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Doctor of Physical Therapy

The curriculum is designed to prepare leaders for the profession of physical therapy whose focus of practice is to diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance the physical and functional abilities of the clients they serve. The curriculum consists of 11 sequenced quarters of full-time attendance. Basic science courses and physical therapy skill courses are taught in the first academic year. A clinical internship is offered in the summer after the first academic year. In the second year clinical science courses integrate medical science knowledge through increasingly complex client scenarios. Within the clinical science courses, students address client problems in a format consistent with the five elements of patient care, (examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention) which are described in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. These elements of patient care are used to address client problems in each of the four practice patterns, which include patients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary or integumentary disorders.

Professional seminars are embedded in the curriculum as are courses in evidence-based practice and clinical research. Students will successfully complete a comprehensive examination at the end of the second year to advance to the final three 10-week clinical internships.

Class sizes are restricted each year to ensure optimal student learning, thus enabling each student to receive comprehensive instructional and clinical experiences.

The Department of Physical Therapy is fully and unconditionally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

What will I study?

Admissions Requirements/Preparation

Application deadline: Dec. 2, 2013

The admission process to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is competitive. The requirements listed below are the minimum acceptable requirements to apply to the program and are not indicative of the competitive range of students generally accepted into the professional physical therapy program.

  1. Qualify and apply for acceptance into Eastern Washington University Graduate Studies.
  2. Complete a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution by July of the year of admission.
  3. Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) by Dec. 1 of application year.
  4. Complete the courses listed below, designated for the "science major." Please note that courses designated for nursing students, or allied health professions students, are not acceptable in lieu of the science prerequisites for science majors listed below:

Please note: some of these courses may require prerequisites prior to admission into the course.

Biology (Zoology) with labs to include:
  • 1 quarter (1 semester) of human anatomy
  • 1 quarter (1 semester) of human physiology
  • 1 quarter (1 semester) upper division course in (300 level or above) human or animal physiology
  • This requirement may be satisfied by a course in exercise physiology, offered through an exercise science department.
  • 1 quarter (1 semester) advanced course (300 level or above) of your choosing (at least 3 semester credits or 4 quarter credits) in biology or zoology
  • Recommended courses include embryology, microbiology, developmental biology, cell biology, or movement studies courses such as biomechanics or kinesiology

Note: classes in botany, fish and wildlife biology and ecology will not satisfy this requirement.

Chemistry with labs to include:
  • 3 quarters (2 semesters) of chemistry
Physics with labs to include:
  • 3 quarters (2 semesters) of physics
Psychology or Behavioral Science
  • any 2 courses in behavioral science including psychology, sociology or anthropology 1 quarter (1 semester) of StatisticsA minimum of 2.0 (C) is required to fulfill each course listed above for the course to be counted toward your prerequisite fulfillment.

Note: an overall prerequisite GPA of 3.00 is required for application.

All prerequisite coursework must be completed by August 15 of the admission year.

Note: courses from other institutions with a pre-physical therapy or physical therapy title will NOT count toward meeting either prerequisite or professional degree requirements.

5. Complete a baccalaureate degree with a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a minimum GPA in prerequisite courses of 3.00, at the time of application and admission.

6. Complete a minimum of 75 hours of work/observation/volunteer experience under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. This experience must be verified by the supervising physical therapist. It is strongly recommended that you maintain contact with the physical therapists who supervised your clinical experiences so that you may call upon them to verify your experiences on PTCAS. Participation in at least two different types of practice settings (e.g., acute care institutions, rehabilitation centers, pediatric centers, residential facilities, nursing homes, schools, orthopedic outpatient clinics) is required, with a minimum of 30 hours in at least one of these settings.

7. Have each of the following individuals complete a letter of recommendation

  • 2 physical therapists
  • 1 current or any former employer
  • Applications for admission into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are available form PTCAS.  PTCAS Link:  The supplemental application is through our graduate studies at:


    GRE must be taken no later than Dec. 1 of the year you apply.

    Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)

     The supplemental application will instruct you to send transcripts to Graduate Studies. Please don't send your transcripts until you are admitted to the program.

    In an effort to simplify the application process for prospective physical therapist (PT) students and to facilitate the admissions process for professional PT educational programs, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) opened the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) on July 15, 2009 for the 2010 entering class. PTCAS will allow PT applicants to use a single Web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple PT programs. The CAS is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and will be administered by Liaison International (LI), an education information technology company located in Watertown, Mass.

    Emphases / Concentrations:

    • integrate the principles of teaching and learning in professional practice;
    • respond to the changing health care environment;
    • use ethical and moral principles in professional practice;
    • incorporate the principles of research in physical therapy practice;
    • practice physical therapy incorporating scientific knowledge and critical analysis;
    • value lifelong learning through personal and professional growth.
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