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Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Courses are taught in a blended-learning model (both online and in-person), flexible and convenient from the comfort of your own home.

  • A blended learning and competency-based model offers you the opportunity to study from a location convenient to you and your life circumstances, while attending onsite program sessions throughout each semester. 
  • Learn from faculty with broad educational and clinical experiences in a range of practice arenas from around the United States.  
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned in academic courses to clinical experiences at one of our many active clinical partner sites across the country in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health, schools, and outpatient clinics.
  • Complete two 16-week internships at the end of your curriculum, in both an inpatient and outpatient setting.
  • GRE not required.
  • Receive your Doctorate of Physical Therapy in just 31 months.
     

Program Overview

Start Date: June 1, 2020
Program Length: 31 Months
Class Size: 60 students per cohort
Licensure: Upon doctoral graduation, candidates must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam and seek state licensure in order to practice.

Plan of Study

Summer Year 1 - First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 15    

  • PT Professional Issues: Intro to PT Profession (3 credits)
  • PT Professional Issues: Language of Practice (1 credit)
  • Human Anatomy Lecture and Lab (6 credits)
  • Pathophysiology I (3 credits)
  • PT Practice Issues: Psychosocial Aspects of PT (2 credits)
     

Fall Year 1 - Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 19    

  • Neuroscience (Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology) (3 credits)
  • Movement Science: Human Movement/Gait and the Movement Systems (3 credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice I (2 credits)
  • Clinical Biomechanics and Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • Pathophysiology II (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy Examination (4 credits)
  • Clinical Decision Making - PT Management (1 credit)
     

Spring Year 1 - Third Semester

Total Credit Hours: 18    

  • Biophysical Agents/Therapeutic Interventions (4 credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice II (2 credits)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience I (1 credit)
  • Clinical Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I (4 credits)
  • Neuromuscular Physical Therapy I (4 credits)
     

Summer Year 2 - First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 18    

  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary PT (4 credits)
  • Physical Therapy for the Integumentary (3 credits)
  • Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II (4 credits)
  • Neuromuscular Physical Therapy II (4 credits)
  • Principles of Education and Communication: PT’s as Teachers and Learners (2 credits)
  • Integrated Clinical Experiences II (1 credit)
     

Fall Year 2 - Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16    

  • Geriatric PT (3 credits)
  • Pediatric PT (3 credits)
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics (3 credits)
  • Integrative Pain Science (3 credits)
  • Differential Diagnosis/Diagnostic Imaging (3 credits)
  • Acute Care/Primary Physical Therapy (2 credits)
     

Spring Year 2 - Third Semester

Total Credit Hours: 12    

  • Healthcare Delivery Systems (3 credits)
  • Business and Leadership in PT (3 credits)
  • Comprehensive Case Analysis of Complex Patients (3 credits)
  • Test Prep for NPTE and PEAT  (1 credit)
  • Health Informatics (2 credits)
     

Summer Year 3 - First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 11    

  • Full-time Clinical Internship (16 weeks)  (8 credits)
  • Comprehensive Case Analysis of Complex Patients - Capstone Project (3 credits)
     

Fall Year 3 - Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 8      

  • Full-time Clinical Internship (16 weeks)  (8 credits)

Requirements for Graduation​

For information about graduate classes, see the college graduate catalog.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physical therapist, administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). After successful completion of this exam, you will be a physical therapist, registered (DPT). Most states require licensure in order to practice. State licenses are usually based on the results of the FSBPT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the FSBPT certification examination, attain state licensure or complete fieldwork.

Accreditation

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; accreditation [at] apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

College of Saint Mary 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, 2019. 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 students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Furthermore, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

State Authorization

College of Saint Mary seeks to make available all online programs/courses to residents of Nebraska and other states, and to allow completion of required clinical or practical experiences in those states. We work through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) process and with states directly to ensure that when authorization or licensure is necessary, required approvals are secured. Nebraska is a member of SARA and CSM is an approved SARA institution. As such, we adhere to a set of national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs. SARA also covers all interstate placements in clinical or practical situations among SARA member states, no matter the nature of the main program. However, not all states are SARA members (i.e. California). While we do monitor the laws in each state, authorization of distance education is a dynamic environment and prospective students should check often for updates. It is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements in their state of residence. 

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • Minimum prerequisite course GPA 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • A grade of C or better on all the prerequisite courses is required.
  • Completed application.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of reference: one from a licensed physical therapist and one from a person of the applicant’s choice.
  • 50 hours minimum of community involvement (volunteering) post high school.
  • 50 minimum observation hours in a physical therapy setting prior to application submission.
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language, TOEFL is required.
  • Ability to fulfill the essential functions of a physical therapist.
  • Successful completion of an admission interview. Applicants are selected for an interview based on a holistic evaluation of their application and supporting documents. The admissions interview will include an oral interview and written essay questions.
  • Complete an approved Criminal Background Check (CBC) prior to matriculation.
  • Minimum prerequisite course GPA 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • All courses need to be completed with a C or above.
    • Biology I with Lab
    • Biology II with Lab
    • General Chemistry I with Lab
    • General Chemistry II with Lab
    • General Physics I with Lab
    • General Physics II with Lab
    • Human Anatomy with Lab
    • Physiology with Lab
    • Psychology
    • English Composition or Writing
    • Statistics or Research Design
       

       **Prerequisites must be completed within five years preceding entrance to the graduate program.

DPT Admissions Decisions

Completion of basic requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission into CSM’s DPT program.

CSM’s Physical Therapy Admission Committee uses a selection model to choose which candidates best qualify for the program and practice of the profession from a pool of applicants. Admission is based on quality of baccalaureate academic institution, cumulative and prerequisite GPA, difficulty of prior coursework, references, and applicant interview.

Academic Description

Doctorate of Physical Therapy

Courses are taught in a blended-learning model (both online and in-person), flexible and convenient from the comfort of your own home.

  • A blended learning and competency-based model offers you the opportunity to study from a location convenient to you and your life circumstances, while attending onsite program sessions throughout each semester. 
  • Learn from faculty with broad educational and clinical experiences in a range of practice arenas from around the United States.  
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned in academic courses to clinical experiences at one of our many active clinical partner sites across the country in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health, schools, and outpatient clinics.
  • Complete two 16-week internships at the end of your curriculum, in both an inpatient and outpatient setting.
  • GRE not required.
  • Receive your Doctorate of Physical Therapy in just 31 months.
     

Program Overview

Start Date: June 1, 2020
Program Length: 31 Months
Class Size: 60 students per cohort
Licensure: Upon doctoral graduation, candidates must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam and seek state licensure in order to practice.

Accreditation

Accreditation

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; accreditation [at] apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

College of Saint Mary 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, 2019. 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 students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Furthermore, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

State Authorization

College of Saint Mary seeks to make available all online programs/courses to residents of Nebraska and other states, and to allow completion of required clinical or practical experiences in those states. We work through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) process and with states directly to ensure that when authorization or licensure is necessary, required approvals are secured. Nebraska is a member of SARA and CSM is an approved SARA institution. As such, we adhere to a set of national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs. SARA also covers all interstate placements in clinical or practical situations among SARA member states, no matter the nature of the main program. However, not all states are SARA members (i.e. California). While we do monitor the laws in each state, authorization of distance education is a dynamic environment and prospective students should check often for updates. It is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements in their state of residence. 

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • Minimum prerequisite course GPA 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • A grade of C or better on all the prerequisite courses is required.
  • Completed application.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of reference: one from a licensed physical therapist and one from a person of the applicant’s choice.
  • 50 hours minimum of community involvement (volunteering) post high school.
  • 50 minimum observation hours in a physical therapy setting prior to application submission.
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language, TOEFL is required.
  • Ability to fulfill the essential functions of a physical therapist.
  • Successful completion of an admission interview. Applicants are selected for an interview based on a holistic evaluation of their application and supporting documents. The admissions interview will include an oral interview and written essay questions.
  • Complete an approved Criminal Background Check (CBC) prior to matriculation.
  • Minimum prerequisite course GPA 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • All courses need to be completed with a C or above.
    • Biology I with Lab
    • Biology II with Lab
    • General Chemistry I with Lab
    • General Chemistry II with Lab
    • General Physics I with Lab
    • General Physics II with Lab
    • Human Anatomy with Lab
    • Physiology with Lab
    • Psychology
    • English Composition or Writing
    • Statistics or Research Design
       

       **Prerequisites must be completed within five years preceding entrance to the graduate program.

DPT Admissions Decisions

Completion of basic requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission into CSM’s DPT program.

CSM’s Physical Therapy Admission Committee uses a selection model to choose which candidates best qualify for the program and practice of the profession from a pool of applicants. Admission is based on quality of baccalaureate academic institution, cumulative and prerequisite GPA, difficulty of prior coursework, references, and applicant interview.

Curriculum

Plan of Study

Summer Year 1 - First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 15    

  • PT Professional Issues: Intro to PT Profession (3 credits)
  • PT Professional Issues: Language of Practice (1 credit)
  • Human Anatomy Lecture and Lab (6 credits)
  • Pathophysiology I (3 credits)
  • PT Practice Issues: Psychosocial Aspects of PT (2 credits)
     

Fall Year 1 - Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 19    

  • Neuroscience (Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology) (3 credits)
  • Movement Science: Human Movement/Gait and the Movement Systems (3 credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice I (2 credits)
  • Clinical Biomechanics and Kinesiology (3 credits)
  • Pathophysiology II (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy Examination (4 credits)
  • Clinical Decision Making - PT Management (1 credit)
     

Spring Year 1 - Third Semester

Total Credit Hours: 18    

  • Biophysical Agents/Therapeutic Interventions (4 credits)
  • Evidence Based Practice II (2 credits)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience I (1 credit)
  • Clinical Pharmacology (3 credits)
  • Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I (4 credits)
  • Neuromuscular Physical Therapy I (4 credits)
     

Summer Year 2 - First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 18    

  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary PT (4 credits)
  • Physical Therapy for the Integumentary (3 credits)
  • Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II (4 credits)
  • Neuromuscular Physical Therapy II (4 credits)
  • Principles of Education and Communication: PT’s as Teachers and Learners (2 credits)
  • Integrated Clinical Experiences II (1 credit)
     

Fall Year 2 - Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16    

  • Geriatric PT (3 credits)
  • Pediatric PT (3 credits)
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics (3 credits)
  • Integrative Pain Science (3 credits)
  • Differential Diagnosis/Diagnostic Imaging (3 credits)
  • Acute Care/Primary Physical Therapy (2 credits)
     

Spring Year 2 - Third Semester

Total Credit Hours: 12    

  • Healthcare Delivery Systems (3 credits)
  • Business and Leadership in PT (3 credits)
  • Comprehensive Case Analysis of Complex Patients (3 credits)
  • Test Prep for NPTE and PEAT  (1 credit)
  • Health Informatics (2 credits)
     

Summer Year 3 - First Semester

Total Credit Hours: 11    

  • Full-time Clinical Internship (16 weeks)  (8 credits)
  • Comprehensive Case Analysis of Complex Patients - Capstone Project (3 credits)
     

Fall Year 3 - Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 8      

  • Full-time Clinical Internship (16 weeks)  (8 credits)

Degree Requirements

Requirements for Graduation​

For information about graduate classes, see the college graduate catalog.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physical therapist, administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). After successful completion of this exam, you will be a physical therapist, registered (DPT). Most states require licensure in order to practice. State licenses are usually based on the results of the FSBPT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the FSBPT certification examination, attain state licensure or complete fieldwork.