Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center

Information about Physical Therapist program at Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center




Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center (A4, D6, F1, PR)


Last Updated by Program: 02/02/2005


Address:   Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

College of Health Sciences

Des Moines University - Osteopathic Medical Center

3200 Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50312-4198


Phone:   (515)271-1634  Fax:   (515)271-1614

Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (800)240-2767 ext. 1634

Financial Aid Phone:   (800)240-2767 ext. 1470


Web Address:

Program E-mail:



Traci Bush, MSPT, OTR/L

Program Director



  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers



  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Master's degree, April 1990 (no longer offered) DPT degree, October 2001

  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation

  Next Visit   2006

  Five Year History:   Accreditation



Doctor of Physical Therapy



The professional DPT program begins in August of each year and runs for 34 consecutive months. The curriculum is composed of nine blocks of study ranging in length from 8-18 weeks, including an innovative 2-week health promotion and prevention practicum in year one. Breaks of 1-2 weeks are given between each block. Clinical rotations are integrated throughout the curriculum to correlate closely with classroom instruction. Emphasis is placed on integrating manual skills into therapeutic plans of care. Students are exposed to a wide variety of research topics and methods during the first year of study and participate in faculty-led group research projects during the remainder of the curriculum. The program is taught by eight full-time and two part-time faculty members within the Division of Physical Therapy plus on-campus basic science and clinical faculty and numerous off-campus adjunct faculty from various health professions. The University provides a wireless laptop environment that fosters innovative instructional design.



Four clinical rotations totaling 36 weeks are interspersed throughout the curriculum. Students are required to complete experiences in an acute care hospital setting, an orthopedic setting, and a neurological rehabilitation facility. Students also participate in one specialty clinical experience of their choice. Clinical experiences are offered all over the country.



There are eight full-time and two part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty members 50% hold post-professional doctoral degrees, 25% are enrolled in post-professional doctorate studies and five faculty members are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged five publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:10.



Enrollment in the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and Health Sciences totals approximately 1,150. The Program in Physical Therapy admits a maximum of 44 students each year from a pool of 120-150 qualified applicants. Thirty-nine students are enrolled in the Professional DPT Class of 2007. Of that class, 65% are from Iowa with 58% female students and 42% male students. There are currently a total of 97 students in the 3-year professional curriculum.



A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the program. GRE scores are NOT required. Transcripts must be submitted from all colleges/universities attended. A combined overall GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale is recommended. Prerequisites include 12 semester hours of biological sciences including a course in human anatomy and a course in human physiology (all biological science courses should have a lab component), 8 semester hours of chemistry with lab, 8 semester hours of physics with lab, 3 psychology courses including general and two other upper division courses, one statistics course, 2 humanities courses and 2 courses in English, including at least one course in composition. The combined GPA of the prerequisite courses should also be 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. Applications are accepted beginning in April for the class that enrolls in August of the following year. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis and it is advantageous to apply early. Personal interviews are required. Interviews begin in October and continue through April. No preference is given to residents of Iowa. The average overall GPA for incoming students is 3.35.



96% of enrolled students graduate from the program (3-year average); 95% of the graduates passed the national licensure examination on the first attempt (3-year average); and 100% of graduates responding to surveys are employed (3-year average).



Tuition for the 2005-06 academic year is $18,360.00 that includes a $900.00 technology fee (for a personal laptop, software, and wireless internet connection) plus APTA/IPTA student dues. Ninety-five percent of the students enrolled at the university receive some type of financial aid. For specific information, contact the Director of Financial Aid.



The 22-acre campus complex is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood 5 minutes from downtown Des Moines, with convenient access to I-80, I-35, and Des Moines International Airport. While the university does not provide dormitory housing, there is an ample supply of off-campus rentals, many within walking distance, in a wide range of prices. Students are involved in numerous professional and social activities, student government, intramural athletic events, and community service projects.