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Cumberlands offers doctorate in physical therapy

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The University of the Cumberlands is preparing to launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program with classes beginning in January 2023

Applications will be accepted beginning in November 2021 

Interested in learning more, tell us about yourself and we’ll let you know when our application opens.

Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals that help people of all abilities and ages improve their ability to move, manage musculoskeletal pain, and function in their daily lives. A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is a rigorous professional graduate program that includes training in all areas of physical therapist practice and prepares students to be eligible for the physical therapy license examination.

The University of the Cumberlands is proud to announce it is preparing to launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program with classes beginning in January 2023. The Cumberlands DPT program empowers students to develop into excellent physical therapist through a service - oriented, accelerated, two-year full-time curriculum delivered in a format that includes instruction online, on-campus, and in physical therapy clinics. Cumberlands DPT graduates will be prepared to integrate mind, heart, and hands, collaborating with healthcare teams, to improve patient and community health.

 

What is a Physical Therapist?

A physical therapist is a licensed health care professional who improves people’s quality of life by optimizing movement. Physical therapists are human movement system experts who help people of all abilities and ages, from newborns to centenarians, maintain, regain, and improve their physical function and wellbeing. Physical therapists find careers in a variety of settings including hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, hospice, industry, school systems, outpatient clinics, wellness centers, sports training facilities, public health, government, and education and research centers.

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What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Physical therapists evaluate individuals and diagnose movement system dysfunctions. After performing an evaluation, physical therapists create and implement personalized plans of care based on the best available evidence to help their patients improve mobility, manage pain and chronic health conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease. Physical therapists practice collaboratively with other health professionals to ensure the best patient outcomes. Physical therapists also empower their patients to be active participants in their health care.

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How to Become a Physical Therapist?

To become a physical therapist, a person must earn a bachelor’s degree; earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited physical therapist education program and subsequently take and pass a national licensure exam that permits them to practice. Licensure is required in each state (or other jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) in which a physical therapist practices.

For more information about a career in physical therapy: 

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Why Should You Earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy?

Earning a doctorate in physical therapy requires an excitement for and commitment to extensive education in subjects like anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, neuroscience, and social psychology plus a dedication to learning how to help people of all ages and abilities improve their mobility, function, and overall well-being. The demand for physical therapist varies by geographical region and area of PT practice. The demand for physical therapist is strong and is expected to remain so as the United States population ages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics physical therapy employment is projected to grow 18 percent from 2019 to 2029, a faster rate than average for all occupations. Salaries vary based upon position, years of experience, education, geographic location, and practice setting. The median salary for a physical therapist is $85,000. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook; Physical Therapist and Becoming a PT, American Physical Therapy Association.

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The University of the Cumberlands Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is rich in integrated case-based instruction that builds in complexity and depth and in community-based learning experiences to prepare aspiring physical therapists for real-world practice and servant leadership. It is an intensive, full-time graduate degree program designed to be completed in six consecutive semesters, within just 24 months. Cumberlands DPT curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format including a combination of:

  • Self-guided online coursework. Course content includes assigned readings, video recordings of lectures and labs and case-based presentations. Students will actively engage with the coursework through opportunities for formative assessments of knowledge and application and feedback
  • Live classes in a virtual classroom.  Students will participate online in interactive presentations, case discussions, and collaborative question and answer sessions. Live classes in the virtual classroom will be held each weekday and some evenings and Saturdays.
  • Hands-on training held on campus. During these hands-on immersions you will learn alongside a skilled and caring faculty and a cohort of thirty classmates which is much smaller than other hybrid DPT program. You will apply the knowledge you gained in online education to engaging with real patients in supervised community-based service-learning experiences. You will participate in formative assessments and feedback on knowledge, skills, and clinical decision making. The curriculum includes nine immersions. The number and duration of immersions varies by semester. The first semester includes three immersions: an orientation (7 days), midterm (7days), and final immersion (12 -14 days). The second and third semesters include two immersions: one at midterm and one near the end, each 12-14 days. The fourth and fifth semesters include one immersion at midterm, each 12-14 days, followed by an eight-week practicum at a contracted clinical site.
  • Thirty-one weeks of clinical education practicums. This begins after one year of academic coursework and includes two 8-week and one 15-week full-time clinical education experiences at contracted clinical sites in Kentucky and across the country. Over the clinical practicums emphasis is placed on becoming caring and skilled in all roles of the physical therapist in different practice settings.

Click here for Curriculum and Course Details

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Tuition

Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program considers for admission those students who possess the academic and professional promise necessary for development as competent, caring members of the healthcare community. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is open on a competitive basis to applicants having meet admissions requirements. A competitive admissions framework, involving multiple criteria are used to select the most qualified candidates.

Click HERE to view the admission requirements for the University of the Cumberlands' DPT program.

Official Transcript Information: In accordance with University of the Cumberlands admissions policies and procedures, those students selected for admission to the DPT program are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities previously attended. These transcripts must be received directly from the college/university. Student-submitted copies are not acceptable. Official transcripts should be submitted through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Transcripts must be received prior to the scheduled class matriculation date or class standing will be revoked. Failure to submit the mandatory transcripts or fulfill any other requirements specified in a conditional offer of admission to the program, prior to the scheduled class matriculation will result in withdrawal of the conditional offer.  Any official transcripts that are not in the PTCAS portal must be mailed directly to:

Graduate Admissions Office
649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Phone: 606.539.4390
Toll-free: 800.343.1609 ext. 4390
Email: gradadm@ucumberlands.edu

Transfer and Course Credit Policy: No transfer credit will be accepted for courses from other DPT programs.

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Application and Interview Process

We will begin accepting applications in November 2021 for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at University of the Cumberlands which we are preparing to start in January 2023.  Tell us about yourself and we’ll let you know when our application opens.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program uses the Centralized Application Service for Physical Therapy Schools (PTCAS). The Physical Therapy program operates on a rolling admissions basis, with completed applications reviewed throughout the admissions cycle to determine the applicant's eligibility for an interview. Admission decisions are generally made within one month of the interview.

Click HERE to view the application and interview processes for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

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Technical Standards

A candidate must have abilities and skill in five areas: 1) observation, 2) communication, 3) motor/psychomotor, 4) cognitive (intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative), and 5) behavioral and social.  Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

Candidates are required to certify that they understand and meet program Technical Standards. Candidates must provide such certification prior to matriculation. Candidates who may not meet the Technical Standards must inform the Director of Admissions, who will then contact the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the academic dean (and program director), will identify and discuss what accommodations, if any, the University and Program would need to make that would allow the candidate to complete the curriculum. The University and Program is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum. Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment in their professional program.

Click HERE to view the technical standards for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What degree and major is required for admission?
DPT Program applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation. There is not a required major. Applicants may have majored in any subject as long as they meet the admission requirements including course prerequisites with a satisfactory GPA of 3.0 or higher.

How do I know if my completed courses meet the prerequisite requirements?
Click here to find the prerequisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

Are community college courses accepted as fulfillment of prerequisites?

Community college courses may or may not fulfill prerequisites – the courses can be reviewed for acceptance, and must meet the content, level, and lab requirements

What are the specific entrance exam requirements?
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for consideration for admissions.

How often and how long are the on-campus lab immersion?
The curriculum includes nine on-campus immersions. The number and duration of immersions varies by semester. During these hands-on immersions you will learn alongside a skilled and caring faculty and a cohort of thirty classmates, apply the knowledge you gained in online education to engaging with real patients in supervised community-based service-learning experiences, and participate in formative assessments and feedback on knowledge, skills, and clinical decision making.  Click here for curriculum and course details.

Where will the clinical practicum experiences be located?
Clinical practicums will be in Kentucky and other states. Students will be expected to travel for clinical experiences. Students are expected to pay for all living arrangements and costs associated with clinical experiences.

How many applicants are accepted each year into a cohort?
Thirty students are accepted to begin as a cohort each January

When are applications due?
The application cycle for the first cohort will open November 2021 and will close ####

Can I apply before all of my prerequisites are complete?
Candidates may have their bachelor’s degree and/or prerequisites in progress, as long as both are complete prior to matriculation.

How do I apply?
All applicants must apply and follow the PTCAS application guidelines. A University of the Cumberlands Supplemental application and $30 application fee are also required.
PTCAS Website | UC Supplemental Application

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Accreditation

University of the Cumberlands is seeking accreditation of a new Doctor of Physical Therapy program from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on June. 1, 2022. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in the professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation. Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; phone 703.706.3245accreditation@apta.org, is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

For more information regarding University of the Cumberlands Doctor of Physical Therapy program, please contact a program representative at DPT@cumberlands.edu

Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

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Faculty

Click here to view a list of the physical therapy faculty. 

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