Two Marquette College of Health Sciences programs recently made significant leaps in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 rankings. The doctoral physical therapy program is ranked 12th nationally, up from 19th, and the graduate program in speech-language pathology is ranked 62nd nationally, up from 72nd — the highest rankings ever achieved by either program.
“This definitely represents progress for us, though we are far from done,” says Dr. William Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “For PT, moving up within the top twenty is a major accomplishment.” Cullinan attributes both programs’ higher rankings to the college’s increasingly active research environment, which is especially strong in the areas of neuroscience and neurorehabilitation. “We are now far more visible on the national scene than ever before,” Cullinan says.
The PT program’s nationally known faculty include Dr. Guy Simoneau, the editor of the Journal of Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy, and Dr. Don Neumann, author of “the definitive text on kinesiology,” says Dr. Larry Pan, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy.
Pan says the program’s peer reputation has also been helped by roughly 50 national awards won by PT students and faculty, the addition of a neuroresidency post-graduate program in PT and continued exposure through the Marquette Challenge. The Marquette Challenge has raised more than $2.3 million for physical therapy research over its nearly 25-year history. “It’s our students’ signature service project nationally,” Pan says. “We challenge all other students in the U.S. to raise money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy, which supports research in our profession. Every PT chair, PT student, PT faculty member knows Marquette through the Challenge. There is no other story like it in PT and no story like it in any profession where students lead the way on a major professional issue.”
Although rankings are simply one measure of a program’s reputation, Pan said it could make a difference in recruiting faculty and driving student applications. Already, the program has more than 1,100 applicants vying for just 62 spaces.
Moreover, Marquette’s DPT program has added three cutting edge offerings since the previous US News rankings.
The Marquette University Physical Therapy Neurological PT Residency Program Co-sponsored by Zablocki VA Medical Center was initiated in 2009 and has been accredited by the APTA. As one of only 13 neurological PT residency programs nationwide, Marquette’s residency program is one of only two in the Midwest as of 2012.
The new PhD and masters degree programs in Clinical and Translational Rehabilitation Health Sciences (CTRH) was launched in fall, 2011. CTRH is partially supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of SE Wisconsin. The mission of CTRH is to produce future leaders in the profession by training the highest quality researchers and educators.
Finally, the Marquette Sports Rehabilitation Clinic (MSRC) began in October, 2011, providing physical therapy, athletic training and sports rehabilitation services to Marquette students, employees and their families. The MSRC supports the research, teaching, and service missions of the Department.