New York Medical College

Information about Physical Therapist program at New York Medical College




New York Medical College (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 10/16/2006
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
Department of Physical Therapy
New York Medical College
School of Public Health
Room 302
Valhalla, NY 10595
Phone:   (914)594-4917
Fax:   (914)594-4292
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (914)594-4917
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Michael J Majsak, PT, EdD
Associate Professor and Chair
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Master's degree, April 1997 (no longer offered) DPT degree, October 2001
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2007
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Placed in a School of Public Health within a medical university, the program at New York Medical College offers an experience that leads to unparalleled excellence in the profession of Physical Therapy. Classes are taught by faculty from not only the Department of Physical Therapy, but from all departments of the School of Public Health, from the School of Medicine, and from the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences. Together, they help our physical therapy students to develop a strong foundation in basic sciences, integrate basic sciences with the clinical art of physical therapy, and develop expertise in patient examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention. Being in a School of Public Health provides students a perspective on physical therapy that does not occur in a traditional medical school environment. Our students learn how to promote healthy lifestyles and work environments, how to prevent health problems or detect them at the earliest stages through state-of-the-art screening techniques for risk factors and early indicators of illness, and how to design health and wellness programs. These skills complement those needed to treat patients in acute-care settings, rehabilitation centers, home care and long-term care settings. The curriculum is highly interactive, including traditional lectures and laboratories, a well-structured Problem-Based Learning environment, and multiple clinical experiences with patients. Students carry out service-based learning activities and community service projects. Students also have the opportunity to study a specialized aspect of physical therapy through a faculty-mentored doctoral thesis in an area of teaching, public health, or clinical research. The program’s assets includes: an outstanding community of faculty, students, and alumni; state-of-the-art facilities; an innovative curriculum blending traditional coursework with Problem-Based Learning; diverse clinical sites and experiences; and personalized support and mentoring within a small class size. Graduates are prepared to practice autonomously in all clinical settings, and adapt their practice strategies to changes in the healthcare environment. This advanced standard of practice corresponds to patients’ “direct access” to physical therapists in New York and more than 40 other States.
The philosophy of the Department of Physical Therapy is that students benefit from a diversity of experiences, rather than extended clinical experiences at only a few facilities. Thus, students at New York Medical College complete five full-time clinical education experiences, totaling more than 9 months of clinical education, that are interwoven across the curriculum. Students practice treating a wide variety of patients in diverse healthcare settings and specialized clinics that span the entire United States. In all cases, students are well-supervised and mentored by experienced practicing therapists.
Six core faculty form the basis of the program faculty. However, foundational sciences are taught by medical school and basic medical science faculty, and courses in biostatistics and health administration are taught by faculty of the School of Public Health. Thus, six additional faculty play a pivotal role in the curriculum. In addition, clinicians from area hospitals and clinics are heavily involved in teaching the clinically related coursework. Altogether, over 20 instructors and professors play a part in educating our students.
New York Medical College enrolls over 1,600 students in three schools: the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences. To ensure a close and effective educational environment, the class size for the DPT program is limited to 30 students. Students come to study from all regions of the United States and from different parts of the world.
Most students enter the graduate program in physical therapy immediately following the completion of their baccalaureate degrees, but many students enroll after one or several years of working. A small number of students begin studies after completing their junior year at one of the colleges with which the School of Public Health maintains an articulation agreement. This year’s incoming DPT class had an average undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 and an average prerequisite GPA of 3.2. Students are welcome to apply with a wide variety of undergraduate majors. Prerequisite course for admissions include: 1 semester of general biology, math (college-level), and statistics; 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology (w/lab), chemistry (w/labs), and physics (w/labs); one course in general psychology and another in advanced psychology (e.g., abnormal and developmental psychology, physiological psychology). A minimum grade of C is required for all prerequisite courses (C- or lower not accepted). Scores on the Graduate Record Examination must also be submitted. Fifty hours of volunteer or work experience in a physical therapy setting is required. All students must demonstrate evidence of professional readiness through a written essay, submission of a resume of life experience, and three recommendations (one from a physical therapist, one from a college professor, one additional). Applications are accepted beginning November 1st each year, but must be received in the Admissions Office no later than March 5th. An on-campus interview and orientation day is typically required as a component of the admissions process; however, special arrangements can be made for students unable to visit the campus for financial reasons. Admissions are made on a rolling basis from November until a full class has been admitted.
Our graduates are well-prepared to assume full clinical responsibilities. They are well-respected by physical therapists in all areas of practice. The DPT graduates of New York Medical College have generally taken the national licensure exam within 2 months of graduating and have consistently attained a first-time passing rate 92%, well above the state and national averages, and ultimately a 100% passing rate. Employment is 100% within six months of graduation. New York Medical College graduates receive excellent starting salaries and sign-on bonuses, rapid promotion to supervisory positions, and have presented their doctoral work at state and national physical therapy conferences. The three year average graduation rate is 98% of admitted students.
Tuition for the 2005-2006 academic year is $22,150. Fees totaling $270 for health services, network and voicemail access, and student activities are separate. On-campus housing costs approximately $5,900 per year. Average book and supply costs are $1,800 for the 2 years. A limited number of Dean’s Scholarships are available to students for their first year of study. Most students are eligible for loan programs that are sufficient to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. There are some additional sources of financial aid. In particular, government agencies and private institutions offer scholarships to students in exchange for service with pay after graduation. New York Medical College is a member school of the New York City Board of Education Scholarship program, which pays for up to two years of tuition for three years of employment following graduation. Students must generally apply for these scholarships on their own, but are assisted by program faculty and university staff.
New York Medical College is located on a pastoral 565-acre campus shared with the Westchester County Medical Center. Resting within the historical Hudson River Valley, the campus is close to both the Catskill Mountains and Long Island sound. For interests in arts, fashion, and culture, New York City lies just 25 miles south. On-campus housing is available for students, although the number of rooms/apartments is limited. Priority is given to first-year students. The Student Housing Office works with students to make arrangements for both on-campus and off-campus housing.