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Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

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: 312.263.7492

      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.

      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.

  • Articulation 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. Jim Farris at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for an articulation agreement seat is November 1st. 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. Jim Farris at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for an articulation agreement seat is November 1st. 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. Jim Farris at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for an articulation agreement seat is November 1st. 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. Jim Farris at the time they submit their PTCAS application. The deadline to apply for an articulation agreement seat is November 1st. Students must meet all admissions requirements in order to be considered.

  • Outcome Data+

    • Graduation Rate
      2015 - 100%
      2014 - 96.8%
      2013 - 98.4%
      2012 - 96.8%

      Licensure Pass Rate for previous years
      2015 - 96.7%
      2014 - 98.4%
      2013 - 96.39%
      2012 - 98.33%

      Graduate Employment Rate for previous years (For all graduates passing licensure exam)
      2015 - 100% of respondents employed
      2014 - 100% of respondents employed
      2013 - 100% of respondents employed
      2012 - 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 January 16th. 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 2019 was 3.32 for Cumulative and 3.30 for Prerequisite. GRE averages for the entering class of 2016 were as follows: Verbal = 149.2, Quantitative = 149.95 and Analytical = 3.83. 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 competed during a Summer term as long as the official grade is posted by by May 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 4-eight 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 at https://www.atsu.edu/admissions/tour_request.asp to set up a tour of the campus. Tours are provided every Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. you may call 480.219.6000, please mention to them you are interested in the PT program. We look forward to sharing information with you about our Doctor of Physical Therapy program!

Physical Therapy Degree Faculty

  • Dean +

      • Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA
        Grey LinkedIn logo

        Dr. Danielsen is dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his PhD from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He completed sixteen years with A.T. Still University as academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), and as dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010) and recently returned as Dean of ASHS. He was honored in 2010 by A.T. Still University with Emeritus Professor status. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

        Earlier in his career, Dr. Danielsen served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants, the Arizona State Association of PAs, and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003.

        Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants in 2011. He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Review. Dr. Danielsen has published over sixteen peer-reviewed articles, eighteen journal editorials, two book chapters, and most recently his first book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. Recently he was selected as a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership.

  • Vice Dean +

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

        Dr. Burch is Vice Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Her primary responsibility is to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the School under the direction of the Dean. In addition, she leads several University or School wide initiatives including the Diversity Initiative Task Force and the ASHS Adelante Project. In her role, Dr. Burch represents the School in the Dean’s absence.

        Dr. Burch received her Doctor of Education (EdD) from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her Masters of Physical Therapy (MS) 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.

        Dr. Burch received her BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Prior to her appointment as Vice Dean, Dr. Burch served as the Chair of Physical Therapy from 2008-January 2012. Prior to coming 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.

  • Chair and Director +

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

        Dr. Farris is the Department Chair and Associate Professor. 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 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 the ATSU faculty in 2009 and is now in his 19th year of physical therapy teaching. His research interests are in cardiovascular disease prevention and human performance. His current scholarship efforts are aimed at childhood obesity and prevention of the related cardiovascular disease risk factors, submaximal aerobic fitness testing in children, 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 (cardiopulmonary, physiology, pharmacology, research, and prevention and wellness) and assists in lab classes for physical agents.

  • Faculty +

      • Lori Moist Bordenave, PT, DPT, MEd Lori Moist Bordenave, PT, DPT, MEd

        Read Bio
      • Deanne Fay, PT, DPT, MS, PCS Deanne Fay, PT, DPT, MS, PCS

        Read Bio
      • John Imundi, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS John Imundi, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS

        Read Bio
      • Dana Kernan, PT, DPT, ATC, MTC, OCS Dana Kernan, PT, DPT, ATC, MTC, OCS

        Read Bio
      • Amisha Klawonn, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT Amisha Klawonn, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

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

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

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

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

        Read Bio
      • Cecelia Sartor-Glittenberg, PT, PhD, NCS Cecelia Sartor-Glittenberg, PT, PhD, NCS

        Read Bio
      • Cheri Hodges, PT, DPT, MAppSc, OCS, FAAOMPT Cheri Hodges, PT, DPT, MAppSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Tawna Wilkinson, PT, DPT, PCS Tawna Wilkinson, PT, DPT, PCS

        Read Bio
      • Lesley K. Gilmer, PhD Lesley K. Gilmer, PhD
        Associate Faculty
        Read Bio
      • Chelsea Lohman, PhD, ATC, CSCS Chelsea Lohman, PhD, ATC, CSCS
        Associate Faculty
        Read Bio
      • Sarah Johnston, PhD Sarah Johnston, PhD
        Associate Faculty
        Read Bio
      • Tammy Roehling, PT, DPT Tammy Roehling, PT, DPT
        Associate Faculty
        Read Bio
      • Michele Tourne, PT, DPT, PCS Michele Tourne, PT, DPT, PCS
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Jodi Young, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT Jodi Young, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio
  • Staff +

      • Beth Jordan Beth Jordan


        Read Bio
      • Tresa Moralez Tresa Moralez


        Read Bio
      • Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson


        Read Bio

Admission Statistics and Requirements

  • Requirements +

    • 2015-2016 Admissions cycle:

      Total applicants - 1,286

      Eligible applicants - 715

      Selected for interview - 96

      Matriculated - 64

      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 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 3.0 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 articulation 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 telephone. 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/12 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/12 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/12 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/12 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/9 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 January 15, 2017. 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: $32,591/year
      • Educational supply fee: $1,050/year
      • Equipment and Laboratory fee: $400

      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

  • Curriculum Overview+

    • A curriculum guide showing the sequence and description of courses for the residential degree program is available in PDF format for you to download and print. To use this file you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available FREE on the Adobe website.

      Download PT Curriculum Overview Download the Acrobat Reader

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