Curriculum Overview

 


Physical Therapy students performing
observational analysis of standing posture

The curriculum spans six academic semesters of academic and clinical course work. Additionally, students will complete a minimum of 8-10 weeks of full-time clinical experience during each of the summers between the first and second years. 

Year 1: The 1st and 2nd academic semesters will focus on patients with disorders or dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system (semester 1) and the neurological system (semester 2). Students will develop an understanding of the structure and function of each system and apply that knowledge to problem-solving and patient management, from examination through evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention. There will be the equivalent of several days of structured clinical exposure (tied to related academic course work) during each semester. The 8-week, full-time clinical experience at the end of the first year of study will allow consolidation and integration of basic patient management strategies. 

Year 1, Semester I - 17 credits
PT 611 Structure and Function I - 7 credits
PT 621 Examination and Documentation I - 4 credits
PT 631 Evaluation – Intervention I - 6 credits

Year 1, Semester II - 16 credits
PT 612 Structure and Function II - 7 credits
PT 622 Examination and Documentation II - 5 credits
PT 632 Evaluation – Intervention II- 4 credits

Summer - 5 credits
PT 740 Professional Practice I (3 days, late Spring) - 1 credit
PT 651 Clinical Experience I (8 weeks) - 4 credits

Year 2: The 3rd and 4th academic semesters will focus on patients with disorders or dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary, integumentary and genitourinary systems (semester 1), and on the patient with complex or multisystem problems (semester 2). Students will develop an understanding of the structure and function of each system, as well as how problems of more than one system may interact. Students will apply that knowledge to more advanced problem-solving and patient management from examination through evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention. Concepts of research in evidence-based practice are applied through the first of two special projects. This project includes case-based exploration of the literature, development of a research proposal, and culminates in a professional presentation. There will be the equivalent of several days of supervised clinical experience (tied to related academic course work) during each semester. The 10-week, full-time clinical experience at the end of the second year should round out the student's experience with the variety of patients encountered in the most common physical therapy practice settings. 

Year 2, Semester 1 - 18 credits
PT 713 Structure and Function III - 7 credits
PT 723 Examination and Documentation III - 4 credits
PT 733 Evaluation – Intervention III - 3 credits
PT 741 Professional Practice II - 2 credits
PT 743 Grand Rounds I - 2 credits 

Year 2, Semester II - 18 credits
PT 714 Structure and Function IV - 6 credits
PT 724 Examination and Documentation IV - 3 credits
PT 734 Evaluation – Intervention IV - 3 credits
PT 744 Grand Rounds II - 3 credits
PT 760 Special Project I - 3 credits 

Summer - 5 credits
PT 752 Clinical Experience II (10 weeks) – 5 credits 

Year 3: The 5th academic semester will focus on advanced practice issues considered to be essential to independent practice as a physical therapist (practice without physician referral) and to practice that will meet the evolving shape of the profession and health care needs of society. Content in this semester will include advanced clinical measurement instrumentation and interpretation, concepts in program evaluation, health care finance, marketing, wellness programming and community outreach. The 6th and final semester will include 20 weeks of clinical experience, with students participating in what is anticipated to be approximately 3 hours twice weekly of on-line (distance) learning. The on-line learning component will allow PT faculty to work directly with students to integrate advanced practice concepts into their final clinical experience through interactive presentations and seminar/discussion. The second special project involved evidence-based exploration of a practice-related issue. Proposal development begins with a preceptor in the Fall semester, and is carried out in the Spring semester. All academic and clinical requirements will be completed by May graduation.

Year 3, Semester I - 17 credits
PT 825 Contemporary Practice in PT - 9 credits
PT 845 Professional Practice III - 4 credits
PT 861 Special Project II - 4 credits 

Year 3, Semester II - 12 credits
PT 853 Clinical Experience III - 6 credits
PT 854 Clinical Experience IV - 6 credits

Total Credits: 108