The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is designed to help students become competent physical therapists who will be able to employ critical decision-making skills and evidence-based practice for optimal patient care. The curriculum integrates didactic, laboratory and clinical components throughout the program of study. Some key aspects of the program and curriculum include:
The DPT program includes nine semesters over three years, including summers. View our current curriculum schedule.
The philosophy of the clinical education component is to provide a broad background for entry-level practice in a variety of clinical settings, which are located in various geographic locations. These settings include acute care/inpatient hospitals, ambulatory care/outpatient, skilled nursing/extended care facilities, private practice, neurologic rehabilitation and pediatric/school settings. Currently, we have over 300 contractual agreements which can provide placement opportunities throughout the U.S. and are beginning to expand abroad with an agreement in London.
The part-time clinical or integrated clinical experience occurs in the first year of the program in local, rural clinical facilities. These experiences, which are somewhat unique in PT curricula, give students needed practical preparation for the first full-time clinical sequence.
The full-time clinical experiences occur in a variety of clinical facilities across the country. These clinical experiences include:
Clinical Practicum I – 10 weeks, second segment of Fall Semester of second year
Clinical Practicum II – 12 weeks, Summer Semester of third year
Clinical Practicum III/Clinical Practicum IV – 16 weeks (or two 8-week), Spring Semester of third year
The Director of Clinical Education (DCE) assigns students to clinical facilities for the practica. The DCE works closely with students to meet their individual needs and desires, but also to make certain that each student has the experiences that prepare students to be capable of practicing in any setting.