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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Physical Therapy
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Doctoral Project

All students are required to complete a Doctoral Project as a part of their DPT requirements. Students work in groups of 2-4 with a faculty member to complete their projects.

This faculty guided research project project starts in fall of the second year and is completed in fall of the third year.

Students are required to:

  1. Complete a literature review, propose hypotheses and methods for a study.
  2. Complete a propsoal paper and orally present this proposal.
  3. Recruit subjects and collect data
  4. Assist with 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 studies:

  1. The immediate effects of motor training and general training on lumbar multifidus activation in persons with chronic nonspecific low back pain
  2. An electromyographic analysis of common gym exercises intended to strengthen the thoracic exercises

  3. Effect of a home electrical stimulation program on incontinence and walking in individuals with multiple sclerosis.  
  4. Mechanical demand and muscle activity of calf exercises in young adults

  5. Assessment of strength in individuals with CNS pathology

  6. Development and validation of assistive devices for patients with neurological disorders
  7. Effect of cognitive and motor multitask training on balance and fall risk in community dwelling older adults.

  8. A comparison of kinematics, kinetics and muscle activations during overground and treadmill running. A reliability and pilot study