Physical Therapy – Program Features

Based on a three-year average (2011-2013), Maryville’s DPT graduates had an 82 percent graduation rate, attained a 100 percent pass rate on the required National Physical Therapy Examination, and 100 percent of the graduates were employed within six months of graduation.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, demand for physical therapists is rapidly rising as aging baby boomers stay active longer in life. It is projected to be one of the fastest growing careers in health care with average annual wages near $80,000.

Maryville’s DPT program was accredited in 2005 by The Higher Learning Commission of The North Central Accreditation and by the Commission of Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Program Features

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:

Essential Functions

The Maryville University Physical Therapy Program seeks to admit and retain students who have the ability to become highly competent physical therapists. Essential functions, skills, and abilities ensure that the student possesses all of the necessary attributes of the academic program required for graduation.

Essential functions, skills, and abilities refer to the physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities required for satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum and the development of professional attributes required by the faculty of all students.

  1. Cognitive ability is required to master relevant content in basic science and clinical courses and to think critically and reflectively; for example, evaluating all aspects of a patient and assessing each component of data for its impact on the possible diagnoses as well as the same process of assessing the alternatives and the potential impacts of each on the patient’s problems.  All aspects include educational, community, societal, work related, and family related areas as well as direct physical and psychological findings from the patient.
  2. Interpersonal skills are required to interact with groups of individuals from a variety of backgrounds; for example, establishing rapport with patients, clients, and colleagues;  recognizing psychosocial impact of dysfunction/disability; and integrating the needs of the patient and family into the plan of care.
  3. Communication ability is required to communicate both in verbal and written form; for example, explaining treatment procedures, obtaining essential information from the patient and others, educating patients, and documenting physical therapist actions and patient responses.
  4. Mobility skills are required to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces; for example, transferring patients and responding to emergencies.
  5. Gross and Fine Motor skills are required to provide safe and effective physical therapy; for example, simultaneously doing different activities with each hand, calibrating and using equipment, positioning patients/clients, guarding and assisting with transfers and ambulation, performing ROM, debridement, CPR, using physical agents, and the ability to lift, carry, pull, push, reach, stand, walk, kneel, bend, climb, balance, and operate electrical equipment.
  6. Hearing ability is required to monitor and assess health needs; for example, hearing and monitoring alarms, emergency signals, and cries for help.
  7. Visual ability is required to monitor and assess health needs and equipment; for example, measuring and observing patient responses, monitoring vital signs, visual inspection and calibrating or adjusting equipment.
  8. Tactile ability is required for physical assessment; for example, performing palpation, physical examination or intervention and applying resistance during treatment or assessment.
  9. Coping skills are required to perform in stressful environments or during impending deadlines; for example, working with terminally ill patients, fast paced clinical situations, psychological responses of patients to their disabilities, etc.
  10. Behavioral skills are required to demonstrate professionalism and possess attributes which include compassion, empathy, altruism, integrity, responsibility, and tolerance; for example: practicing safely, ethically, and legally; participating in scientific inquiry; and demonstrating responsibility for lifelong professional growth and development.

It is the responsibility of the student with disabilities to request those accommodations that he/she feels are reasonable and are needed to execute the essential requirements.

Program Outcomes –

The information below is based on a three-year average (2010-2012).

Clinical Education

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. Flu vaccines are required. Other immunization requirements may be needed depending upon a clinical facility’s requirements. Prior to participation in clinicals, students must provide proof of health insurance and must undergo criminal background checks and urine drug screens.

Program Completion

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.

Professional/Career Opportunities

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

Admission Requirements

Before students can be admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, they must meet certain freshmen entrance requirements. Current Maryville University students should apply directly to the Physical Therapy program and not through Admissions.

For the 2014-2015 academic year, we will not be accepting transfer students.

University Accreditation

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

The Physical Therapy Program at Maryville University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: