Chapman University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Chapman University


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ChapmanUniversity (A4, D6, F1, PR)


Last Updated by Program: 02/17/2002


Address:   Department of Physical Therapy


One University Drive

Orange, CA92866


Phone:   (714)744-7620  Fax:   (714)744-7621

Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (714)744-7620 

Financial Aid Phone:   (714)997-6741 


Web Address: 

Program E-mail: 



Venita Lovelace-Chandler, PT, PhD, PCS




  Accreditor:   Western Association of Schools and Colleges/Accrediting Commission for SeniorColleges and Universities

  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)



  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor’s degree, 1928 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, May 1986 (no longer offered) DPT degree, June 2001

  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation

  Next Visit   2016

  Five Year History:   Accreditation



Doctor of Physical Therapy



The curriculum leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy requires 3 calendar years of full-time enrollment and consists of 125 units. There are seven full-time faculty, four part time faculty with numerous adjunct faculty supported by clinicians in over 300 contracted medical sites who assist in the overall education of the students. The first year is focused on academic instructors with clinical experiences introduced through weeklong off-site clinician supervised experiences and supplemented with additional clinical experiences brought into the classroom. In the second year, there are 12-16 weeks of off-site supervised clinical experiences and two semesters of academic preparation. The third year finishes the academic and clinical preparation with 28-32 weeks of supervised clinical experience and one semester of final academic preparation. The integrated curriculum is designed to produce top-level clinicians who are equipped to assume a leadership position in the profession. A key part of the curriculum is to equip our graduates for successful professional practice in the health care industry, instruction in administration and leadership.



First-year students have two 2-week experiences in different clinical facilities. During the second year, students complete one-to-two full-time experiences in different settings with each experience ranging from 6 to 12 weeks. These experiences are offered in geographic areas from coast to coast. The third year clinical experience will consist of 28-32 weeks in the clinic. Therefore, students will participate in the clinic for a minimum of 44 weeks and with the potential for 52 weeks. Students are required to complete the following experiences in clinics: neurological (which can be a pediatric experience), and an inpatient type setting. One of the final clinical internships can be a contractual experience in an area of special focus to be negotiated between the student, a faculty sponsor, and a clinical sponsor.



There are seven full-time and four part-time faculty members, with two new additional faculty to be hired in 2002. Over 55% of the full-time faculty hold post-professional doctoral degrees and three are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 1.7 publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:9.



The physical therapy program accepts 48 students for each physical therapy class from a pool ranging from 200-300 applicants. Transfer students are not accepted, and no preference is given to in-state residents.



Students must have a baccalaureate degree and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for regular admission. Admission is guaranteed, up to the class maximum of 48 students, if the GPA is 3.5 or higher in prerequisite and general admission GPA and all other criteria are met. Students may enter at the end of their junior year if they have a 3.5 GPA in both prerequisite and admission courses and meet all other eligibility criteria. In all cases, the admissions GPA is calculated on the last 60 semester units (or 90 quarter units) two thirds of which must be upper division credits. Prerequisite course work includes a 1-year sequence of each of chemistry (w/labs) and physics (w/labs); 2 courses in each of biology and psychology; and one course in each of human anatomy (w/lab) and human physiology (w/lab). GRE scores are required and weighted along with the GPA. The priority deadline for students entering the DPT program in the fall of 2003 is December 6, 2002. Applications submitted after December 6, 2002 are reviewed on a space available basis.



Over 99% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average).



Tuition is estimated at $530 per unit for the 2002-2003 academic year. Ninety-five percent of the physical therapy students receive financial aid. For specific information, contact the University Financial Aid Office.



The School of Physical Therapy started in 1922 and is the oldest ongoing physical therapy education program in the United States. Responding to the increasing complexity and responsibilities within the profession of physical therapy, the school expanded its curriculum and affiliated with ChapmanUniversity in 1985 and, in 1993, the school was fully integrated into the university. The university is located in OrangeCounty in Southern California. The campus is surrounded by a small and scenic town and is close to Newport Beach, Disneyland and the University of California at Irvine. Outdoor recreation is year round and ranges from easy access to the ski slopes in the winter to surfing and boating throughout the year.