Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program Information
The Vision of the Walsh University Doctor of Physical Therapy program focuses on educating competent, ethical, and compassionate physical therapists, prepared as primary health care practitioners, to: provide leadership for the delivery of physical therapy services in a variety of settings in this and other countries; contribute to the advancement of knowledge of the profession; and advocate for their patients and the profession to both the internal and external communities.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Walsh University operationalizes their vision by providing service learning opportunities for students, by exposing each student to a state of the art curriculum, which reflects the futures needs and direction of the profession of physical therapy, by providing mentored research opportunities for future understanding and consumption of evidence, and by building a community of learners that is focused on the vision of the university and division.
Building on a solid grounding in the liberal arts, the graduate level program focuses on the development of students emphasizing those values and characteristics that will enable the graduate to function as a competent provider of physical therapy services.
Based on the values of Walsh University and our faculty members the following goals were developed:
- Graduating highly skilled physical therapists qualified with experience to practice autonomously.
- Serving local, national and international communities through active involvement in service-oriented programs for disadvantaged populations.
- Promoting an academic community in which all participants exhibit a commitment to and competence in functioning within a multicultural framework in the provision of rehabilitative services.
To achieve these goals the students must demonstrate the general knowledge, skill, and mindfulness of a competent physical therapist who exhibits the Judeo-Christian values of Walsh University.
The Division of Physical Therapy is committed to providing an educational program that both challenges and enhances a student's ability to learn through a student-centered, values-based teaching environment that focuses clinical-decision making, evidence-based practice, and on service to the wider community. We have organized the curriculum around impairments found in the major body systems. We utilize a variety of active learning strategies and case-study teaching methods to enhance student learning and critical thinking.
The Walsh University Physical Therapy curriculum, an intensive three-year (8-semester) program, including summers, leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Coursework builds upon a foundation of basic sciences and problem-solving skills. Students gain knowledge and develop skills in teaching and scientific inquiry as well as physical therapy patient diagnosis and intervention. Students must perform original research and present their work prior to graduation. Students take a comprehensive examination at the end of the third year and must pass that examination to graduate. Upon successful completion of the academic and clinical components of the curriculum, graduates meet the educational requirements to take the licensure examination required in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Guam to practice as a physical therapist.