Director's Welcome

Whether you are in a master class of our specialty academic tracks, participate in our student-led, pro-bono community clinic, or present your work at our annual research day, you are sure to experience Columbia University’s signature: a strong sense of community, personalized, one-to-one faculty-student interactions, and the pursuit of excellence.

I welcome you to The Programs in Physical Therapy at Columbia University, where you will find that we offer a unique breadth and depth of academic, service, research and clinical experiences to our students. As early as the first academic year, DPT students may participate in integrated clinical experiences for early exposure to the clinical environment. For those who learn by doing, student-led subspecialty programs such as CanWarriors, CancerFIT, CoSMO, and RunLab provide exposure to special patient populations in a unique and supportive, peer to peer learning environment.

Headshot of Dr. Debra Clayton Krasinski
Debra Clayton Krasinski, PT, PhD, MS

We believe in a personalized approach to your education. At the start of the first semester, new students are paired with second-year student mentors as well as faculty advisors. This invaluable face-to-face time is only the beginning of the many meaningful connections you will build as a Columbia doctoral student.

Along with our progressive curriculum and exceptional student body, our diverse faculty is one of our Program’s most valuable assets. We are a collaborative and cohesive group with robust and varied interests. Whatever your research, academic or clinical pursuits are, you will find a faculty member who shares them or has an interest in exploring them with you.

One of the many unique experiences afforded to our doctor of physical therapy students is the specialty track in the third year. An immersion in academic concentrations of your choice such as pediatrics, orthopedics or neurological physical therapy is complimented by an array of specialty electives and the opportunity to have a clinical experience in your chosen specialty track.

Our clinical education program offers students world-wide, specialized opportunities. We are privileged to have our students earn experiences at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in pediatrics, Ranchos Los Amigos in neurological physical therapy and at EXOS for orthopedic and sports performance. Locally, the medical centers in New York City with whom we affiliate deliver clinical experiences with varied patient populations and challenging levels of medical complexity. Our clinical education team works collaboratively with each student to find their best-fit of a clinical education path.

As the only program housed within the Ivy League, we strive for greatness. We are proud to be engaged on every level of graduate education in physical therapy and offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, an Orthopedic Clinical Residency and a Performing Arts Fellowship.

A phrase I’m well-known for saying is that one does not come to Columbia to be mediocre. Columbia prepares our students to be the profession’s emerging leaders and innovators, and we invite you to inquire about enrolling in one of our Programs and becoming part of the Columbia family. 



Debra Krasinski
Director, Programs in Physical Therapy 
Vice Chair, Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine 
Assistant Dean, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons