Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

Spring 2001


Physical Therapy


Among the challenges faced by physical therapy educators is to determine whether students have made sufficient progress in the academic and/or clinical curriculum to merit continuance in the physical therapy program. At times, faculties must make the decision to dismiss a student due to failure to achieve the necessary performance criteria. These decisions are often clouded by fear of lawsuits and confusion about the responsibilities and prerogatives of professional judgments. This article traces the history of case law related to academic dismissal, examining a number of significant cases and the ramifications of these cases for professional programs. Key legal concepts are defined and discussed. Recommendations are provided for preserving the rights of the student to due process while protecting academic institutions.


Originally published:

Fein, Beverly D. "A Review of the Legal Issues Surrounding Academic Dismissal." Journal of Physical Therapy Education 15.1 (2001): 21-25.