Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
This is a 3-year limited enrollment professional program that grants a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Program graduates are well prepared to engage in general clinical practice. The university offers a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy that prepares students for the professional physical therapy program at Northern Illinois University as well as at other institutions. The professional curriculum consists of eight consecutive semesters of coursework and clinical experiences. Students complete a scholarly paper and presentation as part of their doctoral degree program.
Clinical experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum which allows students to provide direct patient care in the university’s Physical Therapy Clinic under the guidance and supervision of faculty members. Second-year students have a 6-week full-time clinical experience during the last part of the fall semester and an 8-week full-time affiliation the following summer. Two 8-week experiences occur during the spring semester prior to graduation. Students are required to complete experiences in a variety of patient settings.
There are six full-time core faculty positions. Eighty percent of the full-time faculty hold post-professional doctoral degrees, and one faculty members is currently completing a doctorate. All faculty members who are licensed physical therapists are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged two publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:18.
The university has a total enrollment of over 16,500 undergraduate students and over 5,200 graduate students. The physical therapy program accepts 36 students each fall semester.
Admission to the DPT program requires completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with completion of prerequisite coursework. Prerequisite courses include 3 semester hours in statistics; 5 -8 semester hours of anatomy and physiology; 4 hours of human physiology, 8 semester hours in each: biology, chemistry, and physics; 9 semester hours of psychology (to include abnormal and developmental psychology); and, 3 hours of research methods. Other requirements include a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the last 60 hours of coursework and a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the prerequisite courses, 50 hours of experience in a physical therapy setting, and two references. An on-site interview may be requested. Applications are made through the Graduate School (www.niu.edu). Additional information on admission is available on the programs’ website. The average prerequisite GPA for enrolled students over the past three years is approximately 3.6/4.0.
The three-year graduation rate for the program (2011-2013) is 97%; the first time pass rate of the licensure examination (MPT program) averaged about 85%; more than 99% of graduates have passed the licensure examination (all attempts, 3-year average); 100% of graduates responding to a program survey are employed (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
For the 2013 – 2014 academic year, graduate tuition and fees are estimated to be $12,878 per year for in-state students and $22,575 for out of state students. The estimated total cost of the three-year program, excluding transportation and housing-related costs, for in-state students is $43,6350 and $72,725 for out of state students. Approximately 50% of students receive some financial aid. For information, contact the Student Financial Aid Office.
There is a plentiful supply of off-campus housing in a variety of price ranges. Fraternities and sororities also provide some housing. Intercollegiate athletics include football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, soccer, tennis, golf, wresting, and swimming. Recreational athletics are available at several locations on- and off-campus. Northern Illinois University occupies a 460-acre campus located in DeKalb, a community of 40,000 people, 65 miles west of Chicago. Its location offers the advantages of ease of daily living associated with a medium-sized town while at the same time providing the cultural advantages of a major urban center.
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