Pacific University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Pacific University




Pacific University (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 08/13/2003
Address:   School of Physical Therapy
Pacific University
222 SE 8th Avenue, Suite 333
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Phone:   (503)352-2846
Fax:   (503)352-2995
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (800)635-0561 ext. 2846
Financial Aid Phone:   (503)352-2222
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Richard Rutt, PT, PhD
  Accreditor:   The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  Carnegie Classification:   Doctoral/Research Universities
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, April 1977 (no longer offered) Master's degree, May 1986 (no longer offered) DPT degree, May 2000
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2015
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The School of Physical Therapy offers the doctoral degree in physical therapy in a three-year course of study. The primary goal of the School of Physical Therapy is to graduate a well-rounded and highly competent clinician ready to assume duties in the standard areas of physical therapy practice, i.e., hospital departments, out-patient clinics, private practices, acute and long term care facilities. To achieve this goal, every effort is made to offer a curriculum well balanced in the areas of orthopedic, neurologic, and general physical therapy with attention to the needs of pediatric patients, geriatric patients and other special populations. The curriculum is organized to allow didactic classroom learning to periodically intermix with clinical learning. Beginning with the second semester of the first year, and continuing each semester thereafter, longer and longer time periods are spent in the clinic. Thus, during the program, 36 weeks are devoted to full-time clinical experiences and internships. Threaded throughout the curriculum and emphasized in all courses are problem solving, ethical and professional behavior, good writing and speaking skills, the value of research, life-long learning and the importance of contributing to the growth and development of the profession. Classes begin in late August and students spend approximately 36 hours per week in class. Graduation is in May.
Currently the School of Physical Therapy affiliates with 183 different clinical facilities. These include acute hospital settings, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, private practices, in school systems, specialized hospitals and home health agencies. Although the majority of these sites are in the Portland area and in Oregon, students also go to many other states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Utah, and Washington. New clinical sites are continually added in order to provide variety and quality to the students’ clinical experiences
There are 10 full-time and eleven part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty members, 60% hold post-professional doctoral degrees, two will complete post-professional doctoral degrees within the next 2 years, two are certified as clinical specialists and several are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged two publications in peer-reviewed journals and one to two invited presentations at regional and national conferences.
Total enrollment at the University is 2,260. Enrollment in the School of Physical Therapy is 108 with a faculty/student ratio of 1:9.
Admission is highly selective, but each applicant is considered individually. Factors taken into account for the admission decision include: cumulative and science grade point average; evidence of voluntary or paid work in the field of physical therapy; and a personal interview on campus. Prerequisites include 2 semester hours of statistics; 6 semester hours in each: psychology, social sciences, and humanities; 8 semester hours of physics; 9 semester hours of English/writing; and 12 semester hours in: biological sciences (including human anatomy and physiology) and 8 semester hours of chemistry. The application deadline is the 5th of December of the year previous to the year of intended enrollment. Thirty-one percent of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
99% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average).
Student tuition and fees in the School of Physical Therapy for the 2004-2005 academic year is $20,640. Students live off-campus. Average costs for books, supplies and equipment are $1100 first year, $800 second year, and $500 third year. The University has a strong commitment to a financial aid program based on need and academic performance. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Student Exchange Program offers financial assistance to certified professional physical therapy students from the following five states only: Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming. For further information, contact WICHE Student Exchange Program, PO Drawer P, Boulder, CO 80302.
Pacific University, established in 1849, is located in Forest Grove, a town with a population of 12,500 and 25 miles southwest of Portland. The University’s location offers physical therapy students the values associated with a small town environment as well as some of the excitement of the city of Portland. The campus, which offers many cultural, sports and social events and opportunities, is within easy access to Portland, the Oregon beaches and the Cascade Mountains. The University is traditional with an international outlook. The undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences is enhanced by a select cluster of graduate professional schools: the College of Optometry, the College of Education, and the College of Health Professions, which houses the School of Professional Psychology, the School of Occupational Therapy, the School of Physician Assistant Studies, and the School of Physical Therapy.