Rehabilitation Sciences

Curriculum - Doctor of Physical Therapy


The professional curriculum consists of two phases: systems and lifespan. Courses in the first year use a systems approach with cases in musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, neuromuscular physical therapy and wound care. In this first year, the students have an opportunity to practice and integrate their professional skills in a simulated clinic course (Case Management). Use of this experiential learning technique has been presented at international meetings. At the end of the first year, the students have an 8-week full time clinical rotation to further solidify and integrate this material in the clinical setting. The clinical experience is further enhanced by a clinical synthesis course which all students take after their rotations have ended that allows them to share different aspects of their experiences with one another.

In the second year of study, students explore practice topics in more depth within the context of a lifespan approach, looking at the physiological changes that occur during the aging process of normal children and adults. These more advanced courses are followed by two 11-week full time clinical rotations. A second clinical synthesis course is offered, providing students with an opportunity to further integrate and share their new skills and experiences with one another. In this way, the students are able to continually build upon the leaning and experiences of prior semesters.

The curriculum is further integrated through team teaching. Different faculty members contribute their individual expertise to one or more courses. In this way, students are introduced to the different techniques and approaches that can be utilized in patient care. Additionally students gain an appreciation for the importance of teamwork.

Semester Detail

(Number in parentheses represents credit hours.)

Year 1, Summer

  • PHTH 7101: Functional & Structural Aspects of Movement I (5)
  • PHTH 7111: Introduction to Pathophysiology I (2)
  • PHTH 7131: Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention I (6)
  • PHTH 7161: Physical Therapy Practice Issues I (1)
  • PHTH 7181: Clinical Practicum I (1)

Year 1, Fall

  • PHTH 7202: Functional & Structural Aspects of Movement II (6)
  • PHTH 7212: Introduction to Pathophysiology II (2)
  • PHTH 7232: Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention II (8)
  • PHTH 7262: Physical Therapy Practice Issues II (1)
  • PHTH 7282: Clinical Practicum II (1)

Year 1, Spring

  • PHTH 7303: Functional & Structural Aspects of Movement III (4)
  • PHTH 7313: Introduction to Pathophysiology III (2)
  • PHTH 7333: Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention III (8)
  • PHTH 7363: Physical Therapy Practice Issues III (1)
  • PHTH 7383: Clinical Practicum III (1)
  • PHTH 7390: Case Management (3)

Year 2, Summer

  • PHTH 8400: Critical Inquiry (2)
  • PHTH 8481: Supervised Clinical Education I (8)
  • PHTH 8491: Clinical Education Synthesis I (2)

Year 2, Fall

  • PHTH 8501: Clinical Medicine I (3)
  • PHTH 8531: Adv. Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention I (8)
  • PHTH 8561: Lifespan Concepts I (2)
  • PHTH 9901: Physical Therapy Project I (1)

Year 2, Spring

  • PHTH 8602: Clinical Medicine II (3)
  • PHTH 8632: Adv. Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention II (8)
  • PHTH 8662: Lifespan Concepts II (2)
  • PHTH 9902: Physical Therapy Project II (1)

Year 3, Summer

  • PHTH 9703: Clinical Medicine III (3)
  • PHTH 9733: Adv. Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention III (6)
  • PHTH 9763: Lifespan Concepts III (2)
  • PHTH 9903: Physical Therapy Project III (1)

Year 3, Fall

  • PHTH 9804: Clinical Medicine IV (1)
  • PHTH 9834: Adv. Foundations of Examination, Evaluation and Intervention IV (2)
  • PHTH 9882: Supervised Clinical Education II (10)
  • PHTH 9904: Physical Therapy Project IV (1)

Year 3, Spring

  • PHTH 9900: Leadership & Management in PT (3)
  • PHTH 9983: Supervised Clinical Education III (10)
  • PHTH 9992 Clin Educ Synthesis II (3)

GRADUATION!