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Curriculum

Students in the doctor of physical therapy program study in a cooperative campus environment. They develop lifelong skills to stay abreast of changes in physical therapy and health care delivery. Instruction throughout the term-format curriculum reflects current thinking in clinical training and technology while emphasizing manual skills.

Evidence-based practice models, clinical cases, laboratory practice and current technology are incorporated throughout the curriculum to enhance learning. Through this integrated approach, students learn to appreciate lifelong learning and the value of service as the basis for your career in physical therapy.

Program of Study

  • The 34-month program of study begins in August. See the University’s academic calendar.
  • The curriculum is divided into 8 terms of varying length: 5 didactic and 3 clinical.
  • The program leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree.
  • 36 weeks of clinical instruction are interspersed throughout the program, allowing students to correlate didactic (classroom) experiences with clinical applications.
  • Several breaks are included during the 34 months of study.
  • The curriculum is delivered in sequential learning experiences presented in a term format, each term building on the previous one.
  • Students participate in four clinical internships spaced throughout the curriculum in areas including orthopedics, acute care, neurological rehab and an elective. Internships are scheduled at more than 350 clinical sites throughout the United States.
  • The curriculum uses a variety of delivery methods in an attempt to meet individual student learning styles. Methods include case studies, problem-based learning, lectures, group projects, labs and community-based labs.
  • The curriculum includes extensive laboratory time to ensure competency in manual skills.
  • Students spend an average of 20 hours per week in the classroom. Afternoons are usually open for studying, completing small-group work or collaborating with faculty.

Core Courses

The didactic terms within the curriculum contain four core courses. These include:

  • Professional issues and development
    Covering professional behaviors, ethics, educational theory, administration and management.
  • Foundational sciences
    Covering basic and applied sciences and research.
  • Patient management
    Focused on the care of patients/clients and skill acquisition in laboratory settings.
  • Clinical applications
    Application of clinical problem solving skills to case presentations.

Typical Course Schedule

DPT Plan of Study

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Year 1 Fall Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 1620Clinical Applications – Health Promotion1.5
DPT 1640Research Design and Statistics2.0
DPT 1650Foundational Sciences – Anatomy9.0
DPT 1651Foundational Sciences – Health Promotion4.0
DPT 1660Patient Management – Health Promotion2.0
DPT 1690Professional Issues and Development 12.5

Year 1 Spring Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 1621Clinical Applications – Musculoskeletal Lower Quadrant2.0
DPT 1641Epidemiology and Evidence Based Practice1.0
DPT 1652Foundational Sciences – Musculoskeletal Lower Quadrant4.5
DPT 1661Patient Management – Musculoskeletal Lower Quadrant8.0
DPT 1680Health Promotion and Prevention Practicum2.0
DPT 1691Professional Issues and Development 21.0

Year 1Summer Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 2622AClinical Applications – Musculoskeletal Upper Quadrant 11.0
DPT 2653AFoundational Sciences – Musculoskeletal Upper Quadrant 12.5
DPT 2662APatient Management – Musculoskeletal Upper Quadrant 15.0
DPT 2692AProfessional Issues and Development 30.5

Year 2 Fall Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 2622BClinical Applications – Musculoskeletal Upper Quadrant 20.5
DPT 2630Clinical Internship 110.0
DPT 2653BFoundational Sciences – Musculoskeletal Upper Quadrant 21.0
DPT 2662BPatient Management – Musculoskeletal Upper Quadrant 23.0
DPT 2692BProfessional Issues and Development 41.0

Year 2 Spring Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 2623Clinical Applications – Neuromuscular Systems2.5
DPT 2654Foundational Sciences – Neuromuscular Systems3.0
DPT 2663Patient Management – Cardiopulmonary Systems3.0
DPT 2664Patient Management – Neuromuscular Systems7.0
DPT 2693Professional Issues and Development 52.5

Year 3 Summer Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 3631Clinical Internship 210.0

Year 3 Fall Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 3610Civic Engagement1.0
DPT 3670Practice Topics10.0
DPT 3694Professional Issues and Development 63.5

Year 3 Spring Term

Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
DPT 3632Clinical Internship 38.0
DPT 3633Clinical Internship 48.0

In addition to the required course work outlined above 4.0 of elective course work is required for graduation.