Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

Department Chair & Academic Director (A.Z.): Letha B. Zook 
Academic Director (N.H.): Meghan Rohde 
Associate Professors (A.Z.): RuiPing Xia, Scott R. Richardson, Robert Phillips, Tamara Hefferon, 
Associate Professors (N.H.): Ann W.B. Coventry, Allison Kellish, 
Assistant Professors (A.Z.): David Lorello, Shaina Ettinger, Elise Harris 
Assistant Professors (N.H.): Maureen Clancy, Lisa Doyle, Willow L. Henry, Olga McSorley, Theresa O'Neil, Elke Schaumberg       
                                           
One University – Two DPT Programs
Franklin Pierce University offers two full-time DPT programs with distinct formats, both are fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy. The faculty in both programs stay clinically relevant by engaging in clinical work. Both programs have the same mission and goals and curriculum outcomes. 

Students in both D.P.T. programs are required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university and complete all prerequisite courses and requirements prior to matriculating into the program. The Essential Functions provide specific core performance standards that every student must be able to meet, with or without reasonable accommodation, for admission and progression in the D.P.T. program. 

The New Hampshire DPT program is an on-site program which is 30 months in length in Manchester, New Hampshire. It has 38 weeks of clinical experience in 10 graduate terms. An early full-time experience of 8 weeks is done during the fifth term. 

The Arizona DPT program uses the hybrid mode of delivery and is 25.5 months in length. The curriculum is a blend of online learning (synchronous and asynchronous) and intensive 4–5-day lab sessions, held in Goodyear, Arizona. In addition to the 30 weeks of full-time clinical experiences at the end of the didactic portion, the student participates in early hands-on experiences in the FPU clinic during the intensive lab weeks. 

The Physical Therapy Profession 
Physical Therapists (PTs) are licensed health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, who have health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists: 
• Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities; 
• Restore, maintain, and promote optimal physical function, wellness, fitness, and 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, conditions, or injuries. 

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes (apta.org). Franklin Pierce University offers Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) programs in Manchester, New Hampshire and in Goodyear, Arizona. Both facilities are newly renovated with state-of-the-art equipment and learning technologies. Clinical experience is a vital part of the program and is conducted at sites throughout the country. 

Mission 
The Mission of the D.P.T. program is to graduate competent practitioners who are prepared to enhance the physical health and functional abilities of the members of the public. Our graduates render independent judgment in collaboration with others to advocate for and meet the needs of the patient/client and to ensure equal access for all individuals. They critically analyze, appropriately utilize, and contribute to evidence-based practice. Our graduates embrace life-long learning and consciously apply ethical values. They contribute to society and the profession in practice, teaching, administration, community service, and the discovery and application of new knowledge related to physical therapy. 

Expected Graduate Goals and Outcomes

Graduates of the D.P.T. program will: 
1. Have the knowledge and skills of a PT capable of working as an autonomous practitioner
• Achieve 100% ultimate pass rate on the NPTE 
• Employed as autonomous practitioners in a variety of practice settings 
• Integrate current research, clinical expertise, and patient values into practice 
2. Demonstrate empathetic and compassionate practice
• Adhere to the APTA Code of Ethics 
• Respect and treat each patient as an individual, without regard to gender, race, color, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation 
3. Demonstrate commitment to the physical therapy profession
• Promote the profession through education 
• Possess skills to advocate for the profession 

Franklin Pierce University’s D.P.T. Educational Philosophy 
• The curriculum and teaching are guided by the following values: 
• The inherent worth of the individual and the value of diversity; 
• The autonomous practice of the profession; 
• The inherent value of inter-professional collaboration and consultation; 

• That community service is a powerful mechanism for teaching and learning; 
• That life-long learning is critical for all physical therapy practitioners; 
• That ethical thinking, behavior and social responsibility are central to physical therapist education; 
• That the development of critical thinking and the application of evidence-based practice are core skills for all graduates; 
• That graduates contribute to society through work, teaching, community involvement, and the application of new knowledge. 

Faculty, graduates, and employers continue to contribute to the development of the D.P.T. curriculum preparing our students and graduates to have the skills to practice in a changing society and health care delivery system. 

Special consideration for entrance into the FPU D.P.T. program is offered for FPU undergraduates in three pathways:  (See more information under D.P.T. Direct Admit) 
1. Freshman D.P.T. Direct Admit: High School Seniors who meet specific requirements (see below) are guaranteed entrance into the FPU D.P.T. program upon satisfactory completion (see below) of the requirements for entrance into the D.P.T. program. 
2. Current FPU Student D.P.T. Direct Admit: Current students who meet the established levels of academic success in the undergraduate courses (see below)can apply for D.P.T. Direct Admit in their first three years of undergraduate work. These students will have guaranteed entrance into the FPU D.P.T. program upon satisfactory completion (see below) of the requirements for entrance into the D.P.T. program. 
3. Preferential FPU Application review for current student into the FPU D.P.T. program: Students who are current students at FPU and are not in the D.P.T. Direct Admit program will have preferential application review than transfer students if they meet the following criteria: 
• Completed application in PTCAS before October the year before expected entrance into the D.P.T. program 
• Recommendation from FPU advisor 

Application Process 
The application and admissions process is the same for both Manchester, N.H. and Goodyear, A.Z. D.P.T. programs. Students must apply through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) online at ptcas.org. The PTCAS application cycle opens midsummer for the following academic year. We evaluate applications throughout the admissions cycle with a soft deadline in the beginning of March and consider qualified applicants until the class is filled. 

Doctor of Physical Therapy Promotion Policy 
In addition to the University’s Graduate Academic Standing Policy, as listed in the current Catalog, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program implements the following Promotion Policy that is more stringent. 

Good Academic Standing 
The course sequence in the curriculum is designed to provide incremental knowledge and skills necessary for PT practice. In general, the sequence must be followed to achieve this goal. A student in good academic standing will progress through the curriculum as designed. Since courses are arranged in a specific sequence, repeating a course will result in deceleration of the student’s progress through the curriculum, and require a longer period of time to successfully complete the entire curriculum. Good academic standing is obtained by achieving a term grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or greater, maintaining a cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 3.00 or greater, passing all Pass/Fail courses, earning course grades of B- or greater and maintaining appropriate standards of professional behavior. 

Doctoral Academic Sanctions 

Academic Probation 
• Any student whose term GPA is below 3.00 for a single term, or 
• Any student whose CGPA is below 3.00 for a single term, or 
• Any student who receives a final course grade of C or below in any course, or 
• Any student who receives a Fail grade in a Pass/Fail course 

Additionally, any student who receives a final course grade of C or below in any course will be required to repeat the course with a B or better. 

Academic Suspension 
An Academic suspension requires a student to step out of the lock-step curriculum to repeat a course when: 
• A student receives a final course grade of C or below in any course or 
• A student receives a Fail grade in a P/F course 
• The student must repeat the course earning a B or better grade and may not progress until this course is successfully completed 
• The student must complete a Learning Contract and may be encouraged to audit other courses they have already completed in order to engage and remain up-to-date with the other didactic coursework. 

Program Dismissal 
• Any student whose term GPA is below 3.00 for two terms, or 
• Any students whose CGPA is below 3.00 for two terms, or 
• Any student who receives a final course grade of C or below in two courses, or 
• Any student who receives a Fail grade in any two Pass/Fail courses, or 
• Any student who receives a final course grade of C or below in one course and a Fail grade in any Pass/Fail course, or 
• Any student who fails to earn a Pass or a final course grade of B or better in any repeated course. or 
• Any student who fails to adhere to the professional standards of the program. 

Academic Status Letter 
At the completion of each term, if academic performance is consistent with the criteria set forth for academic probation, suspension or program dismissal, the Dean will issue a letter notifying the student of their academic status. 

Learning Contract 
A student who is placed on academic probation, academic suspension or program dismissal will be required to proceed under a Learning Contract. The Learning Contract will identify the academic criteria necessary to return to academic good standing. 

Promotion 
• Students must satisfactorily complete all courses maintaining a 3.00 term GPA and CGPA and must have successfully completed a learning contract before proceeding to the full-time clinical experiences. 
• Students must pass the comprehensive practical examination in the last didactic term in order to participate in the full-time terminal clinical experiences. 
• Students must pass all full-time clinical education experiences in order to graduate. Only one repeat of a full-time clinical experience is allowed. 

Appeals 
A student has the right to appeal a faculty decision regarding progression in the program. If a student wishes to appeal, the student must contact his/her advisor immediately upon receiving formal notice of unsatisfactory performance and file the appeal within 3 days of receipt of the Academic Sanction Letter. The advisor will assist the student in developing an appeal describing the unusual circumstances leading to the unsatisfactory performance and actions the student has undertaken/ or plans to undertake to strengthen their academic performance.

Curriculum Plan-New Hampshire

Term I
PTH506  Introduction to Professional Development& Patient Education 2 credits
PTH523  Anatomy  6 credits
PTH528  Kinesiology  6 credits
PTH531  Foundations of Physical Therapy Practice I  2 credits

Term I = 16 credits

Term II
PTH504  Physiology in Health and Disease  3 credits
PTH518  Research Methods in Physical Therapy  2 credits
PTH532  Foundations of Physical Therapy Practice II  2 credits
PTH537  Musculoskeletal System I – Upper Extremity  4 credits
PTH545  Therapeutic Exercise & Soft Tissue Mobilization  3 credits
PTH547  Physical Agent Modalities  2 credits

Term II = 16 credits

Term III
PTH508  Neuroanatomy  3 credits
PTH517  PYI Integrated Clinical Education Experience 1 credit
PTH519  Critical Inquiry  1 credit
PTH524  Clinical Pharmacology  2 credits
PTH529  Health Promotion & Wellness I 2 credits
PTH538  Musculoskeletal System II – Lower Extremity  4 credits
PTH620  Imaging & Diagnostics  2 credits

Term III = 15 credits
        
Term IV
PTH512  Motor Control Across the Lifespan  4 credits
PTH530  Health Promotion & Wellness II  1 credit
PTH534  Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy  3 credits
PTH539  Musculoskeletal System III – Spine  5 credits
PTH540  Fundamentals of Neurological Rehabilitation  3 credits

Term IV = 16 credits

Term V
PTH516  Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare   3 credits
PTH608  Clinical Education Experience I       4 credits
PTH635  Advanced Orthopedic Interventions 2 credits -*elective

Term V = 7 credits + electives
*two - 2 credit electives must be taken during the didactic curriculum (Terms V, VI and/or VII)

Term VI
PTH514  Health Practice Management 3 credits
PTH543  Neurological Clinical Management 5 credits
PTH544  Integumentary System 2 credits
PTH599  Independent Study      1- 2 credits *elective
PTH615  D.P.T. Student Clinic    2 credits *elective
PTH623  Management of Patients with Multisystem Involvement I  3 credits
PTH627  PYII Integrated Clinical Education Experience – Extended  2 credits -*elective
PTH720  Capstone Research Project I   2 credits
LS565  Spanish for Healthcare Professional   2 credits -*elective

Term VI = 15 credits+ electives 
*two - 2 credit electives must be taken during the didactic curriculum (Terms V, VI and/or VII)

Term VII
PTH511  Management of the Pediatric & Adolescent Patient  5 credits 
PTH610  Professional Seminar  1 credit
PTH615  D.P.T. Student Clinic 2 credits - *elective
PTH624  Management of Patients with Multisystem Involvement II  4 credits 
PTH627  PYII Integrated Clinical Education Experience – Extended 2 credits -*elective
PTH630  Sports Injury Management & Prevention 2 credits -*elective 
PTH646  Orthotics and Prosthetics 2 credits
PTH730  Capstone Research Project II  2 credits

Term VII = 14 credits (includes 2 credits required elective) + electives
*two - 2 credit electives must be taken during the didactic curriculum (Terms V, VI and/or VII)

Term VIII
PTH701  Clinical Education Experience II  5 credits

Term VIII = 5 credits

Term IX
PTH702  Clinical Education Experience III  5 credits

Term IX = 5 credits

Term X
PTH703  Clinical Education Experience IV  5 credits

Term X = 5 credits

Total credits = 118 (includes 4 credits required electives) plus other electives as desired. Students are required to take at least four credits of elective courses in order to graduate with the necessary 118 credits or more.
 

Curriculum Plan-Arizona

Professional Year 1 – Class of 2024

Term 1: Fall 2022
PTH504 Physiology of Health and Disease 3 credits
PTH506 Introduction to Professional Development & Patient Education 1 credits  
PTH523 Anatomy 5 credits
PTH528 Kinesiology 5 credits
PTH531 Foundations of Physical Therapy Practice I 2 credits

Term 1 = 16 credits

Term 2: Winter 2022-23
PTH517b Integrated Clinical Education Experience - Year 1 1 credit
PTH532 Foundations of Physical Therapy Practice II 2 credits
PTH537 Musculoskeletal System I – Upper Extremity 4 credits
PTH544 Integumentary System 2 credits
PTH545 Therapeutic Exercise & Soft Tissue Mobilization 3 credits
PTH546 Physical Agents 1 credit
PTH550 EBP- Research I* 3 credits 

Term 2 = 15 credits

Term 3: Spring 2023
PTH508 Neuroanatomy 4 credits
PTH517a  Integrated Clinical Education Experience - Year 1  1 credit
PTH524  Clinical Pharmacology  3 credits
PTH529  Health Promotion & Wellness I  2 credits
PTH534  Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy  3 credits
PTH538  Musculoskeletal System II – Lower Extremity  4 credits

Term 3 = 15 credits

Term 4: Summer 2023
PTH512  Motor Control acr Life Span  4 credits
PTH516  Psychosocial Issues in HC*  3 credits
PTH517b  Integrated Clinical Education Experience- Year 1  1 credit
PTH539  Musculoskeletal System III – Spine  4 credits
PTH560  EBP- Research II*  2 credits
PTH620  Imaging & Diagnostics*  2 credits

Term 4 = 16 credits 

Professional Year 2 – Class of 2024

Term 5: Fall 2023
PTH514   Health Care Management*  3 credits
PTH527a Integrated Clinical Education Experience - Year 1  1 credit
PTH543   Neurological Clinical Management 6 credits 
PTH623   Management of Patients w/ Multisystem Involvement I 3 credits 
PTH646   Orthotics and Prosthetics 2 credits
PTH650   EBP- Research II* 2 credits     

Term 5 = 16 credits

Term 6: Winter 2023-24
PTH511   Management of the Pediatric & Adolescent Patient   4 credits
PTH527b Integrated Clinical Education Experience - Year 2 1 credit
PTH610   Professional Seminar I  1 credit
PTH624   Management of Patients with Multisystem Involvement II  4 credit
PTH635   Advanced Orthopedic Interventions  4 credits 
PTH690   Comprehensive Exam P/F 1 credit

Term 6 = 15 credits

Term 7 and 8: March to October 2024
PTH695   License Exam Prep*   1 credit 
PTH701  Clinical Education Experience II  5 credits
PTH702  Clinical Education Experience III  5 credits    
PTH703  Clinical Education Experience IV 5 credits

Term 7 & 8 = 16 credits
*online courses

Total credits: 110 semester credits (2 years + 6 weeks). The sequence of courses offered within the curriculum may be subject to change. Total Contact hours (online and Lab) = 2655