Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
The George Washington University is a private institution whose mission is to further human well-being. The University values a dynamic, student-focused community stimulated by cultural and intellectual diversity and built upon a foundation of integrity, creativity, and openness to the exploration of new ideas. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is housed in an academic health center within the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The DPT Program provides quality graduate education through professional role models, as well as expert faculty, clinicians, and administrators. The design of the Doctor of Physical Therapy reflects the mission of the school in the areas of teaching, healing and discovering. The Program is committed to the development of: generalist practitioners prepared to practice autonomously; reflective practitioners who think critically and use best evidence to effectively solve problems; compassionate practitioners who demonstrate excellence in communication and interpersonal skills, a respect for individual and cultural differences and the core values of the profession; and dedicated practitioners who value the tenets of lifelong learning. The DPT program consists of 109 credits of professional course work requiring three calendar years of full-time study beginning in the fall semester. The curriculum is built in a hierarchical fashion; moving from simple to complex, requiring both vertical and horizontal integration as well as application of course material throughout. The curriculum combines content from the foundational sciences, behavioral sciences, clinical sciences, professional practice expectations, practice management expectations, and critical inquiry. It is built around four major practice patterns: musculoskeletal, neuromotor, cardiopulmonary and integumentary. Students graduate with the skills to examine, evaluate, diagnose, prognose, develop a plan of care; and implement and re-evaluate that plan of care for patients with dysfunction in the cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, neuromotor and integumentary systems across the lifespan. Information is integrated and applied through a series of six integrative units entitled Clinical Conference I-VI. Skills in the use of best evidence in making clinical decisions and predicting outcomes in physical therapy practice are developed throughout. In the early phase of this course work patient/actors are hired to enhance the authenticity of applying their knowledge to “standardized patients” prior to entering the clinical setting. Faculty also feels strongly that clinical practice is essential for learning and integration; as a result, students are in the clinical setting almost every semester beginning with the second semester. Clinical experiences begin with two part-time Integrated Clinical Experiences and progress to three full-time Clinical Internships. A comprehensive examination in the sixth semester validates the student’s readiness for the full-time clinical internships, and helps the student begin to prepare for the national licensing examination.
Clinical experiences begin in the second and fourth semesters with full day experiences every other week throughout the semester culminates in three full-time clinical internships of 8, 12, and 14 weeks in length. These internships provide depth and breadth to each student’s unique educational experience.
The Program has nine full-time and four part-time core faculty members, which results in a faculty-to-student ratio of average 1:10. Given its location in an academic medical center, the Program has access to PhD faculty from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In addition, the Program draws on the expertise of local clinicians to complement the expertise of the core faculty; employing many additional associated faculty members (most of whom are physical therapists), as well as clinician/teaching assistants and specialty guest lecturers. Faculty members are all actively involved in an array of collaborative research endeavors from educational outcomes, management of movement dysfunction across practice patterns, falls prevention, and the role of the physical therapist in palliative care and the performing arts. Faculty members are also actively involved in numerous clinical and professional activities from advocacy activities on Capitol Hill to pro bono clinical practice.
GW has over 23,000 students including over 12,000 graduate and professional students. The GW Program in Physical Therapy admits up to 44 students each fall.
The process for program admissions is described at: http://smhs.gwu.edu/pths/programs/physical-therapy/prospective/admissions. Deadline for admissions is December 1. Admissions is done on a rolling basis. Applicants must apply on line and are required to submit an application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application (PTCAS) Service as well as a George Washington University Supplemental Application. In completing the PTCAS application, students will be required to submit official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and the application fee. Each student is also required to provide a statement of purpose which defines his/her understanding of the role of the physical therapist, and his/her personal goals and objectives in pursuing a degree in physical therapy. Interviews are required. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university is required. The Admissions Committee considers the admissions packet as a whole; the average GRE scores for accepted students in 2013 were: 156 for verbal reasoning, 155 for quantitative reasoning, and 4.0 for analytical writing. A 3.0 overall GPA is required, students accepted into the program have an average overall GPA of approximately 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. The following prerequisite courses must be completed: 2 semesters each of biology (laboratory preferred), chemistry, and physics (for science majors, laboratory required); 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology (human focus preferred); 2 semesters of social sciences including upper division psychology; 2 semesters of English; and 1 semester of statistics. Classes begin in the fall semester.
In the past three years, approximately 95% of the students enrolled in the Physical Therapy Program graduated and 100% of those who have taken the national licensure exam have passed. In addition, 100% of the Program graduates seeking employment over the past two years have been employed; many graduates have been offered jobs prior to graduation.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
GW students are charged for a fixed rate each year throughout the program. The cost of tuition for the GW DPT program is $36,750 per year (based on the 2013-2014 tuition rates). The GW DPT Program does not charge laboratory fees for any of its courses. The only fee charged by the University is a $1.00 per credit (up to 15 credits) Student Association fee and Student Health Insurance.
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences is an exciting and vibrant community in which to live and learn. GW has an active student program through the Office of Graduate Life. Access to the nation’s capital is only one of many opportunities available to students who choose to attend GW. Our Washington, D.C. metropolitan location provides unique access to national and international organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, The National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization. The University is within minutes of the headquarters of our national organization, The American Physical Therapy Association. Of course, Washington is the ideal location for sightseeing and cultural activities. The White House, the Kennedy Center and national monuments are all within walking distance of the GW campus.
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