Direct-Entry Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Department of Physical Therapy at Quinnipiac University is a member of the Early Assurance Consortium for physical therapy education. Qualified students are admitted as first-year students to the Dual-Degree BS in Health Science Studies/Doctor of Physical Therapy (3+3 or 4+3) program or BS in Athletic Training/Doctor of Physical Therapy (4+3) program. Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Science in HSS or Bachelor of Science in AT and meeting specific departmental requirements, students are guaranteed admission to the graduate DPT program. The HSS program of study can be completed in 3 or 4 years.
At the end of the spring semester of the first undergraduate year, students are required to select and adhere to coursework in either the three- or four-year preprofessional track. If the three-year track is selected, students will not be allowed transfer into the four-year curriculum at a later date. The decision for a three-year versus four-year track is individual, yet multifactorial. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: accumulation of college credits upon entering the university, involvement in athletics, financial aid, necessity of summer and/or J-term coursework and study abroad opportunities.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Health Science Studies program for physical therapy, students will demonstrate the following competencies:
- Foundational Science Knowledge: Demonstrate a knowledge of foundational sciences.
- Interprofessional Health Care: Identify the roles of various health care professionals.
Goal: Students will demonstrate diverse and innovative thinking.
- Creative Thinking: Define and devise imaginative and original solutions to various challenges.
- Diversity: Identify the role and impact diversity plays in health.
Admission to the Program
Candidates applying for admission to the Physical Therapy program from high school are required to have no less than three years of high school college preparatory mathematics (four years are preferred), one year of biology, one year of chemistry and one year of physics. In addition, the scores of the Scholastic Assessment Test or the College Entrance Examination board of the American College Testing program are important considerations. Related health care experience is highly desirable. Prospective candidates also must satisfy general Quinnipiac University admission requirements.
All applications must include two letters of reference, and a personal interview may be required with representatives of the admissions office to discuss program requirements and the applicant’s professional interests and commitments. Applicants must have observation hours in at least two different clinical settings, preferably one in a rehabilitation facility and one in an acute care setting. A minimum of 10 hours in at least two settings (20 hours total) is required.
Applicants should forward to the Office of Admissions a signed note from the physical therapist at each setting verifying observation hours. Applications are accepted for admission to the fall semester only. All applications are processed and screened by the vice president and dean for admissions for selection to the program. Reference letters, other correspondence and inquiries relating to an application should be directed to the dean of undergraduate admissions. Admission to Quinnipiac does not guarantee admission to the professional graduate DPT program in physical therapy, unless officially accepted into the program as a first-year student.
AP Credits and Course Substitutions
A student who scores a 4 on the AP exam for calculus may choose to be awarded credit for MA 141. If AP credits are awarded and accepted for CHE 110-CHE 111, the student will discuss other sciences to be considered as replacements.
A student who receives a 4 on the AP exam for biostatistics may choose to be awarded credit for MA 275. No other AP credits in the math and science categories will be accepted for program substitution without permission. AP credits for other non-math and science core curriculum requirements will be accepted.
The Progression and Retention Committee for the program in physical therapy is responsible for evaluating and screening candidates during the preprofessional and professional graduate components of the program. Requirements for the program in physical therapy were approved in conjunction with the accreditation of the program and are acceptable to the School of Health Sciences and Quinnipiac University administration.
Preprofessional Bachelor’s Degree Program Requirements
To be eligible for the professional graduate DPT program, students must achieve a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 during the preprofessional component of the program. In addition, a 3.2 cumulative GPA in preprofessional program science and math coursework is required for admission to the professional graduate DPT component of the program. (D and F grades in the required preprofessional science and math courses are unacceptable.) Initial placement in the English and mathematics courses is determined by examination and an evaluation of high school units presented. The minimum mathematics requirement is MA 141. All students are required to complete a minor or concentration in a subject area of their choice. The following courses in the preprofessional component must be successfully completed with a C- or better and are calculated into the GPA for science and math coursework.
Preprofessional Undergraduate Courses Calculated into 3.2 Math/Science Requirement
|General Biology I|
and General Biology I Lab
|General Biology II|
and General Biology Lab II
|Human Anatomy and Physiology I|
and Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab I
|Human Anatomy and Physiology II|
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
|The Physiology of Human Performance I|
and The Physiology of Human Performance I Lab
|Physiology of Human Performance II|
and Physiology of Human Performance II Lab
|General Chemistry I|
and General Chemistry I Lab
|General Chemistry II|
and General Chemistry II Lab
|MA 141||Calculus of a Single Variable||3|
|General Physics I|
and General Physics I Lab
|General Physics II|
and General Physics II Lab
Technical Standards and Essential Requirements
Professional education requires that the accumulation of knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills, professional attributes and behaviors. Professional school faculty members have a societal responsibility to matriculate and graduate the best possible health care professionals. Therefore, admission to the School of Health Science Department of Physical Therapy (DPT) is offered to those who present the highest qualifications for the study and practice of physical therapy. The technical standards presented below are prerequisite for admission to, progression in, and graduation from the school and department. Successful completion of all courses in the DPT curriculum is required to develop the essential knowledge, skills and professional attributes of a competent physical therapist.
Graduates of the School of Health Science Department of Physical Therapy must have the knowledge and skill to function in a broad variety of clinical environments and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. The Department of Physical Therapy acknowledges Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and PL 101-336 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but asserts that certain minimum technical standards must be present in prospective candidates for admission, progression and graduation.
Commitment to Seeking Reasonable Accommodations
Physical therapy education requires not only the accumulation of scientific knowledge but the acquisition of skills, professional attributes and behaviors. Technical standards and Essential Requirements presented in this document are prerequisite, nonacademic requirements for admission, progression and graduation from the Quinnipiac University DPT program. Definitions of technical standards are required for the accreditation of this program by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All required courses in the curriculum are designed to develop the essential functions necessary to become a competent physical therapist.
The Quinnipiac University DPT program is committed to the principles of equitable and accessible education and to providing reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. The Department of Physical Therapy strives to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission and are enrolled as physical therapy students. Should, despite reasonable accommodation (whether the candidate chooses to use the accommodation or not), a candidate’s existing or acquired disability(ies) interfere with patient or peer safety, or otherwise impede his/her ability to complete the Quinnipiac University DPT educational program and advance to graduation, the candidate may be denied admission or progression, or may be separated, or dismissed from the program.
Technical Standards and Essential Requirements
Cognitive/ Reasoning Skills: Students must possess a range of cognitive and reasoning skills that allow them to master the broad and complex body of knowledge that comprises a physical therapy curriculum. Students must have the ability to follow course syllabi, assignments/ exams, practicals and any other action plans developed by the faculty program. They must exhibit the ability to develop problem-solving skills, and to make clinical decisions rapidly, under pressure, to set priorities and improvise in a timely manner consistent with professional practice. This includes the ability to analyze, integrate and synthesize objective and subjective data to make timely decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation within best practice standards. Students must be able to demonstrate the ability to perform these cognitive skills efficiently, with flexibility, and while using appropriate clinical reasoning that is inherent to the needs in the clinical environment.
Examples of specific Cognitive/Reasoning skills include but are not limited to:
- Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data related to patient examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients.
- Demonstrate sound judgement in patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic planning.
- Exercise proper awareness and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner.
- Synthesize information, problem solve, and think critically to decide the most appropriate theory or assessment strategy.
- Identify and communicate when help is needed and make proper decisions regarding when a task should or should not be carried out alone.
- Interpret graphs and spatial relationships.
Communication Skills: Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families as well as with faculty, preceptors, peers and members of the health care team within learning experiences. Effective communication includes verbal and non-verbal interactions, such as the interpretation of facial expressions, affect and body language. The student also must be able to receive, interpret and send written communications in a timely manner consistent with contemporary practice. Fluency in the English language is required at matriculation into the program, although applications from students with hearing and/or speech disabilities will receive full consideration. In such cases, the use of a trained intermediary or other communication aide may be appropriate. These intermediary functions only as an information conduit and does not serve in any interpretive capacity.
Examples of specific required Communication Skills include but are not limited to:
- Competence in writing, understanding, interpreting and speaking the English language.
- Efficient, effective, accurate and timely communication using a range of communication media as appropriate to the purpose and audience.
- Use of communication and sensory skills to convey information.
- Use of communication and sensory skills to accurately elicit information including a patient history and other information necessary to effectively evaluate a client or patient’s condition.
- Accurate perception of non-verbal information and cues in interpersonal encounters.
Motor Skills: Students must possess sufficient fine and gross motor skills necessary such that they are able to obtain adequate information from a physical therapy exam and provide effective interventions to patients of all ages, sizes and gender. The student must demonstrate the physical ability to sufficiently move a patient and self around varying work environments, on various surfaces, and to and from different levels. Students must possess adequate motor ability to respond efficiently and effectively in emergency situations.
Examples of specific Motor Skills include but are not limited to:
- Use of a keyboard or equivalent device to record patient information.
- Assist a patient with safe floor <-> stand transfers.
- Enter small areas (e.g., bathroom, car) and assist patients with safe transfers.
- Provide manual resistance sufficient for a maximal manual muscle test of a large muscle group.
- Manage and manipulate limbs of all sizes to accurately assess joint mobility.
- Adapt manual inputs/contacts based on patient effort.
- Use of surgical instruments for activities such as anatomy dissections and wound debridement.
- Assist in performing a multi-person safe transfer of obese patients.
- Access transportation to and from clinical and didactic sites.
- Assume and maintain a variety of body postures (e.g., sitting, standing, walking, bending, squatting, kneeling, stair climbing, reaching forward or overhead, turning, moving the trunk and neck in all directions) to adequately perform patient examination and interventions.
- Balance self and provide support/balance to patients and equipment on a variety of surfaces including level and uneven ground, ramps, curbs and stairs.
- Maintain sufficient endurance to effectively manage patient care, for a minimum of 35 hours per week.
Observation: Observation requires the functional use of vision, hearing and somatic senses. Observation allows students to gather data to efficiently and effectively respond to patients and families as well as with faculty, preceptors, and all members of the health care team and other learning experiences. Students must be able to observe lectures, laboratory demonstrations, in-class demonstrations and patients in the classroom and clinic.
Students must maintain sufficient Observation skills to perform various parts of a physical therapy examination and interventions, including but not limited to:
- Palpation of peripheral pulses, bony landmarks, and ligamentous structures.
- Visual and tactile evaluation of areas for inflammation or edema.
- Use of a stethoscope, sphygmomanometer and goniometer.
- Detect muscle activity sufficient to distinguish trace contractions.
- Hear medical alarms or patient vocalizations in case of an emergent situation.
- Monitor physiologic changes in patient status in order to adjust or discontinue treatment.
- Visually examine patient movement patterns and non-verbal expressions to adjust treatment.
- Assess environmental safety.
- Examine skin integrity and wounds.
Professional Ethics and Values: Students must be able to relate to patients, families and colleagues with honesty, integrity and dedication in a non-discriminatory manner. Students must demonstrate a manner consistent with sensitivity and respect for all social or cultural backgrounds. Students must conduct themselves appropriately in all academic and clinical interactions in classroom, clinic, and community. They must have the ability to function and exhibit the American Physical Therapy Association Code of Ethics and Guide for Professional Conduct. Students must abide by all applicable Quinnipiac University policies. Background check policy requires students to comply with all applicable state and federal regulations as required by the State of Connecticut, the state in which they reside, and the state in which clinical work or fieldwork placements are located. Criminal histories may also prevent a student from taking The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Exam (FSBPTE).
Students must demonstrate Professional Ethics and Values including but not limited to:
- Establishing a rapport with patients, families, faculty and colleagues.
- Nurture mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, families, faculty and colleagues.
- Conflict resolution skills, including the ability to negotiate differing attitudes and opinions.
- Maintain a cooperative and professional manner.
- Manage stress effectively through self-care and by relying upon supportive relationships with colleagues, peers, mentors and others.
- Employ sound judgement.
- Arrive and be on time for professional commitments including class and clinical experiences.
- Abide by the appropriate dress code given the setting (academic and clinical).
- Manage and prioritize tasks to meet responsibilities.
- Seek assistance and guidance in a timely manner.
- Accept and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.
- Manage personal affairs in a manner that does not interfere with professional responsibilities.
- Adhere to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Code of Ethics.
- Perform own work, give credit for other’s ideas, and properly reference sources.
- Protect the confidentiality of patient information consistent with current applicable law and clinical site guidelines.
- Participate and perform in a manner consistent with real clinical practice guidelines during lab, practical, standardized, or simulated experiences to learn and demonstrate curricular related knowledge.
Contact the Office of Student Accessibility for further information regarding reasonable accommodations in the didactic, laboratory, practical or clinical settings:
Phone number: 203-582-7600
Professional DPT Program Requirements
Students in the professional graduate DPT component of the curriculum are required to achieve a GPA of 3.0 in each semester. In addition, a grade of C+ or better is required in all professional graduate component courses. Students whose averages for each semester fall below 3.0 or receive a grade below C+ may be subject to dismissal from the program. Transfer students are considered for admission to the professional graduate DPT program on a space-available basis.
For continuation in the program, all students must successfully complete all coursework in the sequence identified. In addition to these academic requirements, all DPT students must be aware that there are additional requirements necessary to participate in scheduled clinical affiliations. Specific health requirements, including but not limited to: titers for mumps, measles and rubella, varicella and hepatitis B, annual physical exams, two-step PPDs, flu shots, current CPR certification and other mandates must be completed within the timeframe established by the clinical site at which a student has been placed. In addition, criminal background check updates and drug testing also may be required. These mandates are facility-specific and change frequently without notice. Quinnipiac University has no authority over any clinical facilities’ protocols. Students must comply with what is required at their specific clinical affiliation.
Clinical education is a vital component of physical therapy student education and is a significant part of the physical therapy curriculum at Quinnipiac University. Clinical education experiences occur through both integrated and full-time clinical experiences in a variety of settings throughout the country. Placement in specific settings, locations and clinical facilities is not ever guaranteed and individual student assignment occurs at the discretion of the faculty. Students may be required to travel for clinical assignments. All associated housing and travel costs are the responsibility of the student.