PT doctorate hooding

Doctoral candidate Katie Lynn Winchell receives her hood from Professor Rafael Escamilla. (Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

Photos from DPT hooding ceremony

Video on first DPT graduates


The first graduating class of Sacramento State’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program was honored Saturday, July 11, at a formal hooding ceremony in Capistrano Hall.

The event was a milestone both for the University and the 30 degree candidates, who were celebrating the completion of their coursework, their doctoral projects, and 36 weeks of full-time internships at California hospitals and clinics.

Sac State’s three-year DPT program is dedicated to graduating professional, evidence-informed physical therapists who have the knowledge and skills to provide patient care in any practicing environment. The program is one of the few in the country that utilize a state-of-the-art simulation lab to educate students in caring for and responding to emergencies with patients in an acute-care environment.

“I challenge you today,” keynote speaker and retired PT department chair Sue McGinty told the degree candidates. “Not everything is impossible. Seek solutions. Your professional journeys are just beginning. Be that force for positive change locally, nationally, or globally.

“Be prepared to present your ideas. Do so diplomatically with a smile, full of gratitude for the opportunity to make a difference. Never let the seemingly impossible deter you from being a force for positive change,” added McGinty, who helped to secure the University’s independent doctoral program three years ahead of the deadline mandated by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy.

Sacramento State was the first CSU campus authorized to offer an independent DPT program. – Dixie Reid