Doctor of Physical Therapy

Major: Physical Therapy
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 128.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.2308
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 29-1123

About the Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum produces broadly educated physical therapists, while being sensitive to the needs of the health care community and the students’ interests. The program strives to foster both intellectual and professional growth in students and is reflective of contemporary practice to prepare graduates for the ongoing changes in health care delivery.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares students for autonomous practice in physical therapy. As a science, physical therapy examines human motion at the tissue, organ, and systems levels. In the clinical environment, physical therapists (PTs) examine and evaluate patients/clients and implement procedural interventions that restore physical function for all people across the life span. As essential practitioners in the health care delivery system, PTs assume roles in rehabilitation services, prevention and health maintenance programs, and professional and community programs. As professional members of the health care team, PTs supervise support personnel, serve as consultants to other health care personnel, serve as consultants to families and caregivers, participate in administrative services, and conduct clinical research. PTs also serve as advocates for health policy and standards of care that help ensure optimum care for their patients/clients.

Graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program are prepared to fulfill their professional obligations, provide leadership to the profession, and use their knowledge and skills to contribute to the health care of society.

The program is just under 3 years in length and spans eleven academic quarters. The curriculum consists of integrated didactic and clinical study with an emphasis on adult learning methodology. Foundational courses are emphasized during the first year, with subsequent quarters sequenced to progress through the hierarchy of educational objectives from simple to complex. All didactic material is organized for synthesis and application to professional practice.

For more information visit the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science page on the College of Nursing and Health Professions website.

For application instructions, visit the Drexel's Graduate Admission web page for the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Degree Requirements

The DPT curriculum occurs in a 10-week quarter format over eleven quarters: fall, winter, spring, and summer I; fall, winter, spring, and summer II; and fall, winter and spring III. Classes begin in late September for first-year students. The curriculum is subject to modification.

NEUR 507Neuroscience I3.0
NEUR 508Neuroscience II2.0
PTRS 530Kinesiology I4.0
PTRS 531Kinesiology II3.0
PTRS 532Human Gross Anatomy I4.0
PTRS 533Human Gross Anatomy II4.0
PTRS 534Physical Therapy Exam & Intervention I3.0
PTRS 535Physical Therapy Exam & Intervention II3.0
PTRS 539Topics in Pathophysiology I2.0
PTRS 540Topics in Pathophysiology II4.0
PTRS 600Clinical Reasoning4.0
PTRS 610Issues in Pharmacotherapy3.0
PTRS 613Integrated Clinical Experience I0.5
PTRS 614Integrated Clinical Experience II0.5
PTRS 615Integrated Clinical Experience III0.5
PTRS 616Integrated Clinical Experience IV0.5
PTRS 620Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Upper Extremity4.0
PTRS 621Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Lower Extremity4.0
PTRS 622Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Spine4.0
PTRS 623Physical Agents3.0
PTRS 624Functional Mobility3.5
PTRS 627Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy I4.0
PTRS 630Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy II3.0
PTRS 639Motor Learning2.5
PTRS 641Neurological Exam and Intervention I4.0
PTRS 642Neurological Exam and Intervention II5.0
PTRS 643Applied Biomechanics3.0
PTRS 644Integumentary Physical Therapy1.5
PTRS 648Prosthetics and Orthotics3.0
PTRS 649Health Professional Roles2.5
PTRS 654Topics in Health Policy & Services3.0
PTRS 655Health Administration2.5
PTRS 656Motor Control and Rehabilitation2.0
PTRS 660The Human Experience in Healthcare3.0
or RHAB I899 Independent Study
PTRS 664Pediatric Physical Therapy4.5
PTRS 675Life Span Development I: Birth to Adolescence4.0
PTRS 676Life Span Development II: Young Adulthood to Older Adulthood3.0
PTRS 733Advanced Clinical Reasoning2.0
PTRS 751Evidence-Based Practice3.0
PTRS 752Research and Measurement in Physical Therapy2.0
PTRS 755Evaluation of Research In Physical Therapy3.0
PTRS 794Clinical Experience I1.5
PTRS 795Clinical Experience II2.0
or PTRS 797 Clinical Internship I
PTRS 796Clinical Experience III4.5
or PTRS 798 Clinical Internship II
Total Credits128.0

Sample Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
PTRS 530Kinesiology I4.0
PTRS 532Human Gross Anatomy I4.0
PTRS 534Physical Therapy Exam & Intervention I3.0
PTRS 600Clinical Reasoning4.0
PTRS 613Integrated Clinical Experience I0.5
 Term Credits15.5
Term 2
PTRS 531Kinesiology II3.0
PTRS 533Human Gross Anatomy II4.0
PTRS 535Physical Therapy Exam & Intervention II3.0
PTRS 539Topics in Pathophysiology I2.0
PTRS 614Integrated Clinical Experience II0.5
PTRS 751Evidence-Based Practice3.0
 Term Credits15.5
Term 3
NEUR 507Neuroscience I3.0
PTRS 615Integrated Clinical Experience III0.5
PTRS 620Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Upper Extremity4.0
PTRS 623Physical Agents3.0
PTRS 624Functional Mobility3.5
PTRS 639Motor Learning2.5
 Term Credits16.5
Term 4
NEUR 508Neuroscience II2.0
PTRS 616Integrated Clinical Experience IV0.5
PTRS 621Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Lower Extremity4.0
PTRS 627Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy I4.0
PTRS 641Neurological Exam and Intervention I4.0
 Term Credits14.5
Term 5
PTRS 610Issues in Pharmacotherapy3.0
PTRS 794Clinical Experience I1.5
 Term Credits4.5
Term 6
PTRS 622Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Spine4.0
PTRS 630Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy II3.0
PTRS 644Integumentary Physical Therapy1.5
PTRS 648Prosthetics and Orthotics3.0
PTRS 649Health Professional Roles2.5
 Term Credits14.0
Term 7
PTRS 540Topics in Pathophysiology II4.0
PTRS 642Neurological Exam and Intervention II5.0
PTRS 656Motor Control and Rehabilitation2.0
PTRS 675Life Span Development I: Birth to Adolescence4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 8
PTRS 664Pediatric Physical Therapy4.5
PTRS 676Life Span Development II: Young Adulthood to Older Adulthood3.0
PTRS 733Advanced Clinical Reasoning2.0
PTRS 752Research and Measurement in Physical Therapy2.0
 Term Credits11.5
Term 9
PTRS 643Applied Biomechanics3.0
PTRS 654Topics in Health Policy & Services3.0
PTRS 660
or RHAB 820
The Human Experience in Healthcare
Independent Study
3.0
PTRS 755Evaluation of Research In Physical Therapy3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 10
PTRS 655Health Administration2.5
PTRS 795
or 797
Clinical Experience II
Clinical Internship I
2.0
 Term Credits4.5
Term 11
PTRS 796
or 798
Clinical Experience III
Clinical Internship II
4.5
 Term Credits4.5
Total Credit: 128.0

Clinical Education

A strong history of comprehensive clinical education exists for our professional students. The clinical education for the DPT program is integrated into the didactic portions of the curriculum so that knowledge obtained in the classroom is readily put into practice. The DPT program has contracts with hundreds of clinical sites across the nation, representing all facets of professional practice. Students build confidence by participating in part-time integrated clinical experiences (ICEs) during the first year of the program and 32-33 weeks of full-time clinical experiences that offer various levels of acuity in different clinical environments.

Students may select from clinical sites that offer experiences with all ages across the life span and in a variety of environments including, but not limited to acute care, pediatrics, adult rehabilitation, geriatrics, orthopedics, sports medicine, and industrial and occupational rehabilitation.

For more information visit the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Overview page on the College of Nursing and Health Professions web site.

Facilities

Teaching Facilities

Most classes are held in lecture halls, classrooms, or laboratories on the Center City (Health Sciences) Campus of Drexel University. The entire campus has wireless capability for easy internet access. The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences has two state-of-the-art dedicated laboratories where the clinical components of the professional curriculum are taught. In these laboratories equipment reflects current physical therapy practice and is part of a multi-disciplinary clinical learning and resource center. Included as part of the resource center is a standardized patient lab that utilizes paid actors to simulate various clinical situations while students' interactions with those "patients" are monitored by supervising faculty. This center provides a rich environment for student learning.

The department also utilizes an anatomy lab where dissection of human cadavers occurs during the first two terms of the program. The anatomy course work focuses on the areas most relevant to physical therapy making connections to clinical practice.

Our teaching resources also include supported distance learning technology. Instructional materials are provided through text, graphics, audio and video formats and are available online through a course management system 24 hours a day. Our online courses are highly interactive through the use of web discussion boards and audio chat tools.

Additionally, the Professional DPT program uses its own faculty-staffed clinical sites as well as various clinical sites in the area to enhance the educational experience of the student. The department operates outpatient physical therapy sites in the Drexel Recreation Center on the University City campus, a multidisciplinary Parkway Health and Wellness Center on the Center City campus and a pro-bono practice in the 11th Street Family Health Center. Students rotate through these facilities getting individualized mentoring while connecting classroom content with clinical practice. These experiences are in addition to the 32-33 weeks of full-time clinical education the student will experience throughout the curriculum.

Research Facilities

The Department conducts hypothesis-driven research in human movement, biomechanics, motor control, community-based practice and family-centered care.Some of this research is conducted in a 23,000 square foot multidisciplinary center on the Center City Campus. The center has a gait and motion analysis lab containing a video-based motion analysis system with in-floor force plates, and neuromuscular performance labs equipped with custom-built force measuring systems, l6-channel EMG system and electromagnetic tracking systems.Other research is conducted via partnerships with organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.Other departments involved in the research center include Nutrition Sciences and Nursing which provides fertile ground for collaboration. Professional DPT students have the opportunity to work with faculty and PhD students on ongoing laboratory projects through optional research practica.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty

Maria Benedetto, DPT (University of Puerto Rico; Columbia University). Associate Clinical Professor. Pediatrics, Motor learning and motor control; yoga for children; dance prevention and injury rehabilitation
Lisa Ann Chiarello, PT, PhD, PCS, FAPTA (Hahnemann University) Director, PhD and Doctor of Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences and Certificate in Advanced Practice in Pediatric Rehabilitation Programs. Professor. Pediatric community-based practice; family-centered care; determinants of outcomes; and participation of children with physical disabilities.
David Ebaugh, PT, PhD (Drexel University). Clinical Professor. Identification and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal impairments associated with shoulder pain and dysfunction; differential diagnosis of shoulder problems; orthopedic examinations and interventions
Jane Fedorczyk, PT, PhD, CHT (Beaver College). Adjunct Professor. Hand and upper extremity injuries related to repetitive movement including tendinopathies and nerve compression syndromes.
Margaret Finley, PT, PhD (University of Maryland). Associate Professor. Upper extremity movement patters in persons with chronic neuromuscular disorders.
Kevin E. Gard, DPT, OCS (Temple University) Vice-Chair, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences and Director, Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Associate Clinical Professor. Orthopedics; sports medicine.
Noel Goodstadt, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS (Temple University) Director, Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program. Associate Clinical Professor. Orthopedics, musculoskeletal disorders.
Margery A. Lockard, PT, PhD (Hahnemann University). Clinical Professor. Orthopedic/musculoskeletal physical therapy; management of patients using prosthetic and orthotic devices; and anatomy and physiology.
Robert Maschi, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS (Temple University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Orthopedics, musculoskeletal disorders, lower extremity biomechanics and movement analysis
Clare Milner, PhD, FACSM (University of Leeds) Research Lab Coordinator. Associate Professor. Biomechanics of lower extremity injury, injury prevention, and rehabilitation; overuse injuries in runners; gait in people with knee pathology
Kathryn D. Mitchell, PT, DPT, NCS (Temple University) Assistant Director of Clinical Education. Assistant Clinical Professor. Adult neuromuscular rehabilitation; balance and falls in Multiple Sclerosis.
Margaret O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH (MCP Hahnemann University; Duke University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Associate Professor. Measurement of and interventions to improve physical activity and fitness levels and promote participation in children and youth with who are overweight/obese and those with physical disabilities (especially cerebral palsy).
Margo Orlin, PT, PhD, FAPTA (Drexel University). Associate Professor. Walking and running biomechanics and participation in children with developmental disabilities, evaluation of enhancing participation for children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.
Robert J. Palisano, PT, ScD, FAPTA (Boston University). Distinguished Professor. Classification and prognosis for gross motor function in children and youth with cerebral palsy; interventions to improve activity and participation in children with physical disabilities; transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities.
Joseph A. Rubertone, MPT, PhD (West Virginia University). Associate Clinical Professor. Connectivity of vestibular nuclear complex, brain tumor imaging, and clinical studies pertaining to the effectiveness of stroke rehabilitation.
Patricia Rubertone, PT, MPT, MSW, EdD (Widener University) Director of Experiential Learning. Assistant Clinical Professor. Student learning; course design; judgment of physical therapy student clinic performance by novice vs. experienced clinical instructors.
Sheri Silfies, PT, PhD (MCP Hahnemann University) Research Lab Coordinator. Associate Professor. Identification and treatment of impairments in neuromuscular control of trunk mobility and stability in patients with low back pain, focusing on mechanism of recurrent low back pain; core control in athletes.
Susan Smith, PT, PhD (University of Connecticut, Texas Woman's University) Interim Chair, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences and Associate Dean for Research and Health Professions Graduate Education. Associate Professor. Geriatrics: health promotion and interventions for manifestations of low bone mass; assessment of fall risk and fall prevention interventions for older adults
Sara Tomaszewski, PT, DPT, OCS (Duke University). Clinical Instructor. Orthopedics and sports physical therapy, injury prevention, and return-to-sport decision making.
Sarah Wenger, PT, DPT, OCS (Arcadia University; Temple University) Coordinator, Professional Practice Lab. Assistant Clinical Professor. Health, wellness and fitness, models for preventative physical therapy, dance medicine.
Annette Willgens, PT, EdD, PCS (Northcentral University) Director of Clinical Education. Associate Clinical Professor. Qualitative focus using phenomenology and grounded theory to explore issues in clinical education, student stress during clinical education, mindful clinical practice and pediatric topics relating to wellness and health promotion.
Glenn Williams, PT, PhD, ATC (University of Delaware) Chair, Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences. Associate Professor. Neuromuscular plasticity after joint injury, orthopaedic-sports rehabilitation, human performance, post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
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