St Ambrose University

Information about Physical Therapy program at St Ambrose University



St Ambrose University (D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 06/28/2005
Address:   Physical Therapy Department
College of Education & Health Sciences
St Ambrose University
518 West Locust
Davenport, IA 52803
Phone:   (563)333-6403
Fax:   (563)333-6410
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (563)333-6403
Financial Aid Phone:   (563)333-6314
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Sandra L Cassady, PT, PhD
Professor and Director
  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:   Master's degree, May 1996 (no longer offered) DPT degree, August 2002
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2010
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The mission of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is to prepare highly competent physical therapists who have the broad knowledge and skills required for the scope of physical therapist practice. Graduates of the program will be known for their compassionate care of all individuals, professional development, commitment to life-long learning, and high standards of professional behavior. The sequence of the DPT curriculum is organized to allow for completion of the DPT degree in 2.5-years over a total of 28 months. Throughout the curriculum we stress critical thinking skills and help students bridge theory with practice. The curriculum is responsive to evolving trends in health care, with annual reviews to keep up with changing health care needs. Each incoming class starts in August and continues through December of the third academic year.
Clinical experiences in the DPT program includes 2 weeks (80 hours) during the first winter session; 3 weeks (120 hours) during the first summer; 2 weeks (80 hours) during the second fall semester; 2 weeks (80 hours) in the second spring semester; and three separate experiences over the second summer and third fall semesters totaling 26 weeks (8, 8, and 10 weeks, 1040 hours). Overall, clinical experiences total 35 weeks (1400 hours). Clinical sites are established in a variety of settings, in over 400 locations throughout the country.
There are nine full-time departmental faculty members, two part-time departmental faculty members, and two extra-departmental support faculty members. Five faculty members hold post-professional doctoral degrees, five hold specialist certifications, three are enrolled in post-professional doctoral programs, and six are actively engaged in clinical practice in a range of settings. Faculty members are active in professional associations and scholarly activities. The core faculty have averaged 8.5 peer reviewed and invited publications per year over the last two years. The student to faculty ratio is 10:1.
Approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled in the four colleges that comprise St. Ambrose University. Approximately 25% of SAU students are graduate students. The Physical Therapy Department accepts up to 30 students each year. No preference is given to state residents in the admissions process.
Applicants choose from three possible tracks to follow in seeking admission to the DPT Program at St. Ambrose University. Annually, up to 30 students are admitted into the DPT Program through these different tracks. Track I (3+2.5) was established for admitting up to 15 high school seniors per year who will be guaranteed placement in the DPT class three years later if they continue to meet all requirements as undergraduates at SAU. Track II (3 + 2.5) is intended for college juniors either from SAU or other institutions. Track III (4+2.5) is designed for persons who have completed an undergraduate degree. High school seniors interested in Track I should contact the SAU Admissions Office (563-333-6300). Early Honors Admissions Decisions are available in the fall for college students with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of >3.5 / 4.0 and completed application portfolio. Early Honors Decisions Application deadline is October 15 (Tracks Ib, II and III). Spring deadline is February 1 (Tracks Ib, II and III). Candidates with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0 are encouraged to apply by the deadlines, as later applicants may be interviewing for a position on the waiting list. Many factors are considered during the acceptance process, including: cumulative GPA, science GPA, GRE scores, references, documented clinical hours, and an on-site interview. Application packets are available through the Physical Therapy office (563/333-6403), downloadable from the department web page ( or through on-line application at the same web-site.
Since the program was established, 95% of admitted students have graduated. In the period from 2002 - 2004, 99% of the graduates passed the licensure exam. All graduates responding to surveys are employed.
Tuition is billed by credit hours. For 2005-06, zone tuition (12-18 credits) is $9,265. Credits outside of zone are billed at $577 per credit. Total cost for tuition and fees based on 2005 - 2006 rates is $51,134. Fees are approximately $400 per year. Costs for books average $500/year. Additional estimated costs include a $25 application fee and a $200 acceptance fee. Approximately 90% of PT graduate students receive financial aid in the form of loans, grants, and graduate assistantships. Housing costs in the metropolitan Quad Cities are moderate.
St Ambrose University is a private Catholic institution with four colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and Health Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies. Approximately 1,100 students live on campus. Private housing is available for students who wish to live off campus. St Ambrose University is located in Davenport, Iowa, in the upper Midwest, overlooking the Mississippi River. The metropolitan Quad Cities area has a population of nearly 400,000 and is made up of four larger cites and several smaller communities in Illinois and Iowa. Campus events include band concerts, plays, fine arts performances, an active intramural sports program and intercollegiate athletics. The Graduate Student Government Association and many student groups also sponsor social and cultural activities. The Student Physical Therapy Organization participates in a range of service, professional, and philanthropic activities. The Quad Cities area offers a lively array of events and entertainment opportunities, ranging from the symphony, to blues and jazz festivals, to arena football. The Quad Cities' nationally acclaimed civic center brings in a wide variety of major concerts and events to the community.