapy

Hands-on PT training, backed by rigorous science and the latest research

  • Recent Boston-area clinical internship placements include Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital.
  • We offer excellent learning and research facilities, including the Exercise Physiology lab and Holmes Sports Center. Simmons is making major investments in spaces for interdisciplinary teaching, research, and collaborative learning in the health sciences.
  • Undergraduates the Exercise Science (BS) program, hosted jointly by the departments of physical therapy and biology, receive excellent preparation for graduate work in physical therapy and many related health fields, as well as careers in health and fitness.
  • DPT students complete a capstone research project or systematic review. Student research, often conducted in collaboration with faculty, reflects the highest levels of innovative inquiry and intellectual rigor, to advance the field. For more information, check out our Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Handbook.

Careers

Our DPT students pursue careers in clinical settings, nursing and residential care, home health, and private practice. In 2017, the median wage for physical therapists in the U.S. was $86,850, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 28% growth in PT employment over the next decade. Exercise Science (BS) graduates are prepared for graduate programs in a variety of health fields, as well as careers in commercial fitness, community centers, wellness programs, and more.

Faculty highlights

  • Eight full-time faculty, dedicated to student mentorship and leading research.
  • Current faculty research includes: biomechanics of movement in children and adolescents with chronic pain; the role of fatigue on position sense; shoulder joint biomechanics, factors leading to shoulder joint dysfunctions, and evaluation of commonly-used shoulder joint assessment procedures; kinematics and musculoskeletal adaptations to windmill pitching in softball, implications to injury mechanisms, Scapular dyskinesis: mechanisms and relevance to shoulder pathology; creating inclusive learning environments for health professions; and pediatric/adolescent concussions.
Dean Lepaine Sharp-McHenry

Meet Dean Sharp-McHenry

"My vision for CNBHS is to create a collaborative culture of inclusive excellence that fosters inquisitive inquiry among science and health professionals which ignites intellectual curiosity focused on solving problems through research, education, and innovation." Learn more about Dr. Lepaine Sharp-McHenry, Dean of the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences.

Meet the Dean
Justin Beebe

Justin Beebe

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy

Lisa Rosmarin

Administrative Assistant I