When Florida Gulf Coast University was founded in the early 1990s, Health Professions education was identified as a cornerstone of the new university's initial academic master plan. Within the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Performance, and in keeping with the university's mission, the Department offers the university’s first doctoral level program. The clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) is a 3-year program that is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). At the undergraduate level, the Department offers two science-based health profession programs. These include the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science, recognized by National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Athletic Training which is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
The mission of the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Performance is to promote expertise in human movement, exercise, and wellness across the lifespan. The faculty foster the development of self-directed, life-long learners through an applied scientific basis for practice, community involvement, an integrated curriculum, and interdisciplinary learning opportunities. The Department contributes to the advancement of the professions by demonstrating leadership and scholarship and promoting tolerance by valuing diversity.