Becker Library Archives
9:00am - 5:00pm, M-F (or by appointment) 362-4236

Browse Collections By: Title Classification

Physical Therapy Program RecordsAdd to your cart. | Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives

Title: Physical Therapy Program RecordsAdd to your cart.
ID: RG/RG007
Extent: 32.25 Linear Feet
expand icon Biographical/Historical Note

Founded in 1941 as the Barnes Hospital School for Physical Therapy Technicians, the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine began the following year as a six-month program directed by an orthopedic surgeon to train therapists to treat soldiers in World War II. Starting with a class size of only seven, the Program embarked upon training students dedicated to the care of patients exhibiting movement dysfunction and, through the research of its faculty, new understanding of human movement and the conditions that affect human performance.

In 1948, the school began educating physical therapists at the baccalaureate level as part of Washington University School of Medicine.  By 1980, the educational vision of the Program expanded to include post-professional education for graduate students possessing a baccalaureate degree in physical therapy. With the development of the Master of Health Science degree, practicing clinicians pursued advanced education to enhance their knowledge and skills in clinical practice, and to apply the research process to questions of professional interest. In response to continuous change in health care and higher education, the faculty began educating professional, entry-level physical therapists at the post-baccalaureate (master’s degree) level in 1988. The Doctor of Philosophy was inaugurated in 1989, fulfilling the faculty’s long-range goal of serving the profession with an interdisciplinary program to train researchers in movement science.  During the 1980s, the Program assumed the direction of the Irene Walter Johnson Institute of Rehabilitation and in the 1990s expanded to run other physical therapy clinics of the Medical Center.

In 1999, the Program was granted approval by Washington University to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at both the professional and post-professional levels. The two new clinical doctorate programs replaced the Master of Science in Physical Therapy and the Master of Health Science (MHS). With the transition to the DPT, the Program equipped students to manage the changing needs of the healthcare environment and the growing responsibilities of the profession.

In its first sixty years, more than 1500 students graduated from the Program.

Adapted from the Program in Physical Therapy website's “program history” page, together with other data from the Program administration.

expand icon Access and Use Restrictions
Restrictions: The collection is open and accessible for research.

Users of the collection should read and abide by the guidelines of the Use of Archival Collections policy at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (

Related Materials:
Preferred Citation: [Item description, Box number, Folder number], Physical Therapy Program Records, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University School of Medicine.
Printer-friendly Printer-friendly | Full Finding Aid Full Finding Aid

660 S. Euclid Ave., Campus Box 8132, St. Louis MO 63110
Phone: 314.362.7080 Fax: 314.454.6606

©2018 Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Powered by Archon

Page Generated in: 0.329 seconds (using 139 queries).
Using 10.7MB of memory. (Peak of 10.94MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21
Copyright ©2011 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign