Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is conferred following eight semesters (32 months) of professional graduate studies. Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to starting the PT program. A special “Early Acceptance Program” allows highly motivated high school students with ACT =28 and High School GPA of at least 3.50 to apply for PT school during their Senior High School year, and those accepted are guaranteed a spot in the graduate program four years later. Regular graduate applicants who will complete a bachelor’s degree prior to admission must have a GPA of at least 3.0 to apply. Following the December15th application deadline, students who are accepted begin the professional component in the fall semester. The 8 semesters required in the DPT program include a combination of ~6 semesters of didactic courses and 34 weeks of full-time clinical PT internship. Students spend approximately 20 hours per week in class and 12 hours in course labs.
Students complete 8 weeks of full-time internship at the end of the first year and one ten week and two eight week full-time internships during the third year. Students are required to complete one rotation in an inpatient acute care hospital, one rotation in an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation facility, and one rotation in a specialized setting in the area of their choice. Contracts with over 360 clinical sites allow student clinical education opportunities to be offered throughout the United States, with a concentration in the southeast. We encourage students enrolled in the program to help us establish new clinical sites at facilities in geographic and clinical areas of student interest after admission to the program.
There are nine full-time faculty and four part-time faculty members and a variety of guest speakers/clinicians/specialists with expertise covering all major areas of clinical PT practice. Of the full-time faculty 100% hold post-professional doctoral degrees and nine are engaged in clinical practice. In addition to their physical therapy licensure, six faculty members are ABPTS certified (Geriatric Clinical Specialist, Pediatric Clinical Specialist, Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Neurologic Clinical Specialist, and Sports Clinical Specialists), one is a Certified Wound Specialist (CWS) with the American Academy of Wound Management, two are certified Manual Therapists, three are licensed Athletic Trainers and one is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 9 publications per year in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:12.
The University enrolls over 16,000 students of diverse demographics and background. Fourty students are accepted into the professional component of the physical therapy program each year. Students are admitted without in-state preference from across the United States.
Acceptance to the physical therapy program is based upon the student’s academic ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist. Applicants must complete a baccalaureate degree, prior to starting the professional program, from an accredited college or university with specific prerequisites and overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. Additional requirements include: all sections of the GRE (minimum score of 300 on Verbal + Quantitative), including the analytical writing section, which must have been taken within 5 years of application to the program; a minimum of C in each of the prerequisite courses; a minimum of 50 hours of observation or work experience in physical therapy under the supervision of and documented by a licensed physical therapist; and a personal admissions interview.
Over 90% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). Over 90% of graduating students pass the licensure exam on the first attempt with 99.3% of graduates ultimately passing the exam (4-year average). Among survey respondents, 100% of program graduates are employed in physical therapy within 6 months of graduation (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition for the 121 semester credit hours is $394.00 per semester hour for Alabama residents and $788.00 per semester hour for nonresidents. A more detailed estimate of total expenses including housing is described on the website. The University policy on resident and non-resident status is explained at: http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/registrar/residency.html
A wide range of housing opportunities is available including traditional residence halls, apartment-style buildings, suite-style buildings, efficiency apartments, and private rooms. Off-campus rentals in a wide range of prices are located near campus. Our students are involved in a variety of intramural athletics including flag football, softball, basketball, soccer, water polo, and volleyball, often bringing championship trophies back to the department. The University of South Alabama is a 30-acre campus located in historic, evergreen city of Mobile, near the sunny beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
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