Doctor of Physical Therapy Physical Therapy 96 Credits | School of Health and Natural Sciences | Dobbs Ferry
Physical Therapy Program Overview
The mission of the program is to transform our students into professionals through unique learning experiences that enable:
- Optimize clients’ movement for health
- Collaborate in promoting health across the lifespan
- Apply evidence in patient-centered care
- Appreciate diverse backgrounds
- Champion humanism in teaching
Mercy College’s Physical Therapy degree earners will become eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination required for licensure.
Entry into the Doctoral degree program requires a bachelor’s degree and prerequisite courses.
Physical Therapy Program Highlights
- Full-time, weekend curriculum format (9 weekends per term)
- 96 credits of course work is completed in 10 trimesters (3 years, 4 months)
- Small cohort/class size (30 students) giving a personalized educational experience
- Dedicated faculty comprised of physical therapists with various specializations who still practice
- Individual faculty advisor for each student
- Weekend format allows the program to utilize experienced expert physical therapists from the region to assist with lab instruction and lecture in their areas of expertise
- Clinical internship opportunities available at over 200 facilities in the tri-state metropolitan area and beyond
- State-of-the-art clinical facilities
- National accreditation from CAPTE
Job growth expected to
rise 22% through 2028*
For physical therapists
in the New York region
Total Credits to Earn Your Degree
Classes in anatomy, kinesiology
& rehabilitation research
What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage
- State-of-the-art clinical facilities
- 12,000 square-foot simulation labs
- Participate in international medical missions
- National accreditation from CAPTE
- Complete the program in 10 semesters
- Classes held on weekends
Physical Therapy News: Cycling and Parkinson’s Disease Research Grant
Nannette Hyland PT, PhD Program Director of the Physical Therapy program and Astrid Mel PhD, Program Director of the Exercise Science program were award $18,000 from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation to study the impact of an indoor cycling protocol in reducing Parkinson’s symptoms. This project will involve graduate DPT students to assist with data collection. The study will be performed at ClubFit in Briarcliff, NY over the next year.
Health Professions Clinical Simulation & Learning Labs
When it comes to training the best future health care professionals, who are prepared to handle anything they might face in their profession – Mercy College has an invaluable tool – our Health Professions Clinical Simulation and Learning Labs. The Dobbs Ferry 12,000 square-foot space includes specialized labs designed to simulate different disciplines within a health care facility.
Program Details & Curriculum
The emphasis of the curriculum philosophy is a holistic, humanistic approach in which the individual is respected for his or her own uniqueness, including client reaction to impairment or disability.
The use of a hybrid model that combines traditional and lifespan models reinforces a primary tenet of the philosophy: the physical therapist treats the total person, not only the individual's injury or disability.
Professional Courses: 84 Credits
Clinical Education: 12 Credits
Total: 96 Credits
The physical therapy curriculum builds upon itself therefore students most complete the coursework in sequence. (Each term is a prerequisite for the consecutive term). Visit the online catalog to view the full curriculum
Students are required to complete a B.S. or B.A. degree and all of the science prerequisites for Physical Therapy prior to entering into the DPT program.
The Physical Therapy Program at Mercy College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100 Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085
Students are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination, administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
If you need to contact the Physical Therapy Program/Mercy College directly, please call (914) 674-7828 or email email@example.com.
Academic Program Sequence Map
Physical Therapy Program Learning Outcomes
- Synthesize knowledge from the sciences as a foundation for physical therapy practice.
- Develop effective prevention, health promotion, wellness and fitness programs.
- Effectively utilize the elements of the patient-client management screening and examination to effectively formulate a plan of care or referral in clients of all ages across settings.
- Effectively utilize the elements of patient-care management evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis to optimize outcomes in clients of all ages across settings.
- Effectively develop and manage a plan of care including appropriate evidence based interventions taking into account the physical, cognitive and psychological impairments and disabilities, and available resources to optimize outcomes in clients of all ages across settings.
- Effectively perform the elements of an established plan of care based upon appropriate evidence, taking into account the physical, cognitive and psychological impairments and disabilities, and available resources to optimize outcomes in clients of all ages across settings
- Engage in a dynamic process of scientific inquiry to enhance the practice of physical therapy within the changing health care environment
- Integrate professional ethics, values, and responsibilities in the practice of physical therapy.
- Advocate for the profession and health care needs of a diverse society.
- Communicate effectively with all members of the healthcare stakeholders (including inter-professional team members, patients/clients, family members, caregivers, consumers, and payers).
- Effectively manage practice including finance, regulatory policies, legal requirements and quality indicators.
To be eligible for graduation students must complete all required course work with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The coursework includes the completion of research and clinical education requirements.
Requirements of the DPT in Physical Therapy must be completed within five years from the date of the matriculation into the professional program. All clinical education must be completed within 24 months of completion of didactic course work. Exceptions may be made by the director of the program if the candidate demonstrates circumstances beyond the student’s control that temporarily interfere with the ability to complete the program on time.
Program Outcome Data (Graduation rates/ License pass rates/ Employment rates)
- The graduation rate for 2018 was 96%, 2019 was 93%, and 2020 is 83% (2020 indicates students graduating on-time only and not those that are expected to graduate at a later date)
- The ultimate NPTE license pass rate for 2016, 2017, 2018 is 100%, 2019 is 95.8% and 2020 is 96.7%
- The first time NPTE license pass rate for 2018 was 70/5, 2019 was 66.7% and for 2020 is 90%.
- The employment rate for those who sought employment was 100% for the 2018 and 2019 cohort.
The program has an Essential Function Form that outlines the necessary behavioral/communicative, psychomotor, cognitive and self-care skill deemed essential for completion of the program and performance as a competent physical therapist. This form is signed by the student prior to starting the program stating they are or are not capable of performing the skills and abilities that are listed. Please download our Essential Functions Form.
Upon acceptance into the Physical Therapy Program, each student will be assigned a faculty member who will serve as his or her advisor. The advisor will offer counsel on issues related to requirements for program completion, the development of long-term plans of study and future professional direction, and academic standing in the program.
Clinical Education Grades
All clinical education courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. If a student fails any Clinical Education course, the decision to allow the course to be repeated will be determined by a Faculty Review Committee. If the student is allowed to repeat the affiliation and fails again, they will be dismissed from the program. If the student is not allowed to repeat the affiliation, matriculated status will be withdrawn.
A student can only withdraw from a clinical education assignment for extenuation circumstances approved by a Faculty Review Committee. A student cannot withdraw from a clinical education assignment more than once.
A student will not be allowed to enter into Advanced Clinical Education if they are on probation.
In order to participate in clinical education, a criminal background check may be required. The majority of clinical sites now require students to pass a background check prior to starting their affiliation. It is the student’s responsibility to perform this and supply the necessary documentation to the clinical facility well in advance of the start date of their affiliation. Policies regarding criminal background checks vary from facility to facility. Some facilities require students to have the background check performed on site or be a specific company. Some facilities require fingerprinting and/or drug screening in addition. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Clinical Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCCE) to find out the specific procedure at that facility and to have it completed and submitted within the specific time frame for the facility. If a facility has no preference, the ACCE will provide the student with an acceptable company. Cost of the background check is the student’s responsibility. A student may be required to have more than one background check performed during the course of the program.
Cheating and plagiarism are contrary to the purpose of any educational institution and must be dealt with severely if students’ work is to have any validity. Plagiarism is the appropriation of words or ideas of another without recognition of the source. Professors reserve the right to use all appropriate and available resources to verify originality and authenticity of all submitted coursework. An instructor who determines that a student has cheated or plagiarized will give an F for the assignment and may give a grade of F for the course. Additionally the faculty member will submit a written report of the incident to the program director and executive dean for academic engagement and planning. Plagiarism and cheating will be grounds for dismissal depending on the circumstances. The matter is dealt with by the instructor and the student, in consultation with the director of the graduate program, the school dean, and the executive dean for academic engagement and planning.
Any student whose cumulative program or term GPA falls below 3.0 (without rounding) after any given trimester will be placed on academic probation. While on academic probation the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or higher in the next term of enrollment. If the student is not able to achieve a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 within two terms, the student will be dismissed from the program. A student must have a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of term 5 to be able to register for Basic Clinical Education. A student must have a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of term 8 to be able to register for Advanced Clinical Education.
If a student receives a grade of C in any required course in the DPT curriculum, the course must be repeated before permission to continue the curriculum sequence is granted. A student can only repeat a course one time if he/she has received a grade of C. If a student receives a grade less than a B on the repeated course, the student will be dismissed from the program. The student must also pass a competency exam for clinically related coursework previously taken before attending a clinical affiliation. Any student who fails the competency exam must remediate the previous coursework through independent study and/or auditing courses until he is able to pass the competency test. The student is only allowed to repeat one course in the DPT curriculum.
A grade lower than a C in any undergraduate or graduate course required in the DPT curriculum will result in dismissal from the Physical Therapy Program and may result in dismissal from the college. Once a student is dismissed from the Program they may not re-apply to the DPT Program.
Attendance and punctuality in all classes and clinical education assignments is required, unless the student is excused for extenuating and extraordinary life circumstances. If absence is due to illness, a note signed by an M.D. should be submitted. Missing one weekend day per semester is equivalent to missing three to four classes in a traditional program and may jeopardize a student’s standing in the program. Course instructors or clinical instructors must be notified in advance regarding absences. Failure to do this will result in a review of the situation by the Faculty Review Committee. Possible results of absenteeism may include a written warning and/or additional assignments. If a student misses a test or exam without previously contacting the instructor, the situation will be reviewed by the faculty and may result in a grade of F for that test or exam.
Absence from any clinical education assignment must be made up or may result in a failing grade in the course.
It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program’s culminating activity, which is the Colloquium requirement in the Physical Therapy Program. Students who do not complete their Colloquium project by the end of the 10th term must register for PHTR 711 Research Externship Continuation. Research Externship Continuation has a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) which will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms.
A student’s degree will not be released until all Maintenance of Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on a student’s record.
To request an incomplete grade, students must develop a written contract with the course instructor regarding the completion of coursework within a specified time not to exceed the start of the next semester. Incomplete grades will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances such a severe illness, death of a family member, etc. Students may not register for any further Physical Therapy courses without permission of a Faculty Review Committee. Failure to complete the work in accord with the contract-specified time will automatically result in failure for the course.
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence will only be granted for extraordinary life circumstances after a full review by the Faculty Review Committee. The student must submit a written request including supporting documentation that will be reviewed by the Faculty Review Committee. If the leave of absence is granted, the student must maintain matriculation in the program by registering for Maintenance of Matriculation. The student must pass a yearly competency exam for clinically related coursework before attending a clinical affiliation. If the student fails the competency exam, they must remediate the previous coursework through independent study and/or auditing courses until they are able to pass the competency test. The maximum time a student can be on a leave of absence is one year. If the student requires more than one year, their matriculation status will be dropped and in order to return they need to apply for readmission.
Maintenance of Matriculation
It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering for all successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). For non-cohort programs, summer registration is not required. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. The Maintenance of Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration.
Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.
Maintenance of Good Academic Standing
The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is a 3.0. Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the term or cumulative program GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. A GPA will not be rounded for purposes of determining academic standing.
If a student receives a grade of C in any course, the course must be repeated before permission to continue the curriculum sequence is granted. A student can only repeat a course one time if he/she has received a grade of C. If a student receives a grade less than a B on the repeated course, the student will be dismissed from the program. A student is only allowed to repeat one course in the DPT curriculum. A grade less than a C in any undergraduate or graduate course required in the DPT curriculum will result in dismissal from the Physical Therapy Program. Students may appeal the dismissal; however, if the dismissal is upheld by the Graduate Academic Policy Committee, a student may not reapply to the DPT program.
Students will be rated by faculty on their professional development (generic abilities) each semester during the program. If a student does not achieve the expected level of development, a plan of action will be developed by the student and faculty advisor. If a student has not achieved the stated expected level of development prior to beginning clinical education, a plan of action will be developed by the faculty review committee and reviewed with the student. The clinical education assignment will not begin until the student demonstrates an ability to achieve the expected level of development. See the Program Student Manual for additional details.
A rating of “unacceptable” in any area of professional development/generic ability will be reviewed by the program Faculty Review Committee. If improvement is not made following a plan of action, the student may be dismissed from the program.
The Physical Therapy Program is responsible for ensuring that all students are competent and safe to enter the clinical education portion of the Program. To do so, students must demonstrate competencies by passing designated lab practical or examinations. Students must receive a grade of 73 or above on all specified examinations and lab practical of a class. The designated lab practical examinations and/or examination will be on the course syllabus.
The Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree is a full-time weekend program that takes approximately three years and four months to complete. The student is required to take eight to twelve credits per trimester. Course work may be completed in 10 trimesters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I obtain information about the program?
The Admissions Office of Mercy College provides general information about the Physical Therapy program, admission requirements and graduate catalogs. They can be reached at 877-MERCY-GO.
To contact the program directly, you may call (914) 674-7828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the application requirements?
All applicants are required to complete the application packet on PTCAS (www.ptcas.org). The application packet consists of the following: a completed application form, official transcripts from each college attended (baccalaureate degree transcript if achieved), a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the prerequisite science coursework, which must include at least eight science prerequisite courses and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0, Physical Therapy volunteer/work experience demonstrating at least forty hours of volunteer or work-related experience. The volunteer hours must be in a minimum of two different settings. (NOTE: Physical Therapist Assistants are exempt from volunteer hours but must complete work experience forms), essay, official documentation with GRE scores, two references (one letter should be from a registered physical therapist and one letter is recommended to be from an instructor of a prerequisite course), the recommendations may not be more than one year old. To learn more about the PTCAS application process, visit www.ptcas.org.
What are the career opportunities?
Career opportunities for graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy at Mercy College include working in private outpatient clinics, acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, school systems, home care, health and wellness facilities, industry and research centers and private practice. Graduates of Mercy College are currently; in supervisory positions, owners of private practices and academic faculty.
When does the Program start?
The Program starts in the fall on the first weekend after Labor Day.
International Student Transcripts
All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by WES and submitted to PTCAS. PTCAS will only accept foreign transcript evaluations from the World Education Services (WES). Arrange for WES to send a course-by-course report to PTCAS. TOEFL scores also need to be submitted to PTCAS.
Can I work while in the program?
Although our classes are held Friday-Sunday, it is still an intensive, full-time program. You will have to allow time throughout the week for studying and completion of assignments. There are students who are able to work part-time and succeed in the program, but we suggest not working more than 20 hours/week. Many students who are working when they start the program find they need to reduce their hours during the first semester because the coursework is more intense than they had anticipated.
What is the timeline for the admissions process?
Early Decision Process -- Application Submission: October 15. Interview: January - February. Decision Date: February 28. Regular Application Process - Complete Application Submission: January 15. Interview: February - March. Decision Date: April 30. Candidates with a GPA of 3.6 or higher can submit applications by October 15th for consideration for early decision.
Is the GRE required?
Yes. The Mercy College GRE Physical Therapy Code is 0656.
What are the other requirements?
Students are required to complete a B.S. or B.A. degree and all of the science prerequisites for Physical Therapy prior to entering into the DPT program.
Students who have successfully completed at least eight of the ten science prerequisite courses with a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply to the program. All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed prior to entry into the Physical Therapy Program. No more than one prerequisite science courses can be taken during the summer before entering the program.
Volunteer or work-related experience in physical therapy is required. A maximum of thirty students will be accepted into each class.
How To Apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
General information regarding eligibility for the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy may be obtained from the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) at https://portal.ptcas.org/. Information may also be obtained by contacting the Physical Therapy Program Office at (914) 674-7828 or Mercy College Graduate Admissions Office at 1.800.Mercy.NY.
Application deadline is January 15th.
All applicants are required to complete an application packet on PTCAS (https://portal.ptcas.org/). Candidates with a GPA of 3.6 or higher can submit applications by October 15 for consideration for early decision. Only complete applications will be reviewed.
A complete PTCAS application includes the following:
1. Minimum Admissions GPA of 3.0
- The Admissions GPA consists of the 8 most recent graded science prerequisite courses. If a prerequisite course has been retaken within the last five years, an average of the course grades will be calculated in the admissions GPA
Students must have a Bachelor's Degree prior to matriculation. Students may apply with either a B.A. or a B.S.; there is no preference to one type over the other. Prerequisite courses may be completed as part of a Bachelor's Degree, an Associate's Degree, or as a non-degree student. No more than 75 credits will be accepted from two-year institutions. Online labs for any of the below classes are not acceptable (unless completed during the spring of 2020). ALL students must complete the following prerequisite courses with a C or higher (students may have up to two passing grades on a pass/fail system if completed during the spring of 2020):
Anatomy & Physiology I & II 4 credits each
Biology I & II 4 credits
Physics I & II 4 credits each
Psychology 6 credits
Chemistry I & II 4 credits each
Statistics 3 credits
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- The cumulative GPA consists of all courses taken.
- Cumulative GPA below a 3.0 will be reviewed on a case by case basis for potential exceptions.
2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended need to be received by PTCAS by January 15th.
International Students - All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by WES and submitted to PTCAS. PTCAS will only accept foreign transcript evaluations from the World Education Services (WES). Arrange for WES to send a course-by-course report for PTCAS. TOEFL scores also need to be submitted to PTCAS.
3. GRE scores sent to PTCAS.
The Mercy College GRE Physical Therapy Code is 0656. This is different than Mercy College's general GRE code. Mercy's required minimum for the GRE writing section is a 3.0.
- GRE scores must be received by PTCAS before submission of the application.
4. Volunteer/work experience hours in physical therapy are recommended.
Due to COVID19 there are no required number of hours, however 40 hours of volunteer or work-related experience is preferred. These hours should be documented and verified on PTCAS.
5. Two references
One letter should be from a registered physical therapist or a work supervisor and one letter should be from an academic instructor. The recommendation should give evidence of academic and professional qualifications for graduate study, and should be no more than one year old.
6. Personal Statement
Essay written on PTCAS
7. Only students who meet the requirements for a complete application can be called for an on-site interview.
- Applications submitted without official GRE scores, transcripts and volunteer hours will be considered incomplete until all the components are submitted; they must all be submitted before the admissions deadline.
- It is recommended to submit the application early to give PTCAS time to verify coursework. The program has rolling admissions and applications still waiting on verification after the due date may not be reviewed.