Scott Burns, PT, DPT, PhD, is a professor of instruction in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Dr. Burns received his physical therapy education from the University of Colorado and completed his PhD from the University of Newcastle (Australia). He also has obtained clinical board specialization in orthopaedic physical therapy though the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and completed his fellowship training in orthopaedic manual physical therapy at Regis University (Denver, CO). He is a licensed physical therapist in Pennsylvania and maintains an active clinical practice treating individuals with musculoskeletal and pain disorders.

Dr. Burns teaches primarily in the musculoskeletal content within the DPT program. He is responsible for the administrative leadership within the department that includes many programs including the BS in health professions, BS in recreational therapy, MS in neuromotor science, PhD in neuromotor science and clinical professional programs including the DPT program, master of occupational therapy, MS in athletic training, MS in recreational therapy and doctor of athletic training.

Dr. Burns has been selected as a representative to serve on the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) Criteria for Excellence meeting in 2019 and subsequently been invited to join the taskforce to create a Blueprint for Excellence in Physical Therapist Education. He has been recognized as the recipient of the Rising Star Award by the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Alumni Association (2020). He was also awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award (2014) by the College of Public Health at Temple University.

Dr. Burns also maintains an active research agenda in the area of musculoskeletal rehabilitation, manual therapy and optimal delivery of physical therapist education. He has authored 13 peer-reviewed publications (nine as primary author), six book chapters and over 25 peer-reviewed presentations. He was awarded the Dick Erhard Award for Best Platform Presentation at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT) conference in 2010.


  • PhD, Physiotherapy, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • DPT, Physical Therapy, University of Colorado
  • MSPT, Physical Therapy, University of Colorado
  • BS, Kinesiology, University of Colorado

Specializations and fellowships

  • Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT)
  • Fellow, American Physical Therapy Association Educational Leadership

Curriculum Vitae 

Courses Taught




PHTH 8102

Teaching, Learning, Group Dynamics


PHTH 8103

Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills I


PHTH 8107

Functional Biomechanics


PHTH 8113

Evidence Based Practice I


PHTH 8118

Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills III


PHTH 8125

Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions I


PHTH 8131

Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions II


PHTH 8137

Evidence Based Practice II


PHTH 8141

Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions III


PHTH 8151

Evidence Based Practice III


Selected Publications

  • Mansell, J.L., Moffit, D.M., Miller, S., Burns, S., & Neil, E.R. (2024). Athletic Trainers' Beliefs Regarding Professionalism. J Athl Train, 59(5), pp. 546-557. United States. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-0371.23

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Rivett, D.A., O'Hara, M.C., Egan, W., Pandya, J., & Snodgrass, S.J. (2021). When Treating Coexisting Low Back Pain and Hip Impairments, Focus on the Back: Adding Specific Hip Treatment Does Not Yield Additional Benefits-A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 51(12), pp. 581-601. United States. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2021.10593

  • Burns, S.A., Cleland, J.A., Rivett, D.A., & Snodgrass, S.J. (2019). Examination procedures and interventions for the hip in the management of low back pain: a survey of physical therapists. Braz J Phys Ther, 23(5), pp. 419-427. Brazil. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.09.007