The USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy welcomed 94 new doctors of physical therapy into the profession as part of its 2016 commencement proceedings.

“Graduates, you are entering the profession at a very exciting time. Barriers to practice are coming down and your financial incentives will come. You will be rewarded for working smarter instead of harder,” said commencement speaker Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, president of the American Physical Therapy Association, the professional organization that represents more than 93,000 physical therapists and physical therapy assistants nationwide.

This year’s ceremony marks the 20th anniversary since USC graduated one of the nation’s first post-professional doctors of physical therapy classes. Up until that point, the entry-level degree had been a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Today, the doctor of physical therapy is the professional standard.

In addition to the doctors of physical therapy, the division also conferred three doctors of philosophy and five master’s degrees in biokinesiology at the 2016 ceremony.

— John Hobbs