Peter M. Leininger, Ph.D., PT, OCS, Chair
Renée M. Hakim, Ph.D., PT, NCS, Program Director
Barbara R. Wagner, M.H.A., DPT, PT, Director of Clinical Education
Debra P. Miller, DPT, PT, Assistant Director of Clinical Education
Tracey L. Collins, M.B.A., Ph.D., PT, GCS
Dana R. Maida, DPT
Gary E. Mattingly, Ph.D., PT
John P. Sanko, Ed.D., PT
Jennifer Schwartz, DPT, NCS
Paul S. Sung, Ph.D., D.HSc., PT
The University of Scranton offers the DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) program as a first professional, entry-level degree. Qualified candidates will have earned a baccalaureate degree, completed all of the required prerequisites, and met the academic and professional behavior standards set forth the by the Department of Physical Therapy. The department strives to enroll graduate-level students who are academically strong, caring and committed to the profession of physical therapy.
The DPT curriculum is designed to develop Doctors of Physical Therapy who are knowledgeable, competent, service-oriented, self-assured, adaptable, reflective and sensitive to individual diversity. We are committed to the graduation of entry-level physical therapists who meet the changing needs of the individuals who they will serve and are capable of providing physical therapy services in any physical therapy setting.
The professional phase of the program requires three complete years, comprised of six semesters and three summer sessions. Following completion of all prerequisites and acceptance into the DPT program, course work begins in late spring with Anatomy for PT. Four eight week clinical internships occur during the second and third summer sessions and the entire final semester of the program. Internship sites are located primarily in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern regions of the United States, but the department also maintains clinical internship contracts throughout the country.
Visit the Physical Therapy Department online at www.scranton.edu/pt.
A complete description of the DPT curriculum and course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Studies Catalog.
Essential Functions Required of All Physical Therapy Students
- Utilize effective and appropriate verbal, nonverbal and written communication with patients, families, health-care workers and others.
- Complete appropriate physical therapy procedures used to assess the function of the movement system in a timely manner. These include, but are not limited to, the assessment of cognitive/mental status, vital signs, pulmonary function, wound status, strength endurance, segmental length, girth and volume, sensation, strength, tone, reflexes, movement patterns, coordination, balance, developmental stage, soft tissue, joint motion/play, pain, cranial and peripheral nerve function, posture, gait, functional abilities and assistive device fit/use.
- Determine the physical therapy needs of any patient with perceived or potential movement dysfunction.
- Develop and document a plan of care for all types of patients requiring physical therapy services.
- Recognize the psychosocial impact of dysfunction and disability, and integrate the needs of the patient and family into the plan of care.
- Complete treatment procedures that are appropriate to the patient’s status and desired goals in a timely manner. These include, but are not limited to, exercise, developmental activities, balance training, gait training, transfer training, functional training, coordination training, positioning techniques, self-care activities, therapeutic modalities and CPR.
- Apply “Standard Precautions.”
- Participate in the process of scientific inquiry.
- Apply teaching/learning theories and methods in varied health-care and community environments.
- Complete (with reasonable accommodations as needed) consultative activities in professional and lay communities.
- Obtain and maintain certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Community First Aid and Safety.
- Participate in all laboratory experiences, which includes serving as patient-demonstrator, for fellow students and instructors.
Admission into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
The Department of Physical Therapy offers multiple pathways for admission into the DPT program. Admission is competitive and limited. Students can enter the program in the following ways, listed in priority order.
DPT Guaranteed Admission
A select group of incoming freshmen who indicate an interest in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program on their applications for admission will be offered “guaranteed admission” as they enter The University of Scranton. Guaranteed admission is based on the overall strength of the student’s application. Students who receive guaranteed admission must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better (C- is not an acceptable grade), carry an overall GPA of 3.20 or higher and a 3.00 or higher science** GPA and complete the required clinical observations as outlined by the Physical Therapy Department. They will be expected to confirm their intention annually and should complete a Graduate Program Application to the DPT Program at the University of Scranton in the fall semester of their senior year. Final acceptance into the DPT program requires approval of the Dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies. Regardless of the student’s undergraduate academic performance, unprofessional behavior may be grounds for cancellation of guaranteed admission.
**Prerequisite courses must be taken at the University of Scranton and the overall and science GPA’s are calculated by the PTCAS (Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service).
University of Scranton students who are interested in the DPT program and did not receive a Letter of Guaranteed Admission can apply for admission into the DPT program by completing a Graduate Program Application to the DPT Program at the University of Scranton and submitting an application to PTCAS, (open starting July prior to the first semester of their senior year) with all documents completed by September 15. Students must have completed all the necessary prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better, carried an overall GPA of 3.20 or higher, and a science GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have completed the required clinical observations as outlined by the Physical Therapy Department at the time of application through PTCAS. The GPA used will be calculated by PTCAS and prerequisite courses must be taken at the University of Scranton.
Students Who Completed a Baccalaureate Degree at Another Institution
Students who did not complete the baccalaureate degree at The University of Scranton may seek regular admission into the DPT program by completing a Graduate Program Application to the DPT Program at the University of Scranton and submitting an application to PTCAS (with the same timeframes as listed above). These students will be held to the same standards as those in the previous category and will be limited by the available space in the program for a particular year.
Undergraduate Majors for the DPT
Students may select from a variety of undergraduate majors as long as they successfully complete all the prerequisites and meet the minimum grading and GPA standards. Majors such as exercise science, biology, neuroscience and other sciences are already “good fits” in terms of meeting the prerequisites. Regardless of major, students, with the help of their academic advisors, will need to plan carefully the selection of general education core requirements and electives in order to meet the prerequisites in a way that does not significantly add to their credit load.
A. Prerequisite courses (must be completed with a grade of C or better)
In order to remain eligible for admission into the DPT program, all students must repeat any prerequisite until a grade of C or better is attained.
- Biology (General Biology or Human Anatomy/Physiology) with labs: two courses, 8 credits minimum**
- Advanced Biology (Anatomy and/or Physiology), preferably with a lab: one course, 3 credits minimum**
- General Chemistry with labs: two courses, 8 credits minimum**
- General Physics with labs: two courses, 8 credits minimum**
- General Psychology: one course, 3 credits minimum**
- Advanced Psychology (Childhood, Adolescence, Aging or Abnormal Psychology): one course, 3 credits minimum**
- Statistics: one course, 3 credits minimum
- Mathematics: one course (calculus, pre-calculus or trigonometry), 3 credits minimum**
**Must be taken at the University of Scranton.
B. Observation Hours
Students with baccalaureate degrees from either The University of Scranton or other institutions should submit documented evidence of a minimum of 60 hours total of observation time in at least two distinctly different physical therapy settings at the time of their application to the DPT program. Applicants should contact the Physical Therapy Department Chair or Director of Clinical Education for the appropriate form and guidelines as to the type of facilities that are appropriate to meet this requirement. Observation forms may also be downloaded from the department webpage at www.scranton.edu/pt.
The Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) located at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. APTA’s telephone number is 1-800-999-2787 (extension 3245 for the accreditation office). The Web address is www.apta.org.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy develops and administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapists in 53 jurisdictions – the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. These examinations assess the basic entry-level competence for first-time licensure or registration as a PT within the 53 jurisdictions.
Students will be required to submit a criminal background check and child abuse clearance prior to the first clinical internship. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s eligibility to sit for the licensing examination or obtain state licensure.
For more information about the Physical Therapy department, visit our website.