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Doctorate of Physical Therapy FAQs

Prospective students frequently ask questions about admission to the physical therapy program. For your convenience, we have provided answers to some of the most common questions. Please feel free to contact the program or the admissions office if you need additional information.

There are a number of PT schools in the state of Ohio. What makes Walsh a unique experience? Why should I consider applying to Walsh University's DPT program?

Walsh is unabashedly a Catholic university. The faculty, students, and support personnel on campus live the mission of the university, which is to model the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ and to foster service learning within the educational model. However, Walsh is welcoming to students of all faiths and cultural backgrounds. In addition, our smaller class sizes, dedicated faculty and administration, as well as our involvement and passion for the profession of physical therapy is unmatched. We feel Walsh is the perfect blend of spirit and sophistication.

I have read on Walsh's website that the university is committed to service learning. How is this embedded within the DPT program?

We have 2 primary courses dedicated to service learning aimed at promoting wellness and prevention in a community health model. Students in their 3rd year of the program will design and implement a Community Health Program for an underserved target audience. In addition, the 3rd year students will provide mentorship to our 1st year students, who will also participate in the Community Health Program. This ensures service opportunities for a majority of our students as well as providing a positive feedback cycle for ongoing development of these activities.

The clinical experiences within the program are critical to a strong education in physical therapy. What is unique about the clinical experiences at Walsh?

Our students complete four clinical rotations in a variety of practice settings that encompass patients with diverse needs. The emphasis of our clinical education curriculum is placed upon the body systems encountered by students in the academic course work in contrast to the type of setting in which students are placed. Our collective clinical education experiences will provide opportunities for students to participate in learning experiences involving the patient-client management process, interdisciplinary teamwork, teaching, practice management/administrative activities, and supervision of physical therapist assistants and other supportive personnel.

I am interested in creating and participating in original research. Is there an opportunity at Walsh's DPT program to participate in research?

Students and faculty work together in the creation of original research within the requirements of the DPT curriculum. Our students have been incredibly successful in publishing and presenting their research. In 2011, one of our student groups won the best "poster" presentation and in 2012, one of our student groups won the best platform presentation at the Ohio Physical Therapy Association. Other students have contributed to textbook chapters, multiple journal publications, and have worked with licensed clinicians on joint research studies. Refer to the message from the Chairperson for more details.

Walsh's enrollment qualifies it as a small university. What has Walsh's DPT program done to assure that the education received at Walsh is commensurate to that of a larger university?

Walsh is a complex blend of spirit and sophistication. Our mission allows careful emphases on the areas of education that we think are critical ingredients to be an effective, exceptional physical therapist. These include compassion, motivation, empathy, dedication, and effort. Furthermore, our faculty are exceptionally well trained, have won teaching awards, are internationally recognized scholars, and are fellowship trained clinicians, who have a wide variety of skill sets necessary for effective education. In areas where a unique teaching perspective is needed, outside faculty or clinicians are brought in to teach. That said there are no holes within the curriculum that lead to gaps in learning.

Do I need to have a Bachelor's degree to apply and be admitted to Walsh University's physical therapy program?

You do not need your degree in hand for us to interview you or make an offer of acceptance. However, you must have completed your degree and all pre-requisite coursework prior to the start of graduate program courses. The only exception is for Walsh undergraduate students who are enrolled in the accelerated program.

What are the average overall and pre-requisite GPAs and GRE scores of students selected to attend Walsh University's physical therapy program?

Both overall and pre-requisite mean GPAs and mean GRE scores vary from year to year. The minimum standard pre-requisite and overall GPA necessary for acceptance into the program is a 3.0. Completion of GREs is required prior to an invitation to interview, but there is no minimum standard. The class entering in 2011 had a mean overall GPA of 3.57, a mean pre-requisite GPA of 3.57, and a mean GRE of 1039.

If I am unsuccessful in getting accepted into the physical therapy program and plan to re-apply, do I have to resubmit a complete application?

Yes, you will need to submit a new application. The PTCAS system only keeps a one year cycle of admissions information. We would appreciate a written notification of your desire to be considered for the following year as well as what you plan to do to optimize your application.

Do you have an age limit on classes taken to meet the pre-requisite course requirements?

No, there is no age limit for pre-requisite courses. However, current knowledge of content covered in pre-requisite courses optimizes the potential for success in the DPT curriculum. We strongly suggest individuals consider their level of preparation for DPT coursework and make decisions that will provide them with the best opportunity for success.

How can I determine if a course at my institution will meet a specific pre-requisite requirement?

Course descriptions can be found at: http://www.walsh.edu/prerequisite-course-descriptions. We will also consider pre-requisites on a case-by-case basis. To have a pre-requisite evaluated for appropriate content, you must submit your request in writing to the Physical Therapy graduate admissions counselor or Physical Therapy office manager, and include both a course description and syllabus.

How many observation hours are required and what are considered as appropriate settings for observation hours?

A total of 3 distinct clinical site experiences are needed and a total of 30 hours are required (completed prior to the start of graduate courses), with no less than 10 hours at any experience. No more than 2 experiences in different units of a health facility will be counted, and only if the two experiences are distinct (two separate clinical observation forms must be filed). Acceptable observation experience categories include Outpatient, orthopedics/rehabilitation; Outpatient - Specialty Clinic (Manual therapy, TMJ, or Industrial therapy); Inpatient acute; Inpatient rehabilitation, neurology (stroke, head injury, Parkinson's); Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), geriatrics; Pediatrics; Home health; Industrial rehabilitation. All decisions regarding the distinctiveness of any observation experience are at the discretion of the Admissions Committee.

I have completed the minimal observation hours, but the therapist has moved and I am unable to contact that person. What can I do?

We strongly recommend obtaining prompt and thorough documentation at the completion of your experience at a facility. If it is not possible to obtain the therapist's signature to document your experience, we will accept the signature of a supervisor or facility director. All observations must be recorded on the Walsh University observation forms provided on-line or in the application packet.

What should I major in for my undergraduate studies?

We encourage prospective students to pursue a major in any discipline that interests them as long as the student can complete the pre-requisite courses for the physical therapy program. Some majors, however, allow students to complete the pre-requisites while at the same time working toward a Bachelor's degree. The most common examples of majors that meet this description include biology, kinesiology, exercise science, and psychology.

Why do you require two academic references and only one reference from a health care professional (physical therapist)?

Physical therapist educational programs include rigorous study in foundational sciences (anatomy, biomechanics, neuroscience), clinical sciences, management, and in research methodology. Because of this, we request references from persons who have first-hand knowledge of all aspects of your academic abilities. Health care professionals typically do not assess such areas in preparing a reference for you. 

What is the graduation rate from your DPT program? 

The overall graduation rate for the classes of 2009 to 2013 is 89%. 

What is the overall licensure pass rate of your graduates? 

For the graduating classes of our DPT program from 2009 to 2013, it is 100%.

How many of your graduates are employed as PTs within 6 months of passing the licensure examination? 

It is 100%.

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