Main Content:

Mission Statement


Our mission is to provide an unparalleled supportive environment, free of barriers and disparities that will:

  1. Develop diverse entry-level and post-professional physical therapists who achieve excellent and equitable clinical outcomes through exceptional training. Our graduates will integrate the current best evidence with sound scientific and clinical reasoning principles to inform screening, examination, classification/diagnosis, and intervention approaches that also consider the impact of the social determinants of health in the care of clients/patients.
  2. Encourage a high degree of professionalism and ethical behavior. We do this by teaching and modeling:
    • the APTA Code of Ethics, Core Values, Code of Professional Conduct, and diversity, equity and inclusion;
    • professionalism in all interactions with patients/clients and families, professional peers, other health care and academic colleagues, and members of their community;
    • principles of life-long learning and professional development to ensure ongoing improvement and adherence to the principles of evidence-based and biologically plausible physical therapy practice.
  3. Advance the scientific knowledge in physical therapy and rehabilitation science. We do this by:
    • participating in basic science, clinical and health services research;
    • collaborating with investigators in other University departments, national and international partners outside the University, and key stakeholders in the community;
    • disseminating our research and scholarly activities through publications in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at regional, national and international scientific conferences.  
  4. ​Promote engagement in advocacy of patients/clients, communities and the physical therapy profession. We carry out this part of our mission by encouraging, training and supporting our faculty and students to
    • be consultants to and partners with other professional, academic and community groups;
    • advocate for all patients to third party payers, researchers and health policy makers;
    • advocate for the profession to third party payers, researchers and health policy makers.

Vision Statement

The vision for the Department of Physical Therapy is to drive transformational change in the field of physical therapy by developing a diverse, competent, compassionate and ethical workforce through equitable and inclusive physical therapy education, research and community service.

Values Statement

While pursuing our Mission and Vision, the Program will act in accordance with its stated values. Our values are adopted from the APTA Core Values and those of our clinical partner, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Accountability: Active acceptance of responsibility for the diverse roles, obligations, and actions of the physical therapist including self-regulation and other behaviors that positively influence patient/client outcomes, the profession and the health needs of society.

Altruism: The primary regard for or devotion to the interest of patients/clients, thus assuming the fiduciary responsibility of placing the needs of the patient/client ahead of the physical therapist’s self-interest. 

Compassion and Caring: Compassion is the desire to identify with or sense something of another’s experience; a precursor to caring. Caring is the concern, empathy, and consideration for the needs and values of others.

Dignity and Respect: We treat all individuals with dignity and respect

Excellence: Excellence is physical therapy practice that consistently uses current knowledge and theory while understanding personal limits, integrates judgment and the patient/client perspective, challenges mediocrity, and works toward development of new knowledge. 

Innovation: We think creatively and build excellence into everything we do. 

Integrity: Steadfast adherence to high ethical principles or professional standards; truthfulness, fairness, doing what you say you will do, and “speaking forth” about why you do what you do. 

Quality and Safety: We create a safe environment where quality is our guiding principle

Professional Duty: The commitment to meeting one’s obligations to provide effective physical therapy services to individual patients/clients, to serve the profession, and to positively influence the health of society.

Social Responsibility: The promotion of a mutual trust between the profession and the larger public that necessitates responding to societal needs for health and wellness.