Program Philosophy

Creighton University has two Departments of Physical Therapy, one in Omaha, NE and one in Phoenix, AZ. The faculty of both Departments of Physical Therapy (Omaha and Phoenix) affirm the mission and values of Creighton University and the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions with the recognition that each individual has responsibility for maintaining the quality and dignity of his/her own life and for participating in and enriching the human community. This ideal requires both individual effort and the collective support and assistance of others. The Creighton Departments of Physical Therapy, as educational environments, facilitate individuals and communities in achievement of this ideal through the nurture, support and advancement of physical therapy as a professional discipline.

Physical Therapy as a Profession within Health Care

Physical therapists are integral members of the health care team who competently diagnose, evaluate and offer therapeutic intervention within the scope of physical therapy practice. Individuals have the right to quality health care through direct access to physical therapists. The physical therapist provides service to individuals by addressing each person’s specific needs while ethically integrating therapeutic outcomes with the needs of the greater society. This includes minimizing movement dysfunction and decreasing the deleterious effects of health impairments and activity limitations in order to maximize ability and promote health.

To achieve the primary professional goal of facilitating the patient/client’s optimal function within society, the physical therapist must master substantial breadth and depth of knowledge in the basic and applied sciences, incorporate critical thinking skills, exercise humility, demonstrate integrity and bridge theory with practice. Scientific knowledge is complemented by experiences that enhance understanding of the complexity and diversity of the patient and society including psycho-social, cultural and ethical elements of patient care. Comprehensive preparation in the science and art of the profession provides the foundation for fully assuming the role of a professional which encompasses practice as a primary health care provider, pursuit of clinical expertise, commitment to clinical or academic teaching, facilitation of research and guiding health care planning and policy.

The physical therapist offers care in a compassionate, artful, legal, and ethical manner, while providing guidance as a teacher and advocacy as a moral agent. The practitioner must be prepared to participate in a broad spectrum of activities that span a range from health promotion through comprehensive rehabilitation. As effective members of the health care team, physical therapists address patient needs throughout the lifespan that are manifested as acute or chronic dysfunction of movement due to disorders of the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary and integumentary systems.

The Educational Environment

The ideal learning environment for students enrolled in the Creighton Departments of Physical Therapy is one of intellectual challenge, presenting opportunities for collaborative and independent learning and offering experiential breadth that encompasses collaboration with peers, clients, families and others within and external to the profession of physical therapy. In concert with the Jesuit tradition of Creighton University, the Departments of Physical Therapy provide an environment that values human dignity across various styles of thinking and diverse social backgrounds while fostering moral responsibility and academic excellence. This dynamic framework allows students to identify, define and grow to fulfill the responsibilities of a professional within society.


Faculty in Physical Therapy at Creighton University value community and unity of purpose as elements that are essential to the educational process. As a community of scholars and professionals, the faculty has a commitment to inquiry, and accepts the responsibility for contributing to the theoretical underpinnings, evolving knowledge base and practical implementation of physical therapy practice. The faculty is unified as facilitators of student learning and of reflective inquiry while serving as role models for professional behavior, service to society and the pursuit of justice.


Commitment to patients, society, and the profession, in the realms of service, research, and education is essential and lifelong. Students should contribute to the program, the University, and society by reflecting the program’s philosophy of service and learning. Striving to develop appropriate, effective strategies for advocating and instituting change is a goal to be pursued as students enter a dynamic health care environment. Students are encouraged to develop their potential for lifelong learning, recognizing that the struggle for continual betterment of society, profession, and self is an ongoing process throughout their professional careers. Consistent with the mission of the University, graduates are valued for their individual abilities to contribute to both society and the profession.

The Creighton University Departments of Physical Therapy are committed to leadership in clinical doctoral education through academic excellence, significant scholarly contributions, service to the human community, and fostering societal and professional dedication within its graduates.