Gannon University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Gannon University




Gannon University (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 09/08/2004
Address:   Physical Therapist Program
Gannon University
College of Sciences, Engineering & Health Sciences
AJ Palumbo Academic Center
109 University Square
Erie, PA 16541-0001
Phone:   (814)871-5639
Fax:   (814)871-5662
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Kristine S Legters, PT, DSc, NCS
Chair, DPT Program
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Master's degree, May 1993 (no longer offered); DPT degree, September 2004
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Gannon offers an entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) after the completion of thirty-two (32) months of study (including summers). Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the framework for physical therapy practitioners’ clinical decision making. Both clinical science and research content are framed within an EBP format, utilizing current scientific research in conjunction with clinical experience for a specific patient/client problem within the physical therapists’ scope of practice. The study of normal structure and function is followed by specific case-based patient/client problems and pathologies organized around body systems. Elements of the patient/client management model including examination, evaluation, physical therapy differential diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and outcomes are integrated into each of the clinical science courses. Concepts between and within each course are cumulative, competency based, and continued enrollment depends upon mastery and use of previous concepts. Practical clinical experiences are integrated into the academic program at the completion of major areas of study. The academic coordinator of clinical education assigns students to clinical sites, based on student needs and learning goals. In addition to sites in the Erie and Western Pennsylvania areas, the program offers clinical experiences at sites throughout the United States and Canada.
Students participate in four full-time clinical experiences [forty (40) total weeks] spaced throughout the curriculum. Students also participate in part-time observational experiences as part of an academic course. The clinical education component is designed to allow students the opportunity to practice and refine their assessment process, skills and techniques immediately following the presentation of the didactic material. The Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education formally tracks the clinical site placements of each student, makes site selections, and advises each student to gain the most diverse exposure possible. The students are required to go outside of Northwestern Pennsylvania for a least two of the four clinical rotations.
There are six full-time and one part-time faculty. Three of the full-time faculty have post-professional doctoral degrees. Three faculty are ABPTS certified. There are six actively practicing faculty. The average number of publications in peer reviewed journals over the past 3 years was .84 per year. The faculty/student ratio is 13 to 1.
Total enrollment is approximately 3,800 students in a small comprehensive, Catholic, urban university. The physical therapy program enrolls 30 students and gives preference to Gannon University graduates. Places are reserved for qualified graduates of other universities and colleges. Articulation agreements for early enrollment exist with Lock Haven University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Thiel College and Mercyhurst College.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required. Applicants must have a cumulative prerequisite course quality point average (QPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale and an undergraduate cumulative QPA of 3.0 Satisfactory (C or better) completion of prerequisite courses and an on-campus interview are required as well. Exposure to physical therapy and the health care setting is strongly encouraged but not required. Prerequisites include 1 course in each: statistics, research methods, developmental psychology, human anatomy (w/lab), human or vertebrate physiology (w/lab), and exercise physiology; and 2 courses in physics (w/labs). All prerequisites must be completed with five years of applications. Two courses in sociology and a course in kinesiology are strongly recommended. Students must demonstrate graduate level competence in written and verbal communication. Applications processed on a rolling admissions basis.
95% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); 99% of the graduates passed the licensure exam (3-year average); and 99% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed (3-year average).
Tuition, with 10 or more credits, is $ $9,290.00 per semester. Tuition, with 9 credits or less, is $5170.00 per semester. The tuition will remain at that rate for the eight semesters that students are continuously enrolled in the program. Book costs are approximately $1,200 total. Physical therapy fees are between $75 and $200 per semester. The University fee is $$15 per credit for semesters with 1-8 credits and $ 185 per semester for 9 or more credits. Enrolled students should expect to spend approximately $3,500-$4,000 total for all clinical experiences. Costs between students vary depending on travel and cost of living. A majority of students at Gannon University receive financial assistance. Several graduate assistantship positions for certified athletic trainers and for students interested in assisting in laboratory courses in anatomy and neurosciences are funded by the program and provide partial tuition waiver and stipend. Twenty $1,000 physical therapy academic scholarships are awarded annually. Graduate students receive aid from public, private, and corporate sources. More than three-fourths of the physical therapy students receive financial aid.
Graduate students live in off-campus housing conveniently available in the surrounding area. However, a limited number of on-campus rooms re available for graduate students. Gannon University operates a large recreational facility, and Erie has numerous recreational facilities available associated with Lake Erie. Winter sports and activities abound within 30 minutes of Erie, including skiing.