Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences

Welcome to PTHMS

Welcome to Northwestern Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, the oldest physical therapy school in the nation, at the cutting edge of physical therapy since 1928!  We pride ourselves on the innovations and great leaders and clinicians who have emerged from our school over nine decades.

With 90 students per year entering our professional DPT program, we are one of the largest physical therapy schools in the US. Our size, and our location in one of the nation’s premiere academic medical centers, give us the critical mass to provide our students, researchers and clinicians with unparalleled resources for learning, generating new knowledge, developing expert skills, and building leadership talent for the globally competitive healthcare marketplace of the future.

The past decade has been one of constant innovation at PTHMS.  We developed the nation’s first dual-degree DPT/PhD program partnering with Northwestern’s internationally renowned McCormick School of Engineering to give our program a unique focus on biomedical engineering. We began offering a PhD in Movement and Rehabilitation Science (MRS) in partnership with Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience (NUIN). Our research labs now span basic animal physiology, quantitative human research, and clinical applications through the development of therapeutic devices and interventions.

Our plans for the future are just as ambitious.  We are on the cusp of realizing our longstanding vision of fully integrating clinical practice with our already stellar research and education programs. In the near future we expect that our department’s teaching and research faculty will have full access to the vast clinical resources throughout our academic medical center, and that physical therapy clinicians, who have till now functioned separately from our department, will have an opportunity for substantial engagement in teaching and research culminating in academic appointment. This integration will include our establishment during the coming year of a robust physical therapy residency program.

The synergies produced by this integration will be dramatic and put our department in a strong position to make major contributions to the physical therapy profession, movement science, and healthcare.  As physical therapy schools housed within major academic medical centers such as Northwestern continue to advance the science of the profession and demonstrate our cost-effective clinical outcomes, physical therapy will become an ever greater contributor to the national and global healthcare solutions for the future. Northwestern Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences is delighted to remain on the cutting edge of this exciting time in the profession’s movement forward!

Warm regards,

Jules Dewald, PT, PhD
Professor in Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences,
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Biomedical Engineering
Jules Dewald, PT, PhD