Northern Illinois University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Northern Illinois University



Northern Illinois University (D5, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 07/14/2004
Address:   Program in Physical Therapy
School of Allied Health Professions
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone:   (815)753-1383
Fax:   (815)753-0720
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (815)756-1383
Financial Aid Phone:   (815)756-8236
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
M J Blaschak, PT, PhD
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, March 1982 (no longer offered) Master's degree, May 1999
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2013
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Master of Physical Therapy
This is a 3-year limited enrollment professional program that grants a Bachelor of Science in Health Science after the successful completion of the first three semesters and a Master of Physical Therapy after successful completion of the entire curriculum. Program graduates are well prepared to engage in general clinical practice. The university also has an organized pre-physical therapy program that prepares students for the professional program at Northern Illinois University as well as at other institutions. The pre-physical therapy program does not lead to a degree.
First-year students engage in a 4-week full-time clinical experience at the end of the spring semester. Second-year students have a 6-week full-time clinical experience during the last part of the fall semester and a 6-week full-time affiliation the following summer. An additional part-time experience is obtained during the fall semester of the third year. Two 8-week experiences occur during the spring semester prior to graduation. Students are required to complete experiences in a variety of patient settings. Sites are typically located within a 250-mile radius of Northern Illinois University.
There are five full-time and three part-time faculty members. Forty percent of the full-time faculty hold post-professional doctoral degrees, two faculty members are currently working on doctoral degrees, one is certified as a clinical specialist, one a certified athletic trainer, and four are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged two publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:13.6.
The university has a total enrollment of 18,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students. The physical therapy program accepts 36 students each fall semester.
Students are accepted into the professional program their senior year. The average GPA of students admitted during the past 5 years is 3.60 on a 4.0 scale. Prerequisite courses include 3 semester hours in each: math (trigonometry) and statistics; 5 semester hours of anatomy and physiology; 8 semester hours in each: biology, chemistry, and physics; 9 semester hours of psychology (to include abnormal and developmental psychology); 12 semester hours in upper division courses in an approved area of study; and completion of all university general education requirements. Other requirements include a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as well as in the prerequisite courses, 50 hours of experience in a physical therapy setting, and two references. An on-site interview may be requested. Applications are available September 1 through January 31, with an application deadline of February 15 for the following fall semester. Notification of acceptance is made by April 15. Transfer students must apply to Northern Illinois University through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 815/753-0446.
86% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); 89% of the graduates passed the licensure examination on the first try; 97% of graduates have passed the licensure examination (all attempts, 2-year average); 100% of graduates responding to a program survey are employed (2-year average)
For the 2004 - 2005 academic year, undergraduate tuition and fees are calculated at a rate of $2,730 per semester for tuition and fees for Illinois residents and $4,747 per semester for tuition and fees for out-of-state students. Tuition and fees per semester for the graduate component are $2,825 for Illinois residents and $4,810 for out-of-state students. Approximately 50% of students receive some financial aid. For information, contact the Student Financial Aid Office.
Dormitories provide housing for 40% of the students (freshman under age 21 are required to live in dormitories). There is a plentiful supply of off-campus housing in a variety of price ranges. Fraternities and sororities also provide some housing. Intercollegiate athletics include football, men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, soccer, tennis, golf, wresting, and swimming. Recreational athletics are available at several locations on- and off-campus. Northern Illinois University occupies a 460-acre campus located in DeKalb, a community of 33,000 people, 65 miles west of Chicago. Its location offers the advantages of ease of daily living associated with a medium-sized town while at the same time providing the cultural advantages of a major urban center.