Governors State University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Governors State University




Governors State University (A4, D6, F1, PU)


Last Updated by Program: 02/22/2007


Address:   Department of Physical Therapy

College of Health Professions


University Park, IL60466


Phone:   (708)534-7290 Fax:   (708)534-1647


Web Address:

Program E-mail:



Russell E Carter, PT, EdD

Department Chair



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

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



  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Masters Degree, December 1998 (no longer admitting students); Doctoral Degree, February 2007

  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation

  Next Visit   2010

  Five Year History:   Accreditation; Probation 5/00-4/02; Accreditation



Master of Physical Therapy;

Doctor of Physical Therapy



The University academic year is divided into three 15-week trimesters. The program runs eight and one half consecutive trimesters, or 34 months with the first term of the program beginning with the Summer trimester. The graduate completes a minimum of 120 credit hours. The first year focuses largely on the foundational sciences of human anatomy, physiology of disease, and biomechanics/kinesiology. Course work in patient care is also introduced during the first year. During the last five weeks of the third trimester students participate in a five-week clinical experience. An increased emphasis on clinical sciences occurs during the second year. During the last half of the sixth, part of the seventh and the eight trimester the student participates in the four full time clinical experiences, applied research and elective courses. Students must complete a Clinical Case Research Project prior to graduation from the program.



The students have a total of 33 weeks of full-time clinical experiences. The first full-time clinical experience is a 5-week clinical practicum that occurs at the end of the third trimester during the second summer term. The remaining 28 weeks of full-time clinical experiences consist of four clinical internships of 7 weeks each. The first two clinical internships run consecutively beginning after the completion of 4 weeks of classes during the sixth trimester. The final two clinical internships can be scheduled together at one setting and occur during the final trimester of the program. Every student is required to have a clinical experience in an orthopedic setting, a neurological setting, an inpatient setting, and an outpatient setting. The program has contracts with more than 150 different clinical settings.



There are 9.5 full-time and seven part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty, 89% hold post-professional doctoral degrees and three are certified as clinical specialists; one each in geriatric physical therapy, sports physical therapy and orthopedic physical therapy. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 1:5.5 publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:6.7.



There are approximately 3,000 undergraduate students and 3,000 graduate students enrolled at GovernorsStateUniversity. The Physical Therapy Program admits new students into the Program during the Spring/Summer Trimester. The Program has a maximum capacity of 28 students per class.



Applicants are required to have a baccalaureate degree at the time of enrollment. The minimum overall grade point average (GPA) for an applicant to be considered for the Program is 2.8 out of a 4.0. The minimum GPA for prerequisite course work is 3.0 our of 4.0. The Graduate Record Examination must be completed for consideration for admission with a minimum score of 1000 points combined on the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections required. Applicants are required to complete a course that provides an overview to the field of physical therapy; an essay describing reasons for selecting physical therapy as a profession; three letters of recommendation, including one from a physical therapist and one from an instructor; and a personal interview. The following, in semester hours, is required prerequisite course work: General Biology with lab (4); General Chemistry with lab (4); one additional higher level Biology or Chemistry course with lab (4); Anatomy with lab (4-8); either two semester sequence of 100 level Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab (8) OR one semester of 200 level or higher with lab (4); General Physics with lab (8); Statistics (3); Medical Terminology (1); General Psychology (3); Abnormal Psychology (3); Developmental Psychology (3) such as Seasons of Life or Cognitive Development Through the Life Cycle; and Orientation to Physical Therapy (2) (PHYT 320). The deadline for application is November 1 for a Spring/Summer enrollment. Late admissions packets will be accepted on a space available basis. Online admissions information and applications are available through the program website. 62.1% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).



92.8% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); the three-year overall licensure examination pass rate average is 80.4%; the three-year average of our licensed graduates’ employment as physical therapists to the level they desire is 100%.



The University operates on a trimester basis, with three15-week trimesters per academic year. The Physical Therapy Program runs for eight and one half consecutive trimesters over 34 months. DPT tuition for Illinois residents is twice the standard graduate student tuition at GovernorsStateUniversity. DPT tuition for non Illinois residents is triple the standard graduate student tuition. The current graduate student tuition rate may be found at our website, Health insurance is not included in tuition and fees. There is no on-campus housing. Students find housing in the area, with costs ranging from $400-$600 per month per person. The total costs, including housing, board, transportation, books, health insurance, and tuition/fees for a student to attend the GSU Physical Therapy Program for the 34 months between June 2007 and April 2010 was estimated at $40,698. Costs may vary according to inflation, location, type of vehicle, and location of clinical affiliations. Financial aid services are available through our Office of Financial Aid. Students may obtain information on their eligibility for Perkins, Stafford, and Direct Loans from the Office of Financial Aid. The Department of Physical Therapy has provided financial assistance to eligible recipients through the federal government’s Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program. The amount available varies from year to year, and awards are based on the student's need. Other scholarships are available for students in the DPT program, and students in the College of Health Professions. Information on these scholarships is available from the Governors State University Alumni Association. Financial assistance is often available from different health facilities in the Chicago area. Typically, these facilities offer financial assistance requiring employment with those facilities upon graduation. Information on these forms of assistance is available from the Department. Finally, the Department has two graduate assistantships available each year. Additionally, the College of Health Professions has other GA positions available as well as several graduate research assistantships. Information on these positions is available at the College's website.



GovernorsStateUniversity is an upper division university, serving juniors, seniors, and master's students, exclusively. The University is located in the far southern suburbs of Chicago, about 30 miles from downtown Chicago. There is convenient access to public transportation, including METRA rail service and abundant parking is available. More than 80% of the students attend the University part time. The 750-acre campus has six lakes on the grounds and features the internationally renowned NathanManilowSculpturePark. The University has a 1,200 seat state-of-the-art Center for Performing Arts with a full season of performances. In addition, the University has a full-sized gymnasium with pool, workout rooms, and racquetball courts. There is a cafeteria, student bookstore, spacious library, and state-of-the-art computer laboratories.