Dec 15, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

Physical Therapy, DPT


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Physical therapists evaluate, educate and provide intervention to patients and clients in order to help prevent, correct and alleviate issues resulting in disorders of movement. The responsibilities of the physical therapist also include collaboration with other professionals, teaching, research, administration and consultation. Physical therapy services are provided in such diverse settings as hospitals, out-patient clinics, rehabilitation centers, private practices, voluntary health agencies and home healthcare agencies, schools for children with disabilities, public schools and sports therapy clinics.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is designed for those individuals who wish to enter the field of physical therapy. The 129-credit program consists of both didactic and clinical courses, which include all content areas expected for accreditation and for eligibility to sit for the licensure exam given by the Physical Therapy Board of California or other states. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (www.apta.org). The program is the oldest continually accredited physical therapist educational program in the country.

Application process and admission requirements

Chapman University's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program uses the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS). Applications may be obtained from PTCAS at www.ptcas.org and will be available the year prior to intended matriculation, beginning each year in July. Applicants may apply and indicate their preference for a desired fall, summer or both enrollment date; application deadline is generally in November. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university by the time of matriculation into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Chapman University participates in early decision admission which requires a higher grade point average and a higher Graduate Record Examination score (see below). International applicants must have coursework evaluated by an appropriate agency and must hold a degree equivalent to a baccalaureate degree earned in the United States. International applicants also must submit TOEFL scores and financial certification. Contact the international admission officer at Chapman University for specific requirements and additional information.

Grade and Graduate Record Examination requirements

Early decision admission
Early decision is a binding option for applicants with demonstrated high academic performance and who desire an early decision from Chapman University. Applicants will be able to apply to only one early decision program in PTCAS. In addition to the PTCAS application, applicants must arrange for PTCAS to receive all official U.S. transcripts and fee payment by the early decision deadline in August, a year prior to your intended matriculation. If the application, transcripts or fee arrive after the early decision deadline, PTCAS will automatically change the applicant's file from early decision status to "regular" status. Early decision applicants will be given priority in the PTCAS verification process. Preference for admissions is given to applicants with the highest GPA and GRE scores. The following criteria are required for early decision admission:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.500 or higher (on a 4.000 scale).
  2. Prerequisite (all required courses) GPA of 3.500 or higher (on a 4.000 scale) with no course grade below a "C". No more than two science courses and a total of three prerequisite courses may be remaining when the application is submitted and must be completed before matriculation into the program. Applicants with the least remaining prerequisite coursework may be given preference over other applicants.
  3. An official GRE score is required for early decision. The exam must have been taken within the last five years and scores from various test dates are not combined. Please contact ETS for further information (www.ets.org). Early decision applicants must take the GRE before July. The minimum acceptable scores for early decision admissions are as follows:
  4. Minimum required scores for GRE exam:
  • Verbal: 152
  • Quantitative: 148
  • Analytical Writing: 4.0

Regular admission
The following criteria are required for regular admission:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher (on a 4.000 scale).
  2. Prerequisite (all required courses) GPA of 3.000 or higher (on a 4.000 scale) with no course grade below a "C". No more than two science courses and a total of three prerequisite courses may be remaining when the application is submitted. Applicants with the least remaining prerequisite coursework may be given preference over other applicants.
  3. An official GRE score is required for regular admission. GRE scores will be considered relative to the scores of other applicants and the GPAs. The exam must have been taken within the last five years and scores from various test dates are not combined. Please contact ETS for further information (www.ets.org). Applicants must take the GRE by the application deadline. The minimum acceptable scores for regular admissions are as follows:
  4. Minimum required scores for GRE exam:
  • Verbal: 146
  • Quantitative: 144
  • Analytical Writing: 3.5

Other requirements for all applicants

  1. Transcripts reflecting the fall semester grades must be officially submitted and are required for an admission decision.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 40 hours of observation (or paid work) in different practice settings supervised by physical therapists.
  3. Prerequisite coursework as follows (courses taken at institutions that award quarter hour credits must be equivalent to courses with semester hour credits):
Course Duration Note
Biology two courses with lab not botany
Human Anatomy one course with lab within the last five years; mammalian not acceptable
Human Physiology one course with lab within the last five years
General Chemistry one year sequence with labs introductory course is not acceptable
General Physics one year sequence with labs introductory course is not acceptable
Psychology/Human Behavior one course at least three semester hour credits
Statistics one course at least three semester hour credits

Chapman University's DPT prerequisite coursework is in accordance with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and may be subject to change.

Additional information

  1. All science prerequisite courses must be courses for science majors.
  2. Human anatomy and physiology must have been taken within the last five years. If a combined Anatomy/Physiology course is taken, two semester or three quarter courses are required.
  3. All other prerequisite courses must have been taken within the last 10 years.
  4. Prerequisite courses may be repeated only once; the higher grade will be used to calculate prerequisite GPA.
  5. Courses which have received advanced placement credit (AP or CLEP) may fulfill prerequisite requirements. The credit hours and grade points will not be computed in the GPA calculation.
  6. Students who are offered admission are required to financially commit an enrollment deposit of $500. Generally, the deposit must be received within two weeks of notification of admission.
  7. All remaining prerequisite coursework and the awarding of a baccalaureate degree must occur before the student matriculates.
  8. Students must satisfactorily complete all remaining prerequisite course requirements in accordance with the admission requirements.
  9. Accepted students are required to meet technical standards and specific health requirements (such as physical examinations and vaccinations). Information on these standards and requirements, as well as such information as program costs, financial aid and acceptance and matriculation rates may be found on the department's website at www.chapman.edu/pt.
  10. Chapman University considers all applicants without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, special needs, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal civil rights laws. Some information requested in the application is requested for federal or accreditation reporting and will not be used in a discriminatory manner.
  11. Persons who have been dismissed from another physical therapy program are not eligible for consideration for admission to Chapman University.
  12. Applicants who decline or are denied admission may reapply in any subsequent year. Admission requirements are subject to change and admission in one year does not guarantee admission in any subsequent year.
  13. Persons who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may not be eligible for licensure in any or some states even after successful completion of a physical therapy program. Contact the appropriate state licensing board for additional information.

Exceptions

Applicants who do not meet minimum GPA or GRE scores, specific prerequisite course requirements or the five- or ten-year time frame for specific courses may seek an exception. A written request stating the extenuating circumstances supporting the exception should be submitted with the application or within ten days of notification that the requirements are not met. Students who feel they were denied admission due to an error or feel they were treated arbitrarily or capriciously should appeal to the department chair.

Ethical and professional standards

Students enrolled in the professional curriculum must sign a statement to agree to abide by the APTA Code of Ethics, APTA Guide for Professional Conduct, (found on the APTA website at www.apta.org) and Chapman University's Standards of Academic Integrity (see Handbook for Physical Therapy Students on the department website). Students also must acknowledge their ability to carry out the technical standards and essential functions of the physical therapy curriculum at the time of matriculation into the program.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program involves preparing people to work with the public. The faculty assumes the responsibility for reasonably assuring that individuals who complete the program are not only academically competent, but also aware and capable of functioning within the established ethical and professional standards of the profession. The department has both the right and obligation to continually evaluate students and if necessary, to dismiss students based on these professional standards as well as academic performance expectations. This philosophy is consistent with other physical therapy programs, which are engaged explicitly or implicitly in certifying that their graduates are competent to engage in the practice of physical therapy.

Clinical education withdrawal policies (exceptions to university policies)

  1. Students must inform Department of Physical Therapy Director of Clinical Education and withdraw through the Registrar's office before 65% of the clinical experience has been completed in order to receive a grade of "W".
  2. The earliest the student can be assigned to another clinical experience is the following trimester. Reassigned placement will be determined by the Department.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the reassigned clinical experience is required in order to continue with the curriculum.
  4. Only one withdrawal grade in clinical education is allowed. Any additional withdrawals in clinical education will result in a NP grade.

Candidate dismissal by the department

A student may be dismissed from the department and the University for reasons of professional, academic or clinical performance, clinical or personal misconduct or violation(s) of the Academic Integrity Policy. Prior to dismissal, efforts will be made by the faculty to assist the student in remediating areas of deficiency. If such assistance does not result in improved performance to an acceptable level, the student can be dismissed from the program. The department chair will make final decisions of dismissal following consultation with the faculty. Students are expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.000 on all coursework within the curriculum. Clinical misconduct that warrants dismissal includes, but is not limited to, unsafe practices that might endanger the patient, the student or the therapist. Personal misconduct that warrants dismissal includes, but is not limited to, actions that are intended to berate the patients, peers, faculty, department or the profession.

Any student dismissed by the department has the right to appeal the decision in accordance with the appeal process (see Academic Policies and Procedures ). The student shall continue in the program until the appeal process is exhausted, but may be removed from coursework and or clinical experiences pending resolution of the appeal. If the appeal is successful, the student will continue in the program on a probationary status. The student must meet the criteria to be removed from probationary status within two semesters of the successful appeal. If the decision for dismissal stands following his/her appeal, the student will be dismissed from the department and the University.

Requirements for the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

Students pursuing the Doctor of Physical Therapy are held to the University's Academic Policies and Procedures . In addition these specific degree standards apply:

  • Complete 129 credits.
  • Minimum grade "C" or "P" or above required in all coursework.
  • Maintain 3.000 GPA in the degree.
  • Complete a successful research/scholarly project before graduation.

The following courses make up the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum and must be completed for degree conferral. (The curriculum is subject to change and students will be notified by the department.)

requirements (108 credits)


one of the following (6½ credits)


minimum of 20 weeks must be completed

one of the following (6½ credits)


minimum of 20 weeks must be completed

research requirement (courses included within requirements above)


Students are required to complete a successful research/scholarly project before graduation. This requirement shall be fulfilled by completing the course sequence below.

total credits (subject to change) 129


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