Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
The Graduate Program in physical therapy is 3 years in length and leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Thirteen full-time and two half-time faculty manage the professional portion along with adjunct and clinical faculty. Students are accepted for fall admission and are expected to carry a full course load. Students complete abbreviated summer sessions in the first and second professional years. Students complete a research project, systematic review or case report during the second and third years. Clinical experiences occur in all 3 years. Degrees are conferred in August of the third professional year.
Students will complete a 5-week full-time clinical experience in musculoskeletal PT during the first year and 6 weeks in neuro-rehabilitation during the second year. Twenty-seven weeks of full-time clinical experiences, divided into rotations of 9 weeks, are completed throughout Michigan and the United States in the fall and summer semesters of the third year. Students must complete at least one clinical experience in an in-patient setting and one in a community-based setting. Options for a final specialty rotation are available.
There are 13 full-time and two half-time regular faculty, and 30+ adjunct faculty members. Of the faculty, 10 hold post-professional doctoral degrees, 10 are certified as clinical specialists, and nine are engaged in clinical practice. The faculty to student ratio is 1:11 overall, 1:60 in lecture, 1:30 in lecture/discussion sections, 1:8 in lab, 1:8 in seminar, 1:3 in project research, 1:2 in systematic review research, and 1:1 in case report research.
Grand Valley State University has a total enrollment of approximately 25,000 students. The physical therapy program accepts up to 60 students each year out of a qualified applicant pool of approximately 300 students.
Applications have an October 15 receipt deadline at PTCAS. Students must have a minimum average GPA of 3.2 in prerequisite course work and a 3.2 cumulative GPA. Two recommendations, one from a licensed physical therapist, and 50 hours of observational experience are required. An interview may also be required. The grade point average of the last five classes was approximately 3.6 on a 4.0 scale. Prerequisites include the following: introductory biology with lab (with cellular biology as a component); human anatomy with lab; human physiology with lab; chemistry courses that are prerequisite for human physiology; exercise physiology; college algebra, OR trigonometry OR calculus; statistics; introductory psychology; life-span developmental psychology; and introductory sociology OR social problems OR cultural anthropology. Two sequential courses in college physics with lab are required. First year students begin in the fall semester. 46% of qualified applicants were offered admission to the program in 2014.
95% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average; 2012-14). The ultimate pass rate for the licensure examination is 99% (3-year average).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
For the 2013-14 academic year, graduate tuition is $664 per credit hour for residents and $885 per credit hour for nonresidents. There are no course or instituitional fees. For specific information contact Grand Valley State University Admissions at 800/748-0246. More than 90% of PT students receive some type of financial aid. Physical therapy students have opportunities to apply for special scholarships during their second and third year, and for 14 half-time graduate assistantships. For specific information, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 616/331-3234.
Graduate students obtain off-campus housing, which is conveniently located and reasonably priced. The downtown campus is in the city of Grand Rapids, which is the fastest growing region in Michigan, offering multiple cultural, entertainment and sporting activities. Included are ethnic restaurants, hockey, baseball, symphony, ballet, opera and theatre. Four major medical and several academic institutions serve the greater Grand Rapids region. Lake Michigan’s sandy beaches are only a 45-minute drive to the west.
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