Course Sequence and Curriculum
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is designed to be completed in three years (12 terms, four terms each year). Program requirements include 140 credit hours of coursework and 36 weeks of full-time clinical experience (integrated and terminal).

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Course Sequence

 

First Year

SUMMER


601G Clinical Anatomy for Physical Therapists 7 Credits
621AG Principles of Evidence-Based Practice 3 Credits
631AG Professional Engagement I: Introduction 2 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
12

FALL


602AG Clinical Kinesiology I 3 Credits
603G Clinical Pathophysiology 4 Credits
604AG Clinical Neuroscience I 3 Credits
611AG Physical Therapy Examination I 4 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
14

WINTER


602BG Clinical Kinesiology II 3 Credits
605G Clinical Exercise Science & Wellness 4 Credits
611BG Physical Therapy Examination II 3 Credits
621BG Components of Evidence-Based Practice: Design 3 Credits
632G Teaching & Learning 2 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
15

SPRING


612G Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Management 3 Credits
613G Integumentary Management 1 Credit
614G Pharmacology & Diagnostics: CVP & Integumentary 3 Credits
631BG Professional Engagement II: Health Systems & IP Collaboration 2 Credits
615G Clinical Interventions I 3 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
12

Second Year

SUMMER


741G Clinical Experience (8 weeks) 8 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
8

FALL


711AG Musculoskeletal I Management 4 Credits
712AG Pharmacology & Diagnostics: Musculoskeletal 2 Credits
713G Assistive Technology: P & O 2 Credits
714AG Clinical Interventions II 2 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
10

WINTER


722G Components of Evidence-Based Practice: Statistics 3 Credits
711BG Musculoskeletal II Management 4 Credits
604BG Clinical Neuroscience II 3 Credits
731G Psychosocial Aspects of Health Management 3 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
13

SPRING


723G Evaluating the Evidence: Diagnostic Tests 2 Credits
715AG Neuromuscular I Management 4 Credits
712BG Pharmacology & Diagnostics: Neuromuscular 2 Credits
714BG Clinical Interventions III 2 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
10

Third Year

SUMMER


742G Clinical Experience II (8 weeks) 8 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
8

FALL


724G Evaluating the Evidence: Interventions 2 Credits
732G Professional Engagement III: Practice Manage., Policy & Ethics 2 Credits
715BG Neuromuscular II Management 4 Credits
716G Complex Multi-System Disorders 4 Credits
714CG Clinical Interventions IV 1 Credit
TOTAL CREDITS
13

WINTER


981-985 Elective/s 4 Credits
743AG Clinical Experience III (8 weeks) 8 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
12

SPRING


733G Professional Engagement IV: Lifelong Commitment 1 Credit
743BG Clinical Education III (12 weeks) 12 Credits
TOTAL CREDITS
13


Total credits required for degree 140

 

Curriculum

 

The curriculum model is best described as hybrid, incorporating elements of traditional and systems-based curricula. In the early stages, the instruction focuses on normal body structure and function and includes content from both the Basic/Foundational sciences and the Clinical/Physical Therapy sciences. As the student develops an understanding of “normal” and how to assess it, the emphasis begins to shift to health conditions commonly seen in physical therapy, focusing on addressing impairments and activity and participation limitations/restrictions. All components of the patient/client management model are addressed in courses that are systems-based. The curriculum is built around five content areas:

Basic/Foundational Sciences

The seven courses in this area provide the foundation for an understanding of “normal” structure and function. Although they are foundational in nature, each course stresses clinical application of knowledge and concepts. The key question used to identify appropriate content in these courses is: “How will this knowledge or these concepts equip students for physical therapist practice?”

Clinical/Physical Therapy Sciences

The 17 courses in this content area emphasize medical and physical therapy identification of health conditions and deviations from “normal” structure and function. Students will learn to identify and manage impairments as well as limitations in activity and participation. These courses, for the most part, are systems-based. Management of patients in these courses will include consideration of the impact of contextual factors and medical diagnosis and treatment. Each of the system-based courses will address all aspects of the patient-client model (e.g., examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and outcomes). Evidence related to tests and measures, prediction models and interventions will be explored. The courses are structured to promote critical thinking and to explore interprofessional management of patients/clients while considering ethical and legal issues. Management of patients/clients across the life span will be addressed.

Evidence-Based Practice

The five courses in this area are intended to develop the skills and knowledge needed for students to become efficient and effective users of evidence. Students will also develop an appreciation for the need to balance the evidence with their experience and the patients’ preferences. Tools will be identified and skills developed that will promote life-long learning and the ability to remain current in the practice of physical therapy. Knowledge and skills necessary to add to the evidence through research will also be stressed. It is expected that the knowledge and skills gained in these courses will be applied to critical analysis of tests and measures and interventions addressed in the Clinical/Physical Therapy science courses.

Professional Engagement

An understanding of the context in which health care occurs is critical for effective patient/client management. Each of the six courses in this area are designed to help students understand this context by addressing the role of government and professional organizations in health care, the importance of collaborating with others on the health care team in order to promote more efficient and effective use of limited resources, cultural and psychosocial issues that impact patient/client management, approaches to teaching as an intervention utilized heavily in physical therapy practice and how to manage health care services in a variety of different settings. The final course guides the students in evaluating their own professional engagement and planning for future professional development as they enter practice as licensed physical therapists.

Clinical Experience

The clinical experience series is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and behaviors required for safe and effective physical therapy practice. Students will be exposed to a variety of physical therapy practice settings and to a wide-range of patient populations across the lifespan by the completion of the 36 weeks of full-time clinical experiences.


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