DPT Program Curriculum



4 + 3 and 3 + 3 (accelerated) Curriculum Formats:

Beginning in the Fall of 2014, the DPT program will be offered in a 4 + 3 year curricular format at Alvernia University's Reading campus. Prospective students with an earned bachelor’s degree from Alvernia, or another four-year accredited institution, are welcome to apply.  A 3 + 3 year option will also be available in the Fall of 2015. This option would allow Alvernia students who are admitted as undergraduate students into one of 3 majors (Healthcare Science, Biology, or Psychology) will begin the professional phase of the curriculum in their senior year. Upon maintaining the required GPA and completion of all requirements, these students are guaranteed admission into the DPT program and can expect to complete their undergraduate training and doctoral degree within 6 years.

Curricular Overview and Highlights:
Alvernia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program endeavors to create an educational culture of excellence which culminates in graduates who are clinically-competent and culturally-conscious.  The curriculum has been established upon several core values:

  • Self-reflective professionals are committed to lifelong learning and demonstrate the capacity to thoughtfully consider their actions and creatively solve problems. 
  • Service-oriented professionals are agents of change who understand their role within the health care continuum.  Such practitioners are committed to making contributions to the profession and to the communities in which they live in the context of client and societal needs. 
  • Skilled professionals exhibit clinical knowledge and competence through the application of evidence-based principles and practices.  Such practitioners are dedicated to achieving optimal outcomes through exploration of innovative strategies. 

The DPT Program Curriculum consists of:

  • A total of 111 weeks over 9 semesters with a Fall semester start and 2 summer semesters of unopposed focused clinical education.
  • 75 weeks of didactic classroom instruction and 39 weeks of full-and part-time clinical education experiences.
  • 121 total credits consisting of 89 credits of classroom learning experiences and 32 credits of clinical education experiences. 
  • The Clinical Practice Pattern Track of the curriculum, comprised of 9 courses, is devoted to the practical clinical application of physical therapy skills within each of the 4 areas of clinical practice.
  • The Critical Inquiry Track of the curriculum, comprised of 4 courses, emphasizes the role of the physical therapist as a critical consumer of the literature and culminates in a collaborative original research project with DPT faculty.   
  • The Administration and Education Track, comprised of 4 courses, focuses on concepts related to teaching and learning, principles of management in physical therapy, health policy, and the role of physical therapy within today’s healthcare system.
  • The opportunity to choose up to 2 Electives will allow students to experience a combination of in and out-of-classroom learning experiences in an area of specialty practice taught by clinical experts.   
  • A final, Comprehensive Examination, which mimics the format of the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) (www.fsbpt.org), is required at the conclusion of all coursework prior to graduation.

Effective November 12, 2014, the Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

dpt program curriculum

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