This program is not currently enrolling new students.
The mission of the tDPT program is to develop leaders in physical therapy patient examination, evaluation, intervention, and case management. Special focus is placed on the foundational sciences of anatomy and biomechanics, while enhancing the clinical reasoning and treatment skills of the student. Because this program is designed for physical therapists that work in clinical practice, it is expected that students will bring about positive improvements to the workplace as they progress through the program. This program will help to promote the profession by developing experiences that address the critical issues found in the delivery of healthcare today.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the tDPT program, graduates will demonstrate the ability to
- display personal and professional development and lifelong learning activities in the physical therapy profession,
- initiate collaborative relationships and communication with patients/clients and other healthcare providers,
- adopt evidence-based practice and informed-decision making within physical therapy practice,
- exhibit effective communication skills in physical therapy practice to advance professional goals,
- display professional and ethical behavior in daily interactions within physical therapy practice,
- exhibit leadership skills to promote the advancement of the profession of physical therapy, and
- utilize critical thinking and reasoning skills when making decisions within physical therapy practice.
This program is designed for practitioners who will also assume leadership roles in the profession of physical therapy. The program reinforces clinical excellence. A variety of course assignments, such as multiple-choice tests, short essays, and problem-solving exercises, are used to test mastery of the learning objectives. A summary or capstone project, consisting of a case report or literature review, integrates content knowledge across program coursework. A mentored clinical residency may also be completed.
See Admissions, Records, and Registration for prerequisites and application information.
To remain in the tDPT program, the student must
- maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and
- register for a minimum of one course within 12 weeks of the date of the acceptance letter.
The physical therapist holding a master’s degree (entry-level or post-professional) will need to complete Information Literacy for Evidence-Based Practice, Introduction to Interprofessional Scholarly Studies, and Capstone Project for 9 required academic credits, and 15 elective academic credits. The tDPT program is 24 credits for the master’s level students.
The physical therapist holding a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy will need to complete Information Literacy for Evidence-Based Practice, Introduction to Interprofessional Scholarly Studies, Pharmacology, Imaging, Differential Diagnosis, and Capstone Project for 18 required academic credits and will need to complete 4 elective academic credits and 38 clinical integration credits (Clinical Integration I, II, III, IV, and V), which may be completed through advanced standing. The tDPT program is 60 credits for the bachelor’s level students.
At the end of the educational experience, the graduate will be awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
The student has the choice of completing the capstone project or a mentored clinical residency with the primary goal of providing an educational experience that assists the student in focusing his or her ideas and thoughts. The capstone project may take the form of one case report or an article (literature review, perspective paper, or descriptive technical report) prepared in publishable format. The mentored clinical residency is a supervised clinical experience in the specialty area selected by the student. To earn five credits for a clinical residency, the student is required to complete a minimum of 9 to 12 months of patient care plus a minimum of 200 educational activity hours.
Process for Obtaining the Transitional DPT Degree
- Students begin by completing coursework in either a clinical specialty track, leading toward a certification, or a nonspecialty clinical track of elective coursework. Students may begin registering for the necessary seminars and coursework as soon as they are accepted into the program. Many credit assignments consist of an online course with required short essay assignments and unit quizzes.
- For the specialty clinical track, following completion of all certification seminars, the student may attend the Preparation and Certification Examination Week. Completion of the certification examination is not required for degree completion.
- Once a student with a master’s degree has obtained 19 credits toward the degree program, he or she will proceed to Capstone Project I and II. An assigned Faculty Advisor approves an outline of the project, and then the student will complete either one publishable case report or one publishable article. The Advisor will review and assist with revisions as needed.
- If a clinical residency is chosen in lieu of the capstone project, the proposed residency site and mentor must meet the approval of the Program Director and residency criteria. It is recommended that students complete at least two specialty-track seminars prior to starting the residency. The approval process must begin early in the program. Contact the department for an explanation of the approval process.
- Students with a BSPT will proceed by completing the 51 required credits including Information Literacy for Evidence-Based Practice, Introduction to Interprofessional Scholarly Studies, Pharmacology, Differential Diagnosis for the Therapist, Imaging, and Clinical Integration courses I–V, and 4 elective credits. Upon completion of 55 credits, students may begin work on Capstone Project I and II. An assigned Faculty Advisor approves an outline of the project, and then the student completes either one publishable case report or one publishable article. The Advisor will review and assist with revisions as needed.
Delivery of Coursework
Courses in the tDPT program are offered in a variety of formats. In some cases, as noted in the course description, a prerequisite for a course may be completion of a continuing education seminar. This learning experience is then enhanced through completion of assignments. These assignments are submitted to the University for grading in a specified time frame according to the course syllabus.
Other courses are offered strictly through a distance education, online course format. No seminar attendance is required, and all learning activities are completed at a distance. Each course has a variety of learning activities that must be completed and graded to receive credit for the course.
Course Time Limits
There will be a due date for all course assignments. In most courses, this will be 8 to 15 weeks. The academic calendar for the University is divided into three trimesters: Spring, Summer, and Fall. Trimester periods are denoted on the current Academic Calendar.
It is required that tDPT (bachelor’s entry) students complete all requirements within four years; tDPT (master’s entry) students complete all requirements within two years and four months. An extension of up to two years may be requested for tDPT (bachelor’s entry) and an extension of one year and four months may be requested for tDPT (master’s entry).
Tuition and Fees
See Financial Information.
Standard Occupational Classification codes for which program is intended to prepare graduates: Physical Therapist (29-1123); Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary (25-1071)
This program is not currently enrolling new students.