Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT): Curriculum


DPT Program
The DPT program is 2.5 years (8 semesters) of year-round graduate study. Academic coursework with active learning labs, clinical education, and research activity take place during the first seven semesters. The final two semesters of the program are centered on full-time clinical rotations.

 Year 1: Summer

DPT 710 - Applied Exercise Physiology (3 credits)
This course will explore acute and chronic response to exercise. Attention will focus on a systems understanding of homeostasis and metabolism, with an in depth and exploration of the endocrine, neuromuscular, circulatory, respiratory systems response/adaptation to targeted interventions.

DPT 711 - Functional Human Anatomy (3 credits)
A study of human gross anatomy. Content is presented in lecture and laboratory experiences to include human cadaver dissection. Emphasis on the neuromusculoskeletal system with correlation to clinical conditions.

DPT 760 - Integrated Clinical Practice I (3 credits)
This course will introduce basic client handling and safety skills, professional identity formation and introduction to professional communication skills

 Year 1: Fall

DPT 713 - Clinical Neuroscience (3 credits)
The course will introduce the foundational concepts of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology with application to client populations. Theories of motor control, movement science, and motor learning will be introduced with applications to developing principles of therapeutic interventions.

DPT 720 - Clinical Biomechanics 1 (4 credits)
The course focuses on the description and quantification of movement including forces and structures internal and external to the body responsible for typical and atypical human movement. Includes joint and tissue mechanics, muscle function, task and movement analysis.

DPT 730 - Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I (4 credits)
Course Description: This is the first of a three-part series on musculoskeletal physical therapy. The course will introduce students to principles of physical therapy examination, evaluation, and management for non-specific musculoskeletal concerns and for common pathologies of the hip, knee, lower leg, ankle, and foot. Soft tissue and joint manual therapy principles and techniques will also be introduced along with indications and contraindications for their use in physical therapy. The lab portion of the course will focus on development of physical examination and treatment skills through peer interaction, simulation, instructor demonstrations and competency skills checks. In addition, there will be select activities on campus and in the community with uncomplicated adult clients representative of those seen in physical therapy practice.

DPT 740 - Movement System Diagnosis I (3 credits)
This course focuses on the introduction and development of movement analysis skills including classification of movement patterns. Students will be trained in identification of typical and atypical movement patterns and the correlation to pathologies. Manual movement assessment skill development including muscle length and strength assessment will also be emphasized.


DPT 761 - Integrated Clinical Practice II (3 credits)
This course will reinforce and build on basic client handling and safety skills that were introduced in DPT 660 Integrated Clinical Practice I. The curriculum will focus on progression of professional identity formation and professional communication skills. Students will be placed in an integrated clinical environment for supervised experiential learning and reinforcement of concepts and techniques learned in instructional lecture and lab.

 Year 1: Winterim

DPT 790 - Evidence Based Practice (EBP) I: Health Promotion (3 credits)
This course will introduce students to the key concepts of evidence-based practice in the rehabilitation profession. There will be a central theme in the assigned readings of health promotion and wellness at the individual, family unit and community level

 Year 1: Spring

DPT 721 - Clinical Biomechanics II (4 credits)
This course is a second in a two-course sequences investigating biomechanics including bone, dense connective tissues, muscle, nerve and skin. Emphasis is on quantitative and qualitative analysis of human movement including use of technology to examine motion.

DPT 722 - Therapeutic Interventions I (3 credits)
This course will focus on four primary areas of therapeutic interventions: Exercise Prescription, Biophysical Agents (modalities), Integumentary repair and protection, and Manual Techniques. Exercise prescription will introduce and address basic concepts in exercise science and principles of tissue repair, recovery, and strength using current literature. Biophysical agents will introduce the modalities used in the practice of physical therapy, including indications for use, safety considerations, and a critical review of the literature concerning efficacy. Integumentary repair and protection will address principles of tissue repair and protection commonly seen in physical therapy and health related fields, as well as specific interventions used by physical therapists to treat integumentary issues including debridement. Manual techniques will introduce soft tissue and joint mobilization principles and indications for their use in physical therapy. Each area of focus will have associated lab experiences which will focus on development of therapeutic intervention skills through peer interaction, simulation experiences, instructor demonstrations and competency skills checks. In addition, there will be select activities on campus and in the community with adult clients representative of those seen in physical therapy practice.

DPT 731 - Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II (4 credits)
This is the second of a three-part series on musculoskeletal physical therapy, reinforcing and advancing the concepts presented in DPT 730 (Musculoskeletal PT I). In this course students will be introduced to principles of physical therapy examination, evaluation, and management of common pathologies of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. The lab portion of the course will focus on development of physical examination and treatment skills through peer interaction, simulation, instructor demonstrations and competency skills checks. In addition, there will be select activities on campus and in the community with uncomplicated adult clients representative of those seen in physical therapy practice.

DPT 741 - Movement System Diagnosis ll (3credits)
Advanced preparation for the direct access practitioner to develop diagnostic skills across a broad range of conditions including integumentary, gastrointestinal, behavioral health, endocrine and urogenital conditions. Includes integration of imaging, emergency responder and medical responder training.

DPT 762 - Integrated Clinical Practice III (3 credits)
This course will reinforce and build on basic client handling and safety skills that were introduced in DPT 660 Integrated Clinical Practice I as well as the advanced communication and patient interaction skills and clinical practice skills developed in DPT 661 Integrated Clinical Practice II. The curriculum will focus on progression of professional identity formation and clinical practice skills. As part of the course requirement, students will be placed in an integrated clinical practice environment for supervised experiential learning and reinforcement of concepts and techniques learned in instructional lecture and lab courses.

 Year 2: Summer

DPT 810 - Pharmacology in Rehabilitation Practice (3 credits)
This course introduces pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs common to those seen in rehabilitation environments and people with physical disabilities including principles of prescription, indications, and adverse reactions to medications. Effects of exercise on drug metabolism and drug interactions is included.

DPT 830 - Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy III (3 credits)
This is the third of a three-part series on musculoskeletal physical therapy, reinforcing and advancing the concepts presented in DPT 730 and 731 (Musculoskeletal PT I and II respectively). In this course students will be introduced to principles of physical therapy examination, evaluation, and management of common pathologies of the spine and temporomandibular joints. The lab portion of the course will focus on development of physical examination and treatment skills through peer interaction, simulation, instructor demonstrations and competency skills checks. In addition, there will be select activities on campus and in the community with uncomplicated adult clients representative of those seen in physical therapy practice.

DPT 860 - Integrated Clinical Practice IV (3 credits)
This course will reinforce and build on basic client handling and safety skills that were introduced and advanced during Integrated Clinical Practice I, II, III (DPT 760,761,762). In addition, this course will advance professional identity formation, peer communication skills, patient interaction skills, and clinical practice skills. This course will introduce clinical practice management concepts which include: outcomes measures, case management, quality improvement, health informatics, billing and financial management, marketing and public relations, risk management, staffing, and human resource compliance. This course will also begin to emphasize the direction and supervision of care extenders. As part of the course requirement, students will be placed in an integrated clinical practice environment for supervised experiential learning and reinforcement of concepts and techniques learned in instructional lecture and lab courses.

 Year 2: Fall

DPT 822 - Therapeutic Interventions ll: Movement Science and Behavior Change (3 Credits)
This course develops the theoretical examination of fundamentals of movement science including a framework for understanding and analyzing typical and atypical human movement. Includes exploration of behavior change practices and principles in the long term management for people with movement related conditions.

DPT 840 - Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation (4 credits)
This course will address the pathology and pathophysiology of disease states of the cardiac pulmonary and circulatory system including the lymphatics. The course will incorporate intervention skills learned in Applied Exercise Physiology (DPT 710) and Therapeutic Intervention I (DPT 722) and apply it to medically complicated clients. This course will also address clinical knowledge and clinical practice skills utilized in the acute/subacute care environments including: lines and monitors, tracheotomy/ventilator, telemetry, infection management/isolation protocols, and pulmonary hygiene/swallowing disorders.

DPT 851 - Clinical Neurorehabilitation l (4 credits)
This course presents the pathology and pathophysiological mechanisms of common conditions of the neurological system. Students will apply basic knowledge of motor control and motor learning, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology to the physical examination, diagnosis, and client management of neurological disorders with emphasis on select conditions common to the adult.


DPT 861 - Integrated Clinical Practice V (3 credits)
This course will reinforce and build on basic client handling and safety skills that were introduced and advanced during Integrated Clinical Practice I, II, III, IV (DPT 760,761,762, 860). In addition this course will advance professional identity formation, peer communication skills, patient interaction skills, and clinical practice skills. This course will further explore clinical practice management concepts which include: outcomes measures, case management, quality improvement, health informatics, billing and financial management, marketing and public relations, risk management, staffing, and human resource compliance. Students will participate in clinical practice management projects. As part of the course requirement, students will be placed in an integrated clinical practice environment for supervised experiential learning and reinforcement of concepts and techniques learned in instructional lecture and lab courses, this will include an expanded role in managing caseloads and the direction and supervision of care extenders.

DPT 890 - Evidence Based Practice ll: Pain Science (3 credits)
This course will introduce students to key concepts of evidence-based practice inr rehabilitation with a central theme of pain science. The course focuses on metrics associated with examination tools and outcomes assessment.

 Year 2: Spring

DPT 823 - Therapeutic Interventions III (3 credits)
This is a survey course exploring current topics in rehabilitation with a focus on emerging therapies.

DPT 852 - Clinical Neurorehabilitation II (4 credits)
This course expands upon basic knowledge of movement science and practice management. Students extend knowledge of movement sciences and physical therapist practice specific to populations with specific primary neurological medical diagnoses.


DPT 862 - Integrated Clinical Practice VI (3 credits)
This course will complete the instruction of client handling and safety skills that were introduced and advanced during Integrated Clinical Practice I, II, III, IV, V (DPT 760, 761, 762, 860, 861). In addition this course will advance professional identity formation, peer communication skills, patient interaction skills, and clinical practice skills. This course will further explore clinical practice management concepts including: outcomes measures, case management, quality improvement, health informatics, billing and financial management, marketing and public relations, risk management, staffing, and human resource compliance. Students will analyze and report on clinical practice management projects. As part of the course requirement, students will be placed in an integrated clinical practice environment for supervised experiential learning and reinforcement of concepts and techniques learned in instructional lecture and lab courses, this will include an expanded role in managing caseloads and the direction and supervision of care extenders.

DPT 891 - Effecting Change in Professional Practice (3 credits)
This course is focused on developing skills to meet the needs of a changing rehabilitation environment. The emphasis is on developing the physical therapist as one who assists the client in developing THEIR heatlh care team and on growing the necessary business, human development and resource skills necessary to assure a healthy practice.

DPT 892 - Clinical Research (3 credits)
This clinical research course focuses on developing the skills associated with the research consistent with clinical practice including case study, single subject designs, and qualitative methods. The course will include an introduction to survey research.

 Year 3: Summer

DPT 960 - Clinical Internship I (8 credits)
This course will incorporate all prior didactic and integrated clinical practice curriculum into a full time placement in a clinical practice setting. This course will place students under the supervision of a clinical instructor (CI) in a fulltime physical therapy practice setting. Students will take an active role in managing caseloads and directing care under the supervision and direction of the CI.


DPT 990 - Public Health for Rehabilitation Professionals (3 credits)
This course examines population-based strategies for improving the health and preventing disease from the perspective of the 10 Essential Public Health Services for communities. The course examines the public health system within a community. Students will be engaged in an in-depth examination of the public health system of a community of their choice, and engage in either assessment, policy development or assurances associated with public health management in their community. The course will include a focused examination of disability and health.

 Year 3: Fall

DPT 930 - Clinical Practice Management (2 credits)
This course will explore the integration of physical therapy into the national health care system and concepts associated with independent practice and physical therapists as primary care practitioners.

DPT 961 - Clinical Internship II (8 credits)
This course will incorporate all prior didactic and integrated clinical practice curriculum into a full time placement in a clinical practice setting. This course will place students under the supervision of a clinical instructor (CI) in a fulltime physical therapy practice setting. Students will take an active role in managing caseloads and directing care under the supervision and direction of the CI.


DPT 962 - Licensing Examination Preparation (1 credit)
This course is a concentrated focus on preparing for the Physical Therapist Licensing Examination offered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

DPT 991 - Capstone (2 credits)
This course is conducted as an on-line seminar. The focus of the course is on developing the reflective and scholarly process associated with case-study, case-series and other small-N comparative research that draws conclusions based on descriptive or causal inference. Students are expected to complete and defend a course project using the methodology presented throughout the curriculum.
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Total Credits: 112

Changes in course numbers and sequence may occur during the course of the curriculum.