Physical Therapy Doctorate
Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who are dedicated to the improvement of the quality of life. Physical therapists are “movement specialists” who provide services aimed at preventing the onset and/or slowing the progression of conditions resulting from injury, disease and other causes. They help to reduce pain, increase mobility and improve function.
Physical therapy is the examination, evaluation, management and education of persons to detect, assess ongoing effects of intervention, prevent, correct, alleviate, and limit acute or prolonged movement dysfunction. As a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, you will learn to assess joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, function of heart and lungs and performance of activities required in daily living. You will also learn treatment techniques that a physical therapist provides including therapeutic exercise, cardiovascular endurance training and training in activities of daily living.
Maryville’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is a six and one-half year freshman-entry program. Acceptance into the program as a freshman assures the student a place in the professional portion of the program if the student maintains satisfactory academic progress in the program. Students earn an undergraduate degree in Health Science upon successfully completing this first four years of the program.
The career outlook for physical therapists is strong. Due to the aging population, projections show an increase in demand for physical therapists in the future. According to YAHOO!®Finance, physical therapy as a professional career is listed as number four in the top 100 best jobs in America for 2010.
In 2005, The Higher Learning Commission of The North Central Accreditation approved Maryville University to offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The program is also accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Seven program goals have been adopted by the faculty of the Maryville University Physical Therapy program. The program is designed to integrate the liberal arts pre-professional education into the professional curriculum and to assure that students graduate as physical therapists. It is the intent of the faculty to develop generalist clinicians who will use knowledge in the foundational and clinical sciences to provide safe, compassionate physical therapy services in a variety of settings throughout the lifespan Upon graduation, the generalist clinician will achieve all curriculum goals. The program’s goal is to prepare graduates in physical therapy with an education grounded in the liberal arts who are:
- Reflective practitioners who will critically evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their practice in the light of personal experience and changing information derived from research. He/she will integrate the five elements of patient/client management, which are: examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention to enhance outcomes
- Professionals who will serve their profession, work within the health care system, and serve society through support and improvement of the profession of physical therapy
- Colleagues who will develop and maintain mutually respectful relationships with other members of the health care system
- Educators who will provide effective teaching methods to meet the needs of the learner for a variety of audiences
- Learners who will seek and expand knowledge for professional growth and development to help others
- Administrators who will manage the resources necessary for providing physical therapy service
- Alumni who will engage in and support the Physical Therapy Program at Maryville University
Program Outcomes – The information below is based on a three-year average (2009-2011).
- Graduation Rate – 92.8%
The graduation rate for the Physical Therapy Program at Maryville University is the percentage of students who began the professional phase of the program and graduated within three years.
- Licensure Exam Pass Rate – 98.7%
As stated on the American Physical Therapy Association’s website, every graduate of a physical therapy program must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to become a licensed therapist in the United States.
- Employment Rate – 100%
The employment rate for the Physical Therapy Program at Maryville University is the percentage of graduates who were employed as physical therapists within six months of passing the licensure examination.
Maryville affiliates with over 220 physical therapy clinical sites in the United States. Students complete a total of 40 weeks of clinical education in a variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, school settings and rehab centers.
Students in the Physical Therapy Program are required to have physical examinations, be current on all vaccinations, be certified in CPR for adult, infant, and child and have annual TB-Tuberculin PPD tests. Prior to participation in clinicals, students must provide proof of health insurance and must undergo criminal background checks and urine drug screens.
Upon completion of all academic coursework, you will spend approximately 30 full-time weeks on clinical experiences where you will be expected to accept responsibility in the examination and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical settings under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist. Successful completion of the program does not guarantee that you will pass the licensure exam and practice as a physical therapist.
Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy. A state board may refuse to issue a license for specific reasons related to moral turpitude, intemperate use of alcohol or drugs, conviction of a crime or failure to pay child support.
Physical Therapy Club
The Physical Therapy Club is one of the most active student organizations on campus. The PT Club participates in enrichment activities that expand on a student’s learning about physical therapy in a fun, interactive and service-focused manner. The club promotes the profession of physical therapy through a variety of community awareness activities. The club also sponsors fundraising events to assist students who attend national physical therapy conferences as well as fundraising for special community needs. Participation in the PT Club fosters student leadership and mentoring and allows for networking with peers, students of other classes and students from other physical therapy schools.
More than 120,000 physical therapists are licensed in the U.S. today, treating nearly one million people every day. Employment in areas of orthopedic outpatient and hospital-based facilities, sports medicine, acute care, long-term care, rehabilitation centers, pediatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities and home health care are available for licensed physical therapists. The median salary for a physical therapist in the Midwest is $73,000. The median salary for a new physical therapy graduate is $60,000.
Degree Offerings and Requirements
Before students can be admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, they must meet certain entrance requirements. Current Maryville University students should apply directly to the Physical Therapy program and not through Admissions.
Freshman applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and a minimum 24 ACT composite (with math and science reasoning sub scores of at least 20) or SAT CR+M score range of 1090-1120 or SAT CR+M single score of 1110. All test values must be earned on the same exam. Maryville recommends a strong background in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.
For the 2013-2014 academic year, we will not be accepting transfer students.
All applicants are required to have a minimum of 20 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting with a physical therapist. The documentation of the observation hours can be submitted by whatever means the facility wishes to use (i.e. a letter indicating the number of hours on their letterhead and signed by the physical therapist, or a time-in-time-out sheet signed by the physical therapist, etc.). Observation in a variety of settings is suggested. Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, counselor or physical therapist that speak to your academic ability, initiative and personal characteristics are also required. These required documents should be sent to the Office of Admissions.
International students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 560. Applicants must also have a minimum sub-score of 24 in Writing, 26 in Speaking, 21 in Reading Comprehension, 18 in Listening Comprehension and a total sub-score score of 89. Students not obtaining these scores are encouraged to contact ELS (www.els.com) in order to contract with them for English proficiency classes.
Maryville University of Saint Louis is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504. You can contact them by calling 800.621.7440.
School and College Accreditation
School of Health Professionals
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy
Education of the American Physical Therapy Association
1111 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314