(a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) Since its adoption in 1960, the Master Plan for Higher Education has served to create the largest and most distinguished higher education system in the nation. A key component of the Master Plan for Higher Education is the differentiation of mission and function, whereby doctoral and identified professional programs are limited to the University of California, with the provision that the California State University can provide doctoral education in joint doctoral programs with the University of California and independent California colleges and universities. The
differentiation of function has allowed California to provide universal access to postsecondary education while preserving quality.
(2) Because of the need to prepare and educate increased numbers of physical therapists, the State of California is granting the California State University authority to offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as an exception to the differentiation of function in graduate education that assigns sole authority among the California higher education segments to the University of California for awarding doctoral degrees independently. This exception to the Master Plan for Higher Education recognizes the distinctive strengths and respective missions of the California State University and the University of California.
(b) Pursuant to subdivision (a), and notwithstanding Section 66010.4, in
order to meet specific physical therapy education needs in California, the California State University may award the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree. The authority to award degrees granted by this article is limited to the discipline of physical therapy. The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree offered by the California State University shall be distinguished from doctoral degree programs at the University of California.