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Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy

Program Philosophy
Excellence in physical therapy education is developed in cooperation with the larger University and health science community that is student centered and focused on academic distinction. Our program seeks to enhance the professional development of every student and faculty member through a variety of academic, scholarly and service opportunities. This philosophy is well represented by the program's physical resources and integrated curriculum that links foundational and medical sciences, clinical practice and professionalism.

Program Mission Statement
An education in physical therapy at Quinnipiac University embodies both the University's commitment to its three core values: high-quality academic programs, a student-oriented environment and a strong sense of community, and the American Physical Therapy Association's core values: accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty and social responsibility. The program in physical therapy prepares students to become competent and compassionate entry-level physical therapists, who are able to practice in a variety of settings serving diverse populations across the lifespan.

To achieve its mission, the program in physical therapy:

  • builds on a strong foundation of liberal arts and sciences
  • cultivates critical and reflective thinking, clinical decision-making, and lifelong learning by utilizing an evidenced-based learning model, authentic assessments and a variety of learning experiences that include interactive technology. This learning model features small lab sizes, hands-on activities, visits to area clinics and opportunities to engage in professional development forums and community interdisciplinary collaboration
  • provides both in-class and in-clinic opportunities for students to engage in the essential elements of patient/client management 
  • supports faculty teacher-scholars who are effective teachers and who collectively engage in scholarship, professional development, direct patient care and University and community service

General Information and Department Goals
The program in physical therapy is divided into a three- or a four-year preprofessional component leading to a BS in health science studies and a three-year professional graduate component leading to the doctor of physical therapy. The preprofessional component provides a broad liberal arts education, a solid basic science foundation and a concentration area of study (completion of minor or specialty concentration) in preparation for the professional component.

Based on the stated mission, the Department of Physical Therapy has set forth the following goals for the program:

  • a high-quality, entry-level education
  • continuing education for the clinical community
  • effective staff support
  • PT clinical partnerships
  • high-quality clinical education opportunities
  • opportunities for student service

Student goals include the ability to demonstrate the skills necessary for entry-level clinical practice, to participate in research and/or service learning, demonstrate effective education of patients, families, peers, other health professionals and the community, and to participate in service.

Faculty goals include providing effective teaching, as well as participating in scholarship and in service.

The physical therapy program at Quinnipiac University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.

At the end of the spring semester of the first year, students are required to select and adhere to course work in either the three- or four-year preprofessional track. If the three-year track is selected, students will not be allowed transfer into the four-year curriculum at a later date. The decision for a three-year versus four-year track is individual, yet multifactorial. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: accumulation of college credits upon entering the University, involvement in athletics, financial aid, necessity of summer and/or J-term course work and study abroad opportunities.

Preprofessional Bachelor's Degree Program Requirements

To be eligible for the professional graduate DPT program, students must achieve a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 during the preprofessional component of the program. In addition, a 3.2 cumulative GPA in preprofessional program science and math course work is required for admission to the professional graduate DPT component of the program. (D and F grades in the required preprofessional science and math courses are unacceptable.) Initial placement in the English and mathematics courses is determined by examination and an evaluation of high school units presented. The minimum mathematics requirement is MA 141. All students are encouraged to complete a minor in a subject area of their choice. A minor or specialty concentration will be a requirement for students entering the program in Fall 2014. The following courses in the preprofessional component must be successfully completed with a C- or better and are calculated into the GPA for science and math course work. 

Preprofessional undergraduate courses calculated into 3.2 math/science requirement:

  • BIO 101-102 General Biology (8 credits)
  • BIO 211-212 Anatomy & Physiology (8 credits)
  • BMS 300-301 Human Performance Physiology (8 credits)
  • CHE 110-111 General Chemistry (8 credits)
  • MA 141 Calculus of a Single Variable I (3 credits)
  • MA 275 Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • PHY 110-111 General Physics (8 credits)

Total Credits 46

AP Credits + Course Substitutions
A student who scores a 4 on the AP exam for biology will be awarded credit for BIO 101-102.

A student who scores a 4 on the AP exam for calculus will be awarded credit for MA 141. If AP credits are awarded and accepted for CHE 110-111, the following courses must be taken in its place:

  • CHE 210 Organic Chemistry I (3 credits)
  • CHE 210L Organic Chemistry I Lab (1 credit)
  • CHE 211 Organic Chemistry II (3 credits)
  • CHE 211L Organic Chemistry I Lab (1 credit) 

No other AP credits in the math and science categories will be accepted for program substitutions. Credits from other non-math and science core curriculum requirements will be accepted.

The Review and Evaluation Committee for the program in physical therapy is responsible for evaluating and screening candidates during the pre-professional and professional graduate components of the program. Requirements for the program in physical therapy were approved in conjunction with the accreditation of the program and are acceptable to the School of Health Sciences and Quinnipiac University administration.

Professional DPT Program Requirements

Students in the professional graduate DPT component of the curriculum are required to achieve a GPA of 3.0 in each semester. In addition, a grade of C+ or better is required in all professional graduate component courses. Students whose averages for each semester fall below 3.0 or receive a grade below C+ are subject to dismissal from the program. Transfer students are considered for admission to the professional graduate DPT program on a space-available basis.

In addition to these academic requirements, all DPT students must be aware that there are additional requirements necessary to participate in scheduled clinical affiliations. Specific health requirements, including but not limited to: titers for mumps, measles and rubella, varicella and hepatitis B, annual physical exams, two-step PPDs, flu shots, current CPR certification and other mandates must be completed within the timeframe established by the clinical site at which a student has been placed. In addition, criminal background check updates and drug testing also may be required. These mandates are facility-specific and change frequently without notice. Quinnipiac University has no authority over any clinical facilities' protocols. Students must comply with what is required at their specific clinical affiliation. Clinical education is a vital component of physical therapy student education and is a significant part of the physical therapy curriculum at Quinnipiac University. Clinical education experiences occur through both integrated and full-time clinical experiences in a variety of settings throughout the country. Placement in specific settings, locations and clinical facilities is not ever guaranteed and individual student assignment occurs at the discretion of the faculty. Students are required to travel for clinical assignments. All associated housing and travel costs are the responsibility of the student.