2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
    Oct 24, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Physical Therapy DPT


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Entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy

College of Health Sciences
Department Chair Susan P. Barker, PhD

Students are admitted at the first year and post-baccalaureate level to the doctor of physical therapy program. A student accepted at the first year level completes 6-1/2 years of study, resulting in a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. During the first 3-1/2 years, the student completes the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in an area of the student’s choice. Students accepted into the pre-DPT program at the first year level are guaranteed progression into the graduate DPT program, as long as academic criteria are met. A student accepted at the post-baccalaureate level completes 3 years of study, resulting in a DPT degree. The graduate DPT program is eight semesters in length.

The physical therapy program at Misericordia University received full accreditation status in 2010. Graduates of the program are eligible for licensure as physical therapists in the individual United States and territories. For additional information, contact the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria VA 22314-3245; (703) 706-3245; accreditation@apta.org.

Mission

The physical therapy program is committed to providing students with quality education using traditional face-to-face and distance/digital methods, in order to develop competent physical therapy practitioners able to think critically and apply best available evidence to practice. The program prepares graduates for productive careers in physical therapy and as advocates for and participants in life-long learning, in accordance with the values of the Sisters of Mercy: justice, mercy, service and hospitality.

Philosophy

The physical therapy education program is based on the belief that graduates of entry-level physical therapy programs should possess the clinical decision making and problem solving skills which enable them to function as reflective practitioners in the contemporary, dynamic health care system. Physical therapists need to be sensitive to the needs of a culturally diverse society as evident in their interactions with clients, families, health care colleagues and the community in which they practice.

An educational program for physical therapists should reflect the concepts of androgogy (adult education) to include problem solving, critical thinking and analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and integration of theory and evidence in practice, clinical decision making, mentoring and self-directed learning.

Physical therapists should integrate the core values of the profession in all professional activities. While capable of autonomous practice, they should have the ability and desire to remain open to input from and collaboration with other health care professionals.

A physical therapy entry-level education program prepares physical therapy generalists but provides graduates with the tools which enable them to develop specialty expertise through the application of critical thinking and problem solving skills and a holistic approach to health care.

The academic and clinical faculty and the academic and clinical education environments must reflect and foster professional values and behaviors. The academic and clinical faculty and curriculum components must be inextricably linked for the provision of a professional education program that prepares competent health care practitioners.

A diverse faculty whose members have responsibilities and activities consistent with their areas of teaching and scholarly expertise strengthens and enhances a professional education program.

Goals

The goals of the entry-level DPT program are to prepare graduates to:

  1. Be prepared to practice as physical therapist generalists capable of contemporary, reflective, competent, legal, autonomous and ethical practice.
  2. Competently utilize and contribute to evidence for the validation and advancement of the art and science of physical therapy.
  3. Apply appropriate and effective teaching methods to educate others.
  4. Effectively communicate and interact with colleagues for the benefit of optimal service to clients.
  5. Respect and respond to individual differences in interactions with clients, families, colleagues and the community.

Admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

There are two forms of admission into the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program: freshman admission and graduate admission.

Freshman Admission

Minimum criteria for admission to the pre-DPT program are:

  • Class rank in the top 1/3 of the graduating class;
  • Minimum combined SAT score of 1130 for Critical Reading and Math (or minimum composite score of 23 for the ACT); and
  • Completion of at least three years of mathematics, one year of biology, and one year of chemistry in high school.
  • Additionally, high school preparation in physics is highly recommended. Exposure to and exploration of physical therapy as demonstrated by paid or volunteer experience is strongly encouraged.

DPT entry is guaranteed to 50 rising undergraduate students. Program attrition for pre-DPT students typically allows for all students meeting program progression requirements to access graduate level slots in the DPT program. However, in the unlikely occurrence that more than 50 students meet the progression criteria, the top 50 as ranked by cumulative Misericordia University undergraduate grade point average (GPA) will be selected.

Graduate Admission

Admission at the graduate level is on a very limited space available basis.

A very limited number of students is typically accepted on a space-available basis into the graduate portion of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. To apply, contact the Admissions Office directly: www.misericordia.edu/apply

The deadline for submitting an application for graduate admission into the DPT program is April 15th of the year before the student wishes to begin the graduate program.

Internal Students

Students who currently attend Misericordia University and who wish to transfer into the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate program will be evaluated by the Physical Therapy Admissions Committee, along with external transfer applicants. Admission to the Physical Therapy major is not guaranteed, and is on a space available basis.

The criteria for admission into the DPT graduate program (spring semester) are:

  • Completion of requirements for baccalaureate degree.
  • Completion of required prerequisite courses with a grade of at least C for each course.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
  • Pre-requisite GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Exposure to and exploration of physical therapy as demonstrated by documented paid or volunteer experience of 50 or more hours in at least two different facilities or a minimum of one year’s full-time professional experience within the health care system.
  • Successful completion of one credit medical terminology course or its equivalent.
  • If SAT scores are older than five years, GRE or Miller’s Analogy Test scores may be required.

External Students

The criteria for admission into the DPT graduate program (spring semester) are:

  1. Completion of baccalaureate degree.
  2. Completion of required prerequisite courses with a grade of at least C for each course.
  3. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
  4. Pre-requisite GPA of at least 3.0.
  5. Exposure to and exploration of physical therapy as demonstrated by documented paid or volunteer experience of 50 or more hours in at least two different facilities or a minimum of one year’s full-time professional experience within the health care system.
  6. Successful completion of one credit medical terminology course or its equivalent.

If SAT scores are older than five years, GRE or Miller’s Analogy Test scores are required.

Required Prerequisite Courses for DPT

Required DPT prerequisite courses include the following (or their equivalent):

CHM 104   General Chemistry with lab 4 credits
CHM 105   Introduction to Organic Chemistry with lab 4 credits
PHY 117   Introductory Physics I with lab 4 credits
PHY 118   Introductory Physics II with lab 4 credits
BIO 211   Anatomy and Physiology I with lab 4 credits
BIO 212   Anatomy and Physiology II with lab 4 credits
PSY 123   Introduction to Psychology 3 credits
SOC 101   Comparative Sociology 3 credits
MTH 115   Basic Statistics 3 credits
PSY 275   Child and Adolescent Psychology 3 credits
PSY 290   Psychopathology 3 credits

Policies related to transfer of credit to the University and the academic calendar can be found in the “Academics” section of the University catalog.

Advancement to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Program

In order to progress into the graduate DPT Program in the spring semester of the student’s senior year, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Completion of all requirements for baccalaureate degree by the end of the fall semester of the student’s senior year.
  • Completion of required pre-requisite courses with a grade of at least C for each course. (C minus is not acceptable.)
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.2. Note: cumulative GPA can be below 3.2 during undergraduate study, as long as it is at least 3.2 upon finishing the undergraduate program.
  • DPT Prerequisite Natural Science GPA of at least 3.0.  Note: DPT prerequisite Natural Science GPA can be below 3.0 during undergraduate study, as long as it is at least 3.0 upon finishing the undergraduate program.
  • Exposure to and exploration of physical therapy as demonstrated by documented paid or volunteer experience of 50 or more hours in at least two different facilities or a minimum of one year’s full-time professional experience within the health care system.
  • Medical terminology competency.

DPT entry is guaranteed to 50 rising undergraduate students. Program attrition for pre-DPT students typically allows for all students meeting program progression requirements to access graduate level slots in the DPT program. However, in the unlikely occurrence that more than 50 students meet the progression criteria, the top 50 as ranked by cumulative Misericordia University undergraduate grade point average (GPA) will be selected.

A pre-DPT student with a record of university disciplinary or academic integrity sanction may be denied advancement to the DPT program. A student with a record of sanction may petition the Physical Therapy faculty for consideration of advancement, but the petition does not guarantee admission. Students with a record of sanction who choose not to petition will automatically be denied advancement to the DPT program.

If a pre-DPT student fails to meet the criteria to advance into the DPT program by the scheduled beginning of spring semester of his or her senior year, his or her space in the DPT program will not be guaranteed. He or she will be required to submit a request to the Physical Therapy Department Admissions Committee for admission into the DPT program at the graduate level. At this point, the student’s admission into the professional curriculum is on a space-available basis.

Prerequisite courses:

  CHM 104   General Chemistry with lab
  CHM 105   Introduction to Organic Chemistry with lab
  PHY 117   Physics Introduction I with lab
  PHY 118   Physics Introduction II with lab
  BIO 211   Anatomy and Physiology I with lab
  BIO 212   Anatomy and Physiology II with lab
  PSY 123   Introduction to Psychology
  SOC 101   Comparative Sociology
  MTH 115   Statistics
  PSY 275   Child and Adolescent Psychology
  PSY 290   Abnormal Psychology

Essential Functions for the Physical Therapy Student

Essential Functions Handbook.  These essential functions are the activities that a student physical therapist must be able to perform, with or without accommodations, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for successful completion of the professional curriculum. They are applicable in the classroom, laboratories, simulated clinical settings, and while on clinical education assignments. The University uses independent clinical education sites that may or may not be willing or able to offer the same reasonable accommodations that are made available by the University

Background Check and Drug Screening Notice

A positive criminal record check, positive child abuse history and/or a positive drug screening may result in any of the following:

  • inability to find or delay in finding a clinical placement
  • dismissal from a clinical placement
  • inability to obtain professional licensure
  • legal ramifications
  • inability to matriculate or continue in physical therapy program
  • inability to meet requirements for graduation from the program

As a result, a student with a positive criminal record check, positive child abuse history, and/or a positive drug screen may not be able to complete the requirements of the physical therapy program, may not be eligible for licensure required for practice, and may be dismissed from the program.

Sequence of Courses:


First Professional Year


Second Professional Year


Total Credits 16

Semester 5 (Summer)


Total Credits 10

Semester 6 (Fall)


Total Credits 15

Third Professional Year


Total Credits 17

Semester 8 (Fall)


Total Credits 14

Electives


Students also complete three credits of electives by taking DPT 810,  DPT 880,  or a combination of the two. DPT 810 may be completed in any semester. DPT 880 sections are usually scheduled in the second and third spring semesters.

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