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Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Entry Level Degree Program

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who work to restore movement and function through direct treatment, education, consultation, and management of rehabilitation resources. Physical therapy means the examination, treatment, and instruction of human beings to detect, assess, prevent, correct, alleviate, and limit physical disability, movement dysfunction, bodily malfunction, and pain from injury, disease, and any other bodily and mental conditions.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) entry level program is designed for the individual without a physical therapy degree. The three-year program is offered in Mesa, Arizona, and requires full-time attendance and includes supervised clinical internships.

Courses are designed with emphasis on both a strong academic foundation and clinical practice. Enrollment is limited to 62 students per class. Class section size allows faculty and staff to work closely with students to help them develop the professional attitudes and clinical problem-solving skills necessary for optimum patient care.

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Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Mission Statement

A.T. Still University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is committed to educating highly competent and professional entry level physical therapists who are dedicated to clinical excellence, whole person health care, cultural competence, critical inquiry, and lifelong learning.

Philosophy Statement

The faculty of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program affirms the mission and values of A.T. Still University. We believe in whole-person healthcare that enables individuals to achieve optimal health. We believe physical therapists are uniquely qualified practitioners for the diagnosis of, intervention for, and prevention of impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to movement, function, and health.

We strive to graduate autonomous practitioners who value life-long learning and demonstrate expertise in clinical reasoning and critical appraisal of evolving knowledge to provide high quality services to individuals across the continuum of care and lifespan in a dynamic healthcare system.

We believe in providing a rigorous learner-centered curriculum that emphasizes a hands-on approach to patient/client management and incorporates critical inquiry, cultural competence, service-learning, and interprofessional collaboration.

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  • Accreditation +

    • A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

      230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500
      Chicago, IL 60604

      Phone: 800.621.7440 | Fax: 312.263.7462
      Email: info@hlcommission.org

      ncahlc.org


      The residential Doctor of Physical Therapy program at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703.706.3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.

      If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 480.219.6062 or email PhysicalTherapy@atsu.edu.

      Information about CAPTE including a directory of programs, upcoming reviews, recent actions, and how to file a complaint can be found at www.capteonline.org.

  • Priority Consideration Agreements +

    • Letter of Intent Requirements (pdf)

      Arizona State University

      Students who will graduate or have graduated within one year with a bachelor’s degree and major in Kinesiology or Exercise and Wellness are eligible for priority consideration. ATSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program reserves 7 seats annually for ASU Kinesiology majors and 7 seats for Exercise and Wellness majors. Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent to Dr. Lori Bordenave at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for a priority consideration agreement seat is November 1. Students must meet all admissions requirements in order to be considered.

      Chaminade University of Honolulu

      Students who will graduate or have graduated within one year with a Bachelor’s degree and major are eligible for priority consideration. ATSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program reserves 4 seats annually for Chanminade graduates. Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent to Dr. Lori Bordenave at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for a priority consideration agreement seat is November 1. Students must meet all admissions requirements in order to be considered.

      Grand Canyon University

      Students who will graduate or have graduated within one year with a Bachelor of Science, Pre-PT Programs in Biology or Exercise Science degree are eligible for priority consideration. ATSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program reserves 7 seats annually for Pre-PT majors. Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent to Dr. Lori Bordenaveat the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for a priority consideration agreement seat is November 1. Students must meet all admissions requirements in order to be considered.

      Truman State University

      Students who will graduate or have graduated within one year with a Bachelor’s degree In Health or Exercise Science (HES) are eligible for priority consideration. ATSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program reserves 7 seats annually for HES majors. Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent to Dr. Lori Bordenave at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for a priority consideration agreement seat is November 1. Students must meet all admissions requirements in order to be considered.

  • Outcome Data+

    • Graduation Rates

      2018 - 93.7%
      2017 - 100%
      2016 - 95.2%
      2015 - 100%

      Licensure Pass Rates for previous years

      2017 - 96.8%
      2016 - 98.3%
      2015 - 96.7%
      2014 - 98.4%

      Graduate Employment Rates for previous years (For all graduates passing licensure exam)
      2017 - 100% of respondents employed
      2016 - 100% of respondents employed
      2015 - 100% of respondents employed
      2014 - 100% of respondents employed

  • FAQs+

      1. How do I apply to the program? When is the application deadline? The Doctor of Physical Therapy program participates in the Physical Therapy Central Application Services (PTCAS). PTCAS provides a web-based service that allows applicants to submit a single application to multiple participating PT programs. All official transcripts and letters of reference are sent electronically to PTCAS as part of the application process. Please visit PTCAS at www.ptcas.org for more information on how to apply for admission. PTCAS opens during the first week of July for applicants to apply for the next year’s class. If an applicant meets the minimum 2.80 cumulative and pre-requisite GPA requirement, they will be invited by Doctor of Physical Therapy program, via email to submit an electronic secondary (supplemental) application. The deadline to apply to Doctor of Physical Therapy program is Dec. 17. Program enrollment is based on rolling admissions and applicants are encouraged to apply early as all applications are processed when received at ATSU.
      2. What is the average GPA and GRE of your students? What GRE do I need to take? Average GPA for the Class of 2021 was 3.43 for Cumulative and 3.46 for Prerequisite. GRE averages for the entering class of 2018 were as follows: Verbal = 150, Quantitative = 151 and Analytical = 3.81. The GRE test you need to take is the General Test, not the Subject Tests. GRE scores should be sent directly to PTCAS. Institutional Code for ATSU is 7695 listed under Arizona. The department code is 0619 and the state code is Arizona (AZ).
      3. I can’t find the program’s GRE code 7695 on the ETS website. Where do I send my scores? To find the 7695 GRE code on the ETS website you need to go to Arizona. Please do not send your scores to the other Arizona code 3743 as it will not go to our program’s admissions department or PTCAS. If you already submitted your scores to 3743, you will need to contact ETS and have your scores resent to the correct 7695 code.
      4. What undergraduate majors do you recommend to be a more competitive applicant? A student may have any degree, as long as all admissions requirements and prerequisite courses are fulfilled and you have been awarded a bachelors degree.
      5. Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college? Does ATSU accept online courses? You may take your prerequisite courses at any accredited community college or university. Prerequisite courses can be taken online or in a traditional format.
      6. When do I need to have my prerequisites completed? Prerequisite courses can be completed during a Summer term as long as the official grade is posted by July 1st. At this time, you will be required to submit an updated transcript to our Admissions department. Applicants with 3 or fewer outstanding prerequisites will be considered for admissions.
      7. Can I take prerequisite courses at your institution? No. Our courses are only open to students enrolled in our programs.
      8. If I have a question about a prerequisite course, what should I do? You may contact Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson, program manager, via email.
      9. How many observation hours do I need? How do I document hours? You are required to have a minimum of 30 hours of experience with a physical therapist. This is documented in your PTCAS application. Exposure to multiple types of physical therapy practices such as geriatrics, pediatrics, neurology and orthopedics is desired, and a consideration in the decision to offer admission. Students may contact hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient physical therapy clinics to meet the required observation hours. Letters verifying observation hours are not required.
      10. Where can I go for my clinical internships? We have over 500 clinical sites throughout the U.S., in a variety of both rural and urban settings.
      11. How long is the program? The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is three years in length. The first two years are spent in the classroom and the 3rd year students will complete 3-ten week clinical internships, participate in Virtual Grand Rounds and complete a research or evidence-based practice project.
      12. Are students able to work while in the Program? Some students do choose to work part-time while in the program, often times through work study on campus. Full-time employment is not possible while attending the program.
      13. Does massage therapy, nursing, medical, naturopathic or other professional coursework transfer into the program? No.
      14. Do you offer financial aid? Where can I find scholarship information? Yes, we offer financial aid to our students. Please email financialaid@atsu.edu for information regarding scholarships and loans. We also participate in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education program. To find out more, please visit www.wiche.edu and contact your state representative.
      15. Does the ATSU have on campus housing? We do not have on campus housing; however we offer resource for finding housing in the local area and roommate matching upon acceptance.
      16. Does the university assist with job placement? 100 percent of our graduates are employed within six months. Our graduates are recruited through a job fair annually, an alumni website, and their clinical internships.
      17. I’d like to visit campus, who should I contact? Contact the admissions office to schedule a campus tour or call 480.219.6000 and mention your interest in the PT program. Tours are provided every Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Physical Therapy Degree Faculty

  • Interim Dean +

      • Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
        Grey LinkedIn logo

        Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the interim dean and vice dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.

        Prior to her appointment as vice dean, Dr. Burch served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

        Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.

        Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan.  Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.

        She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.  

  • Vice Dean +

      • Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
        Grey LinkedIn logo

        Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the interim dean and vice dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.

        Prior to her appointment as vice dean, Dr. Burch served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

        Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.

        Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan.  Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.

        She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.  

  • Chair +

      • Jim Farris, PT, PhD Jim Farris, PT, PhD
        Grey LinkedIn logo

        Jim Farris, PT, PhD, is the chair and professor of the physical therapy department. Dr. Farris earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education, 1987 and master’s degree in exercise science, 1989 were received from California State University, Fresno; bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, 1999 at Arkansas State University. His doctoral degree was conferred by The Ohio State University in 1995 where his studies focused on exercise physiology and nutrition. He completed the APTA’s Education Leadership Institute Fellowship in 2015 and is an ELI Fellow. Dr. Farris joined ATSU’s faculty in 2009 and is now in his 21st year of physical therapy teaching. His current scholarship efforts are aimed at childhood obesity and prevention of the related cardiovascular disease risk factors, submaximal aerobic fitness testing in children, education and admission issues, and the screening/management of DVTs/VTEs. He also has interests in nutrition for optimal health and performance and he has written a chapter on “meal timing” in a sport nutrition book. His home is in the west where outdoor activity and sunshine is abundant. He currently teaches special topics within courses in the DPT program (physiology, pharmacology, research) and teaches the biophysical agents course.

  • Director +

      • Lori Moist Bordenave, PT, DPT, PhD Lori Moist Bordenave, PT, DPT, PhD

        Lori Moist Bordenave, PT, DPT, PhD, is the director of the doctor of physical therapy program and an associate professor. She received her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from St. Louis University (1985), a master’s degree in education from Arizona State University (2000), and her DPT from A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Health Sciences (2007). In 2016, she completed her PhD at Nova Southeastern University in physical therapy. Dr. Bordenave joined the physical therapy faculty in 1996. Her research interests include qualitative research exploring teaching and learning, professional development, and the impact of interventions. Additionally, she is engaged in research exploring women’s health issues and evidence-based practice. She teaches a course in educational theory and practice within the physical therapy program and continues to teach both the American Physical Therapy Association’s level 1 and level 2 clinical instructor credentialing courses.

  • Faculty +

      • spacer image for page layout Tracy Arndt

        Read Bio
      • spacer image for page layout Christina Cuka

        Read Bio
      • Deanne Fay, PT, DPT, PhD Deanne Fay, PT, DPT, PhD

        Read Bio
      • Cheri Hodges, PT, DPT Cheri Hodges, PT, DPT
        Director, Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Program
        Read Bio
      • John Imundi, PT, DPT John Imundi, PT, DPT

        Read Bio
      • Sarah Johnston, PhD Sarah Johnston, PhD

        Read Bio
      • Jamie Kuettel, PT, DPT Jamie Kuettel, PT, DPT

        Read Bio
      • Chelsea Lohman, PhD Chelsea Lohman, PhD

        Read Bio
      • Jim Lynskey, PT, PhD Jim Lynskey, PT, PhD

        Read Bio
      • Cory Manton, PT, DPT Cory Manton, PT, DPT

        Read Bio
      • Tara L McIsaac, PT, PhD Tara L McIsaac, PT, PhD

        Read Bio
      • James Roush, PT, PhD James Roush, PT, PhD

        Read Bio
      • Tammy Roehling, PT, DPT Tammy Roehling, PT, DPT

        Read Bio
      • Cecelia Sartor-Glittenberg, PT, PhD Cecelia Sartor-Glittenberg, PT, PhD
        Director, Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program
        Read Bio
      • Tawna Wilkinson, PT, DPT, PhD Tawna Wilkinson, PT, DPT, PhD

        Read Bio
      • Jodi Young, PT, DPT Jodi Young, PT, DPT

        Read Bio
  • Staff +

      • Beth Jordan Beth Jordan


        Read Bio
      • Tresa Moralez Tresa Moralez


        Read Bio
      • Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson


        Read Bio
      • Cassie Reynolds Cassie Reynolds


        Read Bio

Admission Statistics and Requirements

  • Requirements +

    • 2017-2018 Admissions cycle:

      Total applicants - 1,208

      Eligible applicants - 649

      Selected for interview - 122

      Matriculated - 62

      Additional Admission Requirements

      The Residential DPT program admits on a rolling admission basis. Early application is strongly encouraged.

      • Each applicant must submit information listed below to the Physical Therapist Centralized Application System (PTCAS) www.ptcas.org. All questions regarding to PTCAS applications must be directed to PTCAS.
        1. Baccalaureate Degree: Official transcripts for all college level courses must be submitted directly from the institution to PTCAS. Official transcripts showing an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution must be submitted prior to enrollment.
        2. Prerequisite Courses: Applicants must complete all prerequisite courses prior to the start of school. See a list of prerequisite courses. Applicants with four (4) or more outstanding prerequisites will not be considered for admission. Applicants must show proof of enrollment in any pending prerequisite courses by the end of the Spring quarter.
        3. Applicants must have achieved a minimum 2.80 cumulative GPA and a 2.80 prerequisite GPA (on a 4.0 scale). These GPAs are calculated and reported by PTCAS. The ATSU Admissions Department does not recalculate GPAs.
        4. Graduate Record Examination Scores: Scores older than three years prior to admission year will not be accepted. The GRE general test Code for ASHS is 7695 listed under Arizona on the ETS website. Applicants are required to have a minimum GRE of 140 for verbal and quantitative as well as a 3.5 on the writing score.
        5. Letters of References: Specific information regarding letters of reference can be found in PTCAS. For the secondary application, applicants only need to supply the name of the references listed in the primary PTCAS application.
        6. Physical Therapy Observation: Applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 30 contact hours with a physical therapist in a variety of physical therapy settings prior to application submission. Exposure to multiple types of physical therapy practices such as, geriatrics, pediatrics, neurology and orthopedics is desired, and a consideration in the decision to offer admission. Students may contact hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient physical therapy clinics to meet the required observation hours. Observation hours do not have to be verified.
        7. ATSU maintains priority consideration agreements with Arizona State University (ASU), Grand Canyon University (GCU), Truman State University (TSU) and Chaminade University of Honolulu. More information.
        8. Secondary or supplemental application: Applicants meeting the minimum GPA requirements will be invited by ATSU via email to submit a secondary application. This application, in addition to a $70 application fee, must be submitted to ATSU for admission consideration.
        9. All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T Still University. For non-native speakers, methods by which you can demonstrate your English Proficiency are published in the General Admissions section. International Admissions Requirements
        10. Interview: Applicants who are considered potential candidates may be required to participate in an applicant interview process. Personal interviews are conducted both on-site and by video conference. Dates are not released prior to reviewing an applicant’s application.
        11. As a candidate for the DPT program at A.T. Still University, applicants must certify they meet the Minimal Technical Standards for admission and matriculation, which can be found in the Online University Catalog.
        12. Windows or Mac laptop that meets University computer system requirements and guidelines, internet service provider, and internet access.

        Applicants who wish to be considered for more than one program must submit a separate application and fee, official GRE scores, transcripts, and references for each health sciences program. Acceptance to ATSU-ASHS is to a specific program and is not transferable to any other program. Application materials are not transferable from one application year to another.

        Prerequisite courses

        Each student must submit proof of satisfactory completion at a minimum grade of “C” for each of the following courses by enrollment. For questions, please contact Residential Admissions office at 480.219.6000 or email admissions@atsu.edu

        • Biology/Anatomy - Two courses in Human Anatomy and Human Physiology, each including lecture and lab (two semesters lecture and lab, minimum of 8 semester/10 quarter hours). Example: Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology, all with lecture and lab.
        • Biology/Zoology - Two courses in Biology/Zoology, each including lecture and lab (two semesters lecture and lab, minimum of 8 semester/10 quarter hours). Examples: General Biology I and II, Genetics, Molecular, Cellular and Microbiology, all with lecture and lab.
        • General Chemistry - Two courses in Chemistry, each including lecture and lab. (two semesters lecture and lab, minimum of 8 semester/10 quarter hours). Examples: General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, all with lecture and lab.
        • Physics - Two courses in Physics, each including lecture and lab (two semesters lecture and lab, minimum of 8 semester/10 quarter hours). Examples: General Physics I and II, or College/University Physics I and II all with lecture and lab.
        • Statistics - One course, minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter hours. Examples: Applied Statistics, Elements of Statistics, and Statistics of Bio-Sciences.
        • Psychology - Two courses: Abnormal psychology and developmental/child psychology (this course must cover lifespan or conception/birth through adulthood), minimum of 6 semester/8 quarter hours. No substitutes accepted, including general or introductory psychology.
        • Exercise Physiology – One course, minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter hours.
  • Application +

    • Application to the Doctor of Physical Therapy entry level program must be submitted to the Central Application Service for Physical Therapist (PTCAS). PTCAS provides a web-based service that allows applicants to submit a single application to multiple participating PT programs. All official transcripts and letters of reference are sent directly to PTCAS as part of the application process.

      Please visit PTCAS for more information on how to apply for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy entry level program.

      The deadline to apply with PTCAS for the ATSU-ASHS PT program is December 17, 2018. Program enrollment is based on a rolling admissions. Applicants are encouraged to apply early.

      Once ATSU-ASHS receives a completed PTCAS application and determines that minimum requirements are met, the applicant is notified by email to submit a secondary application fee of $70 for final processing. Upon receipt of this fee, the application then receives full consideration by the Doctor of Physical Therapy entry level program.

      For additional information, contact the program manager: 480.219.6162 or ecisnerosjohnson@atsu.edu

  • Tuition and Expenses+

      • Secondary Application fee $70
      • Tuition: $35,520/year
      • Educational supply fee: $1,150/year
      • Medical Equipment fee for First Year Students: $175
      • Medical Equipment fee for Third Year Students: $210

      Tuition and fees are subject to change.

  • Financial Aid+

    • Investing in your future as a student is one of the most important steps you will take in your life. ATSU can help you put together a financially sound aid package that will let you focus on your education instead of worrying about how you will finance it.

      To learn more about your options, visit the Financial Aid page.

      We see our role in the Office of Student Financial Services as helping you with your finances, so you can concentrate on your academics. We are here to serve you. Please email our office at financialaid@atsu.edu or call us at 866.626.2878 ext. 2529.

The Family and Culture


Three medical students wearing white lab coats smiling, posed for a picture. Female medical students wearing white lab coats, smiling while consulting with a patient. Students gathered around a woman lying underneath an x-ray machine. Three medical professionals examining the ear of an elderly man. Physical Therapy students working together. A young woman wearing a white lab coat, talking with a small boy holding a teddy bear. Male medical professional examining a mouth mold. Physical therapy doctor examining the knee of a young woman. Group workshop featuring people seated in rows of chairs with their arms stretched out.

 

  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • An iPad logging into ATSU's app with an open book displayed in the backgroundATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: demo
      Password: atsudemo


      Connect Now

Physical Therapy Curriculum Overview

First Year Fall Semester

  • Human Anatomy I +

    • Credits: 4
      This blended lecture and lab course is designed to prepare health professions students with appropriate knowledge of the structure, function, and clinical application of human anatomy. Prosected human cadaver laboratory is a required and essential component of the course. Following this course, students should be able to identify and discuss the clinical correlation of specific structures of the head, neck, back, thorax and abdomen. Prerequisites: None
  • Human Anatomy II +

    • Credits: 4
      This blended lecture and lab course is designed to prepare health professions students with appropriate knowledge of the structure, function, and clinical application of human anatomy. Prosected human cadaver laboratory is a required and essential component of the course. Following this course, students should be able to identify and discuss the clinical correlation of specific structures of the pelvis, perineum, lower extremity and upper extremity.
  • Biomechanical Foundations of Movement I +

    • Credits: 2.5
      A study of the mechanical and biophysical principles of movement in humans. Techniques of analysis with qualitative and quantitative measures of movement is included. Laboratory required. 10 weeks
  • Professional Practice I +

    • Credits: 1
      This course will focus on guiding the professional development of future clinicians. Emphasis will be placed on leadership and coaching skills, emotional intelligence, and social competence.
  • Educational Theory and Practice +

    • Credits: 2
      In this course students will discuss the theoretical frameworks of teaching and learning and their application to patient education. Development of educational interventions and methods to facilitate adherence will be discussed.
  • Documentation and Clinical Reasoning +

    • Credits: 2
      This course includes an overview of a clinical reasoning model and introduction to the basic concepts and components of effective physical therapy documentation. ATSU Clinical Reasoning Model will be introduced and utilized throughout the class. How to document an examination, evaluation, progress note, and interim/daily note will be covered. Practice of interview skills and writing all note types will also be used. Laboratory required.
  • Therapeutic Exercise I +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This first therapeutic exercise course provides students with foundational knowledge and skills related to therapeutic exercise. Students will learn how to prescribe aerobic, resistance, range of motion, stretching, and neuromuscular coordination exercises to adults as part of physical therapy patient management. Laboratory required.
  • Basic Patient Care Skills +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This course includes the rationale and skills necessary for rehabilitation personnel to deliver basic patient care. The course includes blood-borne pathogens, universal safety precautions, vital signs, positioning, draping, transfers, lifting, sterile procedure and isolation techniques, wheelchair handling, and ambulation with assistive devices, adaptive equipment, and basic patient care equipment. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: None
  • Integrated Clinical Experience I +

    • Credits: 0.5
      A part-time, collaborative clinical experience, under direct supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. Students are expected to integrate the current fall semester curriculum into the clinical learning with emphasis on interpersonal skills, documentation, and foundational tests and measures.
  • Applied Human Physiology +

    • Credits: 2.5
      A study of the mechanical and biophysical principles of movement in humans. Techniques of analysis with qualitative and quantitative measures of movement is included. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: ASHS6100, DPTR7101 Corequisite: ASHS6200
  • Biomechanical Foundations of Movement II +

    • Credits: 2
      A sound scientific basis for clinical practice is provided through this review of applied human physiology, with an emphasis on normal physiology and homeostasis. Principles of muscle physiology and metabolism, energy expenditure, cardiopulmonary physiology, renal physiology, fluid dynamics and endocrinology will be discussed, with examples of responses to exercise and disease. Prerequisites: ASHS6100 Corequisite: ASHS6200
  • Psychological and Social Aspects of Illness and Disability +

    • Credits: 1
      A study of the psychological, social, and emotional aspects of illness and disability. Students will explore the biopsychosocial model with attention to its health related implications at the level of the person, family, and society. Students will examine the interaction between mental state, health concerns, and illness for both their patients and themselves, discussing the need for clinician wellness in order to provide compassionate care.

First Year Spring Semester

  • Pathophysiology +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This course involves the study of basic pathophysiological processes in disease and trauma including inflammation, immunity, and neoplasms. Additionally, diseases and conditions of the major organ systems are presented with implications of the relationship between pathology and the signs/symptoms of disease for the physical therapist in multiple settings throughout the spectrum of care. Prerequisites: DPTR7211, ASHS6200
  • Clinical Gait Analysis +

    • Credits: 1.5
      This course is a study of the components of normal gait, methods of observational gait analysis, and strategies of problem solving for various gait deviations. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7201
  • Musculoskeletal I +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This introductory musculoskeletal course will provide the student with foundational knowledge and skills related to examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and interventions for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. This course will provide the student with a framework for clinical reasoning and a baseline skill set that will be built upon in other musculoskeletal courses in the doctor of physical therapy curriculum. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7201, DPTR7116 Corequisite: DPTR7316
  • Critical Inquiry I +

    • Credits: 3.5
      This course will enhance student understanding of the most common research designs, methodologies, and statistics employed in the physical therapy literature. With this knowledge the student will develop the skills necessary for implementation of evidence-based physical therapy practice including development of clinical questions, searching the literature, critical appraisal and application of the literature to various patient scenarios. Progression to “real time” application occurs throughout the course. Prerequisites: None
  • Integrated Clinical Experience II +

    • Credits: 0.5
      A part-time community experience where students participate in interdisciplinary teams, delivering the Matter of Balance class to community members using foundational principles of teaching and learning.
  • Comprehensive Practical I +

    • Credits: 0
      This represents the first comprehensive practical. The student will be expected to complete and successfully pass a comprehensive practical exam including content previously covered including but not limited to basic patient care skills, beginning screening techniques, gait, therapeutic exercise, manual muscle testing, range of motion assessment, patient education, and appropriate documentation. Prerequisites: All first year fall courses. Corequisites: First year, first session spring courses
  • Therapeutic Modalities +

    • Credits: 2
      This course provides an understanding of the theory and application of the therapeutic modalities as part of a physical therapy intervention to facilitate the healing process. Modalities included are electrical, thermal, sound, electromagnetic, mechanical, and therapeutic massage. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: ASHS6200, DPTR7211, DPTR7201, DPTR7302
  • Musculoskeletal II +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This musculoskeletal course will prepare students to manage patients with uncomplicated conditions of the lumbopelvic region. Students will learn about examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcomes for lumbopelvic conditions. In lab students will practice examination and intervention skills for lumbopelvic conditions. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7330
  • Rehabilitation I +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This is the first course in a series of courses covering management of adults with impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions resulting from a disorder, disease or trauma who require multicomponent rehabilitation to improve function. Foundation knowledge of a conceptual framework for clinical practice, theories of motor control and motor learning, examination skills, and manual techniques to improve movement control are emphasized. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7316 Corequisite: DPTR7320
  • Differential Diagnosis +

    • Credits: 2
      This course focuses on the study of clinical management of common diseases throughout multiple systems with emphasis on diagnosis, prognosis, medical and rehabilitation management for the physical therapist. An introduction to imaging will also be included to provide an understanding of physical therapists’ role in interpreting imaging. Prerequisite: DPTR7211, DPTR7302, DPTR7330
  • Clinical Rotation +

    • Credits: 4
      A four-week, full-time clinical rotation under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The student will be expected to apply physical therapy principles learned in the first semesters of their classroom work, including gait analysis, patient education, basic therapeutic exercise, documentation, clinical reasoning, basic patient care skills and research. Prerequisites: All first year courses
  • Therapeutic Exercise II +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This second therapeutic exercise course will prepare students to prescribe therapeutic exercise to improve impairments in muscle performance, joint mobility, flexibility, and movement coordination of the extremities and spine. Students will also learn how to use therapeutic exercise to improve common activity limitations. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7116
  • Neuroscience and Neural Conditions +

    • Credits: 6
      This course provides in-depth study into the anatomy and physiology of the nervous systems with an emphasis on the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and medical management of neurological diseases and conditions.

Second Year Fall Semester

  • Musculoskeletal III +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This musculoskeletal course will prepare students to manage patients with uncomplicated conditions of the lower extremity. Students will learn about examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcomes for lower extremity conditions. In lab students will practice examination and intervention skills for lower extremity conditions. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7430
  • Rehabilitation II +

    • Credits: 3
      This course is the second course in a series of courses on management of adults requiring multicomponent rehabilitation to improve function. This course focuses on evaluation and intervention for individuals with brain injury or disease. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7320, DPTR7323, DPTR7440, DPTR7118
  • Human Development +

    • Credits: 3
      This course provides an in-depth study of developmental changes from prenatal through early adulthood. Emphasis is on a systems approach with a focus on the physical, sensory, gross and fine motor changes that take place with typical development. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7320, DPTR440
  • Critical Inquiry II +

    • Credits: 2.5
      Students will explore and critically evaluate the literature in a topic area of interest. They will apply the literature to clinical questions using the stages of evidence-based practice, and then will develop research questions and designs to address issues identified in their literature searches. Prerequisites: DPTR7350
  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation +

    • Credits: 3
      This course covers the pathology, tests and measures; and the assessments, interventions, and evaluation for cardiopulmonary diseases and conditions commonly encountered in physical therapy settings. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7118, DPTR7316, DPTR7302, DPTR7211
  • Professional Practice II +

    • Credits: 1
      This course will establish a familiarity and knowledge of other health care professions applicable to physical therapy practice. Emphasis is on the practice of professional communication, team development, and building credibility and trust in the health care venue. Completion is of Professional Practice I is required. Prerequisites: DPTR7110
  • Musculoskeletal IV +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This musculoskeletal course will prepare students to manage patients with uncomplicated conditions of the cervical and thoracic spine. Students will learn about examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcomes for cervical and thoracic conditions. In lab students will practice examination and intervention skills for cervical and thoracic conditions. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8130
  • Rehabilitation III +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This course is the third course in a series of courses on management of adults requiring multicomponent rehabilitation to improve function. This course focuses on evaluation and intervention for individuals with conditions such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, motor neuron diseases, vestibular disorders, and amputation. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8140
  • Pediatrics +

    • Credits: 3.5
      This course covers assessment and treatment of individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities from birth through 18 years of age. Clinical reasoning is emphasized within early intervention, public school, home, and clinic settings. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8145, DPTR8140
  • Acute Care +

    • Credits: 2.5
      The course includes an in-depth study of the role of the physical therapist in the acute care setting. Emphasis is on patient care management and clinical decision-making, establishing appropriate plan of care, goal setting, and treatment design, interdisciplinary communication and collaboration, PT role in the emergency department and ICU, and discharge planning. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8160, DPTR8140

Second Year Spring Semester

  • Imaging +

    • Credits: 2
      This course exposes students to radiologic and other imaging techniques and includes the theory and application of imaging in the rehabilitation setting. Prerequisites: ASHS6200, DPTR7420 Corequisite: DPTR8330
  • Organization and Management of Practice Settings +

    • Credits: 2
      This course covers the principles of organization, management, and reimbursement of health profession practices. The topics covered include issues in healthcare management, health care insurance, organization socialization and culture, management responsibilities and current real world issues. Prerequisites: DPTR7440
  • Musculoskeletal V +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This musculoskeletal course will prepare students to manage patients with uncomplicated conditions of the upper extremity. Students will learn about examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcomes for upper extremity conditions. In lab students will practice examination and intervention skills for upper extremity conditions. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8230
  • Pain Management +

    • Credits: 1.5
      A study of the clinical management of acute and chronic pain through pharmaceutical, surgical, and conservative methods. Prerequisites: DPTR7320, DPTR8230 Corequisite: DPTR8330
  • Geriatrics +

    • Credits: 2.5
      The study of geriatric physical therapy, including age-related changes in body structure and function, assessment and intervention of impairments, and activity limitations and participation restrictions resulting from common conditions associated with aging. Considerations of personal and environmental factors influencing healthy aging and impacting provision of physical therapy for older adults are covered. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8240
  • Wound Management +

    • Credits: 2
      This course covers the evaluation and intervention for acute and chronic wounds, including burns, surgical, vascular, pressure, and neuropathic ulcers. Incorporating debridement, dressings, and modalities in the plan of care will be emphasized. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR7302, DPTR7211, DPTR7420
  • Integrated Clinical Experience III +

    • Credits: 0.5
      A part-time collaborative clinical experience under direct supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. Students are expected to apply physical therapy principles previously learned and/or currently being delivered in the didactic and laboratory curriculum. Prerequisites:
  • Professional Practice III +

    • Credits: 1.5
      This course focuses on federal and state regulatory guidelines pertaining to physical therapy. Emphasis is placed on both national and local associations, lawful practice, supervision, and overall scope of practice. Completion of Professional Practice II is required. Prerequisites: DPTR8210
  • Current Topics in Physical Therapy +

    • Credits: 1
      This course is designed to address current practice issues in physical therapy. Working through a series of cases, students will address contemporary issues related to practice such as patient management, ethics, legal issues, billing, insurance and discharge planning. Prerequisites:
  • Management of Gender-specific Issues +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This course covers the evaluation and intervention for gender-specific health care issues. Pelvic floor dysfunction (incontinence, pelvic pain, and pelvic organ prolapse), antepartum and postpartum care, breast health, testicular and prostate health, menopause, lymphedema, disability and sexuality, intimate partner violence, cardiovascular disease in women, and the female athlete triad will be discussed.
  • Musculoskeletal Seminar +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This musculoskeletal course will prepare students to synthesize their knowledge and skills related to the physical therapy management of patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Students will apply their clinical reasoning knowledge and skills to case discussions, and practice examination and intervention skills in lab. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8330 Corequisites: DPTR8440, DPTR8499
  • Neurorehabilitation Seminar +

    • Credits: 2.5
      This musculoskeletal course will prepare students to synthesize their knowledge and skills related to the physical therapy management of patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Students will apply their clinical reasoning knowledge and skills to case discussions, and practice examination and intervention skills in lab. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: DPTR8330 Corequisites: DPTR8440, DPTR8499
  • Comprehensive Practical II +

    • Credits: 0
      This is the second comprehensive practical in the program. The student will be expected to complete and successfully pass a comprehensive practical exam including content previously covered including but not limited to examination, evaluation, and intervention of neuromusculoskeletal impairments and associated activity limitations and appropriate documentation. Prerequisites: Comprehensive Practical I and all second year courses for the Fall and first Spring session. Corequisites: All second session spring courses
  • The Complex Patient +

    • Credits: 1.5
      Students will explore strategies for managing patients who present with complex medical and/or psychosocial issues. Case study examples will create the framework for exploring the continuum of care for these types of patients. Prerequisites: All course in all previous semesters/sessions Corequisites: DPTR8440, DPTR8430

Third Year

  • Virtual Grand Rounds +

    • Credits: 1.5
      Students will explore strategies for managing patients who present with complex medical and/or psychosocial issues. Case study examples will create the framework for exploring the continuum of care for these types of patients. Prerequisites: All course in all previous semesters/sessions Corequisites: DPTR8440, DPTR8430
  • Clinical Internship +

    • Credits: 10
      A ten-week, full-time clinical internship under the supervision of a licensed professional. The student will apply physical therapy principles learned in the first two years of didactic work. Clinical experiences in the program take place in a variety of practice settings and provide the students with a breadth and depth in professional role modeling and access to patients who are representative of those commonly seen in practice. Prerequisites: All courses in the first two years of the curriculum
  • Applied Research Project +

    • Credits: 2
      The student will participate in research and manuscript preparation under faculty direction. The student is expected to submit the completed manuscript, as well as project supporting documents (IRB approval, literature review, data collection forms and participant data) at the completion of the course. Prerequisites: DPTR8150
  • Clinical Internship +

    • Credits: 10
      A ten-week, full-time clinical internship under the supervision of a licensed professional. The student will apply physical therapy principles learned in the first two years of didactic work. Clinical experiences in the program take place in a variety of practice settings and provide the students with a breadth and depth in professional role modeling and access to patients who are representative of those commonly seen in practice. Prerequisites: All courses in the first two years of the curriculum
  • Clinical Internship +

    • Credits: 10
      A ten-week, full-time clinical internship under the supervision of a licensed professional. The student will apply physical therapy principles learned in the first two years of didactic work. Clinical experiences in the program take place in a variety of practice settings and provide the students with a breadth and depth in professional role modeling and access to patients who are representative of those commonly seen in practice. Prerequisites: All courses in the first two years of the curriculum
  • Comprehensive Exam +

    • Credits: 0
      Students are required to pass a Comprehensive Written Examination as a condition of graduation. This course helps students fulfill this requirement. Prerequisites: The Comprehensive Written Examination covers core concepts from all classes throughout the curriculum. All courses in the first two years of the curriculum.
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Community Health Center

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As a leading provider of quality healthcare for area residents, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center also provides community employment and health education. More than 80% of the staff are local residents, and many were trained at the affiliated Waianae Health Academy. Find out more.

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Whole person healthcare takes an integrated approach that addresses body, mind and spirit as one. Students are encouraged to participate in wellness programs and study areas including nutrition and psychology to gain a more comprehensive understanding. Find out more.

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Let your light shine at A.T. Still University. Combining leading-edge whole person healthcare with a commitment to serving those communities where needs are greatest, we provide students the opportunity to truly excel as doctors, dentists, healthcare providers and healthcare leaders.