Desired learning outcomes for students (also referred to as objectives) are linked to the Program Goals for students/graduates.

Students and graduates of the program in physical therapy program will:

  1. Demonstrate the professional core values and behaviors described in the document Professionalism in Physical Therapy.1 (Accountability, Altruism, Compassion/Caring, Excellence, Integrity, Professional Duty, Social Responsibility)

  2. Competently complete screening procedures and a review of systems for patients/clients, and accurately determine if they are appropriate candidates for physical therapy services (recognize scope and limits of practice) or if referral to or consultation with another health care professional or agency is necessary.

  3. Effectively and efficiently conduct and accurately document an examination/re-examination of a patient/client, including: gathering relevant patient history from the patient and other sources, subjective data and patient goals, and selecting and performing appropriate objective tests and measures of body function/structure, activities and participation, while maintaining patient safety and dignity. 

  4. Systematically evaluate and interpret data collected through patient examination and make accurate clinical judgments regarding the patient’s physical therapy diagnosis and prognosis, and to guide clinical decision-making about an appropriate plan of care.

  5. In collaboration with patients, caregivers and other health care professionals, develop a plan of care for patients/clients that addresses patient goals, incorporates the skillful application of interventions that are appropriate and safe based on patient presentation, supported by evidence, and that are consistent with legal, regulatory, ethical, and administrative guidelines governing the practice environment.   

  6. Implement a plan of care for patients/clients that incorporates methods/tools for monitoring and assessment of patient response to treatment and attainment of patient and therapy goals/outcomes, addresses the adequacy of resources to meet goals, assists the patient in accessing necessary resources, and is accurately and appropriately documented according to administrative, regulatory, and payer guidelines.

  7. Effectively educate patients/clients and others (caregivers, colleagues, other health care professionals, students, the public) using culturally sensitive and appropriate teaching methods that are adapted to individual or group learning needs, the content being conveyed, and the educational context for teaching/learning.

  8. Communicate expressively and receptively (verbally, non-verbal, in writing) with patients, caregivers, colleagues, other health care practitioners, and others in ways that are respectful, culturally and linguistically sensitive and competent, and that take into consideration the individual differences, values, preferences and needs of those with whom they are communicating.

  9. Provide physical therapy services that are delivered and documented in accordance with regulatory, legal, agency and reimbursement requirements and that involve consideration and coordination of resources (human and financial) to achieve quality care in the current delivery system.

  10. Access, use and critically evaluate resources from a variety of sources (published literature, information technology, web-based materials) to examine the theoretical and scientific basis for physical therapy practice and integrate scientific evidence with clinical judgment and patient/client values and needs to determine the best care for patients.

  11. Promote health and quality of life for patients/clients and others (individuals, groups, communities) by (a) advocating for health policy that will benefit patients and society and (b) providing services and information related to health promotion, fitness, wellness, health risks and disease prevention, that are adapted to the individual or group needs and characteristics and are within the scope of physical therapy practice.  



1.  American Physical Therapy Association. Professionalism in Physical Therapy: Core Values. Alexandria, VA: APTA, 2003.