Diversity is central to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program's mission of meeting the health care needs of the people of Wisconsin and the nation as whole. Through providing our students with culturally and socially diverse educational, research, patient care and service opportunities, we aim to nurture future physical therapists who will function effectively across an array of working environments and with diverse patient populations.

Our commitment

We believe that the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is enhanced by a diverse class whose members differ in gender, race, ethnicity, age, socio-economic background, sexual orientation and gender identity. As such, we welcome applications from individuals who believe they can contribute to our program through sharing their unique perspectives and backgrounds.

If you come from a disadvantaged background or are a member of an underrepresented community, we welcome your application. There are many diversity resources available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that can enhance your student experience.

Equity and diversity committee

Program director Lisa Steinkamp, PT, MBA, PhD, is a member of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health Equity and Diversity Committee. The committee works to advance the goals of equity and diversity at the school and across campus. The committee includes faculty, academic staff and classified staff with varied positions and backgrounds.

Faculty commitment to diversity

Faculty and staff within the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are committed to fostering future physical therapists who are culturally competent and who can work effectively across different patient populations. Our commitment to diversity is apparent throughout the program curriculum and is emphasized in required seminar courses taken by students each semester. Additionally, all students participate in a service learning course in which the program partners students with either a non-profit organization in Dane County or possibility with an international organization in Belize, Uganda or Guatemala.

Diversity resources

From school-specific student groups to campus-wide centers and institutes, UW-Madison has a plethora of minds devoted to advancing inclusion.

  • Science and Medicine Graduate Research Scholars: The program strives to enhance the experiences of underrepresented graduate and professional students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Pharmacy, and School of Veterinary Medicine. SciMed GRS coordinates professional development opportunities and community gatherings of graduate scholars. This program provides resources to both students and faculty mentors to enrich the graduate experience at UW-Madison.
  • School of Medicine and Public Health Diversity Matters: Diversity is central to the mission of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in meeting the health needs of the people of Wisconsin and beyond through excellence in education, research, patient care and service.
  • Native American Center for Health ProfessionsThe Native American Center for Health Professions is located within the School of Medicine and Public Health. Their vision is to improve the health and wellness of American Indian people. They work with prospective students, current students and health professionals to serve as a central location within the school for opportunities of growth, professional development, mentorship, research and support. They offer innovative ways to continue to enhance the pathways of native health professional students, as well as keep students connected to native health and wellness issues.
  • Medical Students for Minority ConcernsMedical Students for Minority Concerns aims to introduce students to the health challenges of minority populations and their access to healthcare in Madison.
  • Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
  • Association of Native American Medical Students
  • Latino Student Medical Association and Student National Medical Association
  • Wisconsin Area Health Education CentersWisconsin Area Health Education Centers improves access to quality health care by developing community-based health professions training programs and enhancing health education resources across the state. The system works to improve the supply, distribution and quality of health care professionals in Wisconsin.
  • Global Health Institute: The Global Health Institute at UW-Madison is dedicated to improving health in Wisconsin and across the world through research, education and service. The institute embraces and grapples with complex, interlinked environmental, biological and sociological determinants of illness and well-being, discovering lasting health solutions.
  • Campus Multicultural Student Center: The primary mission of the multicultural student center is to collaboratively strengthen and sustain an inclusive campus where all students, particularly students of color and other historically underserved students, are engaged and can realize an authentic Wisconsin experience.
  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Center: The LGBT Campus Center provides education, outreach, advocacy and resources for UW-Madison student communities and their allies to improve campus climate and their daily intersectional experiences.
  • Advancing Diversity and Excellence in Physical Therapy (ADEPT): ADEPT develops and supports pathways to excellence for young people from groups currently underrepresented in the physical therapy profession. ADEPT also strives to foster a strong community of physical therapy students who are knowledgeable about the experiences of underrepresented peoples and equipped to address health disparities.
  • Pathways Campus & Community Liaisons (PCCLs): PCCLs work to provide culturally appropriate academic support, student advocacy, leadership development, civic engagement and cultural awareness to ALL students. Through collaboration with and connections to student organizations, academic departments, advisors across campus and the university and greater community, the PCCLs support students in setting and reaching goals, gaining leadership skills and developing academic profiles of success.