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Curriculum | tDPT Online

Program Design

The curriculum for the online transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy is designed to fill the gap between previous physical therapy education curricula and the entry-level doctoral-level curriculum. The courses have been designed to be delivered online to allow the working clinician to participate. The program has 16 credits in six courses covering pharmacology, diagnostic imaging, health care policy, differential diagnosis, evidence based practice and clinical experience.

Program Structure

Each course is offered every semester (fall, spring and summer) allowing for an individualized learning plan. Enrollment will be capped at 24 learners per course because of the distance learning component. By limiting enrollment to 24, course faculty can maintain more personal, individualized contact with distant learners and camaraderie between learners can be promoted in a virtual classroom. The courses will be offered on a rotating basis so that learners can enter the program at the beginning of any semester. One course, PTH 8725 Differential Screening, has prerequisites of PTH 7510 Pharmacology for Physical Therapists and PTH 7715 Diagnostic Imaging because this sequencing allows for the development of knowledge that contributes to the differential screening process.

Courses offered in the tDPT program were designed to fill the gap between previous bachelor's or master's degree entry-level physical therapy education curricula and the entry-level Doctoral level curriculum. The courses have also been designed to be delivered on-line to allow working professionals to participate. The program consists of 16 credits in six courses covering pharmacology, diagnostic imaging, health care policy, differential diagnosis, evidence based practice, and clinical experience. 

Course Descriptions

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Required Courses

Expand and Collapse PTH 7710 - Pharmacology for Physical Therapists

Analysis of common classes of pharmacological agents, and their potential effects on a physical therapy assessment and plan of care. Basic principles of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and drug receptor function are covered for medications frequently encountered by Physical Therapists; including anti-inflammatory agents, and medications used to treat cardiac, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, endocrine and neurological system dysfunction.

Expand and Collapse PTH 7715 - Diagnostic Imaging

Compares and contrasts benefits and limitations of various medical imaging techniques including X-Ray, CT Scan, MRI, and emerging field of rehabilitative ultrasound imaging. Criteria for and the PT’s role in imaging referral and basic imaging assessment are covered. The role of the PT and imaging in APTA’s Vision Statement for the Physical therapy Profession is discussed.

Expand and Collapse PTH 7720 - Health Policy

Analysis of legal issues surrounding health care in America and the promotion of advocacy for reform.

Expand and Collapse PTH 7730 - Evidence Based Practice

Applies concepts of evidence-based practice including basic concepts of research, statistics, and critical analysis of literature in a topic of interest to the learner.

Expand and Collapse PTH 8725 - Differential Screening

Focuses on screening processes and clinical reasoning skills in patient/client management. Emphasis is on the differential screening processes for physical therapy and indications for referral. Prior completion of courses with Pharmacology and Diagnostic Imaging content are recommended, although not required.

Expand and Collapse PTH 8735 - Professional Integration

Demonstration of physical therapy skills, knowledge, and behaviors/interactions with patient/clients, peers, and other professionals through development of a portfolio and a cumulative project in addition to participation in group discussions pertinent to professional development and project completion.

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