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About Us

Richard ShieldsMessage from Richard Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA, Gary L. Soderberg Endowed Professor, Chair and DEO

Welcome to the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science (PTRS) within the Carver College of Medicine. We offer a highly ranked Doctoral of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) and a research intensive MA/PhD degree in Rehabilitation Science (since 1972). Our multi-level educational department stimulates a “melting pot” atmosphere where outstanding students pursue the professional degree (DPT) and experienced clinicians, engineers, health care providers, and bioscience students return to develop new knowledge in rehabilitation research (MA/PhD). The DPT, MA, and PhD programs promote learning through self-discovery and critical thinking. Graduates are characterized by their ability to solve clinical and scientific problems and become leaders within their profession.

We offer an exciting curriculum organized around a framework that recognizes that human tissues are plastic and have the capacity to adapt through appropriately prescribed activity. Our physical therapeutic treatments are powerful regulators of genes, cells, tissues, and organs which maximizes human performance and overall health. When physical activity is compromised because of pain, fatigue, injury, limited motion, weakness, or impaired central nervous system function, we offer various strategies to resolve these impairments in order to restore healing and healthy activity.

We encourage you to consider your education at the University of Iowa. We proudly offer two excellent educational programs at the doctoral level. Our experienced faculty will provide you with rigorous academic, clinical and research experiences in a state-of-the-art facility. We welcome your inquiry and look forward to helping you achieve your professional goals.

Richard K. Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Gary L. Soderberg Endowed Professor, Chair and DEO