Welcome From the Department Chair

Welcome to the Department of Physical Therapy at Samford University.  We appreciate you taking the time to visit us online and hope you will visit us on campus soon.

photo of Matthew Ford, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at SamfordAs prospective students begin exploring graduate physical therapy programs, they have many questions:

  • How many students are in a class? We admit 36 students in each D.P.T. class. We admit no more than five through the early decision process.
  • Do you admit freshman into the DPT program? Yes, we have a Fast-track D.P.T. program, where students are admitted to Samford as Exercise Science majors. They complete their undergraduate program in 3.5 years, enrolling in the D.P.T. in the summer after the junior year.
  • Where are the class and labs held? Classes and labs are held in the new College of Health Sciences facilities on the east side of Samford’s campus in Birmingham, Alabama. 
  • What makes Samford’s physical therapy program standout/unique? We believe that your faith impacts your practice as a health care provider, therefore, we incorporate service learning as a part of the D.P.T. curriculum. The D.P.T. program also stands out because of our exceptional educational environment.
  • Does the program have specialty areas? We prepare D.P.T. graduates for general practice, and we also provide opportunities for students to explore their specific interests in physical therapy prior to graduation.
  • What choices will I have for clinical affiliations? Our clinical education occurs in various settings throughout the United States and abroad.
  • When will you know about your “final” accreditation status? We will submit our self-study to CAPTE in September 2017, which will be followed by a site visit by a CAPTE team in November, 2017. We will receive notice of our accreditation status in March/April, 2018, prior to our first class graduating.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a candidate for accreditation in accordance with the criteria designated by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The curriculum and department-related activities are rooted in Samford’s core values. Foremost is service to God, to family, to one another and to the community. Physical therapy graduate study requires rigorous work, and we are committed to promoting personal and professional growth, with the aim that each graduate becomes a service leader in his or her community. 

We encourage you to explore the many options you have for graduate study in physical therapy to find the program that uniquely fits you. Please check back with us often, and don't hesitate to contact us with questions about our program or the profession. 

Matthew P. Ford, Ph.D., PT
Professor and Chair
Department of Physical Therapy


*Effective April 29, 2015 Samford University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703:706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the programs is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.