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Curriculum Design

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum is designed to provide an in-depth and universal view of the profession, with an emphasis on clinical judgment based on current evidence to meet the evolving needs of society in a culturally sensitive manner. Courses are taught to develop comprehensive generalist skills which may be used in a variety of patient care settings and serve as a foundation for later specialization. The curriculum is designed to promote clinical reasoning and clinical judgments using evidence-based practice to provide the best foundation for clinical practice. Case studies, simulation and progressive patient interactions are utilized as effective means of ensuring knowledge synthesis and application to clinical practice. Course employ a variety of formats to address multiple learning styles best fits individual student needs. Knowledge, skills and attitudes are acquired and applied through horizontal and vertical integration of content throughout the curriculum. Active learning is emphasized as an important tool to engage students, maximizing learning and foster individual responsibility for on-going learning. Collaborative interprofessional learning among students from multiple professions is productive, encourages cooperation and provides the foundation for future building of interprofessional healthcare teams.

The curriculum is organized as a series of sequential, integrated courses containing 7 didactic quarters, 4 clinical education quarters and 1 open quarter. Each quarter is identified as a Quarter Module (QM) with a central theme. Early QMs provide a foundation for subsequent QMs. Content is horizontally integrated within a QM and content is vertically integrated throughout the curriculum.

With an emphasis on self-directed learning, critical thinking, and problem solving, students are presented with course work organized in series of courses, case studies, direct patient care experiences, and through academic threads woven throughout the curriculum. The Research Portfolio System completed by all students is designed to promote research throughout the curriculum. The Professional Practicum gives the student the opportunity to experience alternative roles in the areas of administration, critical inquiry (research), education, or health care policy within an individual study construct.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following are the expected student outcomes at the completion of the Program: 

  1. Conduct the practice of physical therapy in a professional and ethical manner.
  2. Adapt and practice physical therapy effectively within the framework of a changing health e delivery system.
  3. Provide examination and intervention in a safe, independent, and effective manner.
  4. Develop and carry out an intervention plan to promote optimal motor function.
  5. Differentiate neuromusculoskeletal disorders from other medical disorders.
  6. Educate, supervise, delegate, consult and practice interprofessionally with other health care professionals, patients, and families.
  7. Critically evaluate the art, science, and practice of PT.
  8. Make clinical decisions based on sound theoretical, practical, and empirical evidence; an dence-based practitioner.
  9. Interact with each client with empathy and understanding of the whole person.
  10. Demonstrate potential leadership abilities in all aspects of professional life.
  11. Ongoing contribution to and promotion of physical therapy practice, research, education, and profession’s contribution to the health care system and the general community.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of the above curriculum.
  • Acquisition a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
  • Completion of a research portfolio.