May 28, 2024  
2014-2015 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy Program, Doctor of Physical Therapy (Graduate Admission)

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Chair: 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:; website:

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.

  1. Achieve a minimum QPA of 3.0 each semester of the professional curriculum.
  2. No more than one grade below “B” per semester.
  3. No more than three grades below “B” permitted in the professional curriculum.
  4. A minimum grade of “C” in any major course.
  5. Achieve competency on all lab exams as per department policy.
  6. Pass all clinical education courses.
  7. Perform essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodations, while practicing safely, ethically, and in a legal manner.
  8. Meet professional behaviors standards.
  9. Prior to advancing to the next semester the requirements for the ProfessionalDevelopment Portfolio must be satisfactorily completed.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the three-year professional curriculum. 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, embrace lifelong learning and use an evidence based approach to patient care.

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.

Please consult the departmental handbook for detailed information about internal policies and standards. Professional courses are open to physical therapy majors only.

Graduate Application

Individuals holding an earned baccalaureate degree with the necessary prerequisite coursework are eligible for admission to the first year of the three-year professional curriculum based on space availability. Candidates should apply for admission by January 15 for the following summer semester.

Admission personnel, financial aid officers, and faculty members are available for interviews, registration, and advising throughout the admissions process. Candidates are required to submit the following to the Department of Physical Therapy Graduate Admissions Committee:

  • Formal application and fee
  • Official transcript from each college/university attended indicating a minimum 3.0 overall QPA and an earned bachelor’s degree
  • A 3.0 minimum math/science QPA (based on the prerequisite math and science courses)
  • The following prerequisite (or equivalent) coursework required: 12 credits of biology, 8 of which must be anatomy and physiology; 8 credits of chemistry with labs; 8 credits of physics with labs; 9 credits of psychology; 4 credits of exercise physiology; 3 credits of statistics; and 3 credits of pre-calculus mathematics.
  • All international students must send official transcripts to an International Agency to have transcripts converted to the United States academic scale.
  • Current semester grades upon completion (if presently enrolled)
  • College catalog(s) from previously attended institutions(s) - upon acceptance
  • Three professional recommendations (two from physical therapists) using the standard forms available through the Graduate Admissions Coordinator.
  • Brief (300 words or less) typed response to “Describe your personal characteristics that you believe will lead you to success in the physical therapy profession.”
  • Eighty (80) hours of documented experience between two (2) different physical therapy practice settings (i.e., inpatient, outpatient, rehab, etc.)

Major Requirements for graduate students entering Saint Francis University solely for the professional curriculum:

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