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Once admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (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 Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health (DPT/MPH) dual‑degree option and one position is available in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Rehabilitation Science (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.

After admission into the DPT program, students interested in the DPT/MPH dual‑degree option may submit an application with additional requirements for consideration of admission to the DPT/MPH dual‑degree option. There is a cap of 2 students per year for acceptance into the DPT/MPH dual‑degree option.

Application Requirements
Students interested in the combined DPT/MPH option must first be accepted for admittance into the 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.

Application Deadlines
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.

Tuition & Financial Aid
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

The 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.

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.

Summer
Fall
Spring
1st Year
MPH Core Courses
1 @ 4 weeks
5 @ 15 weeks
MPH Concentration Courses
(CPH,EPI,Global Health)
2nd Year
DPTE 511: Basic Sciences I
DPTE 512: Professional Issues 1
DPTE 513: Basic Sciences II
DPTE 514: Basic Sciences III
DPTE 515: Professional Issues II
3rd Year
DPTE 520: Medical Issues
DPTE 522: Musculoskeletal I
DPTE 523: Integrated Clinical Experience I
DPTE 524: Neuromuscular I
DPTE 525: Musculoskeletal II
DPTE 526: Integrated Clinical Experience II
DPTE 527: Neuromuscular II
4th Year
DPTE 545: Full Time Clinical Experience I
DPTE 546: Full Time Clinical Experience II
DPTE 547: Full Time Clinical Experience III

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, and competencies specified in the Associations of Schools of Public Health, Education Committee Report, Master's Degree in Public Health Core Competency Development project.

Advancement Criteria
The student is required to successfully complete the following for advancement:

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

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

  • All required DPT and MPH didactic courses
  • Clinical Qualifying Measure using Standardized Patients
  • All required Clinical Experiences
  • MPH Capstone Project

In addition to all DPT program Goals & Outcomes, the DPT/MPH option includes the following goals and outcomes:

Program Goals
  • Prepare students to apply and integrate classroom training in a public health practice environment. The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science will collaborate with the Department of Epidemiology to provide MPH core and concentration courses
  • Expand the students’ ability to infuse a population health perspective into critical analysis of health issues. The dual-degree option will ensure mentorship for a public health capstone project
Student Goals
  • Integrate evidence and demonstrate critical thinking to support public health. 100% of the students will successfully complete a capstone experience on a supervised project in their area of specialization. A three-year average of 50% of completed capstone projects eligible for publication
Graduate Goals
  • Participate in service and / or professional activities that advance the profession of public health. 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.
  • Graduates will infuse population health perspective into their professional careers. 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.
Graduate Outcomes

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



DPT/MPH Contacts
  • Diane Marie St. George, PhD
  • MPH Program Director
  • Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • John Eager Howard Hall
  • 660 West Redwood Street, 102C
  • Baltimore, MD 21201
  • (410) 706-0206
  • dstgeorg@epi.umaryland.edu

Accreditation Status
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is accredited by:
The University of Maryland School of Medicine Master of Public Health (MPH) 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

After admission into the DPT program, students interested in the DPT/PhD dual‑degree option may submit an application with additional requirements for consideration of admission to 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.

Application Requirements
Minimum criteria for acceptance to the DPT/PhD 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.
  • Program-specific Prerequisite GPA: 3.0 or higher for the following coursework:
    • 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...
  • Personal statement identifying dedication to a line of research compatible with at least one faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
  • Three recommendation letters with a minimum of two letters from an academic source

Admissions Procedure
Students interested in the DPT/PhD dual‑degree option must submit a letter of interest outlining their area of research interest to the Director of the PhD Program and the DPT Director of Faculty and Student Affairs by July 1. Students will meet individually with the Director of the PhD program to advise on student eligibility based on prior academic performance, current academic performance and research background. All students deemed eligible will be invited to apply to the DPT/PhD dual‑degree option via the Graduate School application process and must complete all required Graduate School application materials. Eligible students should contact the PhD Coordinator by email to acquire the Graduate School’s paper application for admission. No application fee is required for the DPT/PhD dual‑degree option. Students must identify as a DPT/PhD dual-degree candidate on the graduate school application form.

Application Deadline
The deadline for submission of Graduate School application materials for the DPT/PhD dual-degree option is August 1.

Admissions Review
Applications will 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 program.

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 program

Tuition & Scholarships
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 Assistantships
See Graduate School Cost of Attendance (if Self-Pay)

The 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.

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

    DPT Blocks
    PhD Course Areas
    Credits
    DPTE 511: Basic Sciences I
    Concentration/Cognate (3)
    3
    DPTE 513: Basic Sciences II
    Interdisciplinary Core (2)
    Concentration/Cognate (2)
    4
    DPTE 524: Neuromuscular I or
    DPTE 522: Musculoskeletal I
    Interdisciplinary Core (2)
    Concentration/Cognate (1)
    3
    DPTE 527: Neuromuscular II or
    DPTE 525: Musculoskeletal II
    Interdisciplinary Core (1)
    Concentration/Cognate (2)
    3
    DPTE 546, or 546, or 547:
    Full-Time Clinical Experience
    Tools (4)
    Concentration/Cognate (1)
    5
    TOTAL
    *18

    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

Courses
Titles
Credits
Interdisciplinary Science Core (min 10 credits)
Transfer credits from DPT Program
5
PTRS 798
independent study (including writing)
1
*PTRS 788
Interdisciplinary Research Seminar (4 seminars, 1 credit each) (IRS 1,2,3,4)
3
Tools Core (min 12 credits)
*PTRS 702
Graduate Seminar in Teaching I (GST 1)
1
*PTRS 703
Graduate Seminar in Teaching II (GST 2)
1
Six credits of statistics
6
Transfer credits from DPT Program
4
# Concentration/Cognate Area (min 22 credits)
Transfer credits from DPT Program
9
Credits from elective courses and indepentdent studies (IS) - coureses include on campus and off-campus courses at University of Maryland Schools
13
*PTRS 899
Doctoral Dissertation Research (min 12 credits)
Floater Credits (min 4 credits - can be applied to any area of study above)
Elective courses or independent studies or dissertation credits
4
Minimum Total Required
60

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.

Summer
Fall
Spring
ISCore
Tools
Conc/Cog
Diss
Total
1st Year
  • DPTE 511: Basic Sciences I (3 SCH transfers to PhD phase)
  • DPTE 512: Professional Issues I
  • DPTE 513: Basic Sciences II (4 SCH transfers to PhD phase)
  • 2-3 hrs/wk in lab
  • DPTE 514: Basic Sciences III
  • DPTE 515: Professional Issues II
  • 2-3 hs/wk in lab
2
5
7
2nd Year
  • DPTE 520: Medical Issues
  • 2-3 hrs/wk in lab
  • DPTE 522: Musculoskeletal I
  • DPTE 524: Neuromuscular I (3 SCH transfers to PhD phase)
  • DPTE 523: Integrated Clinical Experience I
  • 2-3 hrs/wk in lab
  • DPTE 525: Musculoskeletal II
  • DPTE 527: Neuromuscular II (3 SCH transfers to PhD phase)
  • DPTE 526: Integrated Clinical Experience II
  • 2-3 hrs/wk in lab
3
3
6
3rd Year
  • DPTE 545: Terminal Full-Time Clinical Experience I
  • DPTE 546: Terminal Full-Time Clinical Experience II
  • DPTE 547: Terminal Full-Time Clinical Experience III
  • Graduate from DPT Program
  • NPTE Exam
4
1
5
4th Year
  • Oral proficiency exam of research work and Preparation
  • Plan of Study meeting at beginning of year 1 (end of Summer) of PhD phase
  • Coursework (4 SCH)
  • Sats (3SCH)
  • PTRS 798 (1 SCH)
  • PTRS 702 (1 SCH)
  • PTRS 788 (1 SCH)
  • Coursework (5 SCH)
  • Stats (3 SCH)
  • PTRS 703 (1 SCH)
  • PTRS 788 (1 SCH)
3
8
9
20
5th Year
  • Prepare for Comprehensive Exams and end of year 2 for PhD portion
  • Coursework (4 SCH)
  • PTRS 788 (1 SCH)
  • Dissertation Preliminary Meeting
  • Prepare for Dissertation Proposal and Grant Submission (4 SCH)
  • PTRS 788 (1 SCH)
2
8
10
6th+ Year
  • Dissertation Proposal and Admission to Candidacy
  • PTRS 899 Dissertation Work (12 SCH)
  • Credits are spread out into the 7th year as needed *
  • Dissertation Defense
12
12
Total
10
12
26
12
60
One of the three terminal full-time clincial experiences would be a Clinical Research Experience with half of the time (5 SCH) completing research and the posted requirements specific to the DPT/PhD dual-degree option (5 SCH transfers to PhD phase)

SCH = Semester Credit Hours

*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.

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

  • All required DPT Didactic courses
  • Clinical Qualifying Measure using Standardized Patients
  • 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:
  • Maintain a weighted B average for the 18 credits of transfer
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan and defend a research line of enquiry. Students will pass their plan of study meeting.
  • 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.
  • Integrate knowledge and theoretical application of research design to propose a dissertation proposal. Students will pass their dissertation proposal.
  • 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.

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

Program Goals

  • Provide research lab exposure in the first two years of training to facilitate timely completion of the dual‑degree option. 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.
  • Provide a research experience for one of the internships. 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.
  • Provide graduate assistantship funding during the PhD phase of the training for 3.5 years. The dual‑degree option will provide 3.5 years of funding for each student starting at year 4.

Student Goals

  • 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. 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to participate in clinical research during their internship and write up the results. 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.
  • At the end of the DPT, demonstrate their research knowledge and skills relative to their advisor’s research program. 100% of students will demonstrate proficiency at an oral presentation summarizing acquired background knowledge and research skills.
  • Maintain a minimum of a weighted B average in all PhD coursework. 100% of students will meet all passing requirements and maintain or exceed a weighted B average in all coursework.
  • Provide evidence of continuous scholarship. 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan and defend a research line of enquiry. 100% of students will pass their plan of study meeting.
  • Develop and demonstrate a focused and deep knowledge of content and theory in concentration area, tools and cognate areas. 100% of students will pass their comprehensive examinations.
  • Integrate knowledge and theoretical application of research design to propose a dissertation proposal. 100% of students will pass their dissertation proposal.
  • 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. 100% of students will successfully defend their dissertation proposal.

Graduate Goals

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

Graduate 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/PhD Contacts
  • Kelly Westlake, PhD
  • Director for PhD & DPT/PhD programs
  • Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Allied Health Research Building
  • 100 Penn Street, 205C
  • Baltimore, MD 21201
  • (410) 706-5919
  • KWestlake@som.umaryland.edu

  • Joyce Johnson
  • Academic Program Specialist
  • Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Allied Health Research Building
  • 100 Penn Street, 115G
  • Baltimore, MD 21201
  • (410) 706-8902
  • jjohnson@som.umaryland.edu

Accreditation Status
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is accredited by:
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.