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 Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences Department

Developing Industry Leaders

Through technology-enhanced practice facilities and cutting-edge research labs, Drexel’s PT programs allow students to develop advanced skills through evidence-based clinical practice, teaching and research.

Physical Therapy Department

For over 30 years, Drexel’s nationally ranked Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Programs have provided a rich, technology-infused environment for students to develop skills in evidence-based clinical practice, teaching, and research. Drexel’s faculty, through structured instruction and mentorship, strives to develop leaders who excel in health care settings, classrooms and research labs.

Drexel’s nationally and internationally recognized faculty members are among the most highly respected and productive academicians, researchers and clinicians in the country with expertise in a variety of specialty areas. Through their work, they have developed numerous local, national and international clinical teaching and research collaborations and garnered funding from a variety of different agencies. Drexel’s research laboratories and funded researchers provide students with the opportunity to pursue exciting initiatives in multiple areas. 

Many of our faculty have won numerous teaching awards and over half of the faculty members continue clinical practice. The department’s faculty practice, Drexel University Physical Therapy Services, has sites at the 11th Street Family Health Services, in the Drexel University Recreation Center on Drexel’s University City Campus and in the Parkway Building on Drexel’s Center City Campus. Students in the department’s programs get the opportunity to work with faculty in these clinical settings to help refine their patient care skills.  The faculty believe that co-treating patients with developing clinicians helps to foster strong, innovative clinical decision making skills in its graduating clinicians.

Additionally, Drexel’s clinical practice facilities are closely aligned with its research labs and other disciplines within the college so that faculty and students have the opportunity to make connections between patient care and discoveries in the lab as well as appreciate the interaction amongst the entire healthcare team.  The College of Nursing and Health Professions includes Nurses, Physician Assistants, Couple and Family Therapists, Nutritionists, and Creative Art Therapists.  A 37,000 square foot multidisciplinary clinical and research facility on the center city campus helps facilitate interaction amongst these groups and provides opportunities for each discipline to contribute to optimal patient care.


Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Become a competent, compassionate and innovative physical therapist.

Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences (DHSc)
Take a leadership role as an educator and master clinician in Rehabilitation Sciences.

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)
Prepare for a leadership role as a researcher and educator in rehabilitation sciences.

Certificate in Advanced Practice in Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation
If you are a PT or an OT, participate in advanced study of the hand and upper quarter rehabilitation—designed for occupational and physical therapists.

Certificate in Advanced Practice in Pediatric Rehabilitation
Participate in advanced study of pediatric rehabilitation—designed for occupational and physical therapists.

Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program
Participate in a comprehensive curriculum of didactic and structured mentorship to develop into evidence-based practitioners ready and able to advance the profession and patient care in the community.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Faculty

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News & Events



Vicki Schwartz, DCN, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, was quoted in a November 13 article for The Philadelphia Inquirer about paleo diets. She speaks directly to the positive aspects of the paleo approach (the removal of processed foods), as well as the problematic: “It is extremely difficult to meet calcium needs with vegetables,” she said. Dr. Schwartz was also featured in a Deseret News article, “The growing popularity of gluten-free food: Will it last?”

Stella Volpe, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Abby Duffine Gillman, a project manager in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, co-authored a post on the “Healthy Kids” blog on Nov. 13 about their research on the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Healthy Futures Initiative. The project aims to reduce obesity in children in Philadelphia schools. Link to story

Maggie O’Neil, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, discusses the impact of being overweight for obese children in this recent Move Forward Radio episode. She also discusses specific programs designed to get them active, moving, and healthy. She also addresses the dangers of becoming overweight adults and the associate risks, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, loss of mobility, and depression.

Stella Volpe, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Nyree Dardarian, RD a faculty member in the college and director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, was quoted in a “Sports Doc” blog post on Nov. 14 about vitamin D deficiency and its effect on athletic performance. Link to story

The opening of the College’s new clinical site, Parkway Health and Wellness, was featured in a Philadelphia Business Journal article on November 4.

Nyree Dardarian, an instructor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and Director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, was quoted in a Prevention article in December about reading nutrition labels.


Melanie Carminati, Health Sciences ’11, DPT ’14, was profiled in an article, “This Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Pilates” from the Huntington, New York newspaper, Record. Ms. Caminati is a physical therapist and Pilates instructor at East Northport Physical Therapy, a physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic and training center in East Northport, New York.

Lynn C. Dunning Kaleita, MS, Nutrition Education, ’79 was recognized as the “2014 Adjunct Professor of the Year for Health Education” by Palm Beach State College.

Sherry Goodill PhD, ADTR, LPC HU ’80, MCAT, was featured in the article, “Drexel's New Clinic Explores the Role of the Arts in Health Care” on Dr. Goodill, the chair of the Drexel University Department of Creative Arts Therapy program, was quoted saying that part of a healthy society includes the arts, and part of an individual life well-lived includes the arts.

Shaun Logan, DPT ’10, was hired as a personal trainer at Philly Personal Training. Previously, Dr. Logan worked in South Jersey at privately owned sports and orthopedic physical therapy clinics.

Elaine Mustacchio, RN MSN, CRRN ‘09 received the “Nurse Manager Award” from the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN). Ms. Mustacchio is the nurse manager at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and she has been an active ARN member for over 20 years.


Maggie O’Neil, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, was invited to participate in a visiting research professor lectureship as a part of her sabbatical in the spring. O’Neil was invited to participate in research activities and seminars at the University of Queensland from March 10- 25, 2014.  Stewart Trost, a professor at the University of Queensland’s (UQ) Department of Human Movement Studies, is a research collaborator on many of O’Neil’s grant projects that examine objective measures of physical activity in youth who have physical disabilities (cerebral palsy) and those with chronic conditions (obesity).  O’Neil was granted a Drexel International Travel Award to support her travel to Australia for this opportunity.

During her time at UQ, O’Neil worked closely with Trost on the data analysis and dissemination plan for the NIH R24 multi-site pilot study that was conducted in Boston, Massachusetts and Wilmington, Delaware. Trost is the expert research and statistical team member for this project, entitled “Measuring Physical Activity in Youth with Cerebral Palsy.” Therefore, it was very timely for Dr. O’Neil to accept and participate in this visiting research professor lectureship.

O'Neil in AustraliaAs a visiting professor, O’Neil attended research seminars conducted by faculty and international visiting professors in the Department of Human Movement Studies. She attended seminars and presented at the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Center (QCPRRC), which is a collaborative center between the Royal Children’s Hospital and the University of Queensland. O’Neil was invited to present there by her research colleague, Roslyn Boyd, the director of the QCPRRC and an international research partner on former grants and publications.

O’Neil has submitted two manuscripts which were favorably reviewed and are now in revision. She is in the process of preparing three other manuscripts as an outcome of this project and visit. Further, O’Neil and Trost are collaborating on another grant that was recently funded. “I am very thankful for the Drexel International Travel Award to support my time in this wonderful opportunity!” O’Neil said.

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