Saint Louis University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Saint Louis University



Saint Louis University (A1, A2, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 05/09/2005
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
Doisy College of Health Sciences
Saint Louis University
3437 Caroline Street
St. Louis, MO 63104
Phone:   (314)977-8505
Fax:   (314)977-8513
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Mark F Reinking, PT, PhD, SCS, ATC
  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, August 1936 (no longer offered) Master's degree, May 1994 (no longer admitting students) Doctor of Physical Therapy, May 2005
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2010
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The purpose of the physical therapy program is to prepare physical therapists who are general practitioners using evidence-based principles to provide patient-centered care. The program meets the challenges of delivering competent and compassionate health care in an environment that is cost conscious by drawing on the extensive educational resources as a health care program within a Jesuit university. The program is part of a large health sciences campus which allows students to learn about and collaborate with individuals from a broad scope of health professions. In accordance with the Jesuit identity, which recognizes the dignity of all persons, the physical therapy program seeks to foster practitioners who are excellent practitioners and who act for the good of others. The breadth in the liberal arts and sciences, the depth in the professional training, and the opportunity for interprofessional learning experiences, enable the student to think critically, understand societal needs, value the dignity of life, respectfully care for others regardless of culture, background or needs, asses new developments in health care, and collaborate with other providers. Our program is freshman entry, with transfer students accepted if space is available. Once accepted as freshmen, students do not reapply later in the program provided they meet academic eligibility requirements. The students complete liberal arts and science courses in the first three years and the professional physical therapy courses primarily in the last three years. During the undergraduate years, students have the opportunity to develop individual interests and talents. They may complete the University’s Honors program and a minor and/or major in academic areas such as psychology, foreign language, or philosophy. They may participate in student activities such as athletics, music, drama groups, student government, study abroad, and service projects. After four years students are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science Degree through the Edward and Margaret Doisy College of Health Sciences. Students who successfully complete an additional two years in the physical therapy program are awarded the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree.
Students participate in the equivalent of 32 weeks of clinical experiences integrated during the physical therapy curriculum. Students begin clinical experience in the senior year with planned half day sessions in a clinical facility, continue with three full-time clinical facility assignments during the professional years, and complete the program with an 18 week full-time clinical experience divided between two facilities. Students are assigned to a variety of types of clinical facilities so that they may gain experience in a variety of settings and types of patient conditions. The University is affiliated with over 300 clinical sites located throughout the country including international sites. The clinical education experiences are sequenced so that students assume increasing levels and amounts of professional responsibilities.
There are 16 full-time faculty members. Among the faculty 56% hold doctoral degrees, three are certified as clinical specialists, and five are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged two publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Over 11,000 students are enrolled in the university in undergraduate, graduate or professional programs. The physical therapy program enrolls 90 freshman students from a pool of 300 applicants.
Students must apply for fall acceptance in the fall of senior year of secondary school. The application is through the regular Office of Undergraduate Admissions. 62% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average). Transfer students without a bachelor’s degree may be admitted on a space available basis and placed in the program according to courses that are transferable and applicable to the physical therapy core curriculum. Application process is through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions process. Applicants who hold a bachelor degree may be considered on a space available basis. These applicants will ordinarily complete the final three years of the program including two summer sessions. The application process is through the Graduate School.
85% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). Pass rate on the licensure exam for first time takers in 2002 was 100.00%. Over the past three years the average pass rate has been 92.54%. Of the graduates who respond to our survey and are seeking employment, 100% have jobs within three months of graduation.
Full-time undergraduate tuition per academic semester for 2005-06 is $12,380. Institutional funding for undergraduates is awarded on the basis of academic merit, financial need, service, athletic ability, and other considerations. Federal and state funding for students is also awarded.
Campus residence halls house 35% of students, 85% of freshmen. Some on campus university leased apartments are available. Located in a lovely campus setting, in mid-town St. Louis, within walking or short commute to cultural and sporting venues. Many of the physical therapy students participate in music, drama, sports, campus ministry, student government, and service organization. About one third of the students spend a semester studying abroad. NCAA Division I athletics include baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, and track for men; and basketball, field hockey, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball for women.