College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Post-Baccalaureate Entry Into the DPT Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is an entry-level professional physical therapy program designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another subject area who have satisfied all the prerequisite course requirements and wish to become qualified for licensure as physical therapists. Students have the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge and clinical skills basic to physical therapy practice, participate in supervised clinical experiences, and develop an appreciation for research, all in a full-time, three-year program.

The professional physical therapy program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy is designed in accordance with the American Physical Therapy Association guidelines. It is not a transitional DPT, and is not open to students who possess a BS or MS in physical therapy. The DPT may only be completed as a full-time program.

About the Program

for placement only

Mission: The University of Hartford DPT program educates graduates who are autonomous movement system experts able to practice within interdisciplinary, dynamic health systems. Our graduates are collaborative practitioners integrating best evidence for optimal health outcomes within a diverse society. Graduates are reflective leaders who value life-long learning for professional development.

Our faculty is made up of expert clinicians with doctoral degrees who are committed to advancing the profession of physical therapy and mentoring those who will become the new professionals of tomorrow. Our faculty-to-student ratio is 1:12, and this smaller class size allows the faculty to devote more attention to students and to get to know you and your educational needs.

The DPT is a three-year, full-time 12-month program. It includes content and process-based courses, starting with a core of foundational science courses, clinical content/lab courses, and applied clinical integration courses. Emphasis is placed on clinical decision making, research design, and functional outcomes.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is a 105 credit program.  A sample of courses is listed below. View the full curriculum here.

First Year

Clinical Gross Anatomy
Biomechanics
Physical Therapy Examination and Intervention Skills
Diagnosis/Intervention in Acute Care
Integrated Clinical Experience

Second Year

Neuroscience
Diagnosis and Intervention: Musculoskeletal Dysfunction
Pharmacology for the Physical Therapist
Diagnosis/Intervention: Neurological Dysfunction
Gerontology and Geriatric Physical Therapy

Third Year

Assistive Technology/Disability Studies
Advanced Sports Medicine Seminar
The Business of Healthcare
Diagnostic Imaging
Clinical Education

Student Outcomes

Major Goal #1: Graduates will provide entry-level physical therapy services in a safe, legal, ethical, and professional manner.

- Students will successfully graduate from the program.

Note: CAPTE has updated the calculation for graduation rate. The data below reflect the 2018 CAPTE update (percent of students originally enrolled at the start of the program who graduate on time).

Graduation Rates

Graduation Year 2018 81.8%
Graduation Year 2017 81.6%
Graduation Year 2016 85.7%

-Graduates will successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam.

Exam Pass Rates

Two year average ultimate pass rate (from FSBPT website):

Graduation Years 2017, 2018 94.35%
Graduation Years 2016, 2017 95.7%
Graduation Years 2015, 2016 98.65%

Ultimate pass rate by graduation year:

Graduation Year 2018 94.6% 35 of 37 graduates passed
Graduation Year 2017 94.1% 32 of 34 graduates passed
Graduation Year 2016 97.3% 36 of 37 graduates passed

 

Major Goal #2: Graduates will serve the clients and the public in a diverse world.

-Graduates will obtain desired employment in physical therapy within 1 year of graduation. (Based on alumni survey responses as reported on the Annual Accreditation Report)

Employment Rates

Graduates of the Class of 2017 100%
Graduates of the Class of 2016 100%
Graduates of the Class of 2015 100%

See below for additional employment information.

Major Goal #3: Graduates engage in the process of scientific inquiry for evidence-based practice.

See below for additional research information.

Locations of Employment

Recent graduates of the University of Hartford DPT program are employed at many locations around the country, including:

Access Rehab Centers, CT
Bay State Physical Therapy, MA
Baylor Hospital, Fort Worth, TX
Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network, CT
Hartford Hospital, CT
Fox Rehabilitation, Northeast
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, CT
Gentiva Home Care, NC
Hartford Hospital, CT
Hebrew HealthCare, CT
Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network, MD
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, NJ
Litchfield Hills Orthopedics, CT
Madigan Army Medical, WA
Manchester Manor/Peoplefirst Rehab Services, CT Mount Sinai Rehab, CT
Preferred Therapy Solutions, CT Premier Physical Therapy, NY
Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers, CT
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, CT
Select Physical Therapy,CT
Total Function Physical Therapy, CO
United States Army
Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT

Research Projects

DPT students will participate in group research projects and present their work annually.

Research projects presented in the last two years:

Scientific Inquiry Selections 2018

Scientific Inquiry Selections 2017

Clinical Education

for placement only

Clinical Education provides students with the opportunity to apply patient care skills from the classroom and into current clinical environments. We strive to develop professionalism and mastery throughout the curriculum and clinical experiences.

There are a total of 32 weeks of full-time clinical experiences and 90 hours of part-time clinical experiences during the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. During these experiences students progress towards entry-level practice, integrating foundational skills, and didactic content into clinical practice.

The schedule of Clinical Education throughout the program is as follows:

Years 1-2
  • Integrated Clinical Experience I:  Part time, Fall term, Year 1           
  • Integrated Clinical Experience II: Part time, Spring term, Year 1          
  • Clinical Education I: 10 weeks, Full time, Summer, after Year 1           
  • Integrated Clinical Experience III: Part time, Spring term, Year 2
Year 3, after completion of all didactic coursework
  • Clinical Education II: 10 weeks, Full time, Fall term, Year 3           
  • Clinical Education III: 12 weeks, Full time, Spring term, Year 3

Clinical Education experiences are coordinated by two faculty members who also serve as Directors of Clinical Education. It is essential that communication for any clinical education experience be coordinated by the Director of Clinical Education. Therefore students and family members are not permitted to contact current or potential clinical sites.  

We look forward to working with our future students to ensure that their clinical education coursework is a diverse and enriching experience.

Clinical Sites

Our student placements include both local and national clinical site locations. Some of our current clinical experiences include:

  • Apple Rehab
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
  • Hartford Hospital
  • Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network affiliates
  • Gaylord Specialty Healthcare/Hospital
  • Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
  • Saint Francis Hospital
  • Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Select Physical Therapy
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children

Clinical Education Contacts

Dawn Roller, PT, DPT
Director of Clinical Education

Kelly Pogemiller, PT, DPT
Director of Clinical Education

Catherine Certo, PT, ScD, FAPTA, FAACVPR
Department Chair & Program Director

Admission

for placement only

The online application and all required accompanying materials must be submitted no later than December 1 to begin study in June of the following year. The materials listed below must be submitted with your completed application by the deadline.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Hartford plans to participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS, in the 2019-2020 admissions cycle. Applicants applying for the 2020 entering class will apply online using the PTCAS application beginning in August 2019. To learn more about PTCAS, visit ptcas.org.

  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from a course instructor or academic advisor, one from a supervisor in a professional or other work capacity, and one from another individual in either capacity.
  • Official results of the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) forwarded to the University of Hartford using school code 3436. Visit www.ets.org. Accepted students generally have cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better; GRE scores of 300 combined (verbal/quantitative).
  • TOEFL or IELTS (For students who are not native speakers of the English language): Average TOEFL scores for students range from a minimum of 80 (Internet Based Total) and 550 (Paper Based Total).  IELTS minimum score for graduate studies is 6.5. Please contact the graduate admissions office with questions.
  • One essay addressing the question specified in the graduate application.
  • Documentation of physical therapy observation hours (10 hours required)
  • Official transcripts for all collegiate level coursework
  • Non-refundable application fee of $50

All materials must be submitted to:

Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117-1599

Transfer Credit Policy: Transfer credits from other programs or institutions are not accepted toward the Doctor of Physical Therapy program requirements.

Prerequisites:

The following prerequisite courses must have been completed at the college level. That includes university, four-year college, or community college courses. It does not include preparatory courses.

Required Courses:

  • Biology: (8 credits) two courses with laboratory
  • Human Anatomy: (4 credits) one course with laboratory
  • Human Physiology: (4 credits) one course with laboratory. Note: When anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined course, two semesters (i.e. 8 credits) are necessary to meet the requirements
  • Chemistry: (8 credits) general chemistry, two-course sequence with laboratory
  • Physics: (8 credits) two-course sequence with laboratory
  • Statistics: (3 credits) course to include descriptive statistics, correlation, and introduction to inferential statistics
  • Psychology: (3 credits) one course, general

Recommended Courses:

  • Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry: (3 credits)
  • Exercise Physiology: (3–4 credits) one course

Applicants may have 2 prerequisite courses in progress when you apply.

Applicants must also demonstrate 10 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the future outlook for the physical therapy job market?

The job market for physical therapists has improved significantly over the last several years. There is an anticipated increased need for physical therapy services through 2025 due to the aging of the baby‐boomer generation and the increased role of physical therapists in many areas of health care.

What is unique about the DPT program at the University of Hartford?

The scientific inquiry series offers an opportunity for students to work in small groups with a faculty member to design, conduct, and analyze a research project over the course of three consecutive semesters. Integrated clinical experience begins early in the program to facilitate the development, measurement and assessment of professionalism.

What is the pass rate of University of Hartford’s students on the Physical Therapy Licensing exam?

The current 2‐year (2016, 2017) average ultimate pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is 94%. This pass rate is updated routinely and is available through the Federation of State Boards of Physical therapy website.

Where do the students do their clinical experiences and how are they set up?

Working with students, the Directors of Clinical Education arrange clinical experiences. These occur at contracted sites throughout the United States. During these experiences students are registered as full‐time students and are responsible for housing and transportation costs in addition to a fixed university fee for each of the three clinical experiences. Students should expect to be placed at one experience out of state.

What financial assistance is available?

No federal funds are available for financial aid at the graduate level. Financial assistance is available to domestic students in the form of student loans. To receive federal financial assistance, including Stafford Loans, students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information can be obtained through the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (860) 768‐4296. For current costs please see the section below.

Where can I take my prerequisites?

Prerequisites may be taken at any college or university, including a community college or the University of Hartford. If you are unsure whether the course you want to take will fulfill a required course, email the course description and the prerequisite in question to kpratt@hartford.edu. Applicants may apply for admission into the program while completing up to 2 prerequisites during the spring term, however they all need to be completed prior to the summer start of the program.

Is it essential to complete all of the prerequisites?

Sometimes students are allowed to substitute a course for one of the prerequisites. This must be pre‐approved and is generally not allowed for sciences courses. Completing all prerequisites with no substitutions results in a more competitive application. If you received a grade lower than a B‐, particularly in a science prerequisite course, we encourage you to repeat the course. The higher of the two grades will be used in any GPA calculations. You can have two prerequisites in progress when you apply.

Are online courses acceptable to fulfill prerequisite requirements?

Yes, as long as coursework is completed at an accredited college or university and are considered “college level” courses, they are acceptable.

Is this a full‐time program?

Yes, the DPT program is a full‐time, three year, 12 month program.

Does the University have graduate housing?

The University of Hartford has very limited graduate housing near the main campus. Most graduate students live off campus in one of the many area apartment complexes.

Additional Information

Tuition and Financial Aid

The figures below provide prospective students with an estimate of costs associated with the DPT program based on current tuition rates and fees (for students entering in summer 2019).* This estimate does not include living expenses.


Year 1 costs:

Summer tuition - 9 credits at $607 per credit
5,463
Fall tuition
12,371
Spring tuition
12,371
Clinical education fees (Fall and Spring)
1,000
Fees and estimated book costs
3,845
Total estimated costs – year 1:
$35,050


Year 2 costs:

Summer – Clinical Education fee

1,700

Fall tuition

12,745

Spring tuition

12,745

Integrated clinical education fee (Spring)

500

Fees and estimated book costs

2,095

Total estimated costs – year 2:

$29,785

Year 3 costs:

Summer III - 8 credits at $607 per credit

4,856

Fall tuition

12,745

Spring – two clinical education courses ($1,700 each)

3,400

Fees and estimated book costs

1,503

Total estimated costs – year 3:

$22,504

Total Estimated Expenses

$87,339

*Costs are estimated and subject to change based on University fee updates

Note:  As part of Professional Development within our curriculum, membership to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) will be required.  The University of Hartford will cover your first year’s dues ($90 for 2019~$80 National Dues, $10 Connecticut Chapter). Renewal of your membership for subsequent years is mandatory and will be the responsibility of each student.  We will register you as a group during Orientation week.

To discuss ways to finance your program of study, contact the financial aid officer for the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions:

860.768.4296
finaid@hartford.edu

 

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate 1.1 Students will successfully graduate from the program with skills to practice in an evidenced-based manner.

Graduate 1.2 Graduates will successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam.

Graduate 1.3 Graduates will practice in a manner consistent with established legal standards, professional behavior, and ethical guidelines.

Graduate 2.1 Graduates will obtain desired employment in physical therapy within six months of licensure.

Graduate 2.2 Graduates will adapt delivery of physical therapy services using current knowledge and clinical judgment with consideration for patients' difference, values, preferences, and needs.

Graduate 2.3 Graduates will establish a physical therapy plan of care that is safe, efficient, patient-centered, and evidence-based.

Graduate 3.1 Graduates will complete and effectively present a research project.

Graduate 3.2 Graduates will collect and analyze data from selected outcome measures in a manner that supports accurate analysis of individual patient and group outcomes.

Graduate 3.3 Graduates will perform a physical therapy patient examination using evidence-based tests and measures.

Physical Therapy On-Site Clinic

Select Physical Therapy is an outpatient private practice located in Health Services at the Sports Center. Select offers wide range of physical therapy sports medicine and work health services and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of our patients’ lives. The clinic takes pride in outstanding customer service, excellent patient care, and strong outcomes. We offer complementary injury assessment.  Students in the Physical Therapy program are linked to the clinic through their integrated or full-time clinical experiences.

Our hours are currently:

Monday 7am-1pm
Tuesday 9am-5pm
Wednesday 7am-1pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 7am-1pm

Phone: 860.768.5335

Program Contact

Kristamarie Pratt, PhD MEng
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Graduate Admissions Chair
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
860.768.5266
kpratt@hartford.edu
Office: Dana Hall, Room 312C

Graduate Admission Office
860.768.4371
800.945.0712
GradStudy@hartford.edu

Accreditation

CAPTE logoThe Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Hartford is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, tel: 703.706.3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Catherine Certo at 860.768.5367 or email certo@hartford.edu.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the Health Sciences program within the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Hartford is accredited by the Board of Higher Education of the State of Connecticut and by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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