Doctoral Project

All DPT students complete a Doctoral Project as a part of the program requirements. Working in groups of 2-4, students complete their research project under the guidance of a DPT program faculty member. The research project begins in the fall year two and is completed in the fall of year three.


  1. Complete a literature review, propose hypotheses and develop methods for a research study.
  2. Write a proposal paper and present an oral proposal to the faculty and fellow students.
  3. Recruit subjects and collect data.
  4. Assist with the statistical analysis of data
  5. Analyze results and form a conclusion based on the original hypotheses.
  6. Complete a final paper and orally defend the results of the research.

Examples of prior student projects

  • The immediate effects of motor training and general training on lumbar multifidus activation in persons with chronic nonspecific low back pain
  • An electromyographic analysis of common gym exercises intended to strengthen the thoracic exercises
  • Effect of a home electrical stimulation program on incontinence and walking in individuals with multiple sclerosis.  
  • Mechanical demand and muscle activity of calf exercises in young adults
  • Assessment of strength in individuals with CNS pathology
  • Development and validation of assistive devices for patients with neurological disorders
  • Effect of cognitive and motor multitask training on balance and fall risk in community dwelling older adults.
  • A comparison of kinematics, kinetics and muscle activations during overground and treadmill running. A reliability and pilot study