Arcadia University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Arcadia University

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Arcadia University (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 08/12/2004
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
Arcadia University
450 South Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038-3295
Phone:   (215)572-2950
Fax:   (215)572-2157
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (215)572-2911
Financial Aid Phone:   (215)572-2980
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Rebecca L Craik, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor’s degree, May 1986 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, May 1984 (no longer offered) DPT degree, May 1999
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2012
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The program is designed to enhance learning and integration across traditional course boundaries. Course materials are presented in 23 modules of two- or three-weeks duration. Each module has a clinical case to focus lectures by the faculty members. Cases move from simple to complex, e.g., inability to weight bear because of acute ankle sprain to inability to stand following traumatic brain injury. Since all faculty members teach in each semester, principles are revisited and reinforced. The seven semesters of the program are not continuous and, therefore, provide time for reflection and summer employment. The program begins with a traditional Fall semester and Spring semester schedule followed by a 7-week summer session that includes human cadaver dissection. Year 2 begins with an 8-week full-time clinical internship and students return to class for the second half of the fall semester. The second Spring semester is followed by a 12-week full-time clinical internship during the summer between years 2 and 3. The Fall semester of the final year occurs on campus in the classroom and the Spring semester includes a 10-week full-time clinical education experience. The program concludes with 2 weeks of class on campus. Ten full-time and two part-time core faculty approximately 30 adjunct faculty, and 75 laboratory instructors and guest lecturers participate in the educational program. Students spend 27 hours per week in class during didactic portions of the program. There is no thesis requirement but research is an elective course
There are three part-time clinical education experiences and three full-time clinical education experiences. The first part-time clinical education experience takes place in a large University teaching hospital for one-half day every other week throughout the first year of the program. The second and third part-time experiences take place during the second and third years of the program. The second experience involves working in an exercise fitness program with persons with neurodegenerative disease 4hrs/wk for 5 weeks; the third experience involves offering pro bono physical therapist services in an evening clinic 3hrs/wk for 6 weeks. The first full-time experience follows the first, full academic year and is 8 weeks. The second educational experience is 12 weeks long and occurs during the second summer. The third, a 10-week clinical education experience, occurs during the winter and spring of the third year. Experiences are divided into inpatient/ acute, outpatient, long-term care, and a variety of specialized settings are also utilized. Students should expect that at least one of the experiences will be away from the Philadelphia area. Students may choose to travel to London, England, for a 12-week clinical education experience or to St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica for a one or two-week pro bono physical therapist experience. Students are invited to apply for 6-month paid internships for their third clinical education experience. At this time, there are a limited number of internships available
There are ten full-time and two part-time core faculty members. The principles are taught by the core faculty which is enriched by the 105 adjunct faculty, guest lecturers and lab instructors. Nine core faculty members hold post-professional doctoral degrees, and there are two faculty members enrolled in doctoral training programs. Two of the core faculty members are certified clinical specialists and many are engaged in clinical practice. Scholarship activity is high with faculty members engaged in funded research projects, writing peer-reviewed publications, or textbooks, and presenting at meetings around the world. Master clinicians from a wide variety of practice settings participate as guest lecturers and as lab directors or lab instructors. The faculty to student ratio is 1:12.
Arcadia University has a total enrollment of 3,300 students. The total graduate student population is 1,472. Class size is limited to 50 students in each of three classes in the entry-level physical therapist program.
Applications and all supporting materials are accepted on a rolling basis beginning late September for admittance to the class for the coming year. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, computed on all undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses and a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 are expected. Prerequisite courses include: 3 courses in biology, including human or mammalian physiology w/lab (2 semesters of anatomy and physiology may be substituted for 1 semester of physiology); and an upper level (300-400 level) science course, biology preferred; 2 courses in each: chemistry and physics (with labs), and psychology; 1 course in statistics. For tests taken prior to October 2002, a minimum total score of 1600 is expected for the verbal, quantitative and analytical portions of the test with no single score below 450. For tests taken after October 2002, a minimum total score of 1050 is expected for the verbal and quantitative portions of the test with no single score below 450. A minimum score of 4 is expected on the analytical portion of the test. Each year approximately 250 applicants meet the minimum requirements. Average cumulative and prerequisite GPAs of classes accepted for the last five years have been between 3.4 and 3.6. 27% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
98% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); 100% of the graduates pass the licensure exam; 92% passed the licensure exam on the first try (3-year average); and 98% of the alumni responding to a survey within 1 year of graduates are employed (3-year average).
For the 2004-2005 academic year, tuition will be $21,120. The summer tuition between years 1 and 2 is approximately $5,280. Additional program fees are approximately $1,500 per year, which includes and $800 per year laptop fee. Approximately 50% of students receive financial aid. Arcadia University offers scholarships and graduate assistantships in the Department of Physical Therapy and throughout the University. For specific information about financial aid, please contact the Director of Financial Aid at 215/572-2956.
There is a wide range of rentals within a 5-20 minute drive from the University for graduate student housing. On-campus parking is available each semester for a small fee. The University draws on the rich education and medical resources of the metropolitan Philadelphia area, with its famous orchestra, museums, theaters, shopping and numerous medical centers and their libraries. New York and Washington, DC are also easily accessible.