The graduate entry-level doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) program is offered to applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree and undergraduate prerequisites required by the Physical Therapy department. The graduate professional program is also offered as part of a sequential-degree program to D’Youville University undergraduate students, where students can choose a pathway through the departments of health services, biology in math and natural sciences or exercise and sports studies.
The D.P.T. curriculum involves 108 credit hours and includes traditional college coursework, distance learning, and clinical fieldwork affiliations. Coursework in the doctoral program begins in the summer semester of the first year of graduate study and runs through nine consecutive semesters to typically be completed by May of the third year. D’Youville’s 36-month doctoral professional program is organized as 12-month curricula, allowing students to enter practice in a minimum of time. D’Youville’s physical therapy program also offers quality clinical fieldwork experiences at a choice of more than 300 clinical sites.
The physical therapy program is a demanding program in coursework, time commitment and financial obligations. Students enrolled in the professional program must complete three full-time summer sessions in addition to the six full semesters of coursework in the three-year doctoral program. Clinical fieldwork, which is scheduled throughout the curriculum, may require an additional expense for travel and room and board. Physical therapy students also incur an additional expense for laboratory fees. Successful performance on a comprehensive exam is required for graduation from this program. A few students in the physical therapy program may seek employment as work-study students on campus, but due to the time commitment to the program, part-time off-campus work during the program is not recommended.
The three-year graduate D.P.T. program at D'Youville is registered with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association:
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085
Course Requirements for the Professional Phase
In the Specific Area of Concentration
|BIO-639||Human Gross Anatomy||6|
|BIO-639L||Human Gross Anatomy Lab||0|
|GRA-601||Research Methodology and Design||3|
|PT-500||Essential Skills I||3|
|PT-500L||Essential Skills I Lab||1|
|PT-502||Pathophysiology for Physical Therapists||3|
|PT-503||Clinical Orientation Seminar I||0|
|PT-504||Clinical Orientation Seminar II||0|
|PT-505||Intro PT and Health Care Systems||2|
|PT-506||Physiology of Therapeutic Exercise||2|
|PT-506L||Physiology of Therapeutic Exercise Lab||1|
|PT-510||Essential Skills II||2|
|PT-510L||Essential Skills II Lab||1|
|PT-513||Orthopedic Physical Therapy I||2|
|PT-513L||Orthopedic I Lab||2|
|PT-514||Integumentary Examination & Intervention||2|
|PT-515||Professional Development I||1|
|PT-518||Biomechanics and Kinesiology for PT||2|
|PT-518L||Biomechanics and Kinesiology Lab||1|
|PT-519L||Lifespan Development Lab||1|
|PT-520||Lifespan Development II||1|
|PT-520L||Lifespan Development II Lab||1|
|PT-522L||Functional Anatomy Lab||1|
|PT-525||Community Health & Wellness I||1|
|PT-526||Community Health & Wellness II||1|
|PT-526L||Community Health & Wellness II Lab||1|
|PT-547||Pharmacology for Rehabilitation Spec||1|
|PT-550L||Clinical Neuroscience Lab||1|
|PT-552||Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy||2|
|PT-574||Clinical Fieldwork I||3|
|PT-602L||Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics Lab||1|
|PT-604||Clinical Orientation Seminar III||0|
|PT-606L||Neuromuscular Assessment Lab||1|
|PT-613||Orthopedic Physical Therapy II||2|
|PT-613L||Orthopedic II Lab||2|
|PT-615||Professional Development II||1|
|PT-618L||Rehabilitation Lab II||2|
|PT-627||Application of Research Methods in PT||3|
|PT-627L||App of Research Methods in PT Lab||1|
|PT-675||Clinical Fieldwork III||4|
|PT-701||Clinical Decision in Therapeutic Exercise||2|
|PT-701L||Clinical Decision in Therapeutic Exercise Lab||1|
|PT-703||Education Advocacy Consultation||3|
|PT-709||Business Management Strategies for Physical Therapists||2|
|PT-725||Clinical Fieldwork IV||5|
|PT-799||NPTE Examination Preparation||0|
|PT-XXX||One Graduate Elective/Practicum/Study||5|
Physical Therapy Department Technical Standards
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (Public Law 101-336) was established to empower qualified persons with disabilities to seek employment opportunities, transportation, and access to programs and services without fear of discrimination. These laws provide a framework for qualified individuals with documented disabilities to request reasonable accommodation needed to participate in an educational program.
The Physical Therapy Department at D'Youville is prepared to make reasonable accommodations in order to allow students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate and succeed in the academic program. An accommodation must be reasonable and may not be provided if it fundamentally alters the nature of the curriculum, including the didactic component, laboratory sessions or supervised practice experiences; requires substantial program modification or lowering of academic standards; causes undue hardship for the University or affiliating agencies; or jeopardizes the health or safety of the student or others.
If the student feels he or she meets the requirements of the ADA and will require ADA accommodation, the disability must be supported by medical documentation prior to receiving accommodation. To receive accommodation, the student must take the responsibility to make the department aware of the need for accommodation by notifying the Physical Therapy Department chair, and the student must contact the Disability Services office at D'Youville and complete the process required. The Disability Services office will then contact the Physical Therapy Department, and reasonable accommodations will be made based on the recommendations of the disability office. Some accommodations may be the fiscal responsibility of the student.
No otherwise qualified person shall be excluded from participation, admission or matriculation, or be denied benefits solely by reason of his or her disability. The Physical Therapy Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals but will expect applicants and students to meet certain minimum academic and technical standards.
The physical therapy program at D'Youville is a rigorous program that places specific requirements and demands on enrolled students. An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals. The technical standards set forth by the Physical Therapy Department identify the attributes needed to establish the knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the standards of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in order to achieve the educational outcomes required for initial practice in physical therapy and for lifelong learning necessary for functioning within an ever-changing health care environment and fulfill the physical therapy department mission. The mission of the physical therapy department at D'Youville University is as follows:
- Consistent with the mission of D'Youville, the Department of Physical Therapy develops students both academically and socially through evidence-based learning and community service.
- Students graduate as knowledgeable professional doctors of physical therapy committed to life-long learning, leadership and service to society.
- The D.P.T. program prepares students with the skills to provide sound patient care, as well as offer preventive, educational, administrative and consultative services that respect individuality in changing healthcare environments.
Full participation in the academic and supervised practice environments requires that students, with or without reasonable accommodation, possess abilities, attributes and skills in five major areas:
- Sensory Processing
All of these skills must be performed in a reasonable time frame required for clinical practice. Details regarding these essential abilities are found in the following paragraphs; they are not intended to be all inclusive.
Candidates and students must:
- have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations or physical changes, such as in skin and musculature or changes in other areas of the body, in lecture, lab and clinical settings in the program
- have sufficient functional visual ability and processing to read printed material in both hard copy and electronic formats
- have sufficient functional auditory acuity and processing to comprehend multiple sounds, such as one or more persons engaged in conversational speech, and to hear timers and alarms
Candidates and students must:
- be able to communicate effectively and sensitively, orally, in writing, and non-verbally with peers, faculty, staff, community partners, the general public, and patients/clients, including individuals of different ages and from different cultural and social backgrounds
- be able to understand, read, speak and write the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice, using appropriate grammar, spelling and vocabulary
Candidates and students must:
- have sufficient dexterity, coordination and fine motor function to perform PT-related skills
- have sufficient physical strength and endurance to carry equipment and supplies, lift and transfer patients and other items (up to 50 pounds), walk, bend and stoop while carrying items, and sit and stand for long periods of time
- have the capability to physically maneuver in required settings in a safe manner
- have the ability to access transportation to attend classes and supervised practice experiences in a timely manner
Candidates and students must:
- be able to utilize all assessment parameters in order to assess the physical status of the clients and implement a plan of care to achieve optimal health (e.g., obtaining the client's history, performing physical assessments and analysis of laboratory data)
- have sufficient conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities, including but not limited to measurement, calculations, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis; additionally, a student must be able to understand spatial relationships related to patient care
- have the ability to critically think, solve problems, and deal effectively with a variety of concrete and abstract variables in situations where limited standardization exists within reasonable time frames
- have the ability to analyze, conceptualize and summarize complex relationships as ascertained from patient records, research studies, and other written reports and be able to communicate that information effectively
- have the ability to learn and work effectively in both independent and collaborative situations
- have the ability to execute multiple tasks simultaneously
Candidates and students must:
- possess the emotional health required for utilization of his/her intellectual abilities
- be able to exercise good judgment in the prompt completion of all academic and supervised practice responsibilities
- have affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient/client care and customer relations
- be able to develop mature, sensitive, ethical, and effective relationships with instructors, colleagues, and patients/clients/ customers
- have the capacity (maturity, emotional stability) to adapt to change, maintain composure, and display flexibility in the face of uncertainties and stressful situations
- portray attributes of professionalism that include but are not limited to honesty, integrity, caring, respect, trustworthiness, competence, and responsibility to and for their instructors, colleagues, and patients/clients/customers
The D'Youville Physical Therapy Department and its sponsoring institutions will provide reasonable accommodations as needed to open the program to competitive, qualified individuals with disabilities. In doing so, however, the program and sponsoring institutions must maintain the integrity of the curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the education of a physical therapist (which include the technical standards set forth above). The program and sponsoring institutions cannot compromise the health and safety of patients/clients/customers or students. It is inevitable that adherence to minimum requirements will disqualify some applicants and students, including some who have a disability. However, adherence to those requirements is necessary, as an applicant or student who is unable to meet the minimum academic and technical standards is not qualified for participation in the program or the practice of the profession.
Academic and Professional Regulations For the D.P.T. Program
In addition to the general academic regulations, all matriculating students in the graduate D.P.T. physical therapy program must complete 108 credit hours as required. Additional academic regulations of the physical therapy program, which are applicable to both full-time and part-time students, include the following:
- A minimum grade of C is required for all courses. Students who do not earn a C in a required course will not be permitted to enroll in any courses with a PT prefix until the course grade is remediated. A course must be repeated with permission of the program faculty the next time it is offered. A course may only be repeated once.
- Students may earn only two (2) grades of C, C+ or B- for graduate level courses. Students who achieve a second grade below a B will be placed on academic probation for the remainder of the D.P.T. program.
- Students who earn a third grade below a B will be dismissed from the program.
- A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program. Any student who fails to earn a G.P.A of 3.0 will immediately be placed on probation.
- Students are required to obtain permission of department faculty and successfully complete all course-related competency exams prior to registration in clinical fieldwork. Permission may be denied on the basis of demonstrated weakness or inability to meet the program’s academic or professional standards.
- All clinical fieldwork must be completed with a satisfactory (S) grade. Students receiving an unsatisfactory (U) grade for a clinical fieldwork must receive formal approval of program faculty to repeat the fieldwork experience.
- A student will only be permitted to repeat 1 clinical education experience if fully justified. A student will not be allowed to repeat more than 1 clinical education experience. if a student fails a second clinical experience, either failure of a repeated clinical experience or failure of a different clinical experience, the student will be dismissed from the program. A dismissed student will be required to apply to a different graduate program in order to continue enrollment at D'Youville.
- All clinical fieldwork must be completed within 12 months of completion of professional academic coursework or repetition of academic courses may be required.
- Students must successfully pass a comprehensive examination within the deadline established by the program in order to be cleared for graduation from the PT program. The exam may be repeated one time. A second unsuccessful attempt on the comprehensive examination will result in the student petitioning the PT student progress committee for permission to make a third attempt.
- A student that fails to meet any one of the above academic or professional regulations may experience a delay in graduation due to the need for correction/remediation of the program standards prior to progression in the D.P.T. curriculum.
Students enrolled in the D’Youville physical therapy department are expected to demonstrate high standards of personal behavior and professional conduct in the academic and clinical environments. Throughout the curriculum, students are assessed on their student conduct related to a set of professional behaviors adopted by the profession. Areas of generic professional behaviors include interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills and responsibility. Personal integrity is considered an essential of practice; as such, this program has a policy of zero tolerance for academic dishonesty. Any student with documented areas of conduct deficiency will be reviewed by the program student progress committee. Actions related to improper student conduct may include a committee request for a student-initiated contract of conduct remediation, program probation or dismissal from the program. Failure to meet student conduct standards during a probationary period or a serious breach of student conduct standards will result in dismissal from the program.
To appeal a decision rendered by the School of Health Professions faculty/administration that has academic consequences, you must follow the appeal procedures which are available here.
Admission Requirements – Entry-Level Program Degree Candidates (D.P.T.)
Applicants to the doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) must submit a graduate application through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) online at www.ptcas.org. The graduate admissions office will evaluate on the basis of:
- Academic performance based on official college or university transcripts
- Official academic transcripts from colleges and universities attended, both undergraduate and graduate levels
- Evidence of completion of 60 or more hours of work with a vulnerable population (e.g., children, individuals who are socio/economically disadvantaged, clinical populations, individuals with disabilities).
- Two letters of recommendation addressing leadership potential and the ability to work with others.
- Evidence of capability to succeed in a graduate program, as shown by a cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 system)
- Evidence of completion of all prerequisite courses completed with a grade of B or better with the exception that a maximum of two undergraduate course grades may be a C (C+, C, B-) or better. The applicant must also have a minimum prerequisite G.P.A. of 3.20 or better.
Prerequisite courses equivalent to the following D’Youville courses:
Math and Natural Sciences
- Two 3-credit courses in human-based science or applied science courses
- One course in human anatomy with lab
- One course in human physiology with lab — may be two courses in human anatomy with physiology with labs
- Two courses in chemistry with labs
- Two courses in physics with labs
- One semester of statistics
Social and Behavioral Sciences
- One course in psychology
- International students whose language of instruction was other than English must submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score. Students must achieve a minimum score of 550 written or 250 computer-based on the TOEFL.
- A willingness to conform to published college and program policies.
The physical therapy department seeks to provide equal access to its educational offerings and program-sponsored events for individuals with disabilities. Reasonable prior notice is needed to arrange accommodations. Students are required to self identify their needs to the director of disability services.
Graduate Application Process
Applicants to the doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) must submit a graduate application through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) online at www.ptcas.org. The deadline for applications is December 1st for acceptance into the next cohort beginning in the summer semester.
Graduate admissions counselors initially conduct application review. Once an application file is complete, then transcript/course review is conducted by designated P.T. department core faculty to determine equivalency of course content with specified undergraduate prerequisites for acceptance into the professional program.