The purpose of the doctor of physical therapy degree is to educate competent health care providers who are skillfully able to effectively examine, evaluate, diagnose, and provide appropriate interventions for clients with primary, secondary, and tertiary physical impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities across the lifespan. The physical therapist has in-depth knowledge of cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscular disorders. Physical therapists function as point-of-entry providers of physical rehabilitation and rehabilitation services. Students are accepted into a full-time cohort model once a year starting with the first summer term. Students enroll in courses in a predetermined sequence as outlined in the program of study. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program requires 100 post-baccalaureate graduate credit hours. There are a total of 29 credit hours of clinical, which excludes the hours for advanced human anatomy taken during the first summer term. Some of the clinical hours are practice hours with simulations and volunteers, while the core of the clinical hours are spent with physical therapy preceptors providing supervised client care. The didactic and theory credit hours equates to 71 credit hours. The program also includes credit hours for a culminating scholarly project.
Applicants must meet the admission requirements for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Admission into the Physical Therapy Program also requires the following:
- A bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited university in a discipline other than physical therapy with a minimum cumulative 3.0 and science grade point average of 3.0 recommended; the degree must be earned before enrolling in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
- Graduate Record Examination required of all applicants. Official score reports must be received directly from the Educational Testing Service www.gre.org
- Recommendation forms from the following: a licensed physical therapist, an academic source, and community service experience.
- Resume that includes a comprehensive outline of the student’s volunteer and professional work experiences, and all honors and awards.
- Essay describing personal career objectives.
- Personal interview with members of the physical therapy admissions committee may be required.
- Physical therapy experience is required. Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or paid work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Prerequisite course work is also required if the student’s undergraduate degree did not include the identified foundational courses. A listing of these courses is available on the program Web site. Academic advisors are also available at Indiana State University to consult about undergraduate prerequisites. Official transcript evaluation is not conducted until a student has applied to the program.