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Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program

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Accreditation Status | Student Outcomes | Introduction | Goals and Expected Outcomes | Curriculum | Admission | Tuition & Fees | Financial Aid & Scholarships | Graduation Requirements | Equal Opportunity | Contact Us | Additional Information |  

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Accreditation Status

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is accredited by the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314
Telephone: 703-706-3245
Email: accreditation@apta.org
Website: http://www.capteonline.org

Student Outcomes (Retention Rate, Graduation Rate, Licensure Pass Rate, and Employment Rate)

Please click on the link for DPT Student Outcomes (2014-2017) including retention rates, graduation rates, licensure pass rates, and employment rates.

Introduction

The Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is designed to prepare physical therapy students to function as independent entry-level practitioners upon graduation.

Goals and Expected Outcomes

The program will:

  1. Advance the student’s capacity for thinking analytically and critically in spirit of scientific inquiry through facilitated seminars and didactic discussions in the curriculum.
    • Expected outcome: The program will ensure a progression of activities that integrate science and clinical practice throughout the curriculum (didactic content and clinical correlates in Year 1 courses and a minimum of 2 seminars per clinical block).
  2. Contribute to student’s ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with patients families and health care providers through structured clinical learning opportunities (Case Reports, Consultation Projects, and PICO Presentations) in Full Time Clinical Internships I, II, or III
    • Expected outcome: The program will offer a minimum of 3 structured clinical learning opportunities in the form of a Case Report, Consultation Project, and PICO Presentation in Full Time Clinical Internships I, II, or III.
  3. Cultivate a level of clinical competence to provide effective efficient and humanistic heath care in diverse practice settings by offering professional practice opportunities and clinical experiences in a variety of settings for each student.
    • Expected outcome: Every student will be exposed to a minimum of 3 different practice settings as part of clinical experiences.
  4. Expand the student’s ability to appreciate contributions of research through discussion of design, measurement and statistical analysis, as it helps to expand the knowledge base of the physical therapy profession.
    • Expected outcome: Every student will complete a knowledge competency and a knowledge based applications of scientific evidence for clinical practice (CAP and CAT)
  5. Encourage the students’ participation in service and professional activities that promote the advancement of the profession.
    • Expected outcome: The program will facilitate student participation in a minimum of 2 campus and / or community health service and /or professional activities that promote the profession of physical therapy
  6. Promote the student’s ability to create a lifelong plan of continuing personal and professional development through the development of professional portfolio throughout the curriculum.
    • Expected outcome: The program will require that every student will complete a professional portfolio prior to graduation.
  7. Promote the provision of clinical service to the citizens of Maryland upon graduation through clinical care, wellness services, and healthcare advocacy.
    • Expected outcomes: a) At least 50% of the graduates will be licensed to work in the state of Maryland, b) The program will provide a minimum of 3 wellness or healthcare advocacy service opportunities each year for student participation

The faculty will:

  1. Demonstrate excellence in teaching and student evaluation as well as contemporary expertise in areas of teaching responsibilities.
    • Expected outcome: a)100% of the core faculty will demonstrate contemporary expertise in areas of assigned teaching on each block’s teaching evaluations by students and peer assessment and, b) 100 % of core faculty will score an average of very good to outstanding on each block’s teaching evaluations by students and peer assessment
  2. Participate in the development of new knowledge and evidence that enhances rehabilitation science and the profession of physical therapy.
    • Expected outcome: 2a)50% of core faculty will be engaged in scientific research producing new knowledge and evidence as measured by at least one grant submission and two published manuscripts for these faculty per year, 2b) 100% of core faculty will have an active scholarly agenda with at least one disseminated scholarly product each year
  3. Model commitment to promoting the physical therapy profession and rehabilitation science through engagement in service activities and with scientific and professional organizations in university/local, national, and/or international communities.
    • Expected outcome: 100% of the faculty will be members in either a local, national or scientific professional organization with 50% holding an office, leadership position, or committee membership.

The students will:

  1. Integrate evidence and demonstrate critical thinking to support clinical decision making.
    • Expected outcomes: a) 100% of the students will successfully complete 3 PICO projects with 90% scoring A’s, b) 100% of the students will achieve an “entry-level” score on CPI criterion #7 (clinical reasoning) by end of Full Time Clinical Internship III, c) 100 % of the students will complete a written Case Report with 15% scoring over 90% to qualify for Research Day presentation
  2. Screen, examine, evaluate, diagnose, and provide appropriate interventions for client/patient management across the lifespan.
    • Expected outcome: 100% of the students will successfully meet requirements for PBAs and clinical education with patients across the lifespan.
  3. Demonstrate clinical competence in a minimum of 3 practice settings, which include medically complex, rehabilitation, and community based settings.
    • Expected outcome: 100% of the students will achieve passing scores on the CPI for each Full Time Clinical Internship (I-III).
  4. Communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with patients’ families and health care providers.
    • Expected outcomes: a) 100% of the students will successfully complete the Consultation Project in Full Time Clinical Internship I, II, or III, b) 100% of students will successfully complete patient communication requirements for CQM (tester and patient feedback)
  5. Participate in service and other professional activities that promote the advancement of the physical therapy profession
    • Expected outcomes: a) 100% of the students will participate in at least one service related activity prior to graduation, b) 75% of the students will attend at least one local or national professional conference by graduation, c) at least 3 students in each class will hold an active position in a professional organization (student representative, committee member), d) 100% of the students will be members of at least 1 professional organization at the local, national or international level
  6. Demonstrate the ability to design a professional portfolio to guide lifelong learning and development
    • Expected outcome: 100% of the students will successfully complete a comprehensive personal development portfolio by the end of the program

The graduates will:

  1. Function as an entry-level independent point of entry provider of physical rehabilitation and rehabilitation services.
    • Expected outcome: NPTE first time passage rate will be 90% or higher. NPTE final passage rate will be 100%.
  2. Effectively manage care for persons in medically-complex, rehabilitation, and community-based settings
    • Expected outcome: 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level at the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys.
  3. Autonomously practice in a variety of healthcare environments
    • Expected outcome: 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys
  4. Provide guidance and interventions to promote wellness and prevention and to enhance the physical performance of persons in the community
    • Expected outcome: 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys
  5. Effectively communicate orally and in writing with patient/families, colleagues, other health care professionals and the general public
    • Expected outcome: 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys
  6. Contribute to the management of physical therapy services, administration and marketing strategies, and fiscal responsibilities within a practice setting
    • Expected outcome: 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys
  7. Initiate a plan of lifelong learning and continuing competence
    • Expected outcomes: a) 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys, b) 100% of respondents will have attended at least 1 continuing competence activity by the 6 month graduate outcome survey and 2 continuing competence activities by the 18 month graduate outcome survey
  8. Participate in service and / or professional activities that advance the profession of physical therapy
    • Expected outcomes: a) At least 50% of the respondents will be members of the APTA and /or a professional organization, b) 20% of the respondents will be active in some service activity and/ or professional committee/ work task force.
  9. Use evidence as a basis for critical thinking , decision-making and independent practice (can include journal club participation, literature reviews, case studies and reports).
    • Expected outcome: 90% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the graduate outcome survey, and 95% of respondents will score at or above entry-level on the 6-month graduate and employer outcome surveys.

Curriculum

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a three year curriculum beginning in the summer of the first year. The curriculum is integrated through the use of “blocked” courses (blocks), multidisciplinary team teaching, and integrated patient content.

The first year of the program begins with a systems-oriented approach to the foundational sciences and is followed by instruction in the performance of clinically relevant, system-specific and age-appropriate examination and intervention skills. This first year includes two blocks of Professional Issues. The first year also includes integration experiences designed to highlight clinical relevance and critical thinking as well as seminars for Evidence-Based Practice.

The second year of the program introduces the knowledge, skills and clinical decision making necessary for medically complex settings, inpatient and outpatient care settings, and focused instruction in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. There is exposure to underserved patient populations, an additional block of Professional Issues, and Seminars for Evidence-Based Practice. Woven throughout this year are integration labs for independent practice, heightened patient exposure, and integrated clinical education (ICE) to facilitate synthesis of all information presented thus far in the curriculum. Prior to entering the third academic year, students must successfully pass Clinical Qualifying Measures, which encompasses summary competencies and skills.

The third year is dedicated to 33 weeks of practical experience in a variety of clinical and non-traditional settings, subdivided into three separate clinical internships. These opportunities are back-loaded in the curriculum to enable the student to possess all needed skills to examine, evaluate, diagnose, and intervene appropriately for primary, secondary, and tertiary physical impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities.

Throughout the curriculum the specific block content is determined by:

  • the goals and threads of the curricular plan,
  • feedback from clinicians and students,
  • The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and,
  • current literature on physical therapy teaching and practice.

Complete DPT Block (Course) Descriptions

Curriculum Schedule

Year 1

Summer  Fall  Spring 

Basic Sciences I
(9 credits)

 
Professional Issues I
(3 credits)

Basic Sciences II
(15 credits)

Basic Sciences III
(12 credits)
 
Professional Issues II
(2 credits)

 

Year 2

Summer  Fall  Spring 
Medical Issues
(12 credits)
 

Musculoskeletal I
(7 credits)
 
Neuromuscular I
(7 credits)
 
Integrated Clinical Experience I
(1 credit)
Musculoskeletal II
(7 credits)
 
Neuromuscular II 
(7 credits)
 
Integrated Clinical Experience II
(1 credit)
 
Clinical Qualifying Measures
(1 credit)

 

Year 3

Summer  Fall  Spring 
Professional Issues III
(4 credits)
 
Internship I
(10 credits)
Internship II 
(10 credits)
Internship III 
(10 credits)

Admission

DPT Application Deadlines

The deadline for review of applications and selection for interviews for early admission to the DPT program is August 14th.

The deadline for review of applications and selection for interviews for regular admission to the DPT program is November 1st.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to APPLY AND SUBMIT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE NOVEMBER 1st DEADLINE. This will provide us with sufficient time to review your materials and determine your eligibility for the required group interview.

DPT Application Process

The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Students seeking admission to the DPT program must apply via this service at http://www.ptcas.org

The interview process for the DPT program is rolling, DPT student applicants will be evaluated weekly by the Admissions Committee beginning July 1st. In order to be considered for admission, the PTCAS application and all other required documents must be received prior to the outlined application deadlines. Competitive applicants will be invited, on an on-going basis, to attend the mandatory on-campus interview. Offers of admission will be extended once all DPT interviews have been completed. Be sure to apply early as available space for interview sessions may be exhausted before the posted application deadline. Offers of admission will be based on an applicant's entire academic profile including: cumulative grade point average, pattern and history of grades earned during an undergraduate curriculum, grades earned in required pre-requisite courses, GRE scores as well as the strength of the recommendations provided, interview results and breath/depth of the candidates physical therapy observation hours.

DPT Admission Requirements

Prospective students may submit an application while enrolled in pre-requisite courses, but all courses must be completed prior to starting the DPT program. Grades of C- (C minus) and below cannot be used to satisfy the requirements for admission.

            • Human Anatomy (with lab, 4 semester credit hours). One course in Human Anatomy or the first course in the series of Anatomy and Physiology I&II. Anatomy content should include skeletal and muscular systems of the human body.
            • Physiology (with lab, 4 semester credit hours). One course in Physiology or the second course in the series of Anatomy and Physiology I&II. Physiology content should cover various systems including: cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, etc...
            • Biology (4-8 semester credit hours) - In addition to Human Anatomy and Physiology listed above, one or two courses from the field of biology, not to include Botany.
            • General Chemistry I (with lab, 4 semester credit hours). Content must include atomic and molecular structure. This course should be the first in the Chemistry I & II series.
            • General Chemistry II (with lab, 4 semester credit hours) - In addition to Chemistry I listed above. This course should be the second course in the Chemistry I&II series and must include a lab.
            • General Physics I (with lab 4, semester credit hours). Non-calculus or calculus based.
            • General Physics II (with lab 4, semester credit hours). Non-calculus or calculus based.
            • Statistics (3-4 semester credit hours). Course content should include mean, median, mode, standard deviation, t-tests, etc...
            • Psychology (3 semester credit hours). Abnormal or Developmental Psychology recommended.
            • Human Behavior (3-6 semester credit hours) - In addition to Abnormal Psychology or Developmental Psychology listed above, one or two courses that include a knowledge of human behavior from an individual or societal perspective.
      • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
        • Official score reports must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) - http://www.gre.org
          • University of Maryland Institution Code: 5848
          • PTRS Department Code: 0619
      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
        • The TOEFL is required, if English is not your native language and/or you have lived in the US for less than 5 years. http://www.toefl.org. The minimum required TOEFL score for admission into the DPT program is 213 for the computer based exam and 80 for the internet based exam
          • University of Maryland Institution Code: 5848
          • PTRS Department Code: 48
      • Recommendation Forms
        • One recommendation from a physical therapist you have shadowed.
        • One recommendation from PT-related, non-PT related, participation in college and university groups that provide service, cultural and faith-based groups, and national, regional, state, or local organizations.
        • One recommendation from an academic source. The academic recommendation must be completed by a college or university faculty member who has served as your instructor and has personally observed you in the classroom environment.

    • Group Interview
      • Applicants who present a competitive academic profile will be invited to participate in a Group Interview. Interview dates are assigned based on the date the application for admission is received; the overall strength of the documents submitted for review; and the number of PT observation hours completed to date. Interviews will be held on the following dates in 2017:
        • September 13, 2017
        • October 4, 2017
        • October 11, 2017
        • October 25, 2017
        • November 8, 2017
        • November 29, 2017
        • December 6, 2017
    • Physical Therapy Observation
      • All applicants must complete a minimum of 100 hours (volunteer or paid), observing the practice of physical therapy in a clinical setting. Observation hours must be supervised by a physical therapist licensed in the US and must have been completed within the prior two years of the application submission. All of the required hours must be completed prior to enrollment in the DPT program. It is recommended for applicants to complete at least half of the required hours prior to submitting their application for admission.
         
        Applicants are strongly encouraged to complete observation of physical therapy practice in at least two to three different clinical settings (acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and/or outpatient practice) and with different patient populations (i.e. across the lifespan, varied clinical condition) to ensure exposure to a broad scope of physical therapy practice.
    • Community Service
      • Applicants must provide documentation of experiences that demonstrate on-going volunteer/non-paid service. Experiences should be different than the physical therapy observational hours. Community service can include participation in groups/organizations that provide service to the community at the national, regional, state, or local level.
    • Current CPR and Basic First Aid Certification
      • CPR certification must include infant, child and adult resuscitation.
      • Courses delivered solely via a web-based format are not acceptable.
      • “Blended” format courses are acceptable: on-line instruction and in-person skills practice and testing.

Certifications must be valid on the first day of class and must remain active throughout your enrollment in the DPT program. Students are required to provide documentation of their current CPR certification.

The following are considered acceptable CPR certification programs:

      • American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/lp/take-a-class
        • Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED – Classroom
        • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers + Adult and Pediatric First Aid (2 courses)
        • Lifeguard
      • OR
      • American Heart Association: www.heart.org/HEARTORG
        • Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED
        • HeartCode BLS + Heartsaver First Aid (2 courses)
        • HeartCode ACLS + Heartsaver First Aid (2 courses)
  • Required Device - Effective Summer 2016
    • Students have been required to bring their own device since the Class of 2019 was admitted (the cohort that started in the Summer of 2016). The “model” of that device/laptop requirement is currently under review and it may in fact change for Class of 2021 (the cohort that will start in Summer of 2018 with application year 2017-2018). As soon as the plans for the required device are finalized we will provide that information here as well as on the Class of 2021 web page.

Admission Decision Appeal Process

  • All applicants have the right to appeal an admissions decision. Your appeal should be in writing and addressed to the following:

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
Attention: Director of Academic Affairs
100 Penn Street, Suite 115
Baltimore, MD 21201

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees vary based on the year in which the student is enrolled in the DPT program and whether you are a Maryland state resident. See Tuition and Fees for DPT Program

Financial Aid

Federal Grants, Loans and Work-Study

The University of Maryland Office of Financial Aid can answer questions concerning the federal aid process. Federal financial aid includes grants, low-interest loans and work-study.

Website: http://www.umaryland.edu/fin/
E-mail: aidtalk@umaryland.edu
Phone: (410) 706-7347

Maryland State Awards

Maryland residents may apply for grants, scholarships and need-based financial aid through the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) - Office of Student Financial Assistance. Information concerning eligibility requirements for the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program and other awards are available on the MHEC website at http://www.mhec.state.md.us.

Graduation Requirements

The student is required to successfully complete the following before graduation:

  1. Didactic courses
  2. Comprehensive skills competency using standardized patients
  3. Clinical experiences
 

Equal Opportunity

The University of Maryland Baltimore is an equal opportunity institution with respect to both education and employment.

The University's policies, programs, and activities are in conformance with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and handicap.

 

Contact Us

For Admissions and Application questions please contact the following:

Joyce Johnson
Academic Program Specialist
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
100 Penn Street, Suite 115
Baltimore, MD 21201
email: jjohnson@som.umaryland.edu 

Nicole Willhide
Director of Student Services
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
100 Penn Street, Suite 115
Baltimore, MD 21201
email: nwillhide@som.umaryland.edu

Additional Information for Prospective Students

APTA and Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy

Calendars and Dates

Handbooks

Policies, Procedures, and Forms

Miscellaneous