Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Slippery Rock University

Physical Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

The Graduate School of Physical Therapy at Slippery Rock University offers a challenging curriculum leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The program was the third DPT program developed in the United States and is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Students enrolled in the program will complete courses that enable them to deliver physical therapy to a diverse population of consumers. The program emphasizes the restoration of function, promotion of wellness and education and the reduction of disability. Graduates are proficient in the foundational, clinical and behavioral sciences upon graduation.

The program is eight terms in length and includes four clinical practicum experiences: two of these are clinical internships taken after six semesters of academic coursework. Science courses such as anatomy, neuroscience and pathology taken in conjunction with clinical courses. The evidence-based component of the curriculum enables program graduates to be consumers of the scientific and clinical literature and apply it to physical therapy practice.

The primary objective of the DPT program is to prepare future physical therapists who demonstrate highly competent, evidence-based practice and professional behaviors in a dynamic health care environment. Graduates will be able to serve the health care needs of consumers and a global society while contributing to the advancement of the profession.

Slippery Rock 3+3 Students Entering the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Should 3+3 Physical Therapy students be unsuccessful in completing the 1st year of the DPT program and want to complete their original undergraduate degree, it is solely up to the discretion of their undergraduate program coordinator to determine which, if any, physical therapy courses will count toward the completion of their undergraduate degree. In addition, students must complete any unfulfilled requirements of his/her undergraduate major. Participation in the undergraduate commencement ceremony takes place after the first full year of Physical Therapy school is successfully completed.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at SRU is a professional doctorate degree program designed to prepare graduates for clinical practice in physical therapy. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Examination, (NPTE), successful completion of which is required for physical therapy practice throughout the United States. Licensure requirements vary by state. We strongly urge you to contact the licensing board in the state where you plan to practice.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Effective oral and written professional communication, in formal and informal contexts, for purposes of education, consultation, patient management and developing professional relationships.
  2. Integration of knowledge of biological, behavioral, and clinical sciences for clinical decision making.
  3. Competent performance of each element of the APTA patient/client management model, including clinical decision making for differential diagnosis, intervention and appropriate referral.
  4. Promotion of optimum health and function to a culturally diverse patient/client population.
  5. Capability to critically evaluate the professional literature to become evidence-based practitioners and demonstrate basic competence in research processes.
  6. Effective leadership and business practices in physical therapy.
  7. Professional behavior consistent with ethical and legal standards of the profession.
  8. Continuous professional and personal growth to advance professional competence, career goals and the profession. 

Related Links

Physical Therapy, DPT Program Page

Physical Therapy Department Page

Physical Therapy Fact Sheet

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

Semester 1 Courses
PHTH 631Neuroscience I4
PHTH 654Pathology I4
PHTH 656Gross and Applied Anatomy I6
PHTH 659PT Assessment and Procedures I/Lab3
Semester 2 Courses
PHTH 545Health Care Systems I2
PHTH 636Neuroscience II4
PHTH 655Pathology II4
PHTH 658Gross and Applied Anatomy II6
PHTH 660PT Assessment and Procedures II2
Semester 3 Courses
PHTH 645Clinical Experience I1
PHTH 650PT Modalities2
PHTH 652Nutrition1
PHTH 653Pharmacotherapy1
PHTH 661Environmental Considerations for Physical Therapists2
PHTH 731Diagnostic Imaging for PTs1
PHTH 744Psychosocial integration2
PHTH 757Concepts of Evidence-Based Practice2
PHTH 816Professional Exploration I1
Semester 4 Courses
PHTH 704Musculoskeletal: Lower Extremity3
PHTH 710Clinical Experience II3
PHTH 717Neuromuscular I4
PHTH 719Therapeutic Adaptations with Lab3
PHTH 729Foundations of Therapeutic Exercise/Lab2
PHTH 758Evidence-based Practice: Appraising the Literature with Lab3
PHTH 819Professional Exploration II1
Semester 5 Courses
PHTH 703Musculoskeletal: Spine3
PHTH 718Neuromuscular II4
PHTH 732Cardiopulmonary3
PHTH 742Health Care Systems II3
PHTH 743Education, Prevention, and Wellness2
PHTH 759Evidence-based Practice Application2
Semester 6 Courses
PHTH 702Musculoskeletal: Upper Extremity3
PHTH 733Integumentary PT1
PHTH 734Geriatric PT3
PHTH 735Pediatric PT3
PHTH 736Special Topics in PT1
Select one of the following:2
Selected Topics
Pediatric Elective
Sports PT
Geriatric Elective
Vestibular and Concussion Physical Therapy
Semester 7 Courses
PHTH 737Physical Therapy Business Practices2
PHTH 802Clinical Internship I9
Semester 8 Courses
PHTH 804Clinical Internship II9
PHTH 820Professional Inquiry2
Total Hours119

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Major Code: 9D6C
Effective: Summer 2022
Revised: 02.21.2022

Recommended Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
PHTH 631 Neuroscience I 4
PHTH 654 Pathology I 4
PHTH 656 Gross and Applied Anatomy I 6
PHTH 659 PT Assessment and Procedures I/Lab 3
PHTH 545 Health Care Systems I 2
PHTH 636 Neuroscience II 4
PHTH 655 Pathology II 4
PHTH 658 Gross and Applied Anatomy II 6
PHTH 660 PT Assessment and Procedures II 2
PHTH 645 Clinical Experience I 1
PHTH 650 PT Modalities 2
PHTH 652 Nutrition 1
PHTH 653 Pharmacotherapy 1
PHTH 661 Environmental Considerations for Physical Therapists 2
PHTH 731 Diagnostic Imaging for PTs 1
PHTH 744 Psychosocial integration 2
PHTH 757 Concepts of Evidence-Based Practice 2
PHTH 816 Professional Exploration I 1
Second Year
PHTH 704 Musculoskeletal: Lower Extremity 3
PHTH 710 Clinical Experience II 3
PHTH 717 Neuromuscular I 4
PHTH 719 Therapeutic Adaptations with Lab 3
PHTH 729 Foundations of Therapeutic Exercise/Lab 2
PHTH 758 Evidence-based Practice: Appraising the Literature with Lab 3
PHTH 819 Professional Exploration II 1
PHTH 703 Musculoskeletal: Spine 3
PHTH 718 Neuromuscular II 4
PHTH 732 Cardiopulmonary 3
PHTH 742 Health Care Systems II 3
PHTH 743 Education, Prevention, and Wellness 2
PHTH 759 Evidence-based Practice Application 2
PHTH 702 Musculoskeletal: Upper Extremity 3
PHTH 733 Integumentary PT 1
PHTH 734 Geriatric PT 3
PHTH 735 Pediatric PT 3
PHTH 736 Special Topics in PT 1
Select one of the following: 2
Selected Topics
Pediatric Elective
Sports PT
Geriatric Elective
Third Year
PHTH 737 Physical Therapy Business Practices 2
PHTH 802 Clinical Internship I 9
PHTH 804 Clinical Internship II 9
PHTH 820 Professional Inquiry 2
 Total Hours**119

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year.

Major Code: 9D6C