College of Allied Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy
Department of Physical Therapy
A Physical Therapist (PT) is a health care professional who provides direct patient care to persons who have disorders of movement, mechanical, physiological and developmental impairments and functional limitations, whether caused by injury or disease, to help them achieve maximum physical function and mobility.
- Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
- Restore, maintain, and promote optimal physical function and optimal wellness and fitness and optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
- Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, or injuries.
Physical Therapists have the necessary training to meet the total range of patient care responsibilities involved in preventing disabilities and promoting restoration of function to the physically impaired, including musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular / pulmonary and integumentary disorders that interfere with physical function. Physical Therapists practice in hospitals and medical centers, rehabilitation centers, private practice clinics, home health settings, sports medicine facilities, colleges, universities and in various other settings. The broad options in Physical Therapy allow PTs to develop and pursue a focus of care in any specific population from children and athletes to senior citizens. Physical Therapists also work as educators, researchers, consultants and administrators.
Physical Therapy is a sought-after career with virtually unlimited opportunities. It is a profession that offers a lifetime of satisfaction while directly helping people move more efficiently and function more effectively.
The Department of Physical Therapy has provided quality physical therapy education for nearly 30-years with continuous accreditation. A friendly faculty that is clinically and academically strong teaches the curriculum leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. As its Mission, The Department of Physical Therapy is 1) dedicated to the education of physical therapists who provide the highest levels of professional care to diverse communities while maintaining a commitment to life-long learning, and 2) committed to service and the advancement of knowledge in the profession through research and scholarly activity.
The exciting and challenging DPT program is offered in an 8-semester (32 continuous months) format, a new class entering each Fall semester. The curriculum includes a variety of professional training / educational experiences to prepare students to enter PT practice. Students benefit from significant hands-on clinical practical labs and formal lectures/discussions led by faculty with experience in each clinical practice area, clinical problem solving activities, clinical research plus 33 weeks of full-time clinical internship supervised by licensed physical therapists. The clinical internships are available in over 200 affiliated general hospitals, rehabilitation centers and various specialty practices representing a wide variety of educational opportunities for the student. While clinical sites are spread across the United States, the majority are within the Southeastern region.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of South Alabama prepares graduates for professional practice and is designed as an entry-level, first PT degree. Throughout the program, students develop necessary communication skills in addition to professional and manual skills and techniques. Strong emphasis is placed on gaining clinical reasoning/ problem solving skills and the ability to practice as an independent primary care provider in any employment setting. Graduates will also have the capability of assuming responsibilities in areas of administration, consultation and research in physical therapy.
The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email email@example.com
; website: www.capteonline.org
Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to gain licensure. Applicants are hereby informed that a history of felony conviction or moral crime, use of drugs or intoxicating liquors which affects professional competence, or narcotic law conviction will prevent physical therapy licensure. See Alabama Board of Physical Therapy site: http://pt.alabama.gov/
There are several ways you can submit a complaint or comment regarding the Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Alabama or the faculty, staff or students.
For Complaints or Comments Regarding the Accreditation of the PT program.
The Physical Therapy Program at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), a nationally recognized accrediting agency. As part of the accreditation process, the Physical Therapy Program is encouraged to provide a method by which the general public and academic community can file a formal written complaint regarding any aspect of the program or the conduct of one of its faculty/students.
You can provide the accrediting agency with written testimony regarding the program or file a formal complaint following the procedures detailed at the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education’s web site or by directly contacting: American Physical Therapy Association, Attention: Accreditation Department, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1488; Fax: 703/706-3387; or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. CAPTE Web Site
For Informal Complaints or Comments You Wish to Bring to our Attention.
Informal comments, suggestions or complaints regarding the program can be made through the office of the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Individuals wishing to make a complaint or comment about the program, its faculty or students may do so following these procedures:
Complaints and Comments should be mailed to the Chair, Department of Physical Therapy, University of South Alabama, HAHN 2011, Mobile, AL 36688. Fax: 251/473-3822; or e-mailed to email@example.com
- Detail your complaint in a brief written narrative. Identify all the important details and identify those individuals involved.
- Provide dates when applicable.
- Provide details regarding your role in the complaint/comment.
- Give suggestions as to how you believe the complaint/comment should be resolved.
- Provide steps that you have taken to resolve the issue.
- Give contact information so that we may get back to you. When possible your identity will be kept confidential
. Once you have submitted your complaint or comment you can expect to be contacted to obtain additional information. You will be notified regarding the action taken in response to your concern.
It is highly recommended, and in most cases required, that applicants complete a bachelor's degree prior to starting the PT program.
For Formal Complaints Regarding the Physical Therapy Program.
There are established procedures for filing formal complaints about the program, its faculty and students. If the nature of a concern is major and you desire to file a formal complaint with the University, you should contact the Office of the Dean, Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Profession, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688 to discuss the nature of your complaint and to determine what procedures should be taken to initiate the formal complaint process.
Regular Graduate Applicants: These applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited college or university and complete all prerequisites for regular graduate admission as listed below with a GPA > 3.00 by the time they would start the PT program.
Advanced Undergraduate Applicants: This special Advanced early-entry option is reserved for the highly motivated and academically strong student. Students with at least 96 semester or 144 quarter hours of specific college prerequisites listed below and an overall GPA of > 3.50 may apply for entry to the program prior to completion of the bachelor's degree. The student applying with three years of prerequisites is then able to complete the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree with just six years of college. Applicants in this category should carefully review Additional Information for Advanced Undergraduates that follows the list of prerequisites.
for both groups are determined using the same criteria. Acceptance will be based on the student's academic ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist including GPA emphasizing Science prerequisites, GRE score, and interview score.
- The applicant must declare one of the above categories on the application form (deadline Dec. 15th) and meet all applicable requirements including prerequisites.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must be officially reported to PTCAS by Dec. 15th with a minimum score of 290. GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years. Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections may be utilized.
- Regular Graduate applicants must have a minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall grade point average (GPA); Advanced Undergraduate applicants must have a minimum 3.5 overall GPA.
- All applicants must have a minimum grade of "C" in each of the prerequisite courses.
- Observation or work experience in Physical Therapy (50 hours minimum) under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. Must be completed and must be verified and submitted electronically to PTCAS.
- International applicants must have a TOEFL score > 600, TSE > 60, and TWE > 4.5 and must submit the following to the Department of Physical Therapy by October 15 of the year prior to admission.
- Additional requirements as of July 1, 2014 for applicants who will apply in 2014 and plan to start the program in 2015: Applicants may have a maximum of 8 credits of science prerequisites remaining by the application deadline (December 15). The remaining prerequisites must be completed in the spring and summer prior to the start of the program.
English Composition 2 courses
Social Science 3 courses - at least two of which must be Psychology
Precalculus Algebra / Trigonometry or Higher Mathematics 1 Course, or Pre-Calculus Algebra and Pre-Calculus Trigonometry (2 Courses), or higher Math
Statistics 1 course
College Physics -with labs 2 semester or 3 quarter sequence
General Chemistry for science majors -with labs 2 semester or 3 quarter sequence
General or Cell Biology for science majors -with lab* 2 semester or 3 quarter sequence
Human Physiology, Mammalian Physiology OR a course
sequence in Anatomy and Physiology Minimum 6 credits
(Human physiology is the preferred sequence.)
Fine Arts (History or Appreciation) 1 course
Literature I & II (World Lit, American Lit, or British Lit) Both courses must be in the same series
Oral Communication (Speech) 1 course
History of Civilization or U.S. History 1 course
Computer Science 1 course
Microbiology or Infectious Disease 1 course
Electives 21 Semester hours**
For all prerequisite courses, credit older than ten years from the application deadline must be repeated or validated by examination or other appropriate mechanism.
For Advanced Undergraduate applicants, prerequisites must total at least 96 semester hours.
*Botany may not be used to satisfy this prerequisite.
**Electives should be concentrated in a back-up major of the student's choice.
A number of courses are determined to be good preparation for certain components of the PT graduate program and therefore are recommended if they fit into the applicants preparation: Microbiology or Infectious Disease (one is required for Advanced Undergraduate applicants), Medical Terminology, Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Basic Motor Learning, upper level Anatomy, Neuroscience, Pathophysiology, Abnormal Psychology, Physiological Psychology, Developmental Psychology.
Students who have completed 96 semester or 144 quarter hours of prescribed and elective course work and who meet all admission criteria and the terms specified below are eligible for application to the program. Thus, these students may be able to complete the DPT degree in 6 years from entry into college. Students planning to pursue this category of admission must be working toward a back-up major in a discipline of their choice by the Junior undergraduate year. This will insure that students who are not admitted to the graduate program or who elect not to apply will be able to complete a degree within a normal time period. Also, students who go on to complete a bachelors degree and who meet all admission criteria (GPA > 3.0) will be eligible to apply later as Regular Graduate applicants.
In addition to the minimum admission requirements listed above, advanced undergraduate applicants also must acknowledge an understanding of the following:
- That, according to University policy, no more than 64 semester hours of transfer credit from two-year colleges will be accepted.
- That they will be officially classified as an undergraduate for the first 2 semesters of the program but will be taking graduate courses of the DPT program.
- That in the first 2 semesters of the program, while classified as undergraduate students, any financial aid is restricted to the types and amounts for which undergraduate students are eligible.
- That upon satisfactory completion (minimum GPA of 3.0 in all course work) of the first 2 semesters of the program, they will be awarded the Bachelor of Science in Pre-professional Health Science degree. These students must then complete application for reclassification and admission to the Graduate School. Upon satisfactory completion of the next 6 semesters of the DPT program, students will be awarded the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
- That tuition will be assessed at the graduate level for the entire eight semesters of the professional program.
- That the academic program for students in both categories is identical in its entirety.
- That for the entire eight semesters of the program they will be held to the same standards and policies as students enrolled in the graduate school (see the policies of the Graduate School).
#10 Variety of clinical facilities
#9 Location - close to home
#8 Small class size
#7 Location - close to the beach!
#6 Friendly atmosphere
#5 Comfortable informative interview
#4 Saved money
#3 Early entry option
#2 Program reputation and space
#1 Personable and knowledgeable faculty
We have fun while learning in a quality program!