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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2014-2015


Chair: Dennis W. Fell (251) 445-9330   
Professors: Fell, G. L. Irion, J.M. Irion   
Associate Professors: Kennedy   
Assistant Professors: Day, Gubler, White   
Emeritus: Gray, Wall    
Department of Physical Therapy web site
A physical therapist, also called a PT, is a health care professional who provides direct patient care to persons who have disorders of movement, mechanical, physiological and developmental impairment and functional limitations, whether caused by injury, disease, or pain to help them achieve maximum physical function and mobility. Physical therapists have the necessary training to meet the total range of primary 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. The Physical Therapist performs an examination and then uses clinical reasoning to plan and implement patient-centered PT intervention. Physical Therapists practice in rehabilitation centers, private practices, hospital-based and outpatient-based centers, home health care, sports medicine centers, school systems, and in universities to restore movement and function.    
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 degree offered by the department is the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), designed as a first-professional degree for students who want to enter the physical therapy profession.    
The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program consists of eight consecutive semesters of full-time professional graduate study. The DPT is a clinical doctorate degree, not a research degree, and is awarded after successful completion of the prescribed sequence of 121 semester hours (listed below) including classroom and clinical laboratory coursework and 34 weeks of full-time physical therapy internships. As an entry-level program, the DPT is designed as a first PT degree and is not appropriate for students who already hold a PT degree. The goals and objectives of the program are guided by the criteria and guidelines set forth by the Evaluative Criteria for Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Preparation of Physical Therapists (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education). Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for licensure.    
The program begins each year in the Fall semester. The application deadline for Fall semester is December 15th of the previous year. All applicants must apply through the Physical Therapy Centeralized Application Service (PTCAS)
http://ww.ptcas.org/SouthAlabama.html and submit a supplemental application and supplemental application fee directly to the PT department. International Students should carefully review earlier deadlines and additional requirements listed after Minimal requirements for all applicants (see below).    
DPT Early Acceptance Program (DPTEAP)   
The DPT Early Acceptance Program (DPTEAP) allows for some highly qualified high school seniors who meet the qualifications to gain early provisional acceptance to the graduate program prior to starting college. Details are described in the Early Acceptance Program section of the Office of Admissions website at hhtp://www.southalabama.edu/admissions/ppteap.shtml. In addition, a link to the application for this program is also found on this webpage and the "Special Programs" section of the Office of Admissions Website. The application deadline for this program is December 15th of the senior year in high school.   
Two categories of applicants are considered for admission:   
It is highly recommended, and in most cases required, that applicants complete a bachelor's degree prior to starting the PT program.    
1. Regular Graduate Applicants:    
These applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited college or university and complete all prerequisites for regular graduate admission as listed below with a GPA > 3.00. These applicants may apply by December 15th if they will complete their bachelor's degrees before the upcoming Fall semester.    
2. 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 ≥ 3.50 may apply for entry into 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.    
  1. The applicant must declare one of the above categories on the application form (deadline December 15th) and meet all requirements including prerequisites.
  2. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must be officially reported to the University of South Alabama Office of Admissions by December 15th with a minimum score of 300 on the 'new' GRE (use institution code 7799). The GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years. Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections will be utilized, as well as the writing component.
  3. 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.
  4. All applicants must have a minimum grade of "C" in each of the prerequisite courses.
  5. Observation or work experience in Physical Therapy (50 hours minimum) under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist must be documented and submitted to PTCAS by the December 15th deadline. A form is available for download from the PTCAS website ( http://www.ptcas.org/PTHours/).
  6. Beginning with the December 2014 deadline, applicants may only 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.
International applicants must have a TOEFL score ≥ 600 (250 on computer based or 100 on Internet based tests), 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: TOEFL score, official transcripts with certified translations of transcripts, supplemental application and non-refundable supplemental application processing fee of $75.00. In addition, international students must submit PTCAS application and official GRE scores by December 15. Materials being sent by mail carrier must be postmarked NO later than December 15. This DPT program is not ideal for students who already have a physiotherapy degree.    
NOTE: If selected for interview, the applicant must achieve a satisfactory interview score, and if accepted into the program, must submit a health form and physical examination which includes required immunizations.    
Prerequisites Required For All Applicants:   

English Composition (2 courses)   
Social Sciences (3 courses--at least two of which must be Psychology)   
Precalculus Algebra/Trigonometry or Higher Mathematics (1 course)    
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 labsb (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)   
Human Physiology, Mammalian Physiology OR a course sequence in Anatomy
and Physiology (minimum 6 credits). Human Physiology is preferred.    

Additional Prerequisites for Advanced Undergraduate Applicants   

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)c   
For Advanced Undergraduate applicants, prerequisites must total at least 96 semester hours.    

a. For all prerequisite courses, credit older than ten years from the application deadline must be repeated or validated by examination or other appropriate mechanism.   
b. Botany may not be used to satisfy this prerequisite.   
c. Electives should be concentrated in a back-up major of the student's choice.    

Additional Information for Advanced Undergraduate Applicants:    
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 should 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 bachelor's 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 the student 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 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 8 semesters of the professional program.    
•    That the academic program for students in both categories is identical in its entirety.   
•    That for the entire 8 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).    

Core Performance Standards, which are fundamental tasks that must be performed to successfully complete the program, have been outlined and are available upon request from the program and on the department web site.   
Students admitted in the Physical Therapy program will be charged a matriculation deposit of $300 required to secure a seat in the entering class. This amount is not refundable but will be applied towards tuition expenses after registration.    
Students should be prepared for extra expenses (estimates available on the web site) associated with professional studies including books, local travel to and from clinical facilities and for out-of-town travel and living expenses during the 34 weeks of clinical internship in the first year and the final year. It is highly recommended that students have a laptop computer. Special lab fees are assessed for the following courses:   
PT 600    Human Anatomy I    
$ 75.00
PT 601    Human Anatomy II    
$ 200.00
PT 603     Neuroscience   
$ 15.00
PT 612    Research Project    
$ 50.00
PT 621     Introductory PT Skills    
$ 20.00
PT 625     Therapeutic Intervention    
$ 20.00
PT 682     PT Internship I    
$ 75.00
A $25.00 professional liability fee is assessed annually ($12.00 each in fall and spring and $1.00 in summer).   
A $133.00 Health Sciences simulation fee is added to one course in each semester of the first two years of the program.   
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree requires the following course sequence after admission to the professional program:    

Fall Semester - Year I (18 credits)    
PT 600     Human Anatomy I*     3   
PT 601     Human Anatomy II*    3   
PT 610     Principles of Research     2   
PT 621     Introductory PT Skills*     4   
PT 622     Exercise Physiology*     4   
PT 680     Professional PT Practice; W     2   
Spring Semester - Year I (18 credits)    
PT 604     Pathophysiology I     2   
PT 620     Clinical Kinesiology*    3   
PT 625     Therapeutic Intervention (EPA/Manual Therapy)*     4   
PT 631     PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders I*     4   
PT 632     PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders II*     3   
PT 681     Clinical Practice Issues; W    2   
Summer Semester - Year I (13 credits)    
PT 607     Pathophysiology II     2   
PT 650     PT in Integumentary Disorders*     4   
PT 671     Clinical Case Studies I    1   
PT 682     PT Internship I     6   
Fall Semester - Year II (16 credits)    
PT 602     Life Span Human Development     2   
PT 603     Neuroscience*    3   
PT 606     Pharmacology    2   
PT 611     Research Proposal     2   
PT 633     PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders III*     4   
PT 634     PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders IV    3   
Spring Semester - Year II (16 credits)    
PT 612     Research Project     2   
PT 628    Mobility, Orthotics, and Prosthetics*     2   
PT 640     Neuromuscular PT Adult*    4   
PT 641     Neuromuscular PT Pediatrics*    2   
PT 660     PT in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disorders*    4   
PT 672     Clinical Case Studies II    1   
PT 687     Professional Behaviors     1   
Summer Semester - Year II (9 credits)    
PT 627    Medical Screening     2   
PT 635     PT in Musculoskeletal Disorders V*     2   
PT 642     Neuromuscular PT Intervention*     4   
PT 673     Clinical Case Studies III     1   
Fall Semester - Year III (16 credits)    
PT 605     Human Learning    1   
PT 614     Measurement in PT     1   
PT 626     Health Promotion and Prevention in PT     1   
PT 674     Clinical Synthesis and Patient Management     2   
PT 683     PT Internship II     8   
PT 685     Management of PT Practice     3   
Spring Semester - Year III (15 credits)    
PT 613     Critical Analysis     2   
PT 675     Comprehensive Capstone     1   
PT 684     PT Internship III     6   
PT 686     PT Internship IV     6   
Curriculum Total     121   
*Indicates courses with lab experiences   
Accreditation and Licensure    
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. CAPTE can be contacted at The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, Department of Accreditation, American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Telephone: (703) 706-3245; Web site: www.apta.org/CAPTE
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, 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://www.pt.alabama.gov/   

Pat Capps Covey Collge of Allied Health Professions

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