D.P.T. Curriculum

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Hands-On Preparation for Improving Patients’ Lives

Des Moines University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program offers a distinctive, evidence-based curriculum focused on patient-centered care. The 29-month hybrid curriculum offers classroom and clinical instruction emphasizing problem-solving, critical thinking and strong manual therapy skills. Manual therapy includes a variety of specific hands-on techniques used to diagnose and treat a range of dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary systems.

The curriculum is designed to foster students’ professional and personal development through integrated and sequential learning experiences that provide the knowledge and skills needed for the practice of physical therapy.

A hallmark of DMU’s D.P.T. program is that students gain clinical experiences early in the curriculum through Integrated Clinical Education experiences. These half day experiences provide students with the opportunity to engage in various hospitals and clinics within about a one-hour drive from campus. In addition, the program includes three full-time clinical education experiences totaling 30 weeks. Students are required to complete an outpatient, inpatient and elective clinical education experience. The D.P.T. program has a long history of outstanding relationships with clinical educators, and DMU students are consistently commended by these educators for their knowledge and manual therapy skills.

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Summer Term
(June - July)
Fall Term
(August - December)
Spring Term
(January - May)
Year 1   16.5 Total Credits
Professional Practice & Research Methods (4 credits)
Human Movement (4 credits)
Musculoskeletal Anatomy (4.5 credits)
Kinesiology (4 credits)
18 Total Credits
Wellness, Health & Evidence Based Practice (4 credits)
Neural Basis of Human Movement (3 credits)
Integrative Visceral Systems & Systems Review (5 credits)
Physical Therapy Examination & Evaluation (4 credits)
Professional Practice Topics (2 credits)
Year 2 10.5 Total Credits
Manual Therapy & Biophysical Agents (4.5 credits)
Therapeutic Exercise (3 credits)
Integrated Practice (3 credits)
17 Total Credits
Clinical Education Experience 1 (10 credits)
Pharmacology & Imagine (3 credits)
Pathophysiology & Integumentary (4 credits)
18 Total Credits
Contemporary Professional Practice (3 credits)
Evidence Based Practice - Outcomes (2 credits)
Advanced Neuromuscular Interventions (3 credits)
Clinical Education Experience 2 (10 credits)
Year 3 10.5 Total Credits
Practice Management (2.5 credits)
Pediatrics (2 credits)
Adaptive & Assistive Technologies (2 credits)
Management of the Complex Patient (4 credits)
17.5 Total Credits
Preparation for Clinical Practice (3 credits)
Complex Movement Analysis (2 credits)
Integrated Manual Therapy (2.5 credits)
Clinical Education Experience 3 (10 credits)
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