The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), prepares highly qualified therapists for exemplary professional practice in physical therapy. Students of the program become physical therapists who are able to recognize and meet existing and emerging health care needs. The program seeks to impart values and skills for lifelong learning, ethical behavior in practice, and a commitment to the enrichment and promotion of the physical therapy profession.
The professional coursework in physical therapy enables students to develop advanced problem-solving skills and apply them to examination, evaluation, program planning, treatment, and management of those in need of physical therapy services. Graduates possess a broad knowledge in the science and practice of physical therapy, as well as a clinically based understanding of administration, health policy, and evidence-based practice. The program integrates the humanics philosophy as it addresses the intellectual, physical, and spiritual aspects of treating the whole person within a social, political, and economic environment.
The professional program includes courses in anatomy, clinical sciences, organization and delivery of health care, evidence-based practice as well as part and full-time clinical experiences in approved clinical education facilities. The program is subject to modification to ensure a comprehensive, integrated sequence of experiences leading to a physical therapy education of the highest possible quality. Graduates receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy exam and apply for state licensure.
Admission to the Program
The program accepts a limited number of graduate students every year to join an existing Health Science/Pre-Physical Therapy cohort in the first year of graduate study. The number of seats available for graduate applicants varies from year to year. The program starts each year in May.
Candidates applying for graduate admission must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester preceding the applicant’s intended date of entry. A transcript documenting completion of courses is required prior to matriculation in the summer. Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores taken within five years of the date of the application is required. The following prerequisite courses are required for all applicants:
Eight credits with laboratory:
Biology I and II
Chemistry I and II
Physics I and II
Anatomy and Physiology I and II
Three credits each:
Exercise Physiology (with lab)
Pre-Calculus or Calculus
Psychology or Social Sciences (6 - 9 credits)
Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in both the science and the general education prerequisite courses and also a 3.0 overall cumulative average. There is a seven-year limit on basic science, mathematics, and computer science prerequisites. An extension of this limit requires that the applicant provide current and related experience within the specific area.
Springfield College is a participant in the PTCAS/Physical Therapy Certified Application Service (www.PTCAS.org). Detailed information on application requirements are available on the PTCAS website.
III. Additional Information
Clinical Education Courses
Students in the DPT program are required to successfully complete all clinical education courses. Clinical education sites have been established throughout much of the eastern part of the United States (New England, Middle Atlantic, and Southeastern US). Selected sites have also been established in other areas of the United States. Physical therapy students are responsible for additional costs incurred during the clinical affiliations. These costs include criminal background checks, travel, living expenses, uniforms, and compliance with selected health requirements.
Program Essential Functions and Technical Standards
Each student admitted to the program is required to meet the Technical Standards and Essential Functions of the program with or without reasonable accommodation. Program essential functions include participation in classroom, laboratory, and clinical functions, as well as performance of professional functions such as examination, treatment, and education of individuals in a timely and safe manner. Minimum academic standards and technical standards necessary for completion of the program essential functions must be met for continuation in and graduation from the program. Technical standards define the individual physical, sensory, cognitive, behavioral, and social attributes or outcomes necessary to complete the program essential functions. Program Essential Functions and Technical Standards are available on the department web site and in the DPT Student Handbook.
Additional information regarding the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, including unique program policies and standards, may be found in the DPT Student Handbook.