https://healthsciences.pacific.edu/healthsciences/programs/doctor-of-physical-therapy
Phone: (209) 946-2886
Location: Rotunda; Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy

Tamara L. Phelan, PT, EdD

Department Chair

Programs Offered

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Program Philosophy

Physical therapists are experts in human movement and function who serve patients/clients at all points along the continuum between health and optimal physical function and disease in a wide variety of circumstances and settings. Physical therapists must be autonomous, highly skilled practitioners to meet the needs of their patients and the expectations of society. These skills are optimally developed in a doctoral level graduate educational program that includes learning experiences in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains and emphasizes the following:

Basic Sciences

Basic sciences are the foundation on which the theory and practice of physical therapy is based. Emphasis on basic sciences provides students with a solid framework in which to view established theory and practice of physical therapy in the educational setting, to evaluate new theory and practice as they move to the clinical setting, and to contribute to theory and practice of physical therapy in the future. Additionally, a solid foundation in basic sciences provides students with the tools needed for clinical reasoning based on evidence, and it provides a common language with which to communicate with other clinicians and scientists.

Professional Behavior

Professional behavior is an essential component of professional success and clinical excellence. Students enter physical therapy programs with a wide variety of past experiences. What constitutes appropriate professional behavior for a physical therapist may not be immediately obvious to all students; therefore professional behavior must be consciously included in the curriculum.

Clinical Experiences

Ongoing and progressive clinical exposure promotes accelerated learning and development of clinical competence and facilitates continued student engagement.

Integration of Clinical Relevance throughout the Curriculum

Integration of clinical relevance in all courses promotes efficient acquisition of clinical reasoning skills.

Student-Centered Learning

Student-Centered Learning promotes intellectual rigor, depth, and accountability for each individual student and fosters the development of the independent learner.

Excellence in Teaching

Excellence in teaching practices result in a deep and efficient learning experience for the student, promotes clinical and intellectual excellence, and fosters lifelong learning.

Conclusion

Commitment to a core curricular philosophy that involves an emphasis on basic sciences, professional behavior, clinical relevance in all courses, early and progressive clinical experiences, student centered learning, and excellence in teaching provides the foundation for an efficient and concise educational experience for students. The field of Physical Therapy and its practice is a dynamic and evolving profession. Following a rigorous and balanced 25 month professional program, graduates of Pacific’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program are prepared to meet the needs of their patients and society and to develop their expertise through their commitment to lifelong learning.

Mission

The mission of Pacific’s physical therapy program is to prepare lifelong learners who are skilled, reflective, autonomous practitioners. The program is committed to furthering the body of knowledge of physical therapy and providing leadership within the profession advocating for optimal health, wellness and performance for all members of society.

We accomplish this through a concise program of study emphasizing evidence-based reasoning and creative skills grounded in the basic and clinical sciences. Our academic program is enhanced by a wide variety of innovative clinical experiences and involvement in professional societies.

Pacific’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program is committed to:

  1. Producing high caliber, practice-ready graduates evidenced by students’ abilities to:
    • demonstrate safety and competence with current clinical skills;
    • demonstrate clinical reasoning that utilizes both the best available scientific evidence and the patient’s perspective;
    • demonstrate cultural competence;
    • demonstrate attributes consistent with effective leadership and advocacy;
    • demonstrate accurate self-reflection; and
    • demonstrate characteristics consistent with long-long learning.
  2. Contributing to the body of knowledge of the profession evidenced by students’ abilities to engage in scholarly pursuits.
  3. Providing leadership in the University and profession evidenced by students’ abilities to hold leadership positions in the program, School and University, as well as local, national and international professional organizations.
  4. Participating in on-going assessment to maintain currency and relevance in teaching and practice evidenced by students’ abilities to participate in ongoing assessment activities.
  5. Engaging in local, regional, national, and international service evidenced by students’ abilities to engage in service.
  6. Fostering diversity and cultural competence evidenced by students’ abilities to demonstrate cultural competence.
  7. Promoting life-long relationships with the Pacific Physical Therapy community evidenced by students’ abilities to participate in alumni activities.

 Admission Requirements

For the most current information regarding the application process and requirements, please visit the web site: www.pacific.edu/dpt.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

The entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is a highly structured 25-month course of study, consisting of six consecutive trimesters. Coursework includes foundational sciences (anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology), clinical sciences, management of professional life and practice, clinical applications, and substantive clinical practical experiences.

A major element of the program is the opportunity for students to be involved in meaningful professional clinical experiences under the supervision of carefully selected practitioners. Opportunities include acute care facilities, skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation sites in California and throughout the US. All students must successfully complete the clinical internship requirements as an inherent part of the professional program.

Prerequisites to participation in the clinical internships are:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all other required courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (in accordance with the Standards of Academic Success delineated in the Physical Therapy Student Handbook);
  2. Advancement to degree candidacy; and
  3. Permission of the department faculty.

To receive the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, each student must demonstrate clinical competence as well as academic success. Academic success means:

  1. Maintenance of a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. No grade below a B- in any required course at the 300 level is counted toward the degree.  An exception may be made if only one C+ is earned in one term, in which case other requirements must be met subsequently in order for the course to be counted toward the degree.  (See the Academic Standards section in the Physical Therapy Student Handbook for more information.)

Clinical competence means:

  1. The ability to evaluate individuals with movement dysfunction and identify problems appropriate for physical therapy intervention.
  2. The ability to establish appropriate treatment goals and plans, including specific physical therapy procedures or modalities.
  3. The ability to effectively apply the various physical therapy procedures and modalities.
  4. The ability to relate effectively to clients, their families and other health care providers.

Assessment of these competencies is made by faculty before recommending the awarding of the degree.

Accreditation and Licensing

The Physical Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. Successful completion of an accredited program qualifies the graduate to take the licensing examination. Admission to the program is highly competitive and limited to 36 openings each year.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites for admission to the program include the following:

  1. Bachelor’s degree with a major of student’s choice.
  2. Successful completion of the listed prerequisite courses.
    1. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above.
    2. Courses are taken on a graded basis; pass/fail courses are not acceptable.
    3. Biological science, chemistry and physics courses must all include significant laboratory experiences. Prerequisite science courses must be taken within the last ten years.
    4. Correspondence, on-line or extension coursework is not acceptable without approval from the Admissions Committee or Department Chair. All coursework must have defined objectives, course description, an objective grading system, and meet the content expectations of the prerequisite.
  3. 50 physical therapy observation hours are required. A minimum 25 hours must be in an acute care in-hospital setting. (Please note: sub-acute and other non-acute care settings do not satisfy this requirement.) Applicants are encouraged to visit the American Physical Therapy Association website to review the definition of acute care and descriptions of that setting: http://www.apta.org/PTCareers/Overview/.
  4. GRE test scores must be less than 5 years old at the time of application.
  5. A personal interview at the invitation of the Admissions Committee is required.

Prerequisite Coursework

General Biology

6 semester credits/9 quarter units

Two courses in biology:

  • One general biology with lab.
  • Any other course in biology (not botany) with or without lab.

Human Anatomy with lab

4 semester credits/5-6 quarter credits minimum.

Human Physiology with lab

4 semester credits/5-6 quarter credits minimum.

Note: A single semester course that combines human anatomy and physiology does not meet the anatomy and physiology requirements. However, a two-semester sequence of the combined subjects does meet these requirements.

General Chemistry with lab

8 semester credits/12 quarter credits minimum. A standard full-year course.

General Physics with lab

8 semester credits/12 quarter credits minimum. A standard full-year course. Calculus level physics is not required but is accepted.

Abnormal Psychology

3 semester credits/4 quarter credits minimum.

Statistics

3 semester credits/4 quarter credits minimum.

Exercise Physiology

3 semester credits/4 quarter credits minimum. Introduction to the study of human physiological responses and adaptations that results from muscular activity, including demonstration and measurement of basic physiological responses that occur with exercise.

Medical Terminology

1 semester credit/2 quarter credits minimum. A basic course in bioscientific terminology, analyzing the Latin and Greek elements in scientific English.

Prerequisite Coursework Notes

  • All courses should be in the traditional classroom format (no online courses), except Medical Terminology.
  • All courses should be for credit and taken on a graded basis with a ‘letter’ grade.  ‘Pass/Fail’, ‘Satisfactory/non-satisfactory’ courses are not accepted.
  • All courses must be completed with a grade “C” or above.
  • It is recommended that all science courses be taken within 10 years of application.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited institution (details of accreditations requirements listed elsewhere).
  • All courses must have defined course objectives, a course description and syllabus information (with instructor contact information) must be provided if requested by Admissions Committee.
  • Advanced Placement courses are not accepted.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Physical Therapy program is a full-time program with a cohort-based plan of study. Students are required to enroll full-time and must advance through a pre-determined curriculum in sequence with their cohort.  Students are required to successfully pass each course in a given semester in order to advance to the subsequent semester with their cohort and progress in the program.  Students who do not pass a course, or who withdraw from a course, will not be able to progress with their cohort in the program.  Students may be able to rejoin the program at a later date if allowed by program policy and approved by the program chair/director.

Students must complete a minimum of 106 units with a Pacific cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to earn the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

First Year
FallUnits
PTHR 311Gross Human Anatomy6
PTHR 312Exercise Physiology in Physical Therapy2
PTHR 313Clinical Kinesiology I3
PTHR 314Introduction to Physical Therapist Practice1
PTHR 316Physical Therapy Examination and Evaluation4
PTHR 318Physical Therapy Patient Care Skills1
PTHR 319Physical Agents1
 Term Units18
Spring
PTHR 321The Nervous System and Behavior5
PTHR 323Clinical Kinesiology II3
PTHR 326Therapeutic Exercise: Basic Theory and Application4
PTHR 328Research: Theory and Application2
PTHR 329Pathophysiology4
 Term Units18
Summer
PTHR 332Electrotherapy1
PTHR 333Analysis of Movement Through the Life Span2
PTHR 334Medical Conditions and Screening for Medical Disease4
PTHR 335Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy4
PTHR 336Clinical Experience I4
PTHR 339Motor Learning and Motor Control2
PTHR 398Research Literature Review1
 Term Units18
Second Year
Fall
PTHR 340Integumentary and Lymphatic Physical Therapy2
PTHR 342Physical Therapy Leadership, Administration, and Management1
PTHR 344Neuromuscular Physical Therapy5
PTHR 345Advanced Clinical Problems I1
PTHR 348Industrial Physical Therapy1
PTHR 347Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I5
PTHR 351Prosthetics and Orthotics1
PTHR 381Soft Tissue Mobilization and Taping1
 Term Units17
Spring
PTHR 343Geriatric Physical Therapy1
PTHR 352Physical Therapy Management of Population Health2
PTHR 353Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists1
PTHR 354Pediatric Physical Therapy1
PTHR 355Advanced Clinical Problems II1
PTHR 356Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability2
PTHR 357Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II2
PTHR 358Clinical Education and Early Career Development1
PTHR 359Full Time Clinical Education Experience I8
 Term Units19
Summer
PTHR 368Full Time Clinical Education Experience II8
PTHR 369Full Time Clinical Education Experience III10
 Term Units18
Total Unit: 108

Physical Therapy Courses

PTHR 311. Gross Human Anatomy. 6 Units.

This course involves a detailed regional analysis of the structure of the human body that includes the lower extremity, upper extremity, head, neck and trunk, and thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities. Functional correlates to the structures are also presented and discussed. The course has a lecture component as well as a cadaver dissection based laboratory/discussion component. Prerequisites: Admission to the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 311A. Gross Human Anatomy. 4 Units.

This course involves a detailed regional analysis of the structure of the human body that includes the lower extremity, upper extremity, head, neck and trunk, and thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities. Functional correlates to the structures are also presented and discussed. The course has a lecture component as well as a cadaver dissection based laboratory/discussion component. Prerequisites: Admission to the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 311B. Gross Human Anatomy. 2 Units.

This course involves a detailed regional analysis of the structure of the human body that includes the lower extremity, upper extremity, head, neck and trunk, and thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities. Functional correlates to the structures are also presented and discussed. The course has a lecture component as well as a cadaver dissection based laboratory/discussion component. Prerequisites: Admission to the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 312. Exercise Physiology in Physical Therapy. 2 Units.

This course is designed to give the physical therapy student a strong foundational knowledge of the physiological response to exercise under normal and pathological conditions, and the mechanisms responsible for those changes. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 313. Clinical Kinesiology I. 3 Units.

This course introduces students to the basic principles of kinesiology and biomechanics. It emphasizes the integration of basic science knowledge from multiple disciplines into an applied clinical approach to the study of human movement. Course content focuses on the basis of human movement from cells to systems, as well as normal and pathological movement of the lower extremity. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 314. Introduction to Physical Therapist Practice. 1 Unit.

This course introduces students to the principles and practice of physical therapy. Students explore the history and the role of the profession of physical therapy in the healthcare system and as a member of the healthcare team. Students begin to develop professional behaviors and communication skills required to function in that role. This course includes an introduction to the various practice areas of physical therapy through part-time integrated clinical education experience. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 316. Physical Therapy Examination and Evaluation. 4 Units.

This course provides an overview of basic examination procedures and clinical reasoning approaches used throughout the practice of physical therapy. Course content includes history-taking, vital signs, inspection, palpation, range of motion measurement, manual muscle testing, neurologic testing, selected special tests, and other functional tests. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 318. Physical Therapy Patient Care Skills. 1 Unit.

This course introduces the students to the basic principles and practice of patient care in physical therapy. Course content includes patient education, bed mobility and related techniques, transfers and body mechanics, gait devices, wheelchairs, documentation, and aseptic bandaging techniques. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 319. Physical Agents. 1 Unit.

This course enables the student to properly select and safely and competently apply the various physical agents used by physical therapists. Topics covered include physiological responses and indications, contraindications and precautions for each modality. Case studies are used to illustrate the principles of evaluation and treatment planning. Prerequisite: Admission into the DPT program or permission of instructor.

PTHR 321. The Nervous System and Behavior. 5 Units.

This course is designed to give the student an in-depth understanding to the structure and function of the nervous system, how it controls movement and behavior, and how deficits in the system affect movement and behavior. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 323. Clinical Kinesiology II. 3 Units.

This course is a continuation of PTHR 313 and extends the examination of normal and pathological human movement to the upper extremities, trunk and TMJ regions. Basic biomechanical and kinesiological principles are presented. The relationship of these principles to the clinical environment is stressed. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 326. Therapeutic Exercise: Basic Theory and Application. 4 Units.

This course provides an introduction to the theory and application of therapeutic exercise in physical therapist practice. Students gain an understanding of the physiological effects of training and de-training on the human body and develop the evaluative skills necessary to prescribe a therapeutic exercise plan. Students learn therapeutic exercise techniques for addressing strength, power, endurance, balance, stability, motor control and neuromuscular re-education in a variety of patient populations. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 328. Research: Theory and Application. 2 Units.

This course helps the student develop an understanding of the scientific method of inquiry, research design and methodologies, critical analysis of research articles, critical analysis of health science concepts and findings, and development of clinical research projects through application of the basic principles of the scientific method. This course provides the fundamental background to help students understand evidence-based practice in Physical Therapy. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 329. Pathophysiology. 4 Units.

This course involves the detailed analysis of the structure, function and pathology of the organ systems of the body. Functional correlates to physical therapy care are included. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 332. Electrotherapy. 1 Unit.

This course enables the student to properly select and safely and competently apply various therapeutic electrical devices. Topics include physiological responses, indications, contraindications, and precautions for the use of these electrical devices. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 333. Analysis of Movement Through the Life Span. 2 Units.

This course focuses on the development and refinement of human movement from infancy to older adulthood. Students develop visual observation skills and handling techniques used to facilitate normal movement in various patient populations. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 334. Medical Conditions and Screening for Medical Disease. 4 Units.

This course focuses on the process of screening for medical referral in the practice of physical therapy. The students learn the major signs and symptoms and medical and pharmacologic management of various medical diseases and conditions. This course also covers the possible sources of referred pain from systemic diseases that may mimic or increase pain caused by neuromuscular or musculoskeletal pathology. The students learn through the use of patient/client interview and other tests and measurements to recognize signs and symptoms that may require referral to other practitioners. During this process, the student applies principles of professional communication to interactions with patients, physicians and other health care providers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 335. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy. 4 Units.

This course addresses physical therapy examination, evaluation of and interventions for the individual with cardiovascular and/or pulmonary disease. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 336. Clinical Experience I. 4 Units.

This course consists of full-time clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists at specified facilities, with which the University maintains an affiliation agreement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 339. Motor Learning and Motor Control. 2 Units.

This course focuses on current theories of motor learning and motor control. These theories will provide a foundation for clinical diagnosis of movement and postural control disorders as well as assessment and treatment interventions. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 340. Integumentary and Lymphatic Physical Therapy. 2 Units.

This course teaches students the physical therapy management of integumentary and lymphatic conditions. Topics include the pathophysiology and clinical presentations of typical and atypical wound healing and lymphatic system function. Various treatment options to promote wound healing and lymphedema management are covered. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 342. Physical Therapy Leadership, Administration, and Management. 1 Unit.

This course provides an introduction to principles of leadership, business administration, and management in health care. These principles are specifically applied to physical therapy practice settings. Topics include interviewing and negotiating, business planning and budgeting, public relations, and billing and coding. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework in the DPT program or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 343. Geriatric Physical Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course focuses on physical therapy management of the geriatric patient population. Students gain an understanding of age related changes in biology, physiology, anatomy and function as well as psychological issues and pathological changes associated with aging. Students integrate this knowledge with previous coursework to identify orthopedic, neurological, cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular and integumentary treatment consideration for geriatric patients. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 344. Neuromuscular Physical Therapy. 5 Units.

This course focuses on examination, evaluation and intervention for patients and clients with neuromuscular dysfunction. This course emphasizes the establishment of a diagnosis by a physical therapist, identification of a realistic prognosis and selection of various intervention options based on best evidence. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 345. Advanced Clinical Problems I. 1 Unit.

This course facilitates the integration of knowledge from all prior course work using case studies and actual patient contacts to perform physical therapy examination, evaluation, and intervention. Case studies and patient contacts may include examples of patients/clients with orthopedic, neurological, integumentary, cardiopulmonary, and multiple systems disorders. Students perform all elements of patient care under faculty supervision. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 347. Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I. 5 Units.

This course integrates and expands the student's understanding of previous physical therapy coursework as it applies to the musculoskeletal setting, and introduces the student to manual therapy techniques. Students apply concepts from previous coursework to the examination, evaluation, and intervention of patient/clients in the musculoskeletal/orthopedic setting with a regional emphasis on the extremities. Additionally students develop basic competencies in manual therapy techniques for the extremities. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 348. Industrial Physical Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course covers the physical therapist’s roles in occupational health and wellness. Topics include prevention of injury and illness, regulatory compliance, job-based examination and evaluation, and rehabilitation programs that consider the functional requirements of various types of work. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 351. Prosthetics and Orthotics. 1 Unit.

This course provides the student with a basic understanding of the prescription, fitting and use of various orthotic and prosthetic devices. Biomechanical properties of normal and pathological gait for the user of lower extremity devices are discussed. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 352. Physical Therapy Management of Population Health. 2 Units.

This course emphasizes the physical therapy profession and the practice of physical therapy as it relates to promoting the health of populations. Special emphasis will include health policy, applied epidemiologic methods, population health program design, and evaluation, health communications, population health ethics, and professional advocacy. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework in the DPT program or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 353. Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists. 1 Unit.

This course covers basic principles and interpretation of musculoskeletal diagnostic imaging modalities as they apply to the physical therapist. Indications, normal anatomy, and common findings on plain film x-rays, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging are discussed with an emphasis on the integration of information from clinical imaging into clinical reasoning. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 354. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 1 Unit.

This course provides the student with a foundational understanding of issues and problems that affect the pediatric population addressed by the practice of physical therapy. Students are expected to incorporate knowledge of previous course work used in the evaluation and development of intervention strategies for patients in this population. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 355. Advanced Clinical Problems II. 1 Unit.

This course prepares students for physical therapist practice in inpatient/acute care settings using case studies and simulation scenarios. Students will integrate prior course work to demonstrate examination and evaluation skills, interventions, clinical decision-making, and appropriate responses to adverse patient responses. Patient simulations include pathologies commonly encountered in the inpatient setting. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 356. Psychosocial Aspects of Illness and Disability. 2 Units.

This course is a survey of psychological and social factors related to physical illness and disability. Scientific, theoretical and clinical literature are examined with emphasis on understanding the impact of illness and/or disability on the individual, the family, and the health care professional. This course also covers stress management and professional burn-out. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 357. Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II. 2 Units.

This course is a continuation of PTHR 347. This course integrates and expands the student's understanding of previous physical therapy coursework as it applies to the musculoskeletal setting, and extends the student's knowledge of manual therapy techniques. Students apply concepts from previous coursework to the examination, evaluation, and intervention of patient/clients in the musculoskeletal/orthopedic setting with a regional emphasis on the spine and TMJ. Additionally students develop basic competencies in manual therapy techniques for the spine and TMJ. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 358. Clinical Education and Early Career Development. 1 Unit.

This course will prepare students for success in full-time clinical experiences and beyond into early career. Students will be oriented to the performance instrument that will be used to evaluate their clinical performance, and to common teaching strategies used by clinical faculty. Topics also include conflict resolution, legal risk management, professional licensure, National Physical Therapy Examination preparation, and planning for ongoing professional development. Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior coursework in the DPT program or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 359. Full Time Clinical Education Experience I. 8 Units.

This course consists of full-time clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists at specified facilities, with which the University maintains an affiliation agreement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 368. Full Time Clinical Education Experience II. 8 Units.

This course consists of full-time clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists at specified facilities, with which the University maintains an affiliation agreement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 369. Full Time Clinical Education Experience III. 10 Units.

This course consists of full-time clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists at specified facilities, with which the University maintains an affiliation agreement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

PTHR 380. Medical Spanish for Physical Therapists. 1 Unit.

This elective course teaches the basic Spanish grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure necessary to communicate with patients in a physical therapy and/or medical setting. The course consists primarily of lectures and basic conversational interaction in Spanish. Prerequesites: Successful completion of all previous DPT course work or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 381. Soft Tissue Mobilization and Taping. 1 Unit.

This course teaches both soft tissue mobilization techniques for the various regions and structures of the human body as well as taping and strapping techniques to support and/or facilitate motion. The course consists primarily of labs with demonstration and supervised practice of techniques. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT course work or permission of the instructor.

PTHR 391. Graduate Independent Study. 1-3 Units.

PTHR 393. Special Topics. 1-4 Units.

PTHR 393C. Special Topics. 4 Units.

PTHR 398. Research Literature Review. 1 Unit.

This course helps the student apply the basic principles of research methods to the professional literature and to critically analyze new concepts and findings in that literature. The student chooses a research topic in health science, performs a literature search of primary research articles related to their topic, critically analyzes those research articles, and writes a related literature paper summarizing and synthesizing the information gathered from their literature research. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous DPT courses or permission of instructor.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will pass the National Physical Therapy Examination on the first attempt.

  2. Students will demonstrate entry-level performance or greater on clinical internships.

  3. Students will participate in service learning during the course of the didactic program.

Physical Therapy Faculty

Tamara L. Phelan, Professor & Chair, 2001, BS, Tennessee State University, 1993; MS, Ola Grimsby Institute, 1997; DMT, Ola Grimsby Institute, Inc., San Diego, CA, 2000; EdD, University of the Pacific, 2008.

Todd E. Davenport, Professor & Vice Chair, 2007, BS, Willamette University, 1998; DPT, University of Southern California, 2002; Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency, University of Southern California, 2003; MPH, University of California, Berkeley, 2015.

Alicia Rabena-Amen, Assistant Professor & Director of Clinical Education, 2018, BS, Mount St. Mary's College, 1995; MS, Mount St. Mary's College, 1998; DPT, Arcadia University, 2017

David Gillette, Assistant Professor, 2017, BA, University of Washington, 2001; DPT, University of Washington, 2009; Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency, University of Minnesota, 2009

Jim K. Mansoor, Professor, 1993, BA, California State University, Sacramento, 1980; MS, 1989; PhD, University of California, Davis, 1996.

Preeti D. Oza, Assistant Professor, 2013, BSc, 1995, MSc, University of Mumbai, India, 1998; PhD, The University of Iowa, 2007

Cathy Peterson, Professor, 2002, BS, University of Iowa, 1989; MSPT, Des Moines University, 1991; EdD, University of San Francisco, 2002.

Bhavana Raja, Assistant Professor, 2018, Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Guru Nanak Dev University, 2006; PhD: University of Florida, 2010.