Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Major in Physical Therapy

Major Program

The Department of Physical Therapy offers a graduate degree in physical therapy: doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.). The program admits 40 students per year into a cohort based program. The D.P.T. is a 9-semester, 3-year, full-time graduate program. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Graduates are eligible to take the licensure examination upon completion of the degree.

Physical therapy is defined as the care and services provided by or under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Physical therapists provide services to patients/clients who have impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease, or other causes. They interact and practice in collaboration with a variety of professionals – physicians, dentists, nurses, educators, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and other personnel involved with the patient/client. Physical therapists provide prevention and promote health, wellness, and fitness. In addition they provide consultative services to health facilities, colleagues, business and community organizations, and agencies. Physical therapists provide health care to their patients/clients in a wide variety of settings, including but not limited to, physical therapy office practices, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, homes, long term care settings, schools, industrial settings, and athletic/fitness centers.

Physical therapist education is built on the knowledge and skills characteristically attributed to completion of a baccalaureate degree – general education that provides students with broad exposure to the humanities, arts, basic science, and social science; requirements that provide students with the opportunity to delve into a discipline at some depth; and electives that provide students with the opportunity to explore other interests. Additionally, admission to physical therapist education programs typically requires students to have completed a set of prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, psychology, and human anatomy and physiology.

Program Standards

Students enrolled in the physical therapy curriculum must maintain high scholastic standards and develop skills necessary to work effectively as a physical therapist with people with diverse needs. Students are expected to demonstrate emotional, mental, and physical fitness in their interactions with others, use skills and techniques that are generally accepted by the professional community and conform to the Code of Ethics of the American Physical Therapy Association and the laws of the State of Texas. A student’s acceptance into the program does not guarantee that student’s fitness to remain in the program. The faculty is responsible for assuring that only those students who continue to meet academic and professional behavior standards are allowed to continue in the program.

Evaluating Student’s Professional Behavior

Members of the faculty, using their professional judgment, evaluate student’s professional behavior continuously. Students receive information and counseling related to their professional behavior performance from faculty members, their advisors, and their clinical education supervisors. The criteria used by the faculty to make such judgments include instructors’ observations of course performance, evaluation of student’s performance in simulated practice situations, supervisors’ evaluations of student’s performance in clinical situations, generic abilities/professional behavior assessment, assessment of clinical skills, and adherence to the Code of Ethics. Relevant expectations are explicit in each course syllabus. Students who are not making satisfactory progress or who are not meeting program standards will be encouraged to withdraw from the program.

In this context, the term “unsatisfactory progress in the program” refers to an academic judgment made regarding the student’s professional behavior. It is a judgment that the student has failed to meet academic standards rather than a judgment made on the basis of the student’s violation of valid rules of conduct. Disciplinary matters are referred to the assistant dean of students.

Required Withdrawal from the Program

If a faculty member believes that a student is not making satisfactory progress or meeting program or university standards, they should discuss the situation with the student and the student’s advisor.

The department chair, after considering the advisor’s recommendations and after meeting with the student will determine whether the student will be allowed to remain in the program. The department chair need not meet with the student before making a decision if the department chair has given the student reasonable opportunity to meet and the student has either failed or refused to meet. The student will be notified of the department chair’s decision in writing within ten working days of the department chair’s meeting with the student.

If the student is dissatisfied with the department chair’s decision, they may appeal to the dean of the College of Health Professions. However, in order for an appeal to be considered, the student must submit a written notice for an appeal to the department chair within 10 working days of receiving the department chair’s decision. The dean will consider the matter based on results complied by the department chair and notify the student of this or her decision within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal from the department chair.

Clinical Education

All students are required to complete part-time clinical education experiences in physical therapy facilities within the Central Texas area and in the Texas State Physical Therapy Clinic. The full-time clinical experiences may be completed in facilities within or outside of the Central Texas area. The additional costs of travel during the part-time experiences, as well as the cost associated with temporary relocation during the full-time experiences, are the responsibility of the student.

Application Requirements

The items listed below are required for admission consideration for applicable semesters of entry during the 2017-2018 academic year. Submission instructions, additional details, and changes to admission requirements for semesters other than the 2017-2018 academic year can be found on the program’s web page. International students should review the International Admission Documents section of the catalog for additional requirements.

  • completed online ApplyTexas application
  • completed online PTCAS application 
  • $65 nonrefundable application fee
  • $50 nonrefundable international evaluation fee (if applicable)
  • separate PTCAS application fee
  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • official transcripts required from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in all science courses taken
  • official GRE scores required with a preferred minimum of 150 in the verbal section and 145 in the quantitative section
  • prerequisite form

TOEFL or IELTS Scores

Non-native English speakers who do not qualify for an English proficiency waiver:

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy requires 99 semester credit hours.

Course Requirements

Physical Therapy Courses
PT 7114Professional Issues1
PT 7115Evidence-Based Practice1
PT 7125Clinical Decision Making I1
PT 7135Clinical Decision Making II1
PT 7155Clinical Decision Making III1
PT 7165Clinical Decision Making IV1
PT 7311Anatomy I: Structural Anatomy3
PT 7231Anatomy II – Spine2
PT 7241Anatomy III - Lower Extremity2
PT 7251Anatomy IV - Upper Extremity2
PT 7294Special Issues in Physical Therapy2
PT 7312Patient Care Skills I3
PT 7462Patient Care Skills II4
PT 7313Body Systems I – Pathology3
PT 7333Body Systems II – Cardiovascular/pulmonary System3
PT 7263Body Systems III – Diagnostics2
PT 7326Neuroscience I:Functional Neuroanatomy3
PT 7428Therapeutic Interventions4
PT 7474Management Issues4
PT 7336Neuroscience II-Pediatrics3
PT 7346Neuroscience III3
PT 7356Neuroscience IV3
PT 7328Examination Techniques3
PT 7539Musculoskeletal I – Spine5
PT 7549Musculoskeletal II - Lower Extremity5
PT 7559Musculoskeletal III - Upper Extremity5
PT 7327Research in Physical Therapy I3
PT 7347Research in Physical Therapy II3
PT 7167Research III in Physical Therapy1
PT 7177Research IV in Physical Therapy1
PT 7187Research V in Physical Therapy1
PT 7197Research VI in Physical Therapy1
Clinical Education Hours
PT 7130Clinical Education Orientation1
PT 7150Directed Clinical Experience1
PT 7370Clinical Education I3
PT 7480Clinical Education II4
PT 7481Clinical Education III4
PT 7690Clinical Education IV6
Total Hours99

Doctoral level courses in Physical Therapy:

Courses Offered

Physical Therapy (PT)

PT 7114. Professional Issues.

This course serves as an introduction to the historical, current, and future issues faced by the physical therapy profession and to the need for lifelong professional development.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7115. Evidence-Based Practice.

This course introduces the concept of evidence-based practice in physical therapy including the formulation of answerable clinical questions, methods of obtaining peer-reviewed evidence to those clinical questions, and how to critically appraise evidence once located.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7125. Clinical Decision Making I.

This course provides a venue in which students can explore multiple aspects of patient evaluation, intervention, and outcomes in a problem-based learning environment. Students will identify complicating issues in patient care including physical, psychosocial, financial, and environmental factors as well as develop possible solutions to identified problems.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7130. Clinical Education Orientation.

This course provides an orientation to the requirements of the clinical education course sequence including patient education as well as the legal, ethical and professional requirements of physical therapy practice.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7135. Clinical Decision Making II.

This course provides a venue in which students can explore multiple aspects of patient evaluation, intervention, and outcomes in a problem-based learning environment. Students will identify complicating issues through case scenarios incorporating factors from all courses taken through the first year spring semester.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7150. Directed Clinical Experience.

A structured clinical experience in which the student will have the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to apply the theory and clinical skills acquired during didactic course work into the clinical environment. This course will be completed in the Texas State Physical Therapy Clinic. This course is repeatable for credit.
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1 Credit Hour. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 15 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7155. Clinical Decision Making III.

This course provides a venue in which students can explore multiple aspects of patient evaluation, intervention, and outcomes in a problem based learning environment. Students will identify complicating issues through case scenarios incorporating factors from all courses taken through the second year fall semester.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7165. Clinical Decision Making IV.

This course provides a venue in which students can explore multiple aspects of patient evaluation, intervention, and outcomes in a problem based learning environment. Students will identify complicating issues through case scenarios incorporating factors from all courses taken thus far in the program.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7167. Research III in Physical Therapy.

This course is a continuation of the DPT research sequence that culminates in a supervised project to analyze outcomes in a defined area of clinical practice. This course involves a literature review and identification of a practice-based research question. Completion of the full research sequence is required for graduation.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Research III in Physical Therapy

PT 7177. Research IV in Physical Therapy.

This course is a continuation of the DPT research sequence that culminates in a supervised project to analyze outcomes in a defined area of clinical practice. The course involves development of data collection tools and strategies in a practice-based research environment. Completion of the full research sequence is required for graduation.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7187. Research V in Physical Therapy.

This course is a continuation of the DPT research sequence that culminates in a supervised project to analyze outcomes in a defined area of clinical practice. The course includes patient outcomes data collection in a practice-based research environment. Completion of the full research sequence is required for graduation.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Research V in Physical Therapy

PT 7190. Independent Study in Physical Therapy.

An in-depth independent study of a singular problem or related problem in the dynamic field of physical therapy and health care. Emphasis will be on the relevance of the problem and the value to the participant. May be repeated twice for credit.
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1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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PT 7197. Research VI in Physical Therapy.

This course is a continuation of the DPT research sequence that culminates in a supervised project to analyze outcomes in a defined area of clinical practice. The course includes completion of data collection and analysis for an oral presentation and final paper. Completion of this last course is required for graduation.
Read More [+] about Research VI in Physical Therapy

1 Credit Hour. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Research VI in Physical Therapy

PT 7231. Anatomy II – Spine.

Study of static and dynamic aspects of the vertebral column and skull including bony landmarks, muscular, ligamentous attachments, and blood and nerve supply will be studied through lecture, lab, dissection of human cadavers, and independent study.
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2 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7241. Anatomy III - Lower Extremity.

Study of static and dynamic aspects of the lower extremity including bony landmarks, muscular, ligamentous attachments, and blood and nerve supply will be studied through lecture, lab, dissection of human cadavers, and independent study.
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2 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7251. Anatomy IV - Upper Extremity.

Study of static and dynamic aspects of the upper extremity including bony landmarks, muscular, ligamentous attachments and blood and nerve supply studied through lecture, lab, dissection of human cadavers, and independent study.
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2 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7263. Body Systems III – Diagnostics.

Pharmacology, medical imaging, electroneuromyography, and other selected diagnostic tests as related to physical therapist practice. Content emphasizes expected and adverse effects of selected medications, documentation of results of medical imaging procedures, and the use of muscle and nerve integrity testing via nerve conduction velocity techniques.
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2 Credit Hours. 1 Lecture Contact Hour. 2 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7294. Special Issues in Physical Therapy.

Provides opportunities for learning through lecture covering multiple physical therapy practice settings and areas of specialization. Also designed to provide information relevant to the licensure process, preparation for the licensure exam, and test-taking strategies to enhance performance. This course is repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: Taken in last semester of program.
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2 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7311. Anatomy I: Structural Anatomy.

Introduction to the structure and function of the human body with emphasis on the skeletal, muscular, and nervous system. Content includes laboratory study of the human cadaver.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7312. Patient Care Skills I.

This course introduces students to basic patient care skills and documentation. Topics emphasized include body mechanics, patient positioning, mobility, transfers, patient communication/instruction skills, and documentation format. Students will also receive an introduction to therapeutic exercise, health promotion and wellness, and infection control as well as patient rights and reimbursement issues.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7313. Body Systems I – Pathology.

Normal and abnormal organ system function as related to physical therapist practice with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and integumentary systems. Content includes tissue inflammation and repair, infection, degenerative processes, and changes related to processes of aging.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7326. Neuroscience I:Functional Neuroanatomy.

Structure and function of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems in the context of lifespan human development.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7327. Research in Physical Therapy I.

Three-course sequence introducing the physical therapy student to research and statistical methodologies. This initial course emphasizes the application of basic principles of the scientific method for: 1) critically reviewing physical therapy literature; 2) developing research proposals; and 3) identifying the tools necessary for analysis and assessment of clinical practice patterns.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7328. Examination Techniques.

This course introduces students to basic evaluation and examination techniques used in physical therapy. Students will perform basic orthopedic, neurologic, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary evaluations in open lab and case-based learning environments. An emphasis will be placed on body mechanics, communication skills, positioning, and draping.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7333. Body Systems II – Cardiovascular/pulmonary System.

Fitness, health, wellness, and normal and abnormal function of the cardiovascular/pulmonary and metabolic systems as related to physical therapist practice. Content emphasizes basic principles of care in respiratory therapy, chest physical therapy, electrocardiography, exercise testing, exercise prescription, and cardiac rehabilitation.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7336. Neuroscience II-Pediatrics.

Study of typical growth and motor development and diseases, disorders, and dysfunction affecting postural control from birth to young adulthood. Content emphasizes motor control, motor learning, and recovery of function in the context of relevant models of practice, models of disablement, hypothesis-oriented clinical practice, and theories of motor control.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Neuroscience II-Pediatrics

PT 7346. Neuroscience III.

This course studies the neurologic diseases, disorders, and dysfunction affecting postural control in the adult. Content emphasizes motor control, motor learning, and recovery of function in the context of relevant models of practice, models of disablement, hypothesis-oriented clinical practice, and theories of motor control.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7347. Research in Physical Therapy II.

Three-course sequence introducing the physical therapy student to research and statistical methodologies. This second course emphasizes the proposal writing aspect of research, building on knowledge of research methods and statistics gained in PT 7327. Includes introduction to statistical software packages used for data-analysis and generating bibliographic material.
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3 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7356. Neuroscience IV.

This course studies the neurologic diseases, disorders, and dysfunction affecting postural control in the adult. Content emphasizes motor control, motor learning, and recovery of function in the context of relevant models of practice, models of disablement, hypothesis-oriented clinical practice, and theories of motor control.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Neuroscience IV

PT 7363. Body Systems III – Cardiovascular/Pulmonary System.

Fitness, health, wellness, and normal and abnormal function of the cardiovascular/pulmonary and metabolic systems as related to physical therapist practice. Content emphasizes basic principles of care in respiratory therapy, chest physical therapy, electrocardiography, exercise testing, exercise prescription and cardiac rehabilitation. This course is repeatable for credit.
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3 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 3 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7370. Clinical Education I.

A full-time clinical education experience in which the student will apply the theory and clinical skills acquired during previous didactic course work in the clinical setting.
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3 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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PT 7428. Therapeutic Interventions.

Provides an introduction to basic therapeutic interventions. Topics emphasized include current theory and application of tissue mobilization, light, heat, cold, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, compression, and electrical currents as well as assistive devices, traction, and isokinetics. Introduces therapeutic exercise including energy metabolism, muscle physiology, and response to exercise.
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4 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 4 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7462. Patient Care Skills II.

This course introduces physical therapy care for medically complex patients with multi-system involvement. Content will focus on integumentary care and wound management, acute care/ICU, orthotics, and prosthetics. Complicating factors such as age, malnutrition, pain, obesity, diabetes, and other comorbidities will also be included.
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4 Credit Hours. 2 Lecture Contact Hours. 4 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7474. Management Issues.

Study of basic management theories, principles, and practices as they relate to the health care delivery system, reimbursement resources and issues, and internal and external forces that impact health care delivery.
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4 Credit Hours. 4 Lecture Contact Hours. 0 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7480. Clinical Education II.

A full-time clinical education experience in which the student will apply the theory and clinical skills acquired during previous didactic course work in the clinical setting. Prerequisites: good academic standing.
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4 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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PT 7481. Clinical Education III.

A full-time clinical education experience in which the student will apply the theory and clinical skills acquired during previous didactic course work in the clinical setting. Prerequisites: satisfactory progress in PT 7480, and good academic standing.
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4 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 20 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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PT 7539. Musculoskeletal I – Spine.

Study of static and dynamic aspects of the vertebral column and skull studied through lecture, lab, literature review, and independent study. Knowledge and skill will be integrated to identify problems, prognosis, functional goals, and to develop comprehensive intervention programs related to the spine, including preventative health planning.
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5 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 4 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Musculoskeletal I – Spine

PT 7549. Musculoskeletal II - Lower Extremity.

Study of static structural and dynamic aspects of the lower extremity. Emphasizes the effects and affects of forces on function. Clinical decision-making involving the integration of knowledge and skill to identify problems, establish goals, and develop comprehensive physical therapy programs related to the region of study.
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5 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 4 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Read Less [-] about Musculoskeletal II - Lower Extremity

PT 7559. Musculoskeletal III - Upper Extremity.

Study of static structural and dynamic aspects of the upper extremity. Emphasizes the effects and affects of forces on function. Clinical decision-making involving the integration of knowledge and skill to identify problems, establish goals, and develop comprehensive physical therapy programs related to the region of study.
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5 Credit Hours. 3 Lecture Contact Hours. 4 Lab Contact Hours.
Course Attribute(s): Lab Required
Grade Mode: Standard Letter

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PT 7690. Clinical Education IV.

A full-time clinical education experience in which the student will apply the theory and clinical skills acquired during previous didactic course work in the clinical setting.
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6 Credit Hours. 0 Lecture Contact Hours. 40 Lab Contact Hours.
Grade Mode: Credit/No Credit

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