Why I Chose Pacific?

The Pacific University School of Physical Therapy welcomes students from across the nation to join in our mission. They bring a common passion in their desire to assist individuals find rehabilitation and strength in their daily activities, experience working with PTs in inpatient and outpatient settings, a natural affinity and academic strength in science and the liberal arts, and more! Learn more about the current students and graduates of our program.

Why Students Choose Pacific University

  • Academic and Clinical Reputation
  • Location
  • Degree Offered (level)
  • Size of Class
  • Program Philosophy
  • Contact with Faculty
  • Contact with Students

Current Student Perspectives

Alumni Perspectives

Monica Bastian '10 | Oregon

As an undergraduate student, I created my own major entitled: "A Biological and Holistic Approach to Health." At that point, I knew that I wanted to work in the health field, but didn't know at that point that PT was the field I would wind up in.

After getting my undergraduate degree, I went on to teach yoga for five years. At that point, I reached a place where I was unable to answer specific kinesthetic questions that my students posed. I wanted to learn more about how the body worked, so I could become a better yoga instructor. As I researched physical therapy as a career, I realized that PT held many of the answers that would allow me to help my students feel better in their bodies and at the same time help me to work with a wider population of people.

Tashina Begay '10 | Oregon

First Year Student Scholar

I spent three months researching DPT programs in the country and discovered there to be a lot that I liked about each and every one. It was not until the day of my interview that I knew I wanted to attend Pacific University. I knew of Pacific’s wonderful reputation of adding well-rounded and intelligent clinician into the field. But for me, the day I walked onto the campus I really felt like I was at home. I love the new professional building and the classrooms. The faculty and prospective students I met that day were all so nice and I knew it was be wonderful to be in a classroom with them later in the year. The location of being in the NW was also important to me.

Oanh Ngo '10 | Oregon

PT Student Ambassador

I chose the program at Pacific based on how comfortable I felt at the campus. Both the students and faculty were very knowledgeable about the program and they didn't at all come across as intimidating. At the open house, several current students gave me their email addresses and told me to contact them anytime with questions or concerns. I also liked how the clinical experiences are integrated into the program starting in the first year, allowing students to gain hands-on experience as we learn new information. It also doesn't hurt that we get summers off and the school is within driving distance from the mountains and beaches!

Ryan Moore '10 | Hawai‘i

Pacific University alum and former President of the Pre-PT Club

To prepare myself to become a DPT student I made sure to get a variety of observation experience. I had the opportunity to observe in a sports medicine setting, an in-patient hospital, for the US Navy, a Veteran’s Affairs clinic, and even in a private practice of a former Pacific graduate. I also made sure to keep myself well-balanced at school in leadership, athletics, and with Pacific’s nationally recognized Lu’au, all the while hitting the books and studying hard. To prepare for my interview, I met with the Career Development Center to practice a few mock-interviews. Pacific’s undergraduate program allowed me the unique opportunity to learn anatomy with cadavers and head my own Exercise Science research project. It was important to me that I constantly challenge myself on all different levels so that I would be fully prepared for PT school.

Jose Reyna '09 | Oregon

First Year Student Scholar

I have chosen to be a Physical Therapist because it allows me to help individuals overcome their fears during and after an injury, disease, or trauma. One of the two factors I considered when I reapplied to Pacific University was the outstanding performance by their graduates on the national licensing exams. In addition, I noticed the university’s dedication and pride towards its DPT program, when new plans to build a state of the art facility were carried out.

Receiving the First Year Student Scholarship Award means a great deal. First, I am grateful to receive this award and know my efforts to be the best will continue to grow at Pacific University. Most importantly, receiving this award reminds me of "why" I was selected for this award. I believe this to be an opportunity to help our community overcome the various issues currently facing the field of physical therapy.

Marie Lawrence '09 | New Mexico

First Year Student Scholar

First of all, I liked the fact that the DPT program had already been in place for a number of years, whereas a number of other schools I considered were just beginning the transition process or had only transitioned recently. Location was another factor. I wanted to experience another part of the country even if this meant stepping outside of my comfort zone. Additionally, I liked that the clinical internships are mixed into the program rather than all at the end. The school really gave me the impression that they were very accessible to students and prospective students. Anytime I’ve ever had questions I’ve always received a quick response.

It was a really nice surprise to be awarded the First Year Student Scholarship. It took a lot of hard work in college to get to this point and prepare for PT school. The scholarship reminded me that it’s all been worth it.

Kara Lang '08 | Oregon

Student Ambassador Co-Chair (2006-2007)

I chose to pursue physical therapy at Pacific partly because it was a doctor level program. I knew that the field of PT was really pushing for students to be graduated with DPT degrees. Pacific not only had the program I wanted, but there were nice facilities and excellent resources for students. Making the decision to come to Pacific turned out to be easier than I had thought. First of all, I adore the campus and all of the friendly attitudes. Also, I have always been into science and felt that the program at Pacific had a very strong curriculum with a more scientific and evidence-based foundation. I had already heard excellent things about the professors, but the third thing that really swayed me was going to the school and meeting some of the students currently in the program. They were so welcoming that I knew Pacific would be a good school for me.

Clint Harris '08 | Oregon

I researched five schools, visited two, and applied to one. The program here fits my needs academically, structurally, geographically, and economically. The graduates of this program that I have met have been outstanding practitioners, exhibiting clear confidence in their education and skills. I was prepared to keep trying to get accepted to this program, in the case I didn’t make it on the first try.

Pacific University, the DPT program, faculty, and the students have exceeded all my expectations. I expected new friends, but now feel I have gained a new family. I expected excellence in the classroom, and am consistently impressed both with the enthusiasm and energy of the professors and with my achievement as a student under their guidance.

Gwen Kurlik '06 | Oregon

The Pacific DPT program offered a friendly and well respected experience that met my expectations for depth and breadth of education and life quality. The variety and early hands on clinical experience was something I believe to be invaluable. And, the evidenced based approach and diverse experience of the professors also helped me to make my decision.

I’m quite excited about the challenge and welcome the opportunity to put the basics together in a patient setting. My first clinical rotations included an orthopedic setting at the VA Medical Center in Portland as well as acute care in a local hospital. My next affiliation will be an eight week geriatrics rotation at Kula Hospital on Maui, Hawaii.

I am most interested in outpatient orthopedics, but I believe I would be equally as happy in acute care or neuro rehabilitation as well.

Scot Macgregor '06 | Idaho

I chose Pacific University’s DPT program based on multiple factors. First, in the Northwest Pacific is very well known and the school has a tremendous reputation. More importantly I chose Pacific University because of the personal feel I got when visiting the campus. It is a friendly environment and you get the sense both the faculty and the current students care about you and they were very helpful answering any questions I had. The professors at Pacific University have all been published in numerous research articles, but their main focus now is teaching and preparing their students for the future. Students graduating from Pacific University have not had any difficulties getting a job, and the schools passing rate on the national exam is well above the national average. Now Pacific has both a brand new state-of-the-art Library and a brand new Hillsboro Campus.

Kelsi Compton-Griffith '05 | Oregon

My main role is as a pediatric physical therapy fellow. I am at the Child Development & Rehabilitation Center at OHSU in Portland and was awarded a Fellowship position for the 2005-2006 year.

Overall, yes, the Pacific DPT program met my expectations. I learned a LOT, and feel comfortable as a general practioner and beginning researcher. Initially, I complained that our education was too broad, but after being out of school a year, I know what an asset that is. I see mainly pediatric kids with neurodevelopmental problems, but I still have kids and adults ask me questions about orthopedic issues. I feel comfortable treating the geriatric population too. Basically, I know that if I didn't have a job right now, I would be able to work in any setting.

Kathryn Hoover '05 | Oregon

I am a staff physical therapist at Lake Vue Gardens Skilled Nursing Facility (company: Life Care Centers of America).

I was pleasantly surprised at how prepared I was to enter the workforce. Despite worrying I was unprepared when I graduated, when I started working I actually felt competent and skilled enough to feel like I knew what I was doing and ask the right questions. I think Pacific provided us with a broad set of skills, resources, and evidence-based approaches. I wanted to work in a facility with a lot of other therapists to learn from (we have at least 10 PTs), and I am really happy with that decision because I have had some good mentorship too.