Program Director: Dr. Ivan Mulligan
Physical therapists are professionals, practicing in concert with members of related health professions. Three terms define the practice of physical therapy: 1) health promotion, 2) prevention, and 3) rehabilitation. Physical therapists evaluate and treat patients using a variety of physical therapeutic measures (such as thermal agents and exercise) and education versus medicine or surgery. Patient treatment is goal oriented, focused on enhancing awareness of good health habits and a proactive approach to a healthy life style, preventing physical disabilities, and rehabilitating persons disabled by pain, disease or injury. Physical therapists are recognized as specialists in movement dysfunction.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Saint Francis University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.capteonline.org.
All physical therapy majors in the three-year pre-professional curriculum must meet the following academic requirements in order to have a guaranteed seat in the professional curriculum. Failure to meet the progression standards will result in dismissal from the major. This includes all majors/concentrations leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy approved by the University.
- Before the beginning of the sophomore year the student must achieve a minimum overall cumulative QPA of 2.750 and a minimum cumulative math/science QPA of 2.750. Failure to achieve these QPAs will result in Department Academic Warning. *
- Before the beginning of the junior year the student must achieve a minimum overall cumulative QPA of 3.000 and a minimum cumulative math/science QPA of 3.000. Failure to achieve these QPAs will result in dismissal from the major. *
- At the end of the spring semester of the junior year, the student must achieve a minimum overall cumulative QPA of 3.200 and a minimum cumulative math/science QPA of 3.200. Failure to achieve these QPAs will result in dismissal from the major. *
- Prior to the fall semester of the junior year, 80 hours of documented volunteer experience or paid employment in two different physical therapy practice settings.
- A minimum grade of “C” in all major and collateral requirements.
- If student earns a grade below a “C” in a major or collateral course, the student may, prior to the end of the spring semester of the junior year, retake the class one time to achieve the minimum grade of “C.”
- Completion of the pre-professional curriculum in 3 consecutive years.
A student dismissed from the physical therapy major should contact the Office of Advising and Retention to select another major. A seat in the professional curriculum of the physical therapy major is not guaranteed for a student who does not meet these progression standards.
Any student dismissed from the physical therapy major may apply for readmission according to the Physical Therapy Department Internal Transfer Policy or as a graduate admission.
*The cumulative math/science QPA is based on courses taken at SFU; BIOL 111, 205, 206, CHEM 113,114, EXPH 305, PHYS 104,105, and STAT 205.
All physical therapy majors in the three-year professional curriculum must meet the following academic requirements. Failure to meet the progression standards will result in dismissal from the major.
- Achieve a minimum QPA of 3.0 each semester of the professional curriculum.
- No more than one grade below “B” per semester.
- No more than three grades below “B” permitted in the professional curriculum.
- A minimum grade of “C” in any major course.
- Achieve competency on all lab exams as per department policy.
- Pass all clinical education courses.
- Perform essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodations, while practicing safely, ethically, and in a legal manner.
- Meet professional behaviors standards.
- Prior to advancing to the next semester the requirements for the Professional Development Portfolio must be satisfactorily completed.
Essential functions are the activities that a student physical therapist must be able to perform in partial fulfillment of the requirements for successful completion of the professional curriculum. Every student must be able to perform these essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodations, while practicing safely, ethically, and in a legal manner. For further information on these essential functions, visit the Doctor of Physical Therapy web page at http://francis.edu/pt-accreditation-status-student-outcomes/.
Freshmen applicants should have strong backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. Clinical volunteer or paid employment experience, while not required for freshmen admission, is recommended to provide students with exposure to physical therapy practice.
Students will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree will be awarded after successful completion of the sixth year. Students are prepared as competent, ethical, caring doctors of physical therapy who practice autonomously, at an entry-level, in a complex healthcare environment, and who demonstrate critical thinking, cultural competence, and an evidence-based approach.
Individuals holding an earned baccalaureate degree with the necessary prerequisite coursework will be admitted to the first year of the professional curriculum based on space availability. See the Doctor of Physical Therapy link of this catalog for detailed information about the professional curriculum.
The physical therapy program provides three years of pre-professional study where students complete the general education studies and collateral requirements, followed by three years of study in the professional curriculum which includes clinical experiences. While the entire six-year curriculum is taught on campus, selected education experiences may occasionally require travel to local health care facilities. All clinical education coursework is full time and requires travel to clinical sites for practical experience under the supervision of a physical therapist. Clinical education sites will be available locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Professional courses are open to physical therapy majors only.
Doctor of Physical Therapy - Saint Francis University students who earned a B.S. in Health Science degree as physical therapy majors or individuals holding a baccalaureate degree should see the Doctor of Physical Therapy link of this catalog for professional curriculum course descriptions.
Chair: Dr. Ivan Mulligan
Program Coordinator: Dr. Stephen LoRusso
The American College of Sports Medicine and exercise physiologists define an Exercise Physiologist as one who studies the acute and chronic physiological responses and adaptations resulting from physical activity. An exercise physiologist can apply this knowledge to improve or maintain health, fitness, or performance. Traditionally exercise physiologists worked and studied only with athletes to improve performance. Today, however, exercise physiologists also work and study in commercial, clinical, and workplace settings to increase health, fitness, and quality of life in the general population. For example, an exercise physiologist may work as a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialist, a personal trainer, or direct an employee fitness program. (www.acsm.org)
The Exercise Physiology program’s proposed curriculum, faculty, and resources are consistent with the standards and guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine.
The Saint Francis University Exercise Physiology Program has a 36-credit core curriculum which serves as the foundation for the major. Additionally, students select exercise physiology and non-exercise physiology elective courses to concentrate their studies based on their post baccalaureate career goals. The possible concentrations are a Fitness Professionals concentration, a Pre-Allied Health concentration, a Graduate Research concentration, and a Pre-Professional/Pre-Medicine concentration.
The Fitness Professionals concentration is designed to prepare students for immediate employment in the burgeoning wellness, health promotion, and fitness industries, while the Pre-Allied Health concentration is designed to prepare students for graduate education in physician assistant sciences, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The Research Graduate Concentration is designed to prepare students for a career in research or advanced graduate education in exercise physiology. The Pre-Professional concentration is designed to prepare students interested in careers in Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Podiatry or Veterinary sciences. Pre-medical students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. Additional course work may be required as prerequisites when applying for professional education at Saint Francis University and other institutions. Non-majors may minor in exercise physiology with the approval of the Program Coordinator.