Dec 07, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2018-19 
Graduate Catalog 2018-19 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Physical Therapy

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The Department of Physical Therapy plans to offer a professional entry-level program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree beginning Summer II of 2019. Students applying to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program must have earned a baccalaureate degree and must have completed all prerequisite courses prior to program admission. This 30-month, 110-semester hour program will be offered as a full-time professional education curriculum.

Accreditation Status

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Western Michigan University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2018. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no student may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for regular admission to this program, each applicant must present evidence of the following criteria:

  1. An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the most recent 60 hours of academic coursework.
  3. All prerequisite courses must be completed no later than the Spring semester prior to the Summer II start of the DPT program.
  4. Official transcripts for all college work.
  5. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  6. Three letters of recommendation from professional and academic references; one professional letter, one academic letter and one additional letter from either professional or academic.
  7. Professional statement specific to purpose for seeking entry to the DPT program.

Because admission is considered highly competitive, the academic criteria listed above should be considered as minimum standards.

Admission Process

Because the DPT program is in the candidacy-seeking phase, the application process and schedule is altered compared to the process and schedule that will be used once candidacy status is granted (anticipated April 2019). Thus, students wishing to apply to the DPT program in its inaugural year (Summer II, 2019 start) will submit applications directly to the University. For this initial cycle, applications will be available in early to mid-summer 2018 and due late in 2018 (date yet to be determined; will be posted on the departmental website as soon as it is known), with interviews for selected applicants occurring in January/February 2019, and notification of provisional admissions in March/April 2019. In subsequent years, once Candidacy has been granted, students will submit applications through the Physical Therapy Central Application System (PT-CAS) with applications due by October 1, of the year preceding start of coursework, interviews occurring in November, and admissions notifications by December.

Please note the following:

  1. In the admission process, a formula will be employed that assigns points for GPA and for other required application items. Admission to the program will be based on the compilation of all points.
  2. Admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the physical therapy program.
  3. Physical therapy is a profession that is regulated on national and state levels, and everyone who wishes to practice as a physical therapist is required to pass the NPTE licensure examination after graduating from an accredited program.
  4. A criminal background check is required of all individuals following admission to the program. Students who have a positive finding on a criminal background check will be required to meet with the Program Director and Director of Clinical Education to discuss potential consequences of the findings. Consequences could include difficulty or inability to locate clinical placements for the student or ineligibility to sit for the NPTE licensure examination.

Prerequisite Course Work

The following courses are required prerequisites for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the Spring semester prior to the Summer II start of the DPT program. All prerequisite courses must be passed with a “C” (2.0) or better with an overall GPA of a “B” (3.0) or better.

  • Human Biology course with lab
  • Human Anatomy*
  • Human Physiology*
  • Chemistry I & II, both with lab
  • Physics I & II, both with lab
  • Statistics
  • Behavioral Sciences (at least 2 courses psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, etc.)

*Human Anatomy and Human Physiology must be completed within 5 years prior to the application deadline to the DPT program.

Program Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program consists of 110 semester hours taken in prescribed sequence over a continuous 30-month time period. These 110 semester hours are comprised of 94 semester hours of classroom education and 16 semester hours (32 full-time weeks) of clinical education. The DPT program will utilize clinical sites primarily in Michigan and the Midwest region with some sites throughout the United States. Clinical education is an equivalent component to classroom education in the DPT program and both must be completed according to departmental policies and standards. Each student must complete all DPT coursework and satisfy all of the department’s professional standards to meet graduation requirements.

Students must maintain a “B” (3.0) average to be in good academic standing within the DPT program. In addition, a grade of “C” or higher is required for each course within the DPT program. Any grade below a “C” is considered a failing grade. Because completion of all courses within any semester is a requirement to continue in good standing to the following semester, if a grade below a “C” is earned in any course, the student will be dismissed from the program.

If a student earns a cumulative GPA below 3.0 at the conclusion of any semester of the program, the student will be placed on academic probation. Dismissal from the program will occur if a cumulative 3.0 GPA is not achieved by the completion of the subsequent semester. If the student has not achieved a cumulative 3.0 GPA by the start of a full-time clinical experience, the student will be dismissed from the program.

DPT Program Courses

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