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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 B.S./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.
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.
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.
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 insuring 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.
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.
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. Coursework may be completed in 10 trimesters.