University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Physical Therapy School Category: Physical Therapy Programs

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  • General Program Description

    The DPT program at UWM is a modified systems based curriculum with emphasis in clinical application and competency-based instruction. The program is 122 credits, with students enrolling in summer, fall and spring academic terms on campus for 2 years, completing the program with 1 year of clinical internships. The program is only available to full-time students. Classes start every June, and culminate with the awarding of the DPT degree. The DPT program places emphasis on student readiness for clinical practice throughout the program. We begin mentored community based instruction in the first summer of the program, and hallmark matriculation through the program at the end of each academic term with a comprehensive clinical performance examination. These examinations are aligned with the Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI) used to assess student performance in the clinical environment. These carefully designed learning experiences support student performance in clinical practice and assure readiness for clinically based learning. Program graduates are knowledgeable, independent learners, and reflective practitioners who are trained to make thoughtful judgements about the physical therapy management of patients/clients. The DPT program is housed in the Department of Kinesiology, in the College of Health Sciences. The College offers MS-Kinesiology, PhD-Health Sciences, and PhD-Kinesiology degrees in addition to other professional degree programs (Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training).

    Clinical Experiences
    didactic portion of the curriculum; one in the first Winter session between Fall and Spring term (2 weeks) and one in the summer between the first and second year of the program (4 weeks). The third year of the program has 3, 12-week clinical internships. Students are expected to be broadly prepared, completing a clinical experience in different practice settings (acute, rehabilitation, outpatient) and with different populations (neurological, muscloskeletal, cardiopulmonary), as well has have a focused experience in one end of the life spectrum (pediatric or geriatric).

    Program faculty are national and international leaders in physical therapy education, research, and clinical practice. The program has 8 full time core faculty, and 14 associated faculty. Clinical associated faculty have specialist certification in Neurology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, and Geriatrics. The program maintains a 12:1 student to faculty ratio in all clinical lab coursework and average faculty to student ratio of 8:1.

    Total enrollment for the university is 30,000. The DPT program enrolls 24 students annually (approximately 72 students total in the program). Our class sizes are intentionally small to facilitate close interaction with one’s peers and faculty. In addition to DPT students, the program has a close relationship with students in Athletic Training and Sport Psychology, who share instructional space and faculty.

    Applicants to the DPT program must have a baccalaureate degree completed prior to enrollment and must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum 3.0 grade point average (overall undergraduate and prerequisite course work) is required to apply to the program. Prerequisites include 8 credits each of: biological sciences with lab (General Biology I and II), chemistry with lab, and physics with lab, and anatomy/physiology with lab; 3 credits of general psychology; and 3 credits of statistics. The DPT program requires 40 hours of observation or volunteer experience supervised by a physical therapist. The Program participates in the PTCAS (centralized online application program) and gives admission preference to students who are declared early decision candidates. The program admits a total of 24 students in the program annually.

    The DPT program has a 100% all time pass rate, and a 99% first time pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination. The three-year average graduation rate is 89%. 100% of all graduates are working in physical therapy or completing a residency within 6 months of passing their licensing examination.

    Tuition, fees and financial aid
    Student tuition is set every 2 years by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. Graduate tuition is based on full time status (enrolled in at least 9 credit hours), and residency. The graduate fee tuition rate schedules are posted on the Bursar Office at UWM participates in the Minnesota-Wisconsin Reciprocity program and the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Students should anticipate paying the On-campus rate for year 1 and year 2 of the program, and the Off-Campus rate for year 3. Students should anticipate approximately $500/semester for books. Students can contact the Department of Financial Aid, Student Employment and Military Education Benefits ( for assistance in securing financial aid.

    Student life
    UWM offers a uniquely relevant learning experience, educating more Wisconsin residents than any university in the world and recruiting a growing population of international students and faculty. As the most diverse institution in the University of Wisconsin System, UWM is a learning destination for 30,000 students. They share the motivation to learn and to excel, and the talent to nurture their ideas and contribute to the global economy. Each student arrives at UWM with a unique perspective and an approach to learning that will be enhanced by a network of support services and learning opportunities available no where else in America. Our home on Milwaukee’s beautiful East Side, blocks from Lake Michigan and minutes (by bus) from Downtown, puts students in the center of a thriving and friendly metropolitan area that doubles as a learning laboratory. Get to it all free and fast. Every semester every student gets a UPASS, good for unlimited free rides on the Milwaukee County Transit System. BONUS—Milwaukee offers plenty of fun-filled activities year round. With its world-renowned summer festivals, rich culture, Brewers, beautiful parks, beaches, farmers’ markets and nightlife you can’t beat the awesomeness of the city!

  • School Name: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Contact Name: (414) 229-3265
    School Specialties: Physiotherapy/Doctor of Physical Therapy/Medical/3 Year PT Program/Rehab Sciences/DPT Programs/Physical Therapy Education/Physical Therapy Assistant Program/Health Care Pathway Programs/General Ortho
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