Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Physical therapists improve patient’s lives by diagnosing, treating and managing movement system dysfunction. We treat people of all ages who have movement difficulties related to disease, injury or pain. As the medical experts in movement science, we improve quality of life using exercise, education and hands-on therapies.
The hands-on approach to learning and patient-centered care helped me graduate as a confident physical therapist.
* Tuition rates are for the 2021-22 academic year. Additional fees and costs for course materials may apply. Total program cost and completion time varies depending on transfer credits and individual program plans. Tuition rates are subject to change.
Students are charged course fees for any course with a laboratory component. Lab fees vary by course. Estimated total cost of fees and textbooks for the entire program is $2,400.
Expenses associated with internships are the responsibility of the student. Travel and housing while on internship is arranged by the student in consultation with the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education.
College of St. Scholastica is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.
A Unique Program. A Unique Education.
- The faculty is composed of educators with a combination of academic and clinical training. There are currently twelve full-time faculty (nine with post-professional doctoral degrees, and nine with Specialist Certification in areas including orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, geriatrics and women’s health).
- Professional development is emphasized throughout the program
- Students learn alongside peers and faculty in our on-site community clinic
- The new Health Science Center at BlueStone includes state-of-the-art classroom spaces, a research laboratory, the community clinic, meeting spaces and designated student lounges
Outstanding Preparation for a Meaningful Career
The entry-level DPT is a post-baccalaureate program that is completed in just under three years. The first year emphasizes foundational sciences and clinical skill acquisition, culminating in a short clinical experience. Year two builds on this foundation and emphasizes clinical reasoning, problem-solving and advanced application of knowledge and skills. Students are on clinical internships during the third year, returning to campus for a short capstone course prior to graduation.
Graduates must pass a standardized national licensure examination in order to practice physical therapy in the United States. Requirements and documentation needed to apply for and take the examination vary by state. The examination and state licensure process are not part of the DPT education program, however, successful completion of the program is required to take the examination.
We advance clinical practice, develop leaders and scholars, and provide service through an inclusive and compassionate approach that is guided by evidence and shaped by the values of the College and the physical therapy profession.
The Physical Therapy Program is a post-baccalaureate, graduate program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Entry into the program requires completion of a bachelor’s degree and program-specific prerequisites.
The DPT program is a full-time day program of 108-credits and takes 33 months to complete.
- Foundational sciences – Basic science including functional anatomy, neuroscience, motor development, kinesiology/biomechanics, pathology, pharmacology and diagnostic imaging.
- Tests & Measures – Develops the skills associated with examination and evaluation of the cardiopulmonary, integumentary, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems.
- Interventions – Students develop purposeful and skilled abilities in the application of interventions.
- Professional and social responsibility – Development of an understanding of what it means to become a healthcare provider. Topics include professional behaviors, self-analysis and reflection, ethics, teamwork, teaching/learning, communication/coordination/ documentation, administration, group dynamics, and the healthcare delivery system.
- Patient management – Rotations to area worksites and laboratory experiences with patients (real or simulated), provide hands-on application of skills, knowledge and behavior. Emphasizes clinical decision-making and reasoning.
A Focus on Professional Development
Our curriculum is designed to expose students to a variety of teaching methods including lectures, laboratory exercises, reading, role-playing and clinical experiences. As students progress through the program, they are expected to take increasing levels of responsibility for their own education and the development of professional actions and behaviors. This provides graduates with the knowledge and skills to deliver efficient and appropriate services to patients and clients.
PTH 6405 – Professionalism in Physical Therapy I
First in a two-course series focusing on the profession of and professionalism in physical therapy. Socialization into the profession is examined from program, state, and national perspectives. Development of professional responsibility, ethical practice, interprofessional competency, and cultural fluency are introduced
PTH 6410 – PT Administration I
First of a three-course series related to the administration and management of physical therapy services. The major forms of health care delivery and reimbursement models are investigated. Billing for physical therapy interventions is covered and the interaction of ethical and legal issues is addressed.
PTH 6481 – Critical Inquiry I
Teaches physical therapy graduate students how to apply the principles of Evidence-Based Practice. Students will develop clinical questions using the PICO framework, locate appropriate literature, and interpret articles about diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention in physical therapy. Topics include PICO questions, literature searches, critically appraised topics (CATS), levels of evidence, study design, psychometric properties of tests, predictive statistics, parametric and non-parametric statistics, internal and external validity, Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis.
PTH 6505 – Biomechanics
Provides foundational knowledge for understanding normal human movement. Emphasis is on biomechanics, joint structure and function, and muscle activity in the human body concurrent with body regions covered in the Functional Anatomy course. The interaction between joints and movement during common activities of daily living is examined
PTH 6510 – Functional Anatomy
An advanced, regional, musculoskeletal anatomy course that emphasizes the study of functional relationships among musculature, nervous tissue, vascular, and skeletal components for the extremities and axial skeleton. Cadaver dissection laboratory experience is used to enhance understanding of three-dimensional anatomical relationships for specific body regions.
PTH 6511 – Neuroscience
Studies the anatomy and physiology of the adult nervous system. Sensation, perception, cognition, and motor control are examined. Application includes analysis of normal functions as well as the effects of pathological lesions affecting the nervous system.
PTH 6513 – Lifespan Motor Development
Theories of motor development across the lifespan are presented in the context of physical therapy practice. Emphasis is on normal age related changes from infancy and childhood through mature adulthood and late life.
PTH 6517 – Systems Screening and Management
Introduces students to physical therapy differential diagnosis and screening for referral principles. Discusses physical therapy treatment implications considering systemic medical pathology, medical management, pharmacology, pain, and laboratory testing in various settings using simple to complex patient cases.
PTH 6520 – PT Examination and Evaluation I
First of a two-course sequence focuses on the acquisition of fundamental examination skills in physical therapy practice. Students are introduced to the patient/client management model and learn how to perform a subjective examination and basic objective tests and measures for the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary systems. Clinical reasoning is introduced related to the diagnostic process and identification of referral situations.
PTH 6521 – PT Examination and Evaluation II
Second course in the sequence of acquiring fundamental examination, evaluation and clinical reasoning skills. Patients/ clients with multi-system dysfunction are addressed. Environment, home, and work (job/ school/ play) assessments are incorporated into clinical reasoning.
PTH 6530 – Interventions I: Foundations
First in a two-course series designed to develop skilled application of interventions in the physical therapy management of patients. Students will learn proper patient positioning, draping, and body mechanics principles; the theory and application of soft tissue mobilization techniques and select biophysical agents; and basic functional mobility intervention skills. The integration of current evidence, clinical decision-making, and individual patient characteristics into intervention selection, instruction, and progression is emphasized.
PTH 6531 – PT Interventions II
Second course in the sequence designed to develop skilled application of exercise in the physical therapy management of patients. Students develop competency in application of evaluation, diagnostic, and prognostic information in to developing a plan of care that includes prescribing exercises, monitoring patient’s response and program progression.
PTH 6535 – Physiological Response to Injury and Exercise
A comprehensive study of the interrelated effects of exercise, injury, and healing processes on normal and pathological tissues. Included are discussions about inflammation, pain, edema, and acute and chronic exercise. Tissue dynamics of the cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and integumentary systems as they relate to physical therapy are emphasized.
PTH 6910 – Patient/Client Management I
First of a three course series designed to prepare students for clinical care. This introductory course uses a learning theater model in which groups of students participate in evaluation and treatment of maurices Community Clinic patients and/or case based small group discussions lead by a feaculty member. Students draw on foundational knowledge, and develop professional skills, and behaviors through clinical care and/or discussion of case studies.
PTH 7101 – Professional Engagement
Focuses on the program’s philosophy of professional behavior development as an essential component of academic and clinical success. Students will be introduced to and explore topics relevant to professional engagement and development with the intent of deepening their commitment to positive behaviors that will span their professional careers.
PTH 7411 – Physical Therapy Administration II
Second of a two course series related to administering and managing physical therapy services. Students will investigate topics related to organizational design, human resource management, strategic planning, marketing, and advocacy for patients/clients and the profession; and will advance application of outcomes assessment, risk management, and application of legal and ethical issues related to service provision.
PTH 7483 – Professional Project I
Design and organization of research that will assist answering basic or applied research questions. Focus will be on research design and preparation for the final research project in Professional Project II. Students are led by an expert faculty member in a designated research area.
PTH 7484 – Professional Project II
Critical review and interpretation of peer-reviewed literature in a focused topic area directed by a Physical Therapy faculty member. May also include the practical application of research methods for answering a question developed under faculty guidance.
PTH 7518 – Systems Screening and Management II
Second of a two course series focuses on the medical management of various musculoskeletal and neurologic diseases and conditions along with the implications for physical therapy management of those patients/clients. Medical management of pediatric diagnoses is covered relative to physical therapy and lifespan implications.
PTH 7540 – Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Management
Application of advanced physical therapy evaluation and interventions to patients/clients whose primary impairment or movement-limiting dysfunction is musculoskeletal in origin. Focus is on development of manual therapy techniques. Evidence-based practice and clinical decision-making are incorporated as they relate to developing, monitoring and progression of a patient’s plan of care.
PTH 7541 – Multiple System Evaluation and Management
Focuses on management of patients whose primary impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions are due to multi-system involvement. Development of a comprehensive plan of care and application of interventions for complex patients is emphasized.
PTH 7545 – Neuromuscular Evaluation and Management I
A comprehensive study of the integration of physiologic theories and principles with neuromuscular rehabilitation. Current theories relating to the control of normal and impaired movement are investigated and used to provide a framework for evaluation of and intervention for individuals with disability resulting from neurologic injury or disease.
PTH 7546 – Neuromuscular Evaluation and Management II
Advances the study and application of patient/client management theories and skills for patients with neuromuscular system involvement. Emphasis is on evaluation and management of individuals in the areas of gait disturbance, vestibular dysfunction, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury.
PTH 7560 – Cardiopulmonary Evaluation and Management
A comprehensive study of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. The patient/client management model is applied to dysfunctions specifically involving these systems across the life span and the continuum of care. Managing critically ill patients in the intensive care unit and principles of primary and secondary prevention are discussed.
PTH 7565 – Integumentary Evaluation and Management
Introduces the management and assessment of clients with integumentary disorders. Factors affecting wound repair will be presented. Tests and measures to assess skin integrity and tools for managing skin disorders will be discussed.
PTH 7567 – Life Span Applications I: Pediatrics
Entry-level approach to providing physical therapy services to pediatric patients/clients in a variety of settings. The patient/client management model is applied to multiple pediatric diagnoses and conditions. Abnormal development, therapeutic play, and behavior management are covered as essential components of pediatric physical therapy. Ethical, legal, and legislative issues affecting this population are addressed.
PTH 7568 – Lifespan Applications II: Geriatrics
Entry-level approach to geriatric patients/clients in a variety of settings. Application of the patient/client management model is specific to this population. Legal, legislative, and ethical issues pertinent to geriatric patients/clients are discussed.
PTH 7573 – Psychosocial Issues in PT
Analyzes the impact of a number of psychosocial factors that affect patient-practitioner relationships. Topics include communication, cultural and ethnic issues affecting interactions, perspectives on health/wellness, response to impairments and disabilities, sexuality, substance abuse, violence to self and others, and spirituality. Through in class activities and assignments, students will be able to express their viewpoints and relate how these topics affect their professional development.
PTH 7615 – Imaging for Physical Therapists
Examines diagnostic imaging principles and various techniques. Emphasis on a systematic approach to identify normal and pathological anatomy. Evidence informed clinical reasoning to guide imaging selection, utilization, referral/consultation, and patient/healthcare provider interactions.
PTH 7911 – Patient/Client Management II
Application of the patient/client management model. Students synthesize information from previous and concurrent course work to develop a plan of care for a patient/client with single or multiple system involvement with faculty guidance. Students participate in self and peer review processes. The course provides opportunities for hands-on examination, evaluation, and intervention with patients in a clinical setting.
PTH 7912 – Patient/Client Management III
Continued application of the patient/client management model. Integrated clinical experiences with pro bono service promote development of professional behaviors and clinical decision making. Integration of all coursework is demonstrated through the creation and progression of plans of care. Further development of interprofessional competency, clinical teaching, self and peer assessment skills is emphasized.
PTH 8951 – PT Clinical Internship I
Provides a second, full-time opportunity to apply professional skills, knowledge, behavior, and theory in a clinical setting. Under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor, the student applies the elements of patient/client management in a physical therapy practice. Development of professional behavior continues as students interact daily with patients/clients, physical therapists, and other members of the health care team.
PTH 8952 – PT Clinical Internship II
Provides for further development, manipulation, and utilization of knowledge and skills, and for continued professionalization. This internship may occur in a variety of settings with students required to complete an inpatient, outpatient and rural setting internship within the program. By the end of this internship the student is expected, under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor, to be demonstrating entry level skill for most areas of patient management within the assigned setting.
PTH 8953 – PT Clinical Internship III
Gain increased experience and depth of understanding for application and integration of skills, knowledge, and professional behaviors during a final ten week, full-time clinical internship in the program. The internship is the culmination of the entry-level clinical requirements and represents integration of all previous coursework.
PTH 8980 – Capstone
Culminating course requiring application of all skills learned in the program. Main outcome is in-depth patient case study that is presented in both written and oral formats.
Students graduating from this program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination. Successful completion of the exam is required for licensure in all states. Requirements for taking the exam vary by state. Students must apply separately for the national exam and for licensing. The department will certify the student’s readiness for these procedures, but is not responsible for obtaining, completing or returning the required forms.
Living our mission: The Benedictine Values in Action
The DPT program is structured philosophically around values that are shared by the physical therapy profession, the College and the College’s Benedictine heritage. We consider the Benedictine values and PT core values to interact in the following way:
- Love of learning is reflected in the professional core value of excellence
- Respect is seen in the professional values of accountability, compassion/caring and integrity
- Community is evident in the professional values of altruism and social responsibility
- Hospitality is realized though the professional values of compassion/caring and professional duty
- Stewardship is demonstrated through the professional values of excellence and social responsibility
These interactive values guide program policies, procedures and relationships to help us fulfill the College’s mission of graduating individuals who are intellectually and morally prepared to live and work responsibly.
Students must complete three internships while in the program. Clinical internships provide opportunities for the student to integrate and apply theory, knowledge and skills acquired during the academic year to a variety of patient populations. Students must complete one internship in a rural setting; each remaining internship must differ in type of setting or experience. Within this affiliation framework, students have the opportunity to pursue areas of interest including but not limited to pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, industrial medicine, etc.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapists is expected to grow by 18% between 2018 and 2028. This is well above average and represents an opportunity for those looking to enter the profession.
- St. Scholastica’s DPT program has a 100 percent job placement rate over the past three years
- Median annual salary is $87,930
- PTs Work in variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, private practice, rehab centers, home healthcare agencies, academic and research settings and more
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at The College of St. Scholastica is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 218-723-6786 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Handling Program Complaints
The physical therapy department chair is responsible for handling complaints about the program that fall outside of due process. In the event the chair is not available, the complaint is forwarded to the Dean, School of Health Sciences. Complaints can be submitted through email, telephone communication, in person, or in writing. The program chair will respond to the complaint within two weeks of receiving it to allow time for the chair to seek information or council related to the concern. The chair will keep, copy, or transcribe all complaints, depending on how they are received, as well as all correspondence or notes related to any additional communication. The complainant has the right to request an in-person meeting to be informed of the actions taken regarding the complaint. Final copies of all notes related to the complaint, a description of the actions taken, if any, and the final resolution will be sent to the complainant and the Dean SHS, and kept in a locked file in the department office.
John Borstad, Professor and Chair, DPT
Bruce Loppnow, PhD, MSH
Dean, School of Health Sciences
This program is located in the Health Science Center (HSC) at BlueStone, approximately one mile from the main St Scholastica campus in Duluth. The BlueStone development includes retail, restaurants, and housing in addition to the HSC. BlueStone Lofts, The Vue at BlueStone and BlueStone Flats offer convenient high-end housing options for DPT students. The HSC includes state-of-the-art classroom space, a research laboratory, meeting rooms, faculty offices, and student lounge areas overlooking Lake Superior. The maurices Community Clinic is also located in the HSC, providing DPT students with mentored hands-on learning opportunities and interdisciplinary training. The maurices Community Clinic serves uninsured and underinsured individuals from the Duluth community.
The Convenience of BlueStone Living
Connect with a BlueStone housing representative about on-site housing options.
Applications are accepted from July to Oct.1, via PTCAS.
Process and Priority Review
The PT program uses the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). To learn more about the application process and schedule, visit the PTCAS website. You’ll find information specific to our program listed on the directory page for our program.
All St. Scholastica students who apply to the physical therapy program will be given priority review. Priority review means that applicants who have earned a degree (or will earn a degree prior to starting the PT Program) from St. Scholastica, and have met all program eligibility requirements, will be considered for possible admission prior to applicants with degrees from other colleges or universities. Please note that priority review does not guarantee admission.
The College of St. Scholastica Department of Physical Therapy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or unfavorable discharge from military service. Inquiries or complaints related to discrimination should be brought to the attention of the Vice President for Human Resources.
- BA/BS degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Cumulative OR most recent 64 credit GPA of 3.0. The College will consider whichever is higher: cumulative GPA or most recent 64 credit GPA, as calculated by PTCAS.
- Prerequisite GPA of 3.0. The prerequisite GPA is calculated separately using the highest grade received in required prerequisite courses.
- Observation hours: While no specific number of observation hours is required, applicants are expected to have researched the profession sufficiently to demonstrate that they are making a career choice based on a sound understanding of the role of the PT. Verified observations must be completed post-high school and entered into PTCAS.
- GRE: exam must be taken within the 5 years preceding application with scores forwarded by ETS directly to PTCAS (code 7707).Preferred GRE scores: analytical writing 4.0; quantitative 148; verbal 150.
Note: Meeting minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission. Exceptions to minimum criteria may be made at the discretion of the admissions committee.
The College of St. Scholastica’s Department of Physical Therapy will not accept more than three applications from any individual during the course of his or her academic career.
Applicants are advised to review PTCAS application instructions/information related to The College of St. Scholastica to ensure they meet the current admissions requirements. Admissions information is updated annually via PTCAS.
All prerequisite course work must be completed with GPA of 3.0 or above; individual course grades must be a C or better:
- 1 full year (sequence) of Chemistry with lab
- 1 full year (sequence) of Physics with lab
- 1 full year (sequence) of Human or Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology with lab
- Lifespan Developmental Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Medical Terminology
- Courses in kinesiology, research methods, and pathophysiology are recommended
NOTE: Some prerequisite coursework may be in progress or planned at the time of application. All required coursework must be completed (with a grade of C or above) prior to matriculation in the PT program. Any prerequisite course taken for credit (pass/fail, credit/no credit, satisfactory/unsatisfactory, etc.) between spring 2020-summer 2021 will be accepted; however, it will not count toward the prerequisite GPA. We strongly encourage grades if there is an option between grades and pass/fail.
Applicants must report every college course attempted in the Coursework section of the PTCAS application, including those courses later repeated for a higher grade. PTCAS GPAs include ALL courses completed with grades/credits, even if they were later repeated for a higher grade. Science prerequisites must be complete within 7 years prior to application.
Prerequisite courses for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program are based on the Standard Prerequisite Courses for Admission in Entry-level Physical Therapist Education approved by the Academic Council of the American Physical Therapy Association in October 2012. Because prerequisite courses establish the framework for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, all prerequisite courses must be completed at an institution of higher learning. Advanced placement courses taken in high school will not be accepted as meeting the prerequisite requirements for application to the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.
Due to the high volume of interest in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at The College of St. Scholastica, the Office of Graduate Admissions does not review unofficial transcripts to determine the completion of prerequisite coursework. In most cases, course titles match. If you have specific questions about a particular course, please reference our transfer credit center to determine if the course meets the stated requirement.
Any student may request a waiver of admission requirements through a written request to the Graduate Admissions Office. These requests must be received by the Graduate Admissions Office by Sept. 15 to allow ample time for review prior to the Oct. 1 application deadline. The Department Chair may determine prerequisite course equivalencies and grant waivers for time limitations without full Admission Committee involvement. Other waiver requests may require a committee vote. Waiver of GPA and course grade minimum requirements will not be considered. The Department Chair notifies the applicant and the Graduate Admissions Counselor of waiver decisions in writing.
Technical Standards for Admission and Progression
Success in the Physical Therapy program is dependent on a number of functions deemed essential for the practice of Physical Therapy. Applicants must meet these essential functions and students must continue to demonstrate compliance with these essential functions throughout the program. Students needing reasonable accommodations to meet these essential functions should notify the chair of their request.
Critical thinking, problems-solving capabilities, sound judgment, emotional stability and maturity, and ability to learn and function in a variety of didactic and clinical settings to be able to:
Develop, monitor and manage individual patient/client plan of care.
Perform and interpret physical examinations.
Perform Physical Therapy procedures.
Communicate effectively in oral and written formats.
Direct and supervise support personnel.
Maintain professional demeanor.
Demonstrate problem solving, critical thinking and sound judgment.
Learn in a wide variety of didactic and clinical settings.
Demonstrate empathy, integrity, flexibility, responsibility and effective stress management.
Physical Critical Demands
Based on an eight-hour work day:
- Occasional = 0-33 percent
- Firm grip strength, sit, push/pull, kneel, kift up to 50 pounds
- Frequent = 34-66 percent
- Stand, walk, reach, stoop/squat, carry
- Continuous = 67-100 percent
- Gross hand coordination, fine hand coordination, work with therapeutic and adaptive devices, vision-corrected or non corrected
- Read English
- Speak English
- Write legibly in English
Official transcripts from every post-secondary institution attended or where credit was earned must be sent to PTCAS. Instructions are indicated on the PTCAS application.
- Submit a PTCAS application. Interviews are not conducted, but each applicant is invited to arrange a campus tour, if desired.
- In the PTCAS application, enter contact information for two people to submit recommendation information/letters on your behalf. Acceptable options are indicated on the CSS PTCAS directory page.
- Upon receipt of all application materials, the application packet will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review and an admissions decision.
- After you are emailed a decision regarding your application, please inform us of your decision (accept or decline the offer, if one is made) via the Intent to Enroll form linked in the email.
- Submit $500 nonrefundable deposit.
- Submit Student Health Services forms, including the immunization form, through the COR student portal/My Health/Forms.
Meet Our Faculty
Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators
Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.