Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
The professional DPT program begins in August of each year and runs for 34 consecutive months. The curriculum is composed of eight terms of study ranging in length from 9-20 weeks, including an innovative 2-week health promotion and prevention practicum in year one. Breaks of 1-3 weeks are given between each block. Clinical internships are integrated throughout the curriculum to correlate closely with classroom instruction. Emphasis is placed on integrating manual skills into therapeutic plans of care. Students are exposed to a wide variety of research topics and methods during the first year of study and may choose to participate in faculty-led group research projects during the remainder of the curriculum. The program is taught by 11.5 full-time faculty members plus on-campus basic science and clinical faculty and numerous off-campus adjunct faculty from various health professions. The University provides a wireless laptop environment that fosters innovative instructional design.
Four clinical internships totaling 36 weeks are interspersed throughout the curriculum. Students are required to complete experiences in inpatient and outpatient settings. Students also participate in one specialty clinical experience of their choice. Clinical experiences are offered all over the country.
There are 11.5 full-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty members 50% hold advanced doctoral degrees, 33% are clinical specialists and 83% are engaged in clinical practice. The faculty to student ratio is 1:13.
Enrollment in Des Moines University’s Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and Health Sciences totals approximately 1,900. The Program in Physical Therapy admits a maximum of 52 students each year from a pool of 400 applicants. Fifty-two students are enrolled in the Professional DPT Class of 2017. Of that class, 65% are from Iowa with 60% female students and 40% male students. There are currently a total of 153 students in the 3-year professional curriculum.
A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the program. Prerequisite courses include: 16 semester hours of biology (including a course in anatomy and a course in physiology), 8 semester hours of chemistry with lab, 8 semester hours of physics with lab, 3 psychology courses including general psychology plus two upper-level courses, 1 statistics course, 2 English courses including composition, 2 courses in humanities, and 1 medical terminology course. The GRE general exam is required. The minimum GPA to be considered for admission is 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Applications are accepted through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (www.ptcas.org) beginning July 15; deadline for applications is December 15. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and it is advantageous to apply early. Personal interviews are required. Interviews begin in September and continue through February. No preference is given to residents of Iowa. The average overall GPA for incoming students is 3.6.
96% of enrolled students graduate from the program (3-year average); 97% of the graduates passed the national licensure examination on the first attempt (3-year average); and 100% of graduates responding to surveys are employed (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year is $22,228 and includes a technology fee (for a personal laptop, software, and wireless internet connection). An addition $103 fee covers APTA/IPTA student dues. Ninety-nine percent of the students enrolled in the program receive some type of financial aid. For specific information, contact the Director of Financial Aid.
The 22-acre campus complex is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood 5 minutes from downtown Des Moines, with convenient access to I-80, I-35, and Des Moines International Airport. While the university does not provide dormitory housing, there is an ample supply of off-campus rentals, many within walking distance, in a wide range of prices. Students are involved in numerous professional and social activities, student government, intramural athletic events, and community service projects.
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