University of Southern California
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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Post Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Applicants must be experienced physical therapy clinicians licensed to practice in the United States. Alternatively, foreign trained therapists must be graduates of institutions recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association. Applicants must also hold a master's degree in physical therapy or a field related to physical therapy practice. Generally, a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as well as a minimum score of 500 on each of the three components of the Graduate Record Examinations are required. The degree requirement includes successful completion of 30 units as described in the following three sections:

Required coursesUnits
PT 573Physical Examination and Differential Diagnosis in Patients with Medical Disorders2
PT 585Physical Examination and Differential Diagnosis in Patients with Neurological Disorders2
PT 591Physical Examination and Differential Diagnosis in Patients with Orthopedic Disorders2
PT 605Orthopedic Radiology2
PT 607Clinical Scanning2
PT 608Pharmacotherapeutics2

Electives (one course required from each category)Units
BKN 551Musculoskeletal and Biomechanical Basis of Movement4
PT 514LMusculoskeletal Anatomy 4
PT 534Neuroanatomy3
PT 554Analytical Anatomy3

BKN 587abPhysiological Correlates of Therapeutic Exercise4-4
BKN 593Behavioral Basis of Motor Control and Learning3
PT 509Cellular and Systems Physiology3
PT 546Neuropathology3
PT 549Clinical Exercise Physiology4

Exercise Physiology
BKN 587abPhysiological Correlates of Therapeutic Exercise4-4
PT 509Cellular and Systems Physiology3
PT 549Clinical Exercise Physiology4

Capstone Project
This required project provides the student with the opportunity to synthesize the learning experiences of the D.P.T. program. It can take the form of a case study, a learning module for students or patients, a business plan for a unique form of health care delivery, or some other innovative concept. Work towards the completion of the project is done under the guidance of a single faculty member or a committee, depending on the magnitude and scope of the project. The primary faculty advisor will determine the unit value of the project.

A clinical residency is also available as part of the post-professional D.P.T. program.

Certificate in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Certificate in Neurologic Physical Therapy
Clinical Residency Programs

These programs are directed at practicing clinicians who seek post-professional clinical residency education in orthopedic or neurologic physical therapy and wish to obtain an academic credential for its completion.

Admission Requirements, Prerequisites and Degree Requirements
Admission requirements such as grade point average, GRE scores and P.T. licensure are the same as those for the post-professional D.P.T. In addition to the above listed requirements, experience in orthopedic physical therapy as evidenced by the years in practice and post-graduate course work taken will be assessed in the applicant's portfolio. The faculty may request a personal interview. Admission will be considered for fall semester only. Deadline for application is four months prior to the proposed starting date. All applicants should contact the Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy for advisement. Completion of the certificate requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 15 units.

Required courses for certificate in Orthopedic physical therapyUnits
PT 595abcdResidency in Advanced Clinical Physical Therapy1-4 each
PT 622Advanced Management of Spinal Disorders3
PT 623Advanced Management of Extremity Disorders3

required courses for certificate in neurologic physical therapyunits
PT 595abcdResidency in Advanced Clinical Physical Therapy1-4 each
PT 624abLNeurological Differential Diagnosis and Therapeutic Interventions3-3

Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Public Health

The Post Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) and the Master of Public (M.P.H.) dual degree program offers the opportunity for physical therapy clinicians to pursue a doctoral-level education in combination with an integrated approach to health care. The program spans four years. Students begin the first one to two years completing M.P.H. core and elective course work in the Department of Preventive Medicine. The remaining years are devoted to program requirements in physical therapy. At the conclusion of the program, students will have completed 68 units of course work, including a public health practicum.

Professional Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

This program, for persons who are not physical therapists, comprises six semesters and two summers for completion of the required 115 units. All courses are in sequence and only in rare circumstances is the sequence altered.

Admission Requirements (Entry-Level)

Applicants are required to complete a baccalaureate degree (a minimum of four years or 120 semester hours of academic work) at an accredited college or university prior to matriculation. Prerequisite course work must include: four courses in the biological sciences (including human anatomy, human physiology and either cell or molecular biology); one year of college physics; one year of college chemistry; one semester of college mathematics; two courses in psychology; one course in composition and writing; and one course in either literature or history. Human anatomy, human physiology, physics and chemistry must include laboratories. The following courses are highly recommended: biochemistry, calculus, kinesiology, exercise physiology, neuroscience, genetics and a cross-cultural course in sociology. Applicants should be computer literate.

Students from foreign countries must have completed one year of study in the United States prior to application. Credits from foreign institutions must be approved by the USC Office of Admission.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
The GRE is required of all applicants. In general, minimum scores of 500 are required on each of the general test measures of verbal, quantitative and analytical ability.

Applications are available in September for the class entering in September of the following year. The deadline for receipt of applications is December 1 of each year. Only one class is admitted each year.

The Admissions Committee reviews all information submitted. Applicants may be requested to appear for a personal interview. It is highly recommended that all applicants make an appointment to visit the department's office located on the Health Sciences campus and talk with students and members of the faculty.

Notice of Acceptance
Notice of acceptance will be sent to successful candidates no earlier than late January and continually thereafter until the class is filled. In no case will an acceptance be offered earlier than one year before anticipated enrollment.

Candidates should reply to an offer of acceptance within three weeks enclosing a $500 deposit (nonrefundable) which is credited to tuition at the time of registration. A letter of withdrawal is required if applicants wish to relinquish their place in the class; release is granted automatically upon receipt of the letter.

Degree Requirements (Entry-Level)

The USC Graduate School awards the D.P.T. to enrolled students who have completed satisfactorily the three-year curriculum of 115 credits (depending on electives chosen). The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 115. The minimum GPA required for graduation is 2.75. Clinical experience (clerkship) is part of the curriculum during all three years.

The Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy uses a system of student evaluation and grading that is designed to encourage self-reliance, to stimulate the student's independent quest for knowledge and to promote excellence in clinical and academic achievement.

Faculty of the program are responsible for establishing evaluation criteria appropriate to the objectives of each course and for specifying the manner in which evaluative information is to be gathered. For clinical evaluation, descriptive comments based on the student's performance are submitted by faculty and clinical instructors to the student's permanent file.

Required coursesUnits
PT 507Professional Practice: Therapist Perspective2
PT 509Cellular and Systems Physiology3
PT 514LMusculoskeletal Anatomy4
PT 516Principles of Disease2
PT 521LBasics of Patient Management4
PT 529Life Span Motor Control3
PT 530Therapeutic Exercise2
PT 534LNeuroanatomy3
PT 536Pathology of Cardiopulmonary Disease and General Medical Conditions4
PT 539Clinical Pharmacology1
PT 546Neuropathology3
PT 547Professional Practice: System Perspective2
PT 549LClinical Exercise Physiology4
PT 551LTherapeutic Application of Physical Agents 2
PT 554LAnalytical Anatomy3
PT 557Professional Practice: Patient Perspective2
PT 566Disorders of the Musculoskeletal System3
PT 569Fundamentals of Neuroscience4
PT 571LClinical Management of Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction3
PT 574Clinical Biomechanics3
PT 581LClinical Management of the Patient with Neurological Dysfunction5
PT 582Mechanics of Human Gait2
PT 583LClinical Electrophysiology3
PT 600abcdezClinical Clerkship1-3-1-1-3-0
PT 606Clinical Imaging3
PT 621LClinical Management of the Patient with Musculoskeletal Dysfunction5
PT 630Integrated Management of the Upper and Lower Extremities3
PT 631Integrated Management of the Axial Skeletal System and RelatedMovement Disorders3
PT 632Integrated Patient Management Seminar5
PT 642abcEvidence Based Practice2-2-2
PT 650Differential Diagnosisin Physical Therapy1
PT 660Advanced Clerkship withAcademic Integration5
PT 665Advanced Clinical Clerkship8

Elective courses Units
PT 612LPhysical Therapy Management of Spinal Disorders2
PT 613LPhysical Therapy Management of the Foot and Lower Quarter2
PT 614LEvaluation and Management of Hand Dysfunction2
PT 615Management of the Complicated Patient2
PT 618LSeminar in Advanced Neurological Rehabilitation2
PT 619LClinical Electrophysiology2
PT 654Physical Therapy Interventions in Pediatrics2