Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
Duquesne’s mission, to serve God by serving students, is reflected in the physical therapy program and manifested in the quality of our graduates. Alumni of Duquesne are compassionate and ethical doctors of physical therapy who are excellent clinical practitioners. Their excellence is fostered by an extensive foundation of basic and clinical sciences, a multi-tiered curricular focus on critical evaluation and use of the scientific/professional literature, and rich coursework in professional and interpersonal development. The curriculum is three years in length and begins with the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, exercise physiology, and neuroscience. These sciences provide our students with a strong foundation for clinical practice and are taught by professors who are both clinicians and scientists. The clinical practice component of the curriculum includes courses in orthopedic, neurological, pediatric, geriatric, and cardiopulmonary physical therapy. Clinical courses are taught by faculty who are practicing physical therapists with extensive clinical experience in the subjects that they teach. The research aspect of the program prepares students to consume and critically analyze the scientific literature as it relates to the practice of physical therapy. Foundational concepts in research and evidence-based practice are introduced early, developed in subsequent clinically-oriented courses, and integrated into patient/client management through assignments that accompany five clinical education experiences. Our education in professionalism includes a focus on the psychological, social, cultural, and communication issues relevant to human interaction. The mastery that our students develop in these areas, coupled with a firm foundation in the ethical tradition of Duquesne, produces graduates who are compassionate caregivers.
Students complete 40 weeks of education within clinical settings while in the program. This clinical education occurs in five separate experiences. The first two experiences occur during the second year of the curriculum and are each six weeks in length. The last three experiences occur consecutively in the final two semesters of the program. Experience three and four are eight weeks and experience five is 12 weeks in length. To ensure breadth of education, each student completes one experience with outpatients, one with inpatients and a third experience with patients who require extended rehabilitation. The remaining two experiences allow students to focus their clinical education on areas of practice specific to their interests and career goals. This combination of experiences produces graduates who are well-prepared generalist practitioners with an emerging area of focus for their future careers. To ensure exposure to clinical education from more than one locality, students must plan for at least one clinical education experience 75 miles outside of the Pittsburgh. The program maintains contracts with more than four hundred clinical sites. These sites are located throughout the continental United States, but are primarily located in Pennsylvania and contiguous states. Students are responsible for costs related to travel and housing as well as medical tests and clearances that a clinical site requires.
There are 12 full-time faculty members, 6 part-time faculty members and a large cadre of invited lecturers and laboratory assistants that deliver the professional program. Ten of the12 full-time faculty members hold post-professional doctoral degrees, 3 are certified as clinical specialists, and several are engaged in clinical practice. Multiple members of our faculty have received awards for their teaching from the Rangos School of Health Sciences, the University and from those we serve outside of the University. Members of the faculty are scholars contributing to the body of knowledge of physical therapy. These faculty members receive external funding for their research, publish in highly regarded journals, serve on scholarly review panels and present their contributions nationally and internationally. Our invited lecturers and laboratory assistants are excellent clinicians from a wide variety of practice settings.
Total University enrollment is approximately 10,500 students. The physical therapy program will admit 36 qualified new students each year. Although approximately 74% of physical therapy students are Pennsylvania residents, there is no state residency requirement and no difference in tuition for Pennsylvania and non-Pennsylvania residents.
Students are admitted to the program as freshmen or as post-baccalaureate graduate students. The minimum standards for admission as a freshman are a combined SAT score of 1100, written evidence of 40 volunteer or employment experience hours in a physical therapy setting, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. High school education must include math through precalculus, biology, chemistry and a third science (recommended physics). Students admitted as freshmen major in biology for the first three years and enter the professional curriculum in the fall of their fourth year (6 years total). To begin the professional curriculum, students who entered as freshman must possess a GPA of 3.0, have received a C or better in college courses identified as prerequisite and possess no lower than a cumulative 2.75 GPA in these courses. In addition, students must have volunteered or worked in two physical therapy settings for a total of 100 hours (the 40 hours prior to freshmen admission count toward this total). Students may also enter the program as post-baccalaureate graduate students. Minimum standards for graduate admission are a baccalaureate degree, a combined verbal and quantitative reasoning score of 1100 on the GRE, a GPA of 3.0 and volunteer or work experience in two physical therapy settings for a total of 100 hours. In addition, applicants must have completed 8 college credits each of biology, chemistry and physics (courses must have labs) and three credits each of psychology and statistics with a C or better and no lower than a cumulative 2.75 in these courses.
80% of students admitted to the professional curriculum graduate from the program (3 year average); since our first class of DPT students graduated in 2006, the first time pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) is 98%. 100% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed (past 5 years).
Tuition, fees and financial aid
For students entering as freshmen, the approximate tuition and fees for the program are $33,699 per year. This represents a combination of undergraduate and graduate tuition and fees. For post-baccalaureate graduate students, the approximate tuition and fees for the program are $41,941 per year. This represents exclusively graduate tuition and fees. Approximately 86.7% of Duquesne’s students receive some form of financial aid. This includes a variety of scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment opportunities.
Duquesne’s 40-acre campus is adjacent to downtown Pittsburgh. The campus is readily accessible to the business, entertainment, and shopping centers of the city while still offering students the privacy and peace of the self-enclosed campus. Major medical centers are only minutes away from campus. Off-campus housing is also nearby.
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