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Doctor of Physical Therapy

The program is designed to prepare the student for entry-level doctoral practice as a physical therapist. Graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and private physical therapy clinics. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is open to all college graduates who have met prerequisite requirements and demonstrate sufficient preparation, potential for professional education and ability to perform the essential functions needed to practice as a physical therapist as determined by physical therapy faculty review of admission documents. Admission shall be granted on a competitive basis; meeting the admission requirements qualifies an individual for, but does not guarantee admission to the program.

Admission Requirements

1. Complete the university application to be admitted with graduate standing by the deadline of December 1 and complete the PTCAS application by the application deadline November 1 for summer admission the following year.

2. Submit to the university and PTCAS results of the General Aptitude Section of the Graduate Record Examination (quantitative, verbal, and analytical), taken within the past 5 years.

3. Provide PTCAS with three letters of recommendation attesting to the potential for success as a physical therapist and/or the scholarly potential of the
applicant;

  • At least one letter must be from a physical therapist with whom the applicant had a professional association, and
  • One from a professor for a prerequisite course which the applicant completed.
  • If the applicant previously has been employed, the third letter should be from an employer.
  • If the applicant previously has not been employed, the third letter should be from a physical therapist with whom the applicant had a professional association.

4. Provide documentation of knowledge of physical therapy through a minimum of 100 documented hours of paid or volunteer experience under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist; and

5. Provide a written statement of purpose reflecting the applicant's commitment to physical therapy.

6. Meet prerequisite requirements

Prerequisites

1. Hold, or be eligible to hold, an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by an appropriate campus authority, by the end of the spring semester prior to admission to the program.

2. Have attained a grade point average of at least 3.0 (A=4.0) with at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted,

3. Have been in good academic, professional, and clinical standing at the last institution and if applicable in the last entry-level physical therapist educational program attended,

4. Successfully have completed the following courses with a minimum of "C" and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 by the end of the fall semester prior to the year of admission to the program. No course may be repeated more than once and no more than 3 prerequisite courses may be repeated. CR/NC grades, correspondence courses, or independent study courses cannot be used for prerequisite requirements. Only 2 classes may be in progress during the fall semester of application and all prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the Fall semester of application.

Natural Sciences:

Take all of the following courses:

  • CHEM 111A General Chemistry (5)
    Prerequisites: A passing score on the Chemistry Placement Examination. 
    Corequisite:  MATH 109 or higher.
  • CHEM 111B General Chemistry (5)
    Prerequisites: CHEM 111A and MATH 113 or MATH 115 or MATH 117 or MATH 119A or MATH 122 all with a grade of "C" or better.
  • PHYS 100A General Physics (4)
    Prerequisite: MATH 109 or MATH 113 or MATH 119A or MATH 120 or MATH 122.
  • PHYS 100B General Physics (4)
    Prerequisite: MATH 109 or MATH 113 or MATH 119A or MATH 120 or MATH 122; PHYS 100A.

Biological Sciences:

Take all of the following courses:

  • BIOL 208 Human anatomy (4)
    Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirements.
  • BIOL 211 Introduction to Evolution and Diversity (4)
    Prerequisite/Corequisite: CHEM 111A with a grade of "C" or better.
  • BIOL 212 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
    Prerequisites: Completion of BIOL 211 and CHEM 111A with grades of "C" or better.

Take either the following courses:

  • BIOL 207 Human Physiology (4)
    Prerequisites: GE Foundation requirements.

or

  • BIOL 213 Introduction to Ecology and Physiology (4)
    Prerequisites: BIOL 211, BIOL 212, CHEM 111B, each with a grade of "C" or better.

Biostatistics:

Take the following:

  • BIOL 260 Biostatistics (3) (preferred)
    Prerequisites: BIOL 211 or BIOL 207 or MICR 200; MATH 111 or MATH 113 or MATH 119A or MATH 122 all with a grade of "C" or better.

Behavioral Sciences:

Take the following:

  • PSY 100 General Psychology (3)
    PrerequisiteCorequisite: GE A1 requirement.

Admission shall be granted on a competitive basis; meeting the admission requirements qualifies an individual for, but does not guarantee admission to the program.

Retention

1. Maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average in all graduate work completed.

2. Make continuous satisfactory progress toward the degree objective.

Advancement to Candidacy

1. Satisfy the general University requirements for advancement to candidacy. 

2. Obtain classified status. 

3. Have earned a minimum 3.0 grade-point average in all program graduate work as well as a minimum overall 3.0 in all graduate work attempted. 

4. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by scoring 11 or higher on the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) or earning a score of 4.0 on the Analytical Writing Component of the GRE. 

5. Complete a minimum of one semester (fall session) of graduate level coursework in the program. 

6. Be enrolled during the term in which advancement to candidacy takes place. 

7. Obtain approval for one's individual program plan from the Graduate Advisor and then from the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

Qualifying Assessment

1. Successfully complete the Doctoral Project Proposal Paper and Oral Presentation.

2. Earn good standing in the clinical education program (beginner status on clinical Performance Instrument [CPI] for DPT 781).

3. Demonstrate adherence to the essential physical, emotional and professional practice expectations of a physical therapist in the classroom and clinic (entry level on CPI skills 1 and 2 for DPT 781, acceptable practice in DPT 731, DPT 733 and DPT 741)

Requirements for Clinical Coursework

Criminal background check, health insurance, titers and immunizations, medical clearance, malpractice insurance, CPR certification (lifesaving course with lab), and adhering to the department essential functions are required for clinical coursework.

Admittance to Clinical Internship

Successfully complete 4 units of a Doctoral Project (DPT 797)

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program is a 114-unit, three year, full-time cohort program including summer sessions that includes an internship of 12 units.

Core:

Take all of the following courses:

  • DPT 701A Anatomy for Physical Therapy I (2)
    Prerequisites: BIOL 208 and admission to DPT program.
  • DPT 701B Anatomy for Physical Therapy II (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 701A.
  • DPT 701C Anatomy for Physical Therapy III (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 701B.
  • DPT 703 Neuroanatomy (3)
    Prerequisite: DPT 701A. Corequisite: DPT 701B.
  • DPT 704 Tissue Mechanics (2)
    Corequisite: DPT 701A.
  • DPT 705 Biomechanical Principles (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 701A, DPT 701B, DPT 704.
  • DPT 706 Physiology for Therapists (6)
    Prerequisite: Admission to the DPT program.
  • DPT 707 Physical Therapy across the Life Span (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 701A, DPT 701B and DPT 703.
  • DPT 708 Motor learning and Motor Control (2)
    Prerequisite: Admission to DPT program.
  • DPT 709 Exercise Science for Physical Therapy (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 701A, DPT 704, DPT 706.
  • DPT 710 Pathology for Physical Therapy (3)
    Prerequisite: Admission to DPT program.
  • DPT 720 Professional Interactions (3)
    Prerequisite: Admission to DPT program.
  • DPT 721 Professional Practice Issues (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 720.
  • DPT 722 Critical Thinking for Physical Therapy (1)
    Prerequisites: DPT 720, DPT 721.
  • DPT 731 Physical Therapy Principles of Acute Care (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 701A, DPT 701B, DPT 703.
  • DPT 732 Examination of Individuals with Musculoskeletal Disorders (3)
    Prerequisite: DPT 705.
  • DPT 733 Interventions for Individuals with Musculoskeletal Disorders (4)
    Prerequisites: DPT 705, DPT 732.
  • DPT 734 Advanced Management of Individuals with Musculoskeletal Disorders (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 705, DPT 732, DPT 733.
  • DPT 735 Normal and Pathological Gait (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 705.
  • DPT 736 Management of Individuals with Orthotic and Prosthetic Needs (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 732, DPT 735.
  • DPT 740 Evaluation of Individuals with Neuromuscular Disorders (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 703.
  • DPT 741 Intervention for the Individual with Neuromuscular Disorders I (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 740. Corequisite: DPT 782.
  • DPT 742 Intervention for the Individual with Neuromuscular Disorders II (1)
    Prerequisites: DPT 740, DPT 741.
  • DPT 743 Electroneuromyographic Management I (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 701B, DPT 703.
  • DPT 744 Electroneuromyographic Management II (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 743.
  • DPT 745 Management of the Pediatric Population (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 707, DPT 740.
  • DPT 746 Advanced Management of Individuals with Neuromuscular Disorders (1)
    Prerequisites: DPT 740, DPT 741, DPT 742.
  • DPT 750 Imaging for Physical Therapists (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 710, DPT 732.
  • DPT 751 Pharmacology for Physical Therapists (2)
    Prerequisite: Admission to DPT program.
  • DPT 752 Differential Diagnosis for Physical Therapists (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 743, DPT 750, DPT 751.
  • DPT 760 Management of Individuals with Cardiopulmonary Disorders (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 706, DPT 709.
  • DPT 765 Management of Individuals with Integumentary Disorders (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 710.
  • DPT 767 Management of the Geriatric Population (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 733, DPT 734, DPT 745, DPT 760.
  • DPT 768 Clinical Pathophysiology (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 707, DPT 710, DPT 731, DPT 750, DPT 751, DPT 752.
  • DPT 769 Advanced Management of Individuals with Cardiopulmonary Disorders (1)
    Prerequisite: DPT 760.
  • DPT 770 Health Care Delivery I (2)
    Prerequisites: DPT 721, DPT 722.
  • DPT 771 Health Care Delivery II (2)
    Prerequisite: DPT 770.
  • DPT 780A Musculoskeletal Practice I (1)
    Prerequisite: DPT 732.
  • DPT 780B Musculoskeletal Practice II (1)
    Prerequisite: DPT 732, DPT 733, DPT 734.
  • DPT 781 Clinical Practice I (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 731, DPT 732, DPT 735, DPT 740.
  • DPT 782 Neuromusculoskeletal Practice I (1)
    Prerequisite: DPT 740. Corequisite: DPT 741.
  • DPT 783 Neuromusculoskeletal Practice II (1)
    Prerequisite: DPT 782.
  • DPT 784 Clinical Practice II (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 733, DPT 734, DPT 741, DPT 760, DPT 781.
  • DPT 791 Current Trends in Physical Therapy (1)
    Prerequisite: Admission to DPT program or consent of instructor.
  • DPT 796 Research Methods (2)
    Prerequisite: Admission to DPT program.

Take a total of 6 units of each of the following:

  • DPT 785 Clinical Internship I (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 752, DPT 781, DPT 784.
  • DPT 786 Clinical Internship II (3)
    Prerequisites: DPT 781, DPT 784, DPT 785.

Take a total of 4 units of the following:

  • DPT 797 Doctoral Project (1‑4)
    Prerequisite: DPT 796.

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