Freshman Entry Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Physical Therapy

Program Contact: Katherine Harris 203-582-8511

The Department of Physical Therapy at Quinnipiac is a member of the Early Assurance Consortium for physical therapy education. Qualified students are admitted as freshmen 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 course work 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 course work and study abroad opportunities.

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 freshman.

AP Credits and Course Substitutions

A student who scores a 4 on the AP exam for biology may choose to be awarded credit for BIO 101-BIO 102.

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. AP credits for other non-math and science core curriculum requirements will be accepted.

The Review and Evaluation 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 course work 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 course work.

Preprofessional Undergraduate Courses Calculated into 3.2 Math/Science Requirement

BIO 101
General Biology I
and General Biology I Lab
BIO 102
General Biology II
and General Biology Lab II
BIO 211
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
and Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab I
BIO 212
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
BMS 300
The Physiology of Human Performance I
and The Physiology of Human Performance I Lab
BMS 301
Physiology of Human Performance II
and Physiology of Human Performance II Lab
CHE 110
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
CHE 111
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
MA 141Calculus of a Single Variable3
MA 275Biostatistics3
PHY 110
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab
PHY 111
General Physics II
and General Physics II Lab
Total Credits46

Essential Function Requirements

Admission to Quinnipiac University is open to all academically qualified students without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, handicap or national origin. One of the purposes of the Quinnipiac’s Physical Therapy program is to provide graduates with a broad and basic preparation for professional physical therapy practice. The Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy program offered at Quinnipiac prepares graduates for roles in state-of-the-art practice. Therefore, a student who is accepted to the program must be able to meet the cognitive, affective and psychomotor requirements of the required curriculum. A graduate is expected by employers, consumers and other health care providers to assume specific roles and responsibilities in a competent and safe manner. Therefore, all knowledge and skills that are part of the physical therapy curriculum must be mastered for successful completion of the program. This includes successful demonstration of these skills in both campus laboratory simulations and in actual clinical settings.

The Physical Therapy faculty has developed a set of essential functions that provide performance guidelines necessary for mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to meet physical therapy curriculum objectives. They are designed to ensure the safety of the student and those who are entrusted to his/her care.

For enrollment, continued progression and completion of the physical therapy program, each student must be able to perform pursuant to certain essential functions. The term “essential function” refers to all nonacademic criteria used for admission and participation in a program. They evolve from the practice of physical therapy, and apply to all students. They are not established to discriminate for or against a person with a disability, and ensure that a student can benefit from the program offerings. The skills and abilities that have been identified as necessary to meet physical therapy curricula essential function requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

Sensory Ability

To provide quality care, a student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing and smell. All data received by the senses must be integrated, analyzed and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. In addition, the student is expected to possess the ability to distinguish color, perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, equilibrium and movement. The student is expected to be able to observe the patient/client to accurately assess any alteration in functional abilities. Inherent in this observational process is the functional use of the senses and sufficient motor capability to carry out the necessary assessment activities, such as auscultation, percussion and palpation. The student also should be able to observe a patient accurately and completely at both from a distance and close at hand.

Communication Ability

The student is expected to be able to communicate verbally and nonverbally in an effective and sensitive manner, at a competency level that allows one to safely carry out the essential functions of physical therapy care. This requires the ability to see, speak, hear, read and write effectively in English, and utilize technology effectively. Students also are expected to be able to communicate effectively with fellow students, faculty and members of the health care team.

Motor Ability

The student is expected to be able to perform gross and fine motor movements, bilaterally to provide competent care. Examples of care that the student must be able to perform include, but are not limited to, lifting, turning, transferring, transporting and ambulating individuals. The student is expected to have the manual dexterity and/or psychomotor skills necessary to perform and/or to assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medications by all routes, and emergency interventions in a variety of settings with individuals of various ages. The student must be able to administer CPR without assistance. The student is expected to have sufficient motor function to elicit information from individuals by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. The student is expected to be able to maintain the physical strength, equilibrium and stamina to perform satisfactorily in clinical physical therapy experiences on multiple days per week during the semester. In addition, students are required to participate in full-time clinical experiences. 

Intellectual-Conceptual Ability

The student is expected to have the ability to develop problem-solving skills, demonstrate the ability to establish care plans, and set priorities. This includes the ability to measure, calculate, analyze and synthesize objective and subjective data and make decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation of the appropriate data. Students need to be mindful of the degree of personal risk, and take proper precautions to prevent untoward incidents associated with commonly occurring hazards in the work environment such as blood borne pathogens, and environmental allergens such as latex or iodine preparations.

Behavioral/Social/Professional Attributes

The student is expected to have the emotional stability required for the full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities, and develop sensitive interpersonal relationships with patients/clients, families and others responsible for health care. The individual is expected to have the ability to function effectively under stress, and exhibit the professional values of accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty, and social responsibility.

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 course work 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.