Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Plymouth State University offers a fully accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, making us the first public institution of higher education in New Hampshire to offer the DPT degree. Our program features early opportunities for clinical practice sustained throughout the program. This is aligned with the mission and vision of Plymouth State University, including our motto: Ut Prosim (That I may serve).

Graduates will be positioned to enter the field ready to practice and for life-long learning, leadership, innovation, and transformation.

If you are an prospective student and have questions after reviewing our website (particularly the Prospective Student and Admissions tabs) should contact Angela Marino-Boynton at ajmarinoboynton@plymouth.edu or 603.535.2890

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Plymouth State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If you need to contact the program/institution directly please call 603-535-2890 or email ajmarinoboynton@plymouth.edu.

Filing a Complaint with CAPTE

Any person may file a complaint with CAPTE if that person believes that the Physical Therapy program at PSU is failing to fulfill its commitment to CAPTE standards.

To file such a complaint, follow this link http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/

Mission, Vision and Philosophy

Mission Statement

The Mission of the Physical Therapy Program is to provide a vibrant scholarly community for physical therapy in New Hampshire through teaching, research, service, and practice contributing to the American Physical Therapy Association’s vision of “transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” The program’s focus is on the education of physical therapists to serve the community in the fields of movement and rehabilitation to provide competent care as autonomous providers, leaders, collaborative team members, and innovators while being respectful, culturally sensitive, and socially responsible.

Vision Statement

Educating physical therapists and advancing the profession so that they may contribute to positive societal transformation by assisting individuals to achieve their goals through movement and enhance the human experience.

Educational Philosophy

The Physical Therapy Program adopts the educational philosophy of Plymouth State University based on academic excellence, learner-centered teaching, experiential learning, applied research, regional service, and leadership.  Along with the University, the program embraces the complementary relationship between liberal arts and professional studies, between academic and professional development, between service and individual growth, and between the University campus and the larger community.

Program Philosophy

The program embraces a critical realist philosophy of science and its associated consequences that ontology determines epistemology, and the stratification of reality. We fully support the use of evidence-based empirical observations in the development of knowledge, and the subsequent rational development of knowledge for use in practice, a framework we describe as knowledge-based practice. We believe the best representations of knowledge for practice are causal structures, including models and networks from which logical inferential rules can be applied in clinical decision-making.

Director's Welcome

Welcome to the Plymouth State University Physical Therapy website! We just completed a major milestone year in our development with the entry of our fourth class of students this June, the graduation of our first class of students and achieving accreditation. We’ve come a long way since earning candidacy with CAPTE in 2016!

It truly is an exciting time for Physical Therapy at Plymouth State University. The profession is embracing a grand vision put forward by the American Physical Therapy Association and is seeking to “transform society through movement to improve the human experience.” (APTA Vision Statement) The profession hopes to achieve this transformation with the realization and identification of the human movement system (APTA Human Movement System) and the physical therapist’s ability to provide perspective on movement across the lifespan with distinctive knowledge to help individuals achieve their goals and ability to participate in society.

This professional vision does not occur in isolation. Physical therapists must be engaged in collaboration with other professionals, disciplines, organizations and community partners. The human movement system exists in broader health, societal and cultural systems that require our activity not occur in isolation. Therefore, it is a tremendously exciting time to be at Plymouth State University!

“Plymouth State University is a visionary institution at the hub of an ever-growing creative community where students, faculty, staff, and alumni are actively transforming themselves and the region. We develop ideas and solutions for a connected world and produce society’s global leaders within interdisciplinary strategic clusters, open labs, partnerships and through entrepreneurial, innovative, and experiential learning.” (PSU Vision) As part of the new and emerging Health and Human Enrichment Strategic Cluster the Department of Physical Therapy is collaborating with partners from across campus, the State of New Hampshire and beyond to meet its primary goal of preparing future Doctors of Physical Therapy that are competent, collaborative, and prepared to provide evidence guided, knowledge based physical therapy to positively impact people’s lives and transform society as agents of change in their communities; to be health team leaders and advocates for innovation in the profession while being respectful, culturally sensitive and socially responsible.

The curriculum we have developed features combined innovative approaches to the education of DPT students. The combined approaches include on campus clinical practice opportunities with program faculty and the broader campus and local community; clear and explicit opportunities to integrate conceptual knowledge and practical skills that are developing throughout the program; and a focus on several fundamental concepts for physical therapy practice including the movement system, causation and reasoning, systems thinking and adaptation.

In summary, as a believer in the importance of recognizing causation, I believe that if you want something to turn out differently, you must do something differently.

Welcome to the  Physical Therapy Program, I invite you to join me in realizing our vision!

Sean Collins, PT, ScD
Professor and Program Director

Plymouth State University
Samuel Read Hall Building, Room 211
17 High Street, MSC68
Plymouth, NH 03264

DPT Academic Calendar

  • Summer Term 2020: June 1-August 14 (online, earliest possible “on-campus” date is July 6th)
  • Fall Term 2020: Online starts August 24, In-Person starts August 31 (otherwise follows PSU calendar)
  • Spring Term 2021: follows PSU calendar

PSU Academic Calendar can be found online on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

There are several general rules for understanding the approach we use for the DPT Academic Calendar.

  1. Summer terms provide 9 weeks of course work and 1 week for finals (10 week term). This term must provide time for students to wrap up other academic activities in May, to have a week off for July 4th (Independence Day Break) and end with at least two weeks off prior to Labor day (end of August). This means we often start the very first Monday in June, and end on the second Friday of August.
  2. At PSU Fall terms have been starting prior to Labor day and in line with this the DPT courses “open” online (Moodle Learning Management System) sometime that week (last week of August into early September prior to Labor day). However, the face – to – face component of DPT classes starts after labor day in order to provide students with at least 2 weeks of off campus break time following the summer term. Otherwise, the DPT Fall term follows the PSU Academic Calendar.
  3. The DPT Program follows the campus winter break (whatever that might be), and returns for the Spring term when the PSU Campus returns for the Spring term.
  4. Spring Break (March) is per the PSU Academic Calendar.
  5. End of Spring term is per the PSU Academic Calendar.
  6. Graduation is per the PSU Academic Calendar.
  7. Clinical Education weeks aim to fit within the published academic calendar dates but are ultimately influenced by clinical partner availability and therefore may shift by weeks so long as it does not impede the student’s ability to complete finals or return to campus for classes.

Samuel Read Hall Building

The Physical Therapy program is located in the Samuel Read Hall  building on the primary campus of Plymouth State University. The building is named after Samuel Read Hall (wikipedia), and the Department hopes to live up to his name as it strives to excel in educating and hopes to be part of the transformation of physical therapy education. The building is located conveniently on Highland Street across from the Lamson Library and the Boyd Science Center, just a short walk to  the Hartman Union Building (HUB), the AllWell Center, and downtown Plymouth NH.

The program is equipped with a 1000 square foot smart classroom/lab (SRH 114) which includes storage for models and equipment used during courses and is available for DPT student use during non DPT course offerings; a 1000 square foot teaching / clinical lab (SRH215); a shared 300 square foot conference room (SRH 216); a 250 square foot clinic lab (SRH 208) equipped with remote viewing cameras for unobtrusive faculty / student observation from the 250 square foot conference room (SRH213). There are an additional 4 small labs (approximately 220 square feet each): Hospital Room Lab (SRH 222), the Human Factors & Ergonomics Lab (SRH 217), and two movement/mobility labs (SRH 203 and 206). Private Faculty and Administrative offices are clustered near a small lounge, the labs and conference rooms.

The program has been spatially organized to realize its Educational Philosophy for academic excellence, learner-centered teaching, experiential learning, applied research and regional service. The goal during development has been a space that allows for program flexibility  and adaptability with Faculty being highly accessible to students, while being scholars and visionary leaders in the profession, serving as mentors constantly and consistently educating through modeling the behaviors and attributes that we hope to see develop in future graduates.

Samuel Read Hall is also the home to the programs of Nursing and Counselor Education and School Psychology; and Social Work.

Handbooks

Links to Doctor of Physical Therapy handbooks can be found below:

The DPT program is a 117 graduate credit program run in a cohort based model beginning in early June each year.

Curriculum Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Plymouth State University! 

Apply through PTCAS

The Physical Therapy Program at Plymouth State University will participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS, for the 2020-21 admissions cycle.  Applicants applying to the entry-level physical therapist education program for the 2021 entering class will apply online using the PTCAS application. To learn more about PTCAS, visit www.ptcas.org.

Admission Information & Requirements

  • Prerequisite Requirements:
    • Anatomy & Physiology I and II (8 credits)
    • Chemistry I and II (8 credits)
    • Physics I and II (8 credits)
    • Biology (4 credits)
    • Statistics (3 credits)
    • Social/Behavioral Science (3 courses)
  • GPA Requirement:
    • Minimum of 3.0 overall
    • Minimum of 3.0 science courses
  • GRE Requirement:
    • Typically the GRE is a requirement however the requirement will be waived for applicants to the June 2021 cohort due to COVID related scheduling issues.
  • Application Review and Interviews:
    • Once your application has been reviewed for eligibility, it is then scored by a faculty member. Depending on the score, well qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. If the interview goes well you may be offered admission. Offers of admission are not guaranteed if interviewed.

Admission and Matriculation Rates

Updated 7/18/20

  • Overall Admission Rate: 22%
    • based on 2018, 2019, 2020 admission cycles
  • Qualified Candidate Admission Rate: 30%
    • based on 2018, 2019, 2020 admission cycles
    • Note – a qualified applicant has an overall GPA and science GPA >=3.0
  • Matriculation Rate: 55%
    • This is the percentage of students attending when admitted calculated based on candidates completing the admission process, for example, students invited for an interview that did not interview are considered as not having completed the admission process
  • 2020 Cycle Admitted Students Quantitative Criteria 
    • Overall GPA: 3.39 (SD: 0.21)
    • Science GPA: 3.41 (SD: 0.26)
    • Verbal GRE: 45th percentile (SD: 15)
    • Quantitative GRE: 35th percentile (SD: 15)
    • Written (Analytical) GRE: 55th percentile (SD: 24)

Tuition, Fees and Costs

Please visit the Graduate Tuition and Mandatory Fees page for information about the DPT Tuition and Fees (scroll down to the section specifically for the DPT program).

Non-Discrimination Policy

Visit the Plymouth State University Non-Discrimination Policy for an  explanation of your rights, this policy applies in the “acceptance of students”.

DPT Student Handbook and Clinical Education Handbook

We also encourage you to read through the DPT Student Handbook as a way to orient and information yourself to the PSU DPT Program, there is a “Note to Prospective Students” to help you navigate to the most relevant areas for prospective students.

Prospective students can view the DPT Clinical Education Handbook which contains information regarding the requirements of the full time clinical education experiences such as expectations and student responsibilities.

American Physical Therapy Association

Students interested in becoming a physical therapist are encouraged to visit the American Physical Therapy Association’s web for Prospective Students.

What is the accreditation status of Plymouth State's DPT Program

We are a fully accredited program through CAPTE

Can this program be completed as a FT or PT student?

This is a full-time year-round residential program

What is the annual cost for the DPT program?

 Costs fluctuate from year to year and differ slightly for NH residents         and non-residents.

What prerequisite courses will I need to apply?

Anatomy & Physiology I and II (8 credits), Chemistry I and II (8                  credits), Physics I and II (8 credits), Biology (4 credits), Statistics (3                  credits), Social/Behavioral Science (3 courses)

Can I retake prerequisite classes for a better grade?

You can retake courses to improve your science and overall GPA

What is the GPA requirement for admission?

We have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 for both overall and science GPA

Are GRE scores required?

Typically, yes. This year (2020), we are waiving the requirement due to COVID related scheduling issues

Do you accept international students?

We do accept international students with the appropriate paperwork and English proficiency

Can I live on campus?

There is a limited amount of on-campus housing for graduate students, most opt to live off campus

Can I apply for NH residency?

The University System of New Hampshire rules stipulate that no one is eligible for in-state tuition unless she or he established that her or his residence in New Hampshire is for some purpose other than obtaining an education. More information can be found here.

How does the application/interview process work?

Once your application has been reviewed for eligibility, it is then scored by a faculty member. Depending on the score, well qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. If the interview goes well you may be offered admission. Offers of admission are not guaranteed if interviewed.

Can I visit campus for a tour?

At this time our campus is not open for visitors due to the on-going COVID situation.

How has the program adjusted to COVID?

We follow all campus protocols regarding PPE and have moved classes online or hybrid as needed.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be: 

      1. Competent, autonomous and collaborative Doctors of Physical Therapy that are prepared to provide evidence guided, knowledge based physical therapy practice to positively impact people’s lives and transform society as agents of change in their communities.
      2. Prepared as health team leaders and advocates for innovation in the profession while being respectful, culturally sensitive and socially responsible.

Program Outcomes

  • Graduation Rates – 96.3%
  • Employment Rates (Will be available in 2021)
  • Pass rates on licensing examinations (Will be available in 2021)

“How much will my graduate program cost?” and “How will I pay for it?” are two of the most common questions asked when considering continuing your education. Here is some basic information about tuition, financial aid, scholarships available for DPT students. We encourage you to click the links on this page for additional information and resources.

Graduate Tuition and Fees

Tuition for DPT students is assessed on a flat per semester rate. Click here for current rates.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of student loans only. You will need to complete the FAFSA at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester you wish to begin taking classes. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid – please review our international admission requirements to learn more.

More information can be found on the Financial Aid webpages.

Scholarships

Each year, Plymouth State offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to admitted graduate students. Selection criteria include academic and professional achievements, commitment to graduate study, and achievement or pursuit of personal or professional goals. Visit the PSU Scholarship Opportunities webpage for additional information.

Graduate Assistant positions

Graduate assistants are an important part of Plymouth State’s collaborative learning community. They work alongside faculty, staff, and students to help achieve the University’s goals, while gaining valuable experience as assistants, researchers, and teachers.

Graduate Assistant positions are available on a limited basis to highly qualified graduate students who’ve been fully accepted into a graduate program at Plymouth State. Applications for assistantships should be returned to the Office of Academic Affairs by April 1 for the upcoming year.

Learn more about Panther PT here

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics list physical therapy as one of the fastest growing professions and northern New Hampshire has historically found it difficult to attract and retain high quality healthcare professionals. The June 2014 report on New Hampshire Employment Projections by Industry and Occupation through 2022 anticipates 66 physical therapy job openings annually with a 31.1% growth rate, categorizing it with a “Very Favorable” descriptor.

Job Opportunities (coming soon)

Employers – please send requests to post opportunities by email to Sean Collins.

InquireComplete a brief inquiry form and we will connect you with the program coordinator and provide you with additional information about the curriculum, admission requirements, faculty information, and more.

Visit Currently we are not able to provide a full visit opportunity however we are holding virtual information sessions or would be happy to schedule an individual phone or zoom appointment. 

Graduate Admission Team – Whether you are just graduating with your bachelor’s degree or have been out of school for a while, we are here to help guide you through the application process, assist in getting you registered for your first semester of classes, and provide you with “next steps, information, and resources on campus.

Office of the Registrar – can assist with course registration, transcript requests and degree conferral information

Student Account Services – please contact them with questions regarding your bill, employer reimbursement, or financial holds on your account.

Financial Aid Office – is here to assist financial aid, student loans, or other financial related questions.