Doctor of Physical Therapy at Grand Valley State University

DPT Research Day 2024

Thursday, July 11 @ 1:30p-5:00p

DCIH 102 & DCIH 104

Research Day Schedule

Research Day Abstracts

Grand Valley State University's Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is offered through the College of Health Professions. Physical therapists are valued for their ability to independently evaluate, diagnose, treat and prevent disorders of human movement in a wide variety of clinical and community settings. Our program features 15 full-time faculty members, 12 of whom hold advanced clinical practice certifications. Our program is well situated along the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids and enjoys an outstanding reputation among its students and in the community.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Grand Valley State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: [email protected]; website:  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 616-331-5700 or email [email protected].

Grand Valley State University’s physical therapy program received it’s initial accreditation in May of 1985. It’s most recent accreditation visit was November 11, 2014. GVSU is fully accredited through April 30, 2034. Our next accreditation visit will occur in 2033. The degree conferred by the GVSU Department of Physical Therapy is the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).

Contact Information

CHP Student Services Office @ [email protected]


Pass/Fail or Credit/No credit info

GVSU Physical Therapy requires all prerequisite courses to be completed with LETTER (A, B, C) or NUMERICAL (4.0, 3.0, 2.0) grades. Prerequisite courses completed with Pass/Fail or Credit/No credit will not fulfill the program’s admissions requirements. The program does accept AP credit (advanced credit) as the exception.

U.S. Job Growth by 2024
Michigan Job Growth by 2024
GVSU Ranking as a West Michigan Talent Provider

Source: EMSI, 2020


According to 2020 EMSI data, opportunities for physical therapists are expected to grow 12% in West Michigan, 11% in Michigan, and 13% in the U.S., which is above average growth when compared to many other occupations. EMSI reported a median annual wage of $85,758 in West Michigan and $87,609 in the U.S. for physical therapists with doctoral degrees. GVSU graduates of the physical therapy program could hold the following job titles:

  • Physical Therapists
  • Directors of Rehabilitation
  • Pediatric Residents
  • Travel Physical Therapists
  • Clinical Directors
  • Therapy Supervisors

Source: EMSI, 2020

The Skills Employers Want

The Doctor of Physical Therapy at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in the health sciences field.

Advanced Skills

  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home Care
  • Treatment Planning
  • Neurology
  • Case Management
  • Acute Care

Common Skills

  • Presentations
  • Communications
  • Leadership
  • Coordinating
  • Research
  • Customer Service
  • Operations
  • Infrastructure
  • Management

Source: EMSI, 2020

Other Reasons to Study Physical Therapy at GVSU

  • Experiential. The integrated curriculum allows students to use the skills that they learn in the classroom in a variety of clinical experiences.
  • Individualized. Advanced topic electives offered in the last semester of the program allow for students to focus their courses on their interests.
  • Competitive. The Physical Therapy program at GVSU has received national recognition by the US News and World Report.
  • Accredited See below.


When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Also, the 2022 GVPT Distinguished Alumni recipient is Crystal Gluch, PT, DPT, CCS

Dr. Crystal Gluch, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy, is a 2016 graduate of GVSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.  Dr. Gluch also earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from GVSU in 2009. Upon graduating from the DPT program, she focused on the patient population she was drawn towards in school and accepted a PT position at University of Michigan – Michigan Medicine. After nearly 2 years at Michigan Medicine, providing care in the acute and critical care setting to patients with various cardiopulmonary diagnoses, Dr. Gluch transitioned to a post-graduate residency program at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

During her Cardiovascular and Pulmonary PT Residency, Dr. Gluch progressed her practice with specialized training and mentoring, she provided advanced clinical care in the medically complex veteran population across acute care, rehab, and outpatient settings, completed an independent research study, and presented patient case studies at a national conference. In the same year, Dr. Gluch was elected to the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) – Michigan Chapter Board of Directors for Communication, and lead a consumer marketing campaign and facilitated multiple initiatives including APTA Michigan’s blog, podcast, and social media presence. Dr. Gluch was nationally recognized for her work as a resident by receiving the 2021 APTA Outstanding Resident Award.

After residency, Dr. Gluch stayed at the Ann Arbor VA and is currently a Cardiopulmonary PT Clinical Specialist that provides patient care across settings, is active in research, serves as the PT Coordinator for a multi-disciplinary outpatient facility and home-based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, and is a faculty member and mentor in their Cardiopulmonary PT Residency Program. 

In 2022, Dr. Gluch was awarded the APTA Emerging Leader for the Michigan Chapter.  This award honored her years of service to her professional association beginning as a student. As a new professional, Dr. Gluch, served as the APTA Michigan Student Engagement Liaison, on the Membership and Conference Committees, organized local service drives at conferences, and has now finished 4 years as Communications Director and is currently serving her 6th year as Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates.

Dr. Gluch is also proud to be clinical adjunct faculty for the cardiopulmonary course at GVSU’s DPT Program. She is passionate about teaching and has a special interest in heart failure and COVID-19.  Early in the pandemic she served as a leader in the Intensive Care Unit and treated many of her patients through the continuum of care.  She has since taught multiple presentations on post-COVID-19 care, as well as presentations on heart failure at the state and national levels.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)

Crystal Gluch Distinguished PT Alumni 2023

Grand Valley Physical Therapy Distinguished PT Alumni Award winner 2023

Related Programs

The Physical Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University has partnered with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to provide students an opportunity for a residency in Neurologic Physical TherapyPediatric Physical Therapy and Orthopedic Physical Therapy.

Compare to Other GVSU Graduate Programs

Page last modified July 9, 2024