Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs
General Program Description
The School of Physical Therapy mission is to prepare physical therapists to provide excellent, compassionate care through evidence-based, autonomous practice. Graduates will be practitioners of choice in the movement sciences, prepared to assume leadership roles, engage in lifelong learning, and be actively involved in the profession and community service. Our strengths are an exceptional faculty and outstanding facilities with state of the art equipment. The three-year professional education curriculum culminates in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. The physical therapy curriculum at Belmont University has been developed to provide physical therapists with a strong foundation in basic health sciences and an understanding of the theoretical basis for physical therapy practice as well as hands on clinical skills. The goal of this program is to prepare a generalist physical therapist utilizing critical thinking and evidence-based practice to provide exceptional care guided by compassion and integrity. The Doctorate of Physical Therapy curriculum is 133 semester hours. The program is a “medical model approach” with the first year concentration in the basic sciences, second year concentration in clinical sciences, and the third year concentration in clinical sciences, social sciences, and clinical education. Each student is involved in a small group research project that spans the three-year curriculum and culminates in a professional presentation of the scientific finding during the fall semester of the third year of the program.
Belmont University School of Physical Therapy program resides in McWhorter Hall, a 90,000 square foot building that is shared with Pharmacy, Psychology, and general education for the University. The facility includes five laboratories; Health and Wellness Lab, Human Performance I Lab [Exercise Physiology and Modalities], Human Performance II Lab [Orthopedics], Gross Motor Skills Lab [Peds and Adult Neuro], and a Motion Analysis Lab, as well as, office space for the faculty and administrative staff. Each of the labs have specific strengths that include the following: (1) The Health and Wellness Lab has a sophisticated balance system by NeuroCom, isokinetic capabilities with a Biodex unit, a driving simulator, virtual reality computer system, and a variety of other equipment including a Pilates system; (2) The Human Performance I Lab has modality equipment, a metabolic cart, and functional capacity testing equipment; (3) The Human Performance II Lab is set-up for laboratory instruction with supportive tables for hands-on assessments, interventions and models for assistance in instruction; (4) The Gross Motor Skills Lab has all the mat tables, stairs, assistive devices and swings for vestibular stimulation, to permit neurological rehabilitation evaluation and treatment activities that span the lifespan; and (5) The Motion Analysis Lab is one of three labs in the state of Tennessee that allow synchronized 3-D motion, force plate measures, and telemetered electromyography. The first four of the labs outlined above are shared with the School of Occupational Therapy, while the Motion Analysis Lab is a Physical Therapy dedicated laboratory and teaching space. Our classrooms are equipped with computers, smart boards, and lecture capture capability for interactive teaching. McWhorter Hall is connected to the Gordon E Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing building which houses the Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Social Work programs. The School of Physical Therapy has access to the simulation labs as well as ADL lab in the Inman building. The on campus John S. Halle Anatomy lab opened in January 2013, accommodating a 2,050 square feet, twelve table cadaver lab used predominately by the physical therapy students. In addition to the Gordon E. Inman Health Sciences Center and the Jack E. Massey Business Center, utilized for classroom and/or laboratory space, a new 160,000 square foot connecting building, the Wedgewood Academic Center, opened in the fall 2014 and is used by the School of Physical Therapy.
Belmont University is surrounded by a variety of healthcare facilities which provide excellent access to clinical education. We currently have over 350 clinical education sites with which we have clinical education agreements. These sites offer a wide variety of settings, both nationwide and internationally, that provide both the breadth and depth of experience necessary for our students. Students complete 38 weeks of clinical experiences, including four eight-week affiliations in acute care, rehabilitation or sub acute care and outpatient settings.
Of the eleven full-time teaching faculty, eight have terminal degrees, two hold an advanced Master’s degree, and one holds a DPT degree. Of these faculty, one holds an appointment with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and nine are engaged in clinical practice. Belmont University also has an exceptional adjunct faculty with five of the fifteen holding terminal degrees and three in association with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. The School of Physical Therapy faculty and adjunct faculty hold fifteen specialty certifications recognized by the APTA, including: 2 clinical electrophysiology (ECS), 3 geriatric (GCS), 2 neurology (NCS), 5 orthopaedic (OCS), 1 cardiovascular & pulmonary (CCS) and 2 sports (SCS). Additionally, faculty and adjunct faculty certifications include an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Specialist (ES), an American Board of Wound Management certified wound care specialist (CWS), a Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) prosthetist certification (BOCP/L), a McKenzie Institute Certified Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine (CertMDT) and two National Athletic Trainers Association athletic training certifications (ATC). Full-time faculty are actively engaged in physical therapy research and have numerous publication credits.
An ideal class size of 48 is anticipated for the fall 2015 with an expected average instructor to student ratio of 1:12.
Applicants may apply online through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) at www.ptcas.org. Admissions requirements are located on the Belmont University program page at www.ptcas.org. For additional admissions information, please refer to our website at http://www.belmont.edu/pt.
(3-year average) 98% of admitted students graduate from the program; 98% of graduates passed the licensure exam on the first attempt with an ultimate pass rate of 100%; and 99% of program graduates report either enrollment in graduate school/residency program, enlisted in military and/or are employed within one year of graduation.
Tuition, fees and financial aid
Tuition for the 2014-15 academic year is $16,280 per semester. An estimated 83% percent of students receive financial assistance and/or scholarships. Financial aid is coordinated through the Office of Student Financial Services.
The Beaman Student Life Center, located on the southern end of Belmont’s campus, includes a fitness center with strength training and cardiovascular equipment, an aerobics area for a wide variety of classes, two racquetball/squash courts, an intramural/recreational gym, a rock climbing wall, a dance studio, and locker rooms. This, in conjunction with the Curb Event Center, an arena seating up to 5,000 people, available for concerts, convocations, Commencement, and major speakers, as well as the adjacent Curb Café, a restaurant and live performance venue, provide a variety of opportunities to students, families, and the local community. Our students participate in intramural sports. Graduate students live off campus in surrounding communities.
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