About The Division

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  • The University of Southern California (USC) is one of the premier private research universities in the world. The central mission of USC is the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit. The principal means by which this mission is accomplished are teaching, research, artistic creation, professional practice and selected forms of public service.

    The USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy was founded in 1945. Since its inception, USC has been a pioneer of the physical therapy profession and a leader in both physical therapy research and education. Currently ranked as the #1 program in the nation by US News & World Report, the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy continues to be a prestigious center of excellence for the clinical practice, education, and research of physical therapy. With physical therapy becoming one of the fastest growing medical professions, the Division understands how important it is to be on the forefront of innovative knowledge, research, and experience.

    The Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy offers multiple degree programs allowing graduates the opportunity to choose an educational program that will expose them to cutting-edge research and scientific advancements, in turn creating innovators in the physical therapy profession. Our largest degree program is the three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy. In addition, the Division offers a Ph.D. in Biokinesiology, one of the nation’s first Ph.D. degrees in physical therapy education.

    The Health Sciences Campus, where the Division is located, is in Northeast Los Angeles, surrounded by the vast USC+LA County Medical Center, three large private hospitals, and numerous outpatient clinics and diagnostic centers. The Division’s location within this elite medical community offers physical therapy students an exhilarating academic experience. Students are able to work in state-of-the-art educational hospitals, high-tech research laboratories, and spacious new classrooms. The faculty, comprised of scientists and clinicians, provides an intellectually rich environment for students, promoting academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and independent thinking.

    Students are exposed to a variety of research experiences. Basic science and clinical research enrich both faculty and students. Knowledge derived from laboratory studies provides a unique dimension to the classroom experience, as well as contributing to a scholarly environment. Students have the opportunity to work in labs assisting with studies in developmental motor control, cardiopulmonary medicine, cellular muscle physiology, development of ingestive behaviors, clinical electrophysiology, human motion analysis, computational neuroscience, adult motor control and learning, neural plasticity, as well as exercise physiology. As a result, students are well prepared to excel in their field, both educationally and professionally.

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