Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Details
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program prepares the student for licensure and practice in the field of physical therapy. Candidates for licensure must hold a post-baccalaureate degree in physical therapy from an accredited institution. Students are admitted to the professional program after completing a bachelor’s degree in a major of choice and the program prerequisites. Highly qualified Bellarmine undergraduate students may be admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program after completing all university general education requirements (except IDC 401) and the program prerequisites. Bellarmine undergraduate students receive the Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) degree after completing all university general education requirements, program prerequisites and the first year of the professional program. The university awards the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree upon completion of the professional curriculum.
Physical therapists are health care professionals who provide service to individuals of all ages with physical impairments, functional limitations, disabilities or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease or other causes.
- Examine and evaluate individuals with movement related problems
- Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction to enhance physical and functional abilities
- Promote physical function and wellness to provide optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health
- Prevent the onset of symptoms and the progression of movement related problems
Treatment by physical therapists includes exercise, joint and soft tissue mobilization and manipulation, cardiovascular endurance training, the therapeutic application of heat, cold, and electricity and neuromuscular re-education and activities of daily living training.
Physical Therapists find careers in settings ranging from hospitals and rehabilitation centers to private practices, pediatric facilities, home health agencies, school systems, higher education and research institutions, fitness and wellness centers and nursing homes.
Prerequisite courses for the Program are:
(Bellarmine course equivalencies in parentheses)
- 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology with lab (BIOL 108 & 109)
- 1 semester of general biology with lab (BIOL 130)
- 1 semester of advanced physiology such as vertebrate physiology, mammalian physiology, exercise physiology or pathophysiology (EXSC 240, BIOL 300, or BIOL 314)
- 2 semesters of college chemistry with lab (CHEM 103 & 104)
- 2 semesters of college physics with lab ( PHYS 201 & 202 or PHYS 205 & 206)
- 1 semester of psychology (PSYC 103 or 104)
- 1 semester of statistics (MATH 205)
*300-level biology courses may be substituted for anatomy and physiology associated courses for Bellarmine undergraduate students:
- MATH 117 as prerequisite for PHYS 205 & 206
- BIOL 231 as prerequisite for BIOL 314
Program Admission Requirements
Students are admitted to the professional program after completing a bachelors degree, all program prerequisites and a competitive application process. Other requirements:
- Complete the application at www.ptcas.org.
- Minimum prerequisite GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
- Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.50 on a 4.0 scale.
- Seven of the ten prerequisite courses completed prior to January 1 of the admission year.
- Satisfactory completion of all program prerequisites prior to entering the professional curriculum.
- Grade of “C” or better in all prerequisites courses.
- Submit official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score (within the last 5 years) to Bellarmine University (School Code 1056; Program Code 7674).
- Twenty-five clock hours of documented work or volunteer experience in a physical therapy setting.
- Physical ability to perform physical therapist tasks.
- If your undergraduate degree is from an international institution, you were born outside the US, or English is your second language, you will be required to take the TOEFLiBT (internet-based test) and receive a total score of 83 or higher and a 26 or higher on the speaking test. The Physical Therapy Department reserves the right to require TOEFLiBT testing from any candidate. Information about the TOEFLiBT can be found at http://ets.org/toefl/.
- Once admitted to the program, final official transcript(s) from each college or university attended should be mailed to the Office of Graduate Admission and not be marked “Issued to Student”. Official transcripts must be received in the Office of Graduate Admission by May 31, 2013. The Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service does not provide your official transcript(s) to Bellarmine University.
- If any transcripts or undergraduate degree(s) are from an international institution you must provide an official copy of a third party course by course credential evaluation. The following organizations offer this service and information regarding processes and fees available. at: www.aacrao.org, www.wes.org and www.ece.org. The Office of Graduate Admission reserves the right to request a certified copy of the original transcript(s).
In addition to completing the requirements of admission, please submit the following:
U.S. law requires financial statements from a bank or other financial institution certifying the student’s ability to fund the cost of attendance for one academic year minus the amount of any scholarship dollars received. Figures should be in U.S. dollars and must be certified as an official document by the bank or financial institution. A sponsor may be used if the sponsor attaches a signed affidavit stating that he/she will financially support the student until completion of a degree at Bellarmine University. If a sponsor is used, the sponsor’s bank statement should accompany the letter. The amount that would need to be shown is $50,306. This amount includes tuition ($11,000 per semester) and fees ($35 per course) associated with the program and an average cost for living expenses, books, supplies, health insurance, transportation and personal expenses.
Goals and Outcomes
The goals of the Bellarmine University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are to prepare physical therapist to:
- Provide quality physical therapy services to meet the need of consumers and society
- Serve physical therapy consumers and society as primary health care providers
- Practice purposefully based on the best current evidence available
- Assume a roll in the community that is commensurate with professional service responsibilities
- Be life-long critical consumers of information that impacts the delivery of high quality physical therapy services
- Provide mentorship and direction to future physical therapists
Upon completion of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Bellarmine University, the graduate will:
- Demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to provide excellence in physical therapy care;
- Assume the responsibilities associated with innovative and dynamic physical therapy practice, including participation in community and professional service, active involvement as a health care professional, and continued responsibilities for learning;
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the evidence on which to base physical therapy practice though critical thinking and inquiry; and
- Be a role model of professionalism and integrity to the community
Program Application, Start Date, and Student Matriculation
October 15 - Priority application deadline for candidate applying for summer start
December 1 - Application deadline for candidates applying for summer start
Summer - Professional program begins. Bellarmine undergraduate students who have completed all program and university requirements (minimum 90 credit hours) and transfer students holding a bachelor degree.
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Physical therapy Program are required to complete a significant number of hours at local, regional and national clinical education sites. All students should expect reasonable travel requirements, including travel outside of the metropolitan Louisville area, to complete the clinical training necessary for graduation.
DPT Program Cost
Graduate Tuition Rates
For more information on financial aid, click here.
Office of Graduate Admission
Allen Hall, 4th Floor
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205