MGH Institute of Health Professions

Information about Physical Therapist program at MGH Institute of Health Professions



MGH Institute of Health Professions (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 11/03/2004
Address:   Entry-Level DPT Program
Graduate Programs in Physical Therapy
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Charlestown Navy Yard
36 1st Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
Phone:   (617)726-8009
Fax:   (617)724-6321
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (617)726-3140
Financial Aid Phone:   (617)726-3140
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Leslie G Portney, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA
  Accreditor:   New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc./Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Other health professions schools
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Master's degree, October 1997 (no longer offered) DPT degree, June 2000
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2014
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Entry-level DPT Program consists of a 3-year curriculum (100 credits) that includes academic and clinical experiences. The academic portion of the curriculum is full-time over 2.3 years, including summers. Students begin the program in June with an 8-week summer session. The third year is designed as a full-time paid clinical internship. Students graduate from the Institute after the first four months of the internship, and are then eligible to sit for licensure and complete the internship year as a licensed physical therapist. The curriculum is based on a philosophy that emphasizes critical analysis and decision making, the development of professional behaviors, and the integration of academic course work and clinical experience within an evidence-based practice framework. The program prepares generalists for practice in a variety of settings throughout the continuum of health care.
The program values clinical experience as an essential component of professional development. Students participate in clinical experiences during each semester of study. Throughout the program, students work with different patient populations and in varied health care settings as part of their clinical education program. Although most clinical sites are located within the northeast, students are responsible for travel and housing expenses associated with clinical experiences outside the Boston area. During each academic semester, students participate in half-day practicum experiences every week in groups of two to four, allowing practice of skills learned in class. Two full-time, 10-week clinical experiences are scheduled, one in the summer following the first academic year, and one in the spring of the second year. Following completion of the academic program in September at the start of the third year, each student participates in a final clinical internship in one facility. This is a 1-year paid position (although some alternative models are used to accommodate clinical facilities). Internship sites offer different settings and rotations, providing opportunities for varied exposure and long-term professional development. Although students graduate after completing the first 4 months of their internship, students enter the program with the understanding that they make a commitment to the internship facility for 1 full year. Students are matched to internship sites following submission of resumes and formal interviews. Internship sites are located primarily in the greater New England area, but may require relocation to areas such as Washington, DC, Chicago, New York or California. With an 8-year record of successful implementation of internships, our graduates are recognized for the quality of their clinical preparation.
There are 10 full-time and 6 part-time faculty members, and more than 30 adjunct clinical faculty that support the academic program. Of the full-time faculty, 100% hold the DPT degree, 4 hold PhD’s and 2 are completing doctoral studies, 4 faculty are certified as clinical specialists, and 7 are engaged in part-time clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 16 publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:7.
The Institute has a total of 600 students across all programs. The professional program in physical therapy has a total enrollment of approximately 100 students with 32-40 students in each class.
The Institute admits students at the post-baccalaureate level only. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and must complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better: 1 year in each: chemistry and physics (w/lab); 1 semester in each: biology (w/lab), anatomy (w/lab), human physiology, exercise physiology, statistics, developmental psychology and either general or abnormal psychology; and 3 courses in humanities or social sciences. Applicants must have a minimum of 10 hours exposure to physical therapy, which may include observation, volunteer or paid work experience. Applicants must also take the Graduate Record Examination, complete three essays and submit three references as part of their application. The application deadline is January 10. Following application review, selected candidates are invited for admissions interviews, which are required. Interviews take place in early February. Candidates are notified of decisions by the end of February. 75% of applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
95% of admitted students graduate from the program, 100% have passed the licensing exam (97% for first-time takers) and employment rate of our graduates is consistently 100%. (3 year averages)
For the 2004-2005 academic year, tuition is $707 per credit. An additional fee of $960 is assessed each year. A variety of financial aid awards and merit scholarships are available through the Institute, although the primary source of aid is the Federal Stafford Loan program. Students who complete financial aid applications will automatically be considered for both types of aid. Students are also eligible for work-study opportunities as graduate assistants. Information on specific sources of aid and scholarships can be obtained from the Manager of Financial Aid at 617/726-3140.
The MGH Institute of Health Professions is an autonomous graduate educational institution offering degrees in physical therapy (entry-level and post-professional), nursing, communication sciences and disorders, and clinical investigation. At the postprofessional level we offer an advanced Master of Science or Certificate of Advanced Study in clinical specializations, as well as a transitional DPT. The post-professional physical therapy program provides a rich source for mentoring as clinical faculty, teaching assistants and research advisors. Students at the Institute represent a wide variety of backgrounds and former career experiences. Students in the physical therapy program come from across the country and Canada, with the majority from outside New England. The physical therapy program also has a large international student population in the post-professional program. Boston provides a dynamic cultural and social environment for all interests and tastes. An affiliate of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare, Inc., the Institute is located in downtown Boston, near MGH and close to the major medical institutions of the city, providing access to the outstanding resources of a world-renowned medical center. In January, 2002, the Institute moved into newly-renovated state-of-the-art facilities in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard. The Institute has access to the MGH Treadwell Medical Library, the MGH Biomotion Laboratory, and other resources of the MGH and the Harvard teaching hospitals. The Institute does not provide housing for students, but can provide general information to assist students in making housing arrangements.