Doctor of Physical Therapy - DPT Program

Welcome to the Dept. of Physical Therapy

The University of South Alabama Department of Physical Therapy is committed to high quality education, promoting and generating scholarship, and engaging in local to global service. The PT department continues to pursue a path toward excellence in achieving our mission "educating physical therapists who provide the highest levels of professional care to diverse communities while maintaining a commitment to life-long learning."  

 

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program - DPT Program

The Department of Physical Therapy offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The PT dept. 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 Doctor of Physical Therapy program is offered in an 8-semester (32 continuous months) format, a new class entering each Fall semester. The DPT program curriculum includes a variety of professional training/educational experiences to prepare students to enter PT practice. Students benefit from significant hands-on physical therapy 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 Physical Therapy degree. Throughout the DPT 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 of the DPT program will also have the capability of assuming responsibilities in areas of administration, consultation and research in physical therapy.

 

What is a Physical Therapist?

A Physical Therapist (PT) is a healthcare 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. 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.

What does a Physical Therapist do?

Physical Therapists use their minds and hands to:

  • 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.

Where does a Physical Therapist work?

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.

Accreditation and Licensure

The entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of South Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone 703-706-3245; email:  accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.  The program’s current status is probationary accreditation; for more information see https://www.capteonline.org/about-capte/recent-actions-and-updates/recent-actions/public-disclosure-notices.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 251-445-9330 or email ptdept@southalabama.edu.

Graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy 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 website.

 

Membership in APTA

goldreach100

The Department of Physical Therapy promotes membership in the APTA, and annually participates in the APTA's Reach100 Challenge, always with 100% faculty membership, and often achieving 100% membership among students.