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Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program

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DPT Program | Dual Degree Options: DPT/MPH or DPT/PhD | Curricular Comparisons | Goals and Expected Outcomes: DPT, DPT/MPH, DPT/PhD | Student Outcomes: DPT, DPT/MPH, DPT/PhD | Admissons: DPT Program Admissions | Applying for Dual Degree Option | DPT/MPH Admissions | DPT/PhD Admissions | Tuition & Fees: DPT, DPT/MPH, DPT/PhD | Advancement Criteria: DPT, DPT/MPH, DPT/PhD | Graduation Requirements: DPT, DPT/MPH, DPT/PhD | Financial Aid & Scholarships | Equal Opportunity | Contact Us: DPT, DPT/MPH, DPT/PhD | Accreditation/Approval Status: DPT, MPH, PhD | Additional Information

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DPT Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is designed to be completed in 3 years with the goal to prepare physical therapy students to function as independent entry-level practitioners upon graduation. The curriculum is a unique block design that helps to integrate foundational and clinical science content across the lifespan. The first year has strong foundational science content and learning experiences which includes full cadaver dissection, lecture and laboratory sessions taught in a systems approach as well as a translational course that bridges foundational and clinical sciences. Two of three professional issues courses are taught in the first year as well to establish a strong professional foundation in our students to complement the medical training including scientific inquiry. The second year coursework builds on the foundational sciences and focuses on the clinical science preparation across the lifespan. Laboratory sessions in these courses integrate concepts of clinical care and include sessions with patient/clients, simulated cases, and onsite/offsite clinical exposure and interprofessional education experiences. Clinical coursework during this year includes two unique integrated clinical experience courses with professional development and interprofessional education lab activities. Prior to entering the third year, students must pass the clinical qualifying measures (CQM) which encompasses summary physical therapy clinical and professional competencies and skills. The third year begins with the final professional issues course but otherwise is comprised of three 11-week full-time 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. Mentored case reports and manuscript preparation are completed during the full-time clinical internships integrating both clinical care, scholarship, and dissemination of clinical findings.

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Dual Degree Options

Once admitted to the DPT program, students are eligible to apply for one of the two dual degree options. One to two positions each year are available in the DPT/MPH dual degree option and one position is available in the DPT/PhD dual degree option. These positions are competitive and will require completion of separate supplemental applications (to either the MPH or PhD programs). Completion of supplemental applications does not guarantee acceptance into the dual degree options.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy-Master of Public Health (DPT/MPH) dual degree program is a four-year curriculum. The fall and spring of the first year includes completion of the core and concentration courses from the MPH program. Concentration courses are selected from one of the following specialization areas: community & population health, epidemiology and global health from the MPH program.

The second year begins in the summer with a foundational science and professional issues course from the DPT program. The fall and spring of the second year includes a systems-oriented approach to foundational sciences and is followed by instruction in the performance of clinically relevant, system-specific and age-appropriate examination and intervention skills as well as a second professional issues course within the DPT program.

The third year includes knowledge, skills and clinical decision making necessary for medically complex settings, inpatient and outpatient care settings, and focused instruction in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders. Prior to entering the fourth academic year, students must successfully pass Clinical Qualifying Measures, which encompasses summary physical therapy competencies and skills.

The fourth year begins with a final professional issues course. The summer, fall and spring of the fourth year requires 33 weeks of practical physical therapy experience in a variety of clinical and non-traditional settings, subdivided into three separate full time clinical education experiences. 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. The final year also culminates in a capstone requirement related to the area of specialization within the MPH program, a MPH field experience and an online MPH seminar series. For detailed descriptions of the DPT Blocks refer to the DPT Curriculum Overview section. For detailed descriptions of the MPH courses refer to the Master of Public Health website at: http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/epidemiology/mph/Current-Students/Student-Resources/

Throughout the curriculum, specific course content is determined by:

  • the goals and threads of the curricular plan
  • feedback from clinicians and students
  • the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice 
  • current literature on physical therapy teaching and practice
  • competencies specified in the Associations of Schools of Public Health, Education Committee Report, Master's Degree in Public Health Core Competency Development project

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The Doctor of Physical Therapy/Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science (DPT/PhD) dual degree option is designed to be completed in an expected minimum of 6.5 years with the goal to prepare physical therapy clinician researchers who can function as independent entry-level practitioners but are also capable of carrying independent research in either an academic or clinical setting. Graduates of this program would be uniquely positioned upon graduation for academic positions, post-doctoral fellowships as well as clinical research positions. Students should indicate their interest in the dual degree option after they are accepted into the DPT program.

Curriculum

Integration with PhD-related work while undertaking the DPT degree occurs in 3 ways

  1. During the didactic portion of their DPT studies, the accepted DPT/PhD students are expected to spend an average of ~3 hours a week in their PhD advisor’s laboratory. Here they may learn about a variety of relevant research topics such as the research questions being asked, relevant literature and how to assist in lab data collection and analysis. Part of this time may also be used for attending seminars or other research talks if they do not overlap with DPT classes. The specific research activities outlined for each semester will depend on the needs of the student and the advisor’s research program. These activities are intended to help the student plan and implement their PhD studies within the time period allocated for the PhD.
  2. In recognition of the overlap between coursework in the DPT and some of the PhD courses, there has been a studied assessment of equivalency credits between the DPT blocks and the PhD courses. The DPT blocks and the PhD equivalent credits are given in the table below. Up to 18 credits are transferable at the beginning of the PhD. This will allow the DPT/PhD student to have less coursework and concentrate on their comprehensive exams and research proposal earlier than a traditional PhD student because they already have some of the foundational knowledge base and tools of rehabilitation research.

     

    Studied Assessment of Equivalency Credits

     

     

    Musculoskeletal I and II will be considered for transfer (instead of Neuromuscular I and II) if a student is taking a strongly biomechanical approach to their research questions and their advisor approves.

    * It is important to note that these weighted assessed credits are only transferrable if the student has attained a B or above in the respective DPT blocks on average at the end of the DPT program since the graduate school requires a B average. If a student attains a C in a relevant course this must be balanced by the equivalent number of credits for an A to maintain the B average. 

  3. One of the three required terminal full-time clinical experiences will consist of a Terminal Full-Time Clinical Research Experience for half the allotted time (5 credits) where students will participate in research at a clinical site. The research project will be designed, in collaboration with the clinical site, in advance of the internship. The objectives for the students are to: (a) carry out the research project while learning data collection and analysis procedures (could be a case control or small cohort intervention, or a tool validation or a descriptive/correlation study), (b) write up the project in manuscript form (c) write and subsequently submit an abstract for a presentation at a regional or national conference.

Format for the DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option Curriculum

This dual degree option is designed in a quasi-sequential format so that students focus first on acquiring the DPT in the standard 3-year program with the integration and addition of a portion of PhD-related work (outlined above). Starting in year 4, they focus exclusively on the PhD. The DPT curriculum is the same as presented in the DPT Program Curriculum with the exception of the composition of one of the three Terminal Full Time Clinical Experiences (see paragraph above).

The PhD curriculum consists of a minimum of 60 credits made up of the following areas of study: Interdisciplinary Science Core coursework (minimum 10 credits); Tools Core (minimum 12 credits); Concentration/Cognate Area (minimum 22 credits) and Dissertation Credits (minimum 12 credits). The remaining four (4) credits can be used in any of the areas of study at the student/advisor’s discretion. Tools Core refers to research skills needed in the field of physical rehabilitation science as well as direct preparation for an academic career. The concentration area for all students is Neuromotor Control and Rehabilitation. A relevant cognate (complementary) area, which includes, but is not limited to, Applied Physiology, Cognitive Motor Neuroscience, Epidemiology, Human Centered Computing, Rehabilitation Biomechanics, Rehabilitation Engineering depends upon the student's research interests.

Note: Some of the concentration/cognate and tools courses are not available on the UMB campus, in which case students will be required to travel to UMCP or UMBC.

Curriculum for PhD Phase of DPT/PhD Option
* Required Courses
# Concentration Area

 

 

Integrated Curriculum

Mapping of DPT and PhD courses for the DPT/PhD program showing courses that will transfer to the PhD after completion of the DPT (italicized and bolded) and the mapping needed to complete the PhD in 6.5 years.

 * The exact timing of the Dissertation Defense depends on how the research progresses. Students with extenuating circumstances, who need additional time after the 6.5 years, are responsible for their own funding.

Curricular Comparisons

Goals and Expected Outcomes of DPT Program

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 Report & Core Values Reflection Paper) in Full Time Clinical Internships I, II, or III
    • Expected outcome: The program will offer a minimum of 2 structured clinical learning opportunities in the form of a Case Report and a Core Values Reflection Paper 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.

Goals and Expected Outcomes DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option

In addition to all DPT program Goals and Expected Outcomes, the DPT/MPH option includes the following goal and expected outcomes:

The DPT/MPH dual degree option will:

  1. Prepare students to apply and integrate classroom training in a public health practice environment
    • Expected outcome: The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science will collaborate with the Department of Epidemiology to provide MPH core and concentration courses
  2. Expand the student’s ability to infuse a population health perspective into critical analysis of health issues
    • Expected outcome: The dual-degree option will ensure mentorship for a public health capstone project

The DPT/MPH dual degree option students will:

  1. Integrate evidence and demonstrate critical thinking to support public health
    • Expected outcome: a) 100% of the students will successfully complete a capstone experience on a supervised project in their area of specialization, b) a three-year average of 50% of completed capstone projects eligible for publication

The DPT-MPH dual degree option graduates will:

  1. Participate in service and / or professional activities that advance the profession of public health
    • Expected outcome: a three-year average of 50% of graduates will engage in a governance committee within the public health venue on a 6-month graduate outcome survey
  2. Graduates will infuse population health perspective into their professional careers
    • Expected outcome: a three-year average of 50% of respondents will report strongly agree or agree to infusing population health into their career on a 6-month graduate outcome survey

Goals and Expected Outcomes DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option

In addition to all DPT program Goals and Expected Outcomes, the DPT/PhD dual degree option also includes the following Goals and Expected Outcomes:

The program will:

  1. Provide research lab exposure in the first two years of training to facilitate timely completion of the dual degree option.
    • Expected Outcome: The dual degree option will provide each student with a minimum of 40 hours per semester opportunity to learn research skills relative to their area of interest and their advisor’s research program.
  2. Provide a research experience for one of the internships.
    • Expected Outcome: The dual degree option will provide each student with one research-based clinical internship that will account for 5 of the 10 credits and that are transferrable.
  3. Provide graduate assistantship funding during the PhD phase of the training for 3.5 years.
    • Expected Outcome: The dual degree option will provide 3.5 years of funding for each student starting at year 4.

To advance on to the PhD phase, students will: 

  1. Demonstrate the ability to progress through the dual degree option in a timely manner by qualifying to transfer identified DPT credits into the PhD portion of the dual degree option.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will meet all passing requirements and achieve an average score of B (3 or above from a 4-point scale) for the 18 credits of transfer.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to participate in clinical research during their internship and write up the results.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will meet all passing requirements by the end of their clinical research internship, including: 1) write up the project in manuscript form and 2) write an abstract for presentation based on their research and subsequently submit to a regional or national conference.
  3. At the end of the DPT, demonstrate their research knowledge and skills relative to their advisor’s research program.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will demonstrate proficiency at an oral presentation summarizing acquired background knowledge and research skills.

During the PhD phase, the student will satisfy the following requirements (which are equivalent to the PhD Progression Benchmarks):

  1. Maintain a minimum of a weighted B average in all PhD coursework.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will meet all passing requirements and maintain or exceed a weighted B average in all coursework.
  2. Provide evidence of continuous scholarship
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will (a) present research on average at least once per year over a 3 year period to an external regional, national or international conference and twice per year to local venues AND (b) have submitted at least two papers before the dissertation research papers, one as first author.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to plan and defend a research line of enquiry.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will pass their plan of study meeting.
  4. Develop and demonstrate a focused and deep knowledge of content and theory in concentration area, tools and cognate areas.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will pass their comprehensive examinations.
  5. Integrate knowledge and theoretical application of research design to propose a dissertation proposal.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will pass their dissertation proposal.
  6. Independently conduct research and, in addition to submitting earlier papers, write up at least two more papers as first author that constitute their dissertation, give a public presentation of the dissertation and defend their dissertation.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of students will successfully defend their dissertation proposal.

The graduate will:

  1. Graduates will use their combined training to enhance the discipline of rehabilitation science as well as the profession of physical therapy.
    • Expected Outcome: 100% of graduates will obtain either an academic position, post-doctoral fellowship or clinical research position relating to rehabilitation science.

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

Please click on the link for DPT Student Outcomes (2015-2018)‌‌‌‌‌‌ including retention rates, graduation rates, licensure pass rates, and employment rates.

DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option Student Outcomes

This is pending due to student outcome data not being available until the first class graduates.

DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option Student Outcomes

This is pending due to student outcome data not being available until the first class graduates.  Enrollment for the DPT-PhD dual degree option begins Fall of 2018 and outcome data is expected with the first graduating student in 2024-25. 

DPT Program Admissions

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

DPT applicants will be evaluated weekly by the Admissions Committee beginning in July.  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, grades earned in the required prerequisite courses, pattern and history of grades earned during an undergraduate curriculum, GRE scores, strength of recommendations provided, interview results and breath/depth of the candidates physical therapy observation hours.

New PTCAS Application Fees For 2018-19 Application Cycle

The application fees for the upcoming 2018-19 PTCAS application cycle, opening on July 5, have now been set, and will be shared with applicants on the PTCAS website upon the close of the current application cycle. The new application fees will be:

Initial Program Designation: $150
Each Additional Program: $55

APTA will continue to offer the fee waiver program to applicants with demonstrated financial need. Approved applicants will have the initial program designation fee waived, enabling applicants to apply for one program free of charge. The $55 fee for additional programs will be charged for each program beyond the initial designation. More information on the fee waiver program can be found at http://www.ptcas.org/Fees/.

DPT Application Deadlines

The deadline for review of applications and selection for interviews for EARLY ADMISSION to the DPT program is August 15th. All Early Decision applicants will be notified of a decision on their application by September 25th. The Admissions committee will make one of three decisions for each Early Decision applicant: 1) acceptance (after the interview); 2) denial; or 3) placement into the regular applicant pool for a review at a later date. Each applicant will be notified promptly of the decision so that those not accepted through this program may apply elsewhere.

Individuals who apply through the Early Decision Program at UMB PTRS cannot apply to any other DPT program until they have received notification that they have not been accepted to the University of Maryland Baltimore, DPT program.

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. This will provide us with sufficient time to review your materials and determine your eligibility for the required group interview.  Be sure to apply early, as available space for interview sessions may be exhausted before the posted application deadline.

DPT Admission Requirements

    • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or expect to graduate prior to enrolling in the DPT program. Credit hours must have been earned in colleges or universities whose names appear on the current list of Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education as compiled by the American Council on Education, One Dupont Circle NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.
    • The bachelor’s degree may be in any field. Applicants should major in the academic area of their interest. No preference is given to applicants majoring in the sciences versus those with non-science majors.
    • Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits may be used to satisfy the academic requirements.AP or CLEP credits must appear in PTCAS and if used to fulfill prerequisite courses, the official scores must be mailed to PTRS
    • Minimum GPA Requirements for Eligibility
      • Overall Undergraduate Cumulative GPA: 3.0 minimum
      • Program-specific Prerequisite GPA: 3.0 minimum
      • Grades of C- (C minus) and below cannot be used to satisfy the required prerequisite courses. Repeated courses are averaged together.
    • Required DPT Pre-Requisite Courses

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.  Credit hours must have been earned in colleges or universities whose names appear on the current list of Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education as compiled by the American Council on Education, One Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Students who have completed coursework in Maryland may review transfer courses at ARTSYS – Articulation System for Maryland Colleges and Universities. This is an online evaluation system that enables students to determine how courses taken at any two year college in Maryland transfer to any four year college or university in Maryland.

          • 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 (with lab, 4 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 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 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)
      • A TOEFL score is required as part of the application process for individuals who do not speak English as their first or native language and/or for individuals who have lived less than 5 years in the United States. 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
      • Note: TOEFL scores are valid for two years.
    • 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
      • Interviews are arranged by invitation for applicants that demonstrate an academic record demonstrating an ability to meet the rigors of the UMB PTRS academic program, exhibit qualities representative of the physical therapy profession and display a history of personal goals in alignment with the mission and vision of the UMB PTRS program. An interview is required prior to the final decision regarding an applicant’s admission status, without exception.
      • The interview process for the DPT program is rolling. For those who apply for regular admission, offers of admission will be extended once all DPT interviews have been completed.
      • The Admissions committee will make one of three decisions for each regular admission applicant after the interviews are complete: 1) acceptance 2) denial; or 3) placement on the waitlist.
      • Interview dates to be determined. 
    • 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
      • It is recommended that applicants 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 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:

        Basic Life Support for Healtcare Providers and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support for Healthcare Providers - please see http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/Training/HealthcareProfessional/UCM_473185_Healthcare-Professional.jsp for more information.

Required Device – Effective Summer 2018 (Class of 2021)

The Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science (PTRS) requires all incoming DPT Program students to purchase the device that the department specifies for their particular cohort. The department has received word from campus leadership that this device (Dell laptop) has been approved as a fee for the incoming Class of 2021. The projected cost of the device is approximately $1,500 which includes a 4 year warranty with on-site next business day service. There is no negotiation on using another device or exceptions to this policy. Students are financially responsible for the cost of the required device as soon as they matriculate into the DPT Program. This fee will appear on your tuition bill from Student Accounts.

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

Applying for Dual Degree Option (once accepted to DPT Program)

Once admitted to the DPT program, students are eligible to apply for one of the two dual degree options. One to two positions each year are available in the DPT/MPH dual degree option and one position is available in the DPT/PhD dual degree option. These positions are competitive and will require completion of separate supplemental applications (to either the MPH or PhD programs). Completion of supplemental applications does not guarantee acceptance into the dual degree options.

DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option Admissions

Students interested in the combined DPT/MPH option must first be accepted for admittance into the UMB DPT program. After admission into the DPT program, students interested in the DPT/MPH dual degree option must submit a Supplemental Application to the MPH program by the following outlined dates for consideration for the DPT/MPH dual degree option. All students accepted into the DPT program are eligible to apply to the DPT/MPH dual degree option. The priority deadline for applications for the DPT/MPH dual degree option is January 15th, which is available to students who have received early admission to the DPT program. For those students accepted to the DPT program under regular admission, or those early admit DPT students who do not submit for priority consideration, the final deadline for application for the DPT/MPH dual degree option is March 1st. There is a cap of 2 students per year for acceptance into the DPT/MPH dual degree option. Students will be rank ordered based upon cumulative GPA for acceptance into the DPT/MPH dual degree option. Submitted supplemental applications for the DPT/MPH dual degree option will be reviewed by the MPH Program Director. The DPT Director of Faculty and Student Affairs and the Director of the MPH program will notify students accepted into the DPT/MPH dual degree option by March 1st for early admission students and by April 1st for regular admission students. Enrollment into the MPH portion of the DPT/MPH dual degree option will occur the year of acceptance with enrollment into the DPT portion of the DPT/MPH dual degree option occurring the following year.

DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option Admissions

After admission into the DPT program, students interested in the DPT/PhD dual degree option will have additional admission requirements for consideration for admission to the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option. There is a cap of 1 student per year for acceptance into the DPT/PhD dual degree option.  An additional slot may become available but only if there is an available funding source for years 4-6.5. 

Minimum criteria for acceptance to the dual degree option are:

  • GRE: Scores of greater than 300 for combined verbal and quantitative and greater than or equal to 4 for writing section.
  • Overall GPA: 3.0 or higher.
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher for the following coursework: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and/or statistics.
  • Personal statement that indicates a dedication to a line of research compatible with at least one faculty member
  • Three reference letters that address research-related skills.

Admissions Procedure
Shortly after the DPT Orientation each year, all accepted students will receive an introduction to this dual degree option. Any student that expresses interest in the dual degree option should submit a letter by July 1 to the DPT Director of Academic Affairs. They will then meet individually with the Director of the PhD Program and the DPT Director of Faculty and Student Affairs to advise on student eligibility based on past academic performance, current performance during the summer semester and research background.  

All students deemed eligible will be invited to complete the full application for the PhD phase of the dual degree option.  Please use the following link: http://www.graduate.umaryland.edu/Apply-Now/ (contact PhD Coordinator if DPT/PhD dual degree option is not an option in the drop down menu after logging in).  Use your unified credentials (username and password) to login for the application process.

Application for this dual-degree option is due by August 1.

Admissions Review Procedures
Applications will then be reviewed by the PhD Admissions Committee with decision for admission to the dual degree option determined by the beginning of the Fall first year semester.  Completion of supplemental applications does not guarantee acceptance into the dual degree options.  

The PhD Admissions Committee will review the applications of all candidates who meet the minimal criteria for acceptance and give an assessment first on whether the student is acceptable for admission and second on whether they have an open position for a dual degree student. 

Students that receive an acceptable rating from at least 75% of the total number of graduate faculty and at least one potential advisor will advance for further consideration.  All eligible candidates will then be ranked by the graduate faculty at a meeting for final determination of acceptance into the DPT/PhD dual degree option.  

DPT Program 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

DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees vary based on the year in which the student is enrolled in the DPT/MPH dual degree program and whether you are a Maryland state resident. Student will pay DPT tuition and fees for the Summer of first year, MPH tuition and fees for Fall and Spring of first year, Summer of second year, and DPT tuition and fees for Fall and Spring of third year and all semesters in the fourth year.

See Tuition and Fees for DPT Program | See Tuition and Fees for MPH Program

DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option Tuition & Fees

Tuition, health and fees for the PhD phase of the dual-degree option will be paid for by the Department for 3.5 years.  Students will receive a graduate assistantship that also includes a stipend.  Students who end up taking longer than 3.5 years will need to fund themselves by becoming part-time students and paying a minimum of one credit per semester. 

See Tuition and Fees for DPT Program | See Stipends for Graduate AssistantshipsSee Graduate School Cost of Attendance (if Self-Pay)

Advancement Criteria in the DPT Program

The Director of Faculty and Student Affairs reviews the academic status of students and makes recommendations for advancement according to the advancement criteria below. The Director of Faculty and Student Affairs may employ the AAC and other faculty as appropriate to assist in making recommendations.

  1. All blocks must be passed with a grade of “C” or better in order for a student to proceed in the curriculum. This includes both didactic and clinical internship blocks. To remain in step with the curriculum, students must complete all blocks in sequence and the time-frame for all students to graduate is five and one-half (5.5) years.
  2. For progression to the Full Time Clinical Experience phase, a student must receive a passing score on all components of a standardized patient encounter and an affirmative vote of clinic readiness by 75% of the total core faculty. If a student fails to achieve an affirmative vote of clinic readiness by 75% of the total core faculty on the first vote, the student will be provided the option to participate in a remediation plan prior to clinic entry. The remediation plan must be completed within 6 weeks of the end of the CQM block. The remediation plan will be developed by the CQM block leader, with feedback from core faculty aligned with the remediation areas and in consultation with the AAC. If the student passes the criteria outlined in the remediation plan, the student will achieve a passing grade for the CQM block and advance to the full time clinical experiences. If the student does not pass the established remediation plan, the student will achieve a failing grade for the CQM block.

Advancement Criteria in the DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option

  • Meets all criteria outlined for academic advancement in the DPT program.
  • Meets all criteria outlined for academic advancement in the MPH program.

Advancement Criteria in the DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option

While in the DPT and PhD phase of the DPT/PhD option, the PhD Director will review the academic status of students after each year in consultation with the Director of Faculty and Student Affairs, the student’s primary research advisor, as well as, other faculty as appropriate to assist in making recommendations related to advancement in the dual-degree option.

  • Meets all of the criteria outlined for academic advancement in the DPT program
  • Blocks designated as “transfer blocks” for a given student must be passed using a weighted average grade of “B” or better in order for student to proceed to the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option. This includes both didactic courses and the terminal full time clinical research experience. Musculoskeletal I and II will be considered for transfer (instead of Neuromuscular I and II) if a student is taking a strongly biomechanical approach to their research questions and their advisor approves.  There is no mixing the transferable credits between Neuromuscular and Musculoskeletal.
  • In addition to the above, to progress to the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option of the DPT Program, a student must demonstrate proficiency at an oral proficiency exam summarizing acquired background knowledge and research skills following the DPT. The presentation will be to a three-person committee consisting of advisor, secondary advisor and a third member of the graduate faculty. The majority of the committee must be in agreement that the student has a minimal skill set to be successful. Failure to pass this presentation will result in dismissal from the DPT-PhD option.

Once in the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option, advancement is determined by the following:

  • Maintaining a weighted B average or better in all PhD coursework (The graduate school assesses grades on a semester by semester basis and if a student falls below a B, they have one semester to bring their average up to a B or face dismissal from the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option)
  • Providing evidence of continuous scholarship (present research on average of at least once per year over a 3 year period to an external regional, national or international conference and twice per year to local venues AND have submitted at least two papers before the dissertation research papers, one as first author; assessed annually by PhD Director and Advisor/s)
  • Passing of the Plan of Study Meeting (2 attempts within 6 months)
  • Passing of the Comprehensive Exam (2 attempts within 6 months)
  • Passing of the Dissertation Proposal (2 attempts within 6 months)
  • Passing of the Dissertation Defense (2 attempts within 6 months)

Note that for these four benchmarks (Plan of Study Meeting, Comprehensive Exam, Dissertation Proposal, Dissertation Defense), students are permitted one repeat attempt if not passed on the first try. This repeat must be completed within 6 months of the first attempt and passed. If not passed within 6 months of the first attempt of a benchmark, the student will have failed that benchmark and will be dismissed from the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option.

Graduation Requirements - DPT Program

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

  1. All required DPT Didactic courses
  2. Clinical Qualifying Measure using Standardized Patients
  3. All required Clinical Experiences

Graduation Requirements - DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option

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

  1. All required DPT and MPH didactic courses
  2. Clinical Qualifying Measure using Standardized Patients
  3. All required Clinical Experiences
  4. MPH Capstone Project

Graduation Requirements - DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option

The student is required to successfully complete the following before graduation of DPT phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option: 

  1. All required DPT Didactic courses
  2. Clinical Qualifying Measure using Standardized Patients
  3. All required Terminal Full Time Clinical Experiences (including 1 Terminal Clinical Research Experience and the associated posted requirements specific to the DPT/PhD dual degree option)

The student is required to successfully complete the following before enrolling in the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option:

  1. Maintain a weighted B average for the 18 credits of transfer
  2. Pass an oral proficiency exam based on their research work during the DPT Program 

The student is required to successfully complete the following before graduation from the PhD phase of the DPT/PhD dual degree option: 

  1. Maintain a minimum of a weighted B average in all PhD coursework. Students will meet all passing requirements and maintain or exceed a B average in all coursework.
  2. Provide evidence of continuous scholarship. Students will (a) present research on average at least once per year over a 3 year period to an external regional, national or international conference and twice per year to local venues AND (b) have submitted at least two papers before the dissertation research papers, one as first author.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to plan and defend a research line of enquiry. Students will pass their plan of study meeting.
  4. Develop and demonstrate a focused and deep knowledge of content and theory in concentration area, tools and cognate areas. Students will pass their comprehensive examinations.
  5. Integrate knowledge and theoretical application of research design to propose a dissertation proposal. Students will pass their dissertation proposal.
  6. Independently conduct research and, in addition to submitting earlier papers, write up at least two more papers as first author that constitute their dissertation, give a public presentation of the dissertation and defend their dissertation. Students will successfully defend their dissertation proposal.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

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.

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.

 

DPT Program Contacts

DPT Program Admissions

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

DPT Program Directors

Karen L. Gordes, PhD, PT, DScPT
Director for Student and Faculty Affairs for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
email: KGordes@som.umaryland.edu

Linda B. Horn, PT, DScPT, MHS
Director for Academic Affairs for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
email: LHorn@som.umaryland.edu

Sandy McCombe Waller, PT, PhD, MS, NCS
Director for Educational Affairs for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
email: SMcCombeWaller@som.umaryland.edu

Karen Gordes, PhD, PT, DScPT 
Interim Director of Clinical Education for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
email: KGordes@som.umaryland.edu

DPT/MPH Dual Degree Option Contacts

Karen L. Gordes, PhD, PT, DScPT
Director for Student and Faculty Affairs for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
email: KGordes@som.umaryland.edu

Diane Marie St. George, PhD
MPH Program Director, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
email: dstgeorg@epi.umaryland.edu

DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option Contacts

Li-Qun Zhang, PhD
Director, Graduate Program in Physical Rehabilitation Science
email: L-Zhang@som.umaryland.edu

Karen L. Gordes, PhD, PT, DScPT
Director for Student and Faculty Affairs for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
email: KGordes@som.umaryland.edu

Accreditation Status: DPT Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) 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

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 410-706-7979 or email: VMarchese@som.umaryland.edu

Accreditation Status: MPH Program

The University of Maryland School of Medicine Master of Public Health program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). See status at http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/epidemiology/mph/About-Us/Accreditation/#d.en.138541

Accreditation Status: PhD Program

The Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Rehabilitation Science degree within the DPT/PhD Dual Degree Option is under the The University of Maryland, School of Medicine PhD-Graduate Programs in Life Sciences and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Additional Information for Prospective Students

APTA and Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy

Calendars and Dates

Handbooks

Policies, Procedures, and Forms

Miscellaneous