Southwest Baptist University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Southwest Baptist University



Southwest Baptist University (A1, A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 04/10/2006
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
Southwest Baptist University
1600 University Avenue
Wheeler 136
Bolivar, MO 65613-2496
Phone:   (417)328-1672
Fax:   (417)328-1658
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (417)328-1690
Financial Aid Phone:   (417)328-1822
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Steven G Lesh, PT, PhD, SCS, ATC
Department Chair
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Masters degree, October 1998 (no longer offered) Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, March 2005
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2013
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The physical therapy department at Southwest Baptist University is dedicated to providing society with physical therapists who engage in the art and science of physical therapy with a Christian worldview. The graduate will be a clinician generalist who is prepared to provide physical therapy services for a diverse population in an evolving society and health care environment. Students enter the Doctor of Physical Therapy program in August of each year and continue through the program for 33 months straight until graduation in May of the third year. The curriculum starts with and builds upon the foundational sciences progressing to clinical application in order to achieve the mission and goals of the program. The program follows the traditional semester calendar of the University with some deviations during the summer months to accommodate for clinical education. The sequencing of courses and clinical experiences are arranged to challenge and develop independent, critical thinkers who recognize the value of physical therapy and who can communicate effectively to a variety of stakeholders. Students engage in the professional practice expectations on a diverse patient and client population throughout the lifespan. The faculty nurture and mentor students promoting personal, professional and spiritual growth.
Students experience two 8-week clinical rotations placed strategically during the summer months at the end of year 1 and year 2 of the program. The curriculum builds towards two final clinical rotations during the final academic semester before graduation totaling 18 weeks. Clinical rotations at the minimum will include one acute care hospital based experience, one outpatient orthopedic experience, and one adult neuro-rehabilitation experience. The program encourages students to seek opportunities to establish custom or specialized clinical experiences to further broaden the experiences of the student. Students should prepare for extra expenses including: transportation, housing, food, health exam, immunizations, professional liability insurance, criminal background checks, and current CPR.
There are eight full-time positions, six currently filled, and several part-time faculty members. All of the core faculty members hold post-professional doctoral degrees. Two of the core faculty and one part-time faculty are certified as clinical specialists, and three are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged eight publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:8.
The program accepts up to 32 physical therapy students in each class for a total of 96 students.
Applications may be obtained from the department of physical therapy at any time during the year. Starting September 15 of each year, the program will begin considering applications on an open basis for the class starting the following August. The following requirements must be met before being admitted to the physical therapy program (courses in progress during application process must be documented): 1) completion of a baccalaureate degree in any field, 2) completion of all prerequisite courses with a minimum of a "C" grade and a 3.0 GPA in prerequisites (prerequisites should not be taken pass/fail and include: a. general chemistry (2 semesters, each w/lab), b. general physics (2 semesters, each w/lab); c. biology (to include: general biology, anatomy and physiology (1 semester each or full year combined sequence), d. statistics (1 course); e. psychology (two courses, excluding psychological statistics), and f. pathophysiology is highly recommended, but not required), 3) earn a minimum overall grade point average (for all previous coursework or highest degree attained) of 2.75, 4) completion of an application packet, 5) documented experience or observation in the field of physical therapy, and 6) submit Graduate Record Exam scores. A well-balanced foundation in liberal arts at the undergraduate level is recommended. Experience forms are available from the physical therapy office. International students need to contact the department or SBU catalog for additional requirements including the TOEFL. Applicants not meeting the published minimum standards may be considered for conditional enrollment. 60% of qualified applicants are enrolled to the program (2-year average).
92% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). 100% of graduates who sought employment over the past three years have been employed. 95% of students who graduated from December 1998 to December 2004 have ultimately passed the licensure examination.
The non-refundable application fee is $25. Tuition for the Doctor of physical therapy program, August through July, is $16,500 per year paid in two installments. A non-refundable $500 deposit, applied toward tuition, is due upon acceptance into the program. Fees include a curriculum/lab fee of $320 per year, technology fee of $135 per semester, health fee of $34 per year, parking $40 per year, and graduation fee of $175. Fees apply to the 2006-2007 year. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning for assistance in applying for a Federal Stafford Student Loan.
SBU is located in Bolivar, Missouri, a town of 7,000 people with a low crime rate and strong community values. Located in the heart of southwest Missouri, Bolivar is just 30 minutes north of Springfield, 2 1/2 hours south of Kansas City, and 3 1/2 hours west of St. Louis.