Physical Therapy (DPT)
The degree offered by the department is the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), designed as a first-professional degree for students who want to enter the physical therapy profession.
The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program consists of eight consecutive semesters of full-time professional graduate study. The curriculum plan, by semester, of courses required once admitted to the DPT program can be found on the department website: http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/alliedhealth/pt/courses.html. The DPT is a clinical doctorate degree, not a research degree, and is awarded after successful completion of the prescribed sequence of 121 semester hours (listed below) including classroom and clinical laboratory coursework and 34 weeks of full-time physical therapy internships. As an entry-level program, the DPT is designed as a first PT degree and is not appropriate for students who already hold a PT degree. The goals and objectives of the program are guided by the criteria and guidelines set forth by the Evaluative Criteria for Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Preparation of Physical Therapists (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education). Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for licensure.
The program begins each year in the Fall semester. The application deadline for Fall semester is December 1st of the previous year. All applicants must apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) http://www.ptcas.org/ptcas/public/Listing.aspx?seqn=405&navid=10737426783 and submit a supplemental application and supplemental application fee directly to the PT department. International Students should carefully review earlier deadlines and additional requirements listed after Minimal requirements for all applicants (see below).
DPT Early Acceptance Program (DPTEAP)
The DPT Early Acceptance Program (DPTEAP) allows for some highly qualified high school seniors who meet the qualifications to gain early provisional acceptance to the graduate program prior to starting college. Details are described in the Early Acceptance Program section of the Office of Admissions website at http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/admissions/earlyacceptance/index.html
In addition, a link to the application for this program is also found on this webpage and the "Special Programs" section of the Office of Admissions Website. The application deadline for this program is February 1 of the senior year in high school.
Regular Graduate Applicants
It is required, that applicants complete a bachelor's degree prior to starting the PT program. These applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (or be able to complete the degree prior to starting the PT program) in any field from a regionally accredited college or university and complete all prerequisites for regular graduate admission as listed below with a GPA > 3.00. These applicants may apply by December 1st if they will complete their bachelor's degrees before the upcoming Fall semester.
Minimum Requirements For All Applicants
- The applicant must declare one of the above categories on the application form (deadline December 1st) and meet all requirements including prerequisites.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must be officially reported to the University of South Alabama Office of Admissions by December 1st with a minimum score of 290 on the 'new' GRE (use institution code 7799). The GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years. Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections will be utilized.
- Regular Graduate applicants must have a minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall grade point average (GPA).
- All applicants must have a minimum grade of "C" in each of the prerequisite courses.
- Observation or work experience in Physical Therapy (50 hours minimum) under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist must be documented and submitted to PTCAS by the December 1st deadline. A form is available for download from the PTCAS website (http://www.ptcas.org/PTHours/)
- Applicants may only have a maximum of 2 science course prerequisites remaining by the application deadline. The remaining prerequisites must be completed in the spring and summer prior to the start of the program.
International applicants must have a TOEFL score = 600 (250 on computer based or 100 on Internet based tests), TSE = 60 and TWE = 4.5 and must submit the following to the Department of Physical Therapy by October 15 of the year prior to admission: TOEFL score, official transcripts with certified translations of transcripts, supplemental application and non-refundable supplemental application processing fee of $75.00. In addition, international students must submit PTCAS application and official GRE scores by December 1st. Materials being sent by mail carrier must be postmarked NO later than December 1st. This DPT program is not ideal for students who already have a physiotherapy degree.
NOTE: If selected for interview, the applicant must achieve a satisfactory interview score, and if accepted into the program, must submit a health form and physical examination which includes required immunizations.
Program Prerequisitesa (for optimal preparation, online science labs are discouraged)
Prerequisites Required For All Applicants:
- English Composition (2 courses)
- Social Sciences (3 courses--at least two of which must be Psychology)
- Precalculus Algebra/Trigonometry or Higher Mathematics (1 course)
- Statistics (1 course)
- College Physics - with labs (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)
- General Chemistry for science majors - with labs (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)
- General or Cell Biology for science majors - with labsb (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)
- Human Physiology, Mammalian Physiology OR a course sequence in Anatomy and Physiology (minimum 6 credits). Human Physiology is preferred.
aFor all prerequisite courses, credit older than ten years from the application deadline
must be repeated or validated by examination or other appropriate mechanism.
bBotany may not be used to satisfy this prerequisite.
Electives should be concentrated in a back-up major of the student's choice.
Core Performance Standards, which are fundamental tasks that must be performed to successfully complete the program, have been outlined and are available upon request from the program and on the department web site.
Students admitted in the Physical Therapy program will be charged a matriculation deposit of $300 required to secure a seat in the entering class. This amount is not refundable but will be applied towards tuition expenses after registration.
Students should be prepared for extra expenses (estimates available on the web site) associated with professional studies including books, local travel to and from clinical facilities and for out-of-town travel and living expenses during the 34 weeks of clinical internship in the first year and the final year. It is highly recommended that students have a laptop computer. Special lab fees are assessed for the following courses:
|PT 600||Human Anatomy||$75.00|
|PT 601||Human Anatomy II||$200.00|
|PT 612||Research Project||$50.00|
|PT 621||Introductory PT Skills||$20.00|
|PT 625||Therapeutic Intervention||$20.00|
|PT 675||Comprehensive Capstone||$81.00|
|PT 682||PT Internship||$75.00|
A Resource Fee of $133/semester is charged to all health professions students.
A $25.00 professional liability fee is assessed annually ($12.00 each in fall and spring and $1.00 in summer).
The Department of Physical Therapy currently has eight scholarships that are awarded to students after admission to the program, in year-1, year-2 and year-3. These scholarships are listed on the department webpage.
Accreditation And Licensure
The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Telephone: (703) 706-3245; Web site: http://www.capteonline.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to gain licensure. Applicants are hereby informed that a history of felony conviction, use of drugs or intoxicating liquors, which affects professional competence, or narcotic law conviction will prevent physical therapy licensure.
See Alabama Board of Physical Therapy site: http://www.pt.alabama.gov/
DPT Curriculum Sequence
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
After admission, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree requires the following course sequence to complete the professional degree:
|First Year||Course Description||Cr Hrs|
|PT 600||Human Anatomy I*||3 hrs|
|PT 601||Human Anatomy II*||3 hrs|
|PT 610||Principles of Research||2 hrs|
|PT 621||Introductory PT Skills*||4 hrs|
|PT 622||Exercise Physiology*||4 hrs|
|PT 689||Professional PT Practice; W||2 hrs|
|PT 604||Pathophysiology I||2 hrs|
|PT 620||Clinical Kinesiology *||3 hrs|
|PT 625||Therapeutic Intervention (EPA/Manual Therapy)*||4 hrs|
|PT 631||PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders I*||4 hrs|
|PT 632||PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders II*||3 hrs|
|PT 681||Clinical Practice Issues; W||2 hrs|
|PT 607||Pathophysiology II||2 hrs|
|PT 633||PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders III*||4 hrs|
|PT 682||PT Internship I||6 hrs|
|Second Year||Course Description||Cr Hrs|
|PT 602||Life Span Human Development||2 hrs|
|PT 603||Neuroscience*||3 hrs|
|PT 606||Pharmacology||2 hrs|
|PT 611||Research Proposal||2 hrs|
|PT 634||PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders IV*||3 hrs|
|PT 650||PT in Integumentary Disorders*||4 hrs|
|PT 671||PT Internship I||1 hr|
|PT 612||Research Project||2 hrs|
|PT 628||Mobility, Orthotics, and Prosthetics*||2 hrs|
|PT 640||Neuromuscular PT Adult*||4 hrs|
|PT 641||Neuromuscular Pt Pediatrics*||2 hrs|
|PT 660||PT in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disorders*||4 hrs|
|PT 672||Clinical Case Studies II||1 hr|
|PT 687||Professional Behaviors||1 hr|
|PT 627||Medical Screening||2 hrs|
|PT 635||PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders V*||2 hrs|
|PT 642||Neuromuscular PT Intervention*||4 hrs|
|PT 673||Clinical Case Studies III||1 hr|
|Third Year||Course Description||Cr Hrs|
|PT 605||Human Learning||1 hr|
|PT 614||Measurement in PT||1 hr|
|PT 626||Health Promotion and Prevention in PT||2 hr|
|PT 674||Clinical Synthesis and Patient Management||1 hr|
|PT 683||PT Internship II||8 hrs|
|PT 685||Management of PT Practice||3 hrs|
|PT 614||Clinical Case Reports||2 hrs|
|PT 675||Comprehensive Capstone||1 hr|
|PT 684||PT Internship III||6 hrs|
|PT 686||PT Internship IV||6 hrs|
|Physical Therapy Administrative Staff||(251) 445-9330|
|Chair||Dennis W. Fell|
|Associate Professors||Dale, Gubler|
|Assistant Professors||Day, Eaton, Fletcher, Saale, White, Waldheim|
|Emeritus||Gray, Kennedy, Wall|
A physical therapist, also called a PT, is a health care professional who provides direct patient care to persons who have disorders of movement, mechanical, physiological and developmental impairment and functional limitations, whether caused by injury, disease, or pain to help them achieve maximum physical function and mobility. Physical therapists have the necessary training to meet the total range of primary patient care responsibilities involved in preventing disabilities and promoting restoration of function to the physically impaired, including musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary and integumentary disorders that interfere with physical function. The Physical Therapist performs an examination and then uses clinical reasoning to plan and implement patient-centered PT intervention. Physical Therapists practice in rehabilitation centers, private practices, hospital-based and outpatient-based centers, home health care, sports medicine centers, school systems, and in universities to restore movement and function.
As its mission: The Department of Physical Therapy is: "Committed to high quality education and advancement of the professions through scholarship and service”.