Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy

Mission, Goals & Philosophy

The mission and goals of the Department of Physical Therapy focus on excellence in four areas: education, research, healthcare delivery and community and professional service.

Our Mission


To produce highly competent physical therapists who are patient advocates, leaders in the community and the profession and prepared to treat a culturally diverse population of clients and pursue professional development opportunities.


To add to the body of knowledge in physical therapy by conducting research and fostering the use of evidence-based practice.

Clinical Practice

To use physical therapy knowledge and skills for the benefit of patients and society by providing efficient and effective health care.


To engage in service to the community and the profession.

Our Goals


Our graduates will be: competent and reflective physical therapists, evidence-based practitioners, patient advocates, leaders in community and profession, culturally competent, pursuers of professional development and active participants as part of an interprofessional healthcare team. 


Our faculty will develop and maintain a departmental infrastructure to support collaborative and interdisciplinary research efforts among faculty members. Each core faculty member will have a research agenda and will disseminate at least one peer reviewed scholarly product every two years.


Our faculty will provide health-related services to different populations, including underserved populations and improve health care indirectly through work with professional/service organizations (e.g., educating other healthcare providers, critically evaluating health-related products, developing health-related guidelines).

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy guides our educational choices. In the Physical Therapy (PT) department at Thomas Jefferson University, we believe that:
  • Active engagement in the learning process facilitates integration and retention of the material being taught.
  • Teaching and learning are essential components of PT practice. 
  • Engaging in reflection and integration of feedback as students fosters the development of reflective practitioners and life-long learners.
  • Affective learning can be influenced through interaction with the faculty as role models.
  • Engaging in leadership and advocacy roles and interacting with diverse populations develop professional social skills.
  • Evidence-based practice is a process that can be learned through experience and observation of role models.
  • A foundation of basic principles and theories related to human movement is essential to clinical problem solving.
  • An in-depth understanding of the four PT systems (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary and integumentary) is critical to physical therapy practice.
  • Effective patient care relies on a holistic approach that integrates information about patients’ diverse needs and perspectives.