Skip to Content

Technical Standards

The Department of Physical Therapy’s intent is to educate competent entry-level generalist physical therapists who can examine, evaluate, manage, and treat the general population of acute and rehabilitation patients in contemporary healthcare settings. To successfully complete both the didactic and clinical components of the program, entering students must possess specific intellectual and physical abilities, referred to as “Technical Standards”. These standards represent the minimum expected and essential abilities stipulated by the faculty for graduation from the program and performance of entry-level practice.

Prospective students are expected to review these standards prior to applying for admission into the program. Admission determinations are made on the assumption that each applicant meets these standards with or without reasonable accommodation. The Department acknowledges the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and encourages prospective students to contact the Department and/or the Texas State Office of Disability Services with any questions regarding whether they meet the Technical Standards.

The Department’s Technical Standards are divided into five sections and are listed below for thoughtful consideration:

Section 1 - Behavioral and Social Abilities

Students must demonstrate:

  1. Physical and mental health required for full utilization of intellectual abilities, exercise of good judgment, and prompt completion of all patient care responsibilities.
  2. Capacity to tolerate taxing workloads and function effectively under stress.
  3. Mature, reflective, and effective relationships with classmates, faculty, patients, and members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team.
  4. Flexibility and adaptability in uncertain environments inherent in graduate education and patient-centered healthcare.
  5. Compassion, integrity, motivation, commitment, and true concern for others in the education and healthcare settings.
  6. Tolerance and respect for different values, opinions, cultures, and lifestyles.

Section 2 – Cognitive Abilities

Students must demonstrate:

  1. Ability to measure, test, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and apply information.
  2. Acquire, integrate, apply, and retain learned information.
  3. Safe and reasonable judgment in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, planning, and outcomes regarding patient care.
  4. Appropriate planning, time management, and use of resources.
  5. Self-reflection and self-assessment as well as the ability to assess others.
  6. Professional acceptance and processing of constructive criticism.

Section 3 – Communication

Students must demonstrate:

  1. Effective speech, hearing, and observation of patients to collect information, perceive nonverbal communication, and changes in mood, activity, and posture.
  2. Sensitive, patient, and compassionate oral and written communication with patients and caregivers.
  3. Accurate and efficient oral, written, and electronic communication and documentation with members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team, payors, vendors, etc.
  4. Ability to give urgent verbal instructions and feedback to others.

Section 4 – Observation

Students must demonstrate:

  1. Accurate patient observations (body language, body mechanics, posture, gait) during examination, evaluation, and intervention.
  2. Ability to observe materials presented in the educational environment (classroom, laboratory, field trips) including audiovisual, written, anatomical structures, and diagnostic images.

Section 5 – Psychomotor Skills

Students must demonstrate:

  1. Ability to collect biomedical information from patients through palpation, auscultation and percussion, and clinical testing.
  2. Ability to perform controlled movements required for safe and efficient patient examination, evaluation, and intervention, including coordination of fine and gross muscular movements, equilibrium, strength, and sensation.
  3. The ability to execute safe and controlled patient lifts and transfers.
  4. Physical stamina necessary to complete rigorous didactic and clinical education, which may include prolonged sitting or standing; twisting, bending, crouching, reaching, and lifting; and continuous use of both hands with firm grasp and manual dexterity.

January 2023