Creighton University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Creighton University



Creighton University (D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 07/14/2004
Address:   Physical Therapy Department
School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
Phone:   (402)280-5675
Fax:   (402)280-5692
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (402)280-2662
Financial Aid Phone:   (402)280-2731
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Robert Sandstrom, PT, PhD
Associate Professor and Chair
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   May 1996
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2010
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Creighton University is meeting the challenges of contemporary practice by offering multiple paths to attain the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Creighton was the first university in the United States to offer the entry-level DPT and is continuing its innovative tradition by offering a distance-based, transitional DPT program for physical therapists who wish to upgrade their academic credentials to the clinical doctorate. These programs are designed to provide the student with a strong foundation in the basic sciences and an understanding of the theoretical bases for practice via the applied and behavioral sciences. Students are expected to develop critical thinking abilities, integrate theory with practice and demonstrate excellence in the performance of clinical skills. Our purpose in health professions education is to prepare a graduate who can be responsive to the increasing diversity of the population, needs of individuals and communities, and meet the challenges of caring for people in a dynamic health care system. Creighton University is a Jesuit educational institution where core values include commitment to community service, respect of every human being, and promoting social justice. The entry-level program begins in mid-August continuing for eight consecutive semesters over three years finishing in May. The first six semesters are primarily didactic with intermittent clinical experiences. The final two semesters take place in the clinical education environment. Students develop individual clinical education plans that meet program standards and their own clinical goals. Creighton physical therapy and occupational therapy students can also experience collaborative practice and cultural immersion opportunities with American Indians living on two, rural Nebraska reservations and in the Dominican Republic. Opportunities are available in both programs for advanced exploration in clinical practice, education, research and administration. The Creighton University Biodynamics Laboratory is a state of the art environment for motion analysis research. The Department has a strong relationship with the teaching hospital at Creighton University Medical Center.
A total of 46 weeks of supervised clinical practice is provided in the curriculum. Beginning after the third semester, students experience a 3 or 4-week clinical experience at the end of each subsequent didactic semester. During the final three semesters of the program, students experience a total of 36 weeks of supervised clinical education in three, 12-week block periods. Clinical education sites are available in 40 states and five foreign countries. Creighton University DPT program and Kaiser Permanente Hayward PT Residency in Advanced Manual Therapy program have an educational agreement that provides opportunities for selected Creighton University entry-level graduates to apply to the Kaiser residency program. A residency program option in orthopedic physical therapy is also available through Creighton University Medical Center.
There are 15 full-time and one part-time faculty members. The student-to-faculty ratio is 7.5:1. Six faculty have post- professional doctoral degrees and four faculty are APTA recognized clinical specialists. Faculty members actively practice at a site in the academic environment, at Creighton University Medical Center or at one of three American Indian health care facilities. The mean number of annual publications by the faculty in peer-reviewed journals during the last 3 years is 11. Four faculty received $206,584 in extramural research/training grants in 2003- 2004 for their scholarship.
Creighton University has a total enrollment of 6,537 students in two undergraduate, five professional and one graduate schools. About 40% of the students are engaged in graduate and professional studies with the remainder of the students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs. Twenty-seven percent of applicants have been matriculated into the program (3-year average).
Applications are available in September and must be received by November 1 (early decision) and January 1 (regular decision) for consideration for enrollment in the subsequent fall. All application materials must be received by February 1 eg, letters of recommendation, final transcripts, etc for consideration in the regular decision process. Prerequisite courses include six semester hours of English (composition) and eight semester hours each of biology, chemistry and physics (all courses must include laboratory and be accepted by the appropriate discipline as credit towards a major in that field) and three semester hours of human or mammalian physiology. Statistics is required for students matriculating in 2007 and subsequent years. Applicants from Creighton must complete six semester hours of theology. The student must complete 16 of the required 27 prerequisite semester hours prior to the application deadline. Students are encouraged to contact an admissions counselor if they have questions about the course prerequisite requirements. A minimum of 90 semester hours (including prerequisite courses) must be completed prior to enrollment. Students applying without a baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of nine semester hours in upper level (300 or above) courses in a declared major prior to matriculation. Three letters of recommendation (one from a physical therapist), completion of the GRE and documentation of the successful completion of 40 observation hours in a physical therapy practice are also required. On-site orientation and interviews are held with selected applicants in December (early decision) and February- March (regular decision). Matriculation decisions are communicated to interviewed applicants in a rolling cycle once the interview process has started. Two additional admissions tracks exist for Creighton undergraduate students. A freshman decision track exists for exceptional high school students. A guaranteed admissions track exists for other Creighton students. Continuation in both of these tracks requires meeting specific policy requirements, including acceptable academic performance and a satisfactory interview. The Department supports an active pre- physical therapy organization on campus. Interested students should contact an admissions counselor for more information.
97% of admitted entry level students graduate from the program (3-year average).
For the 2004-05 year, tuition and fees total $21,118. Students spend an average of $13,800 for room, board, transportation, books and supplies each year. Students are responsible for the costs associated with travel and housing during off-campus clinical rotations. A limited number of merit-based scholarships are available to students. Financial aid is offered and coordinated through the University Office of Financial Aid.
Students are invited to participate in campus- wide and community organizations, activities and events. Physical therapy students can become involved in the Creighton University Students of the American Physical Therapy Association (CUSAPTA), Physical Therapy Leadership Guild, Sports Physical Therapy club, a newly forming Pediatric Physical Therapy Special Interest Group and the Pharmacy and Allied Health Student Government organizations. Creighton University has a diverse student body and high proportion of professional students in physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, nursing, medicine, dentistry and law. Creighton University is located in Omaha, Nebraska which is an economically strong, Midwestern, metropolitan area of 700,000 persons. An eclectic restaurant life, symphony orchestra, ballet and opera companies, excellent community theaters, museums, college and professional sports and a world class zoo are among the amenities of living in Omaha. Its central location makes Omaha easy to reach from any area of the country and its cost of living is very competitive with any city of its size in the nation.