The University of Iowa

Information about Physical Therapist program at The University of Iowa



The University of Iowa (A4, D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 07/20/2004
Address:   Graduate Program in Physical Therapy & Rehab Science
Graduate Program in Physical Therapy & Rehab Science
The University of Iowa
1-252 Medical Education Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1190
Phone:   (319)335-9791
Fax:   (319)335-9707
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (319)335-9792
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Richard K Shields, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Professor and Director
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (very high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Certificate, January 1943 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, December 1986 (no longer offered) DPT degree, October 2003
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2015
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The physical therapy program curriculum is 2 1/2 years in length. Students are admitted into the DPT program in mid July and graduate in December with the DPT degree.
Clinical education experiences are integrated within the program of study and are organized in a concurrent pattern, with a full-time clinical assignment at the end of the didactic curriculum. Students have integrated clinical rotations during all but the first summer of the academic program. A 6-week full time clinical experience is scheduled in the summer following the first year of classes. The final 27 weeks of the program are full-time clinical assignments in which students spend 9 weeks in each of 3 separate internships in approved clinical sites throughout the United States.
There are 7 full-time and 7 part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty 86% hold post-professional doctoral degrees. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 13 publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1: 7.
The university enrolls approximately 29,000 students of diverse culture, gender, and age. Approximately 6,500 are enrolled in the graduate college. The physical therapy program enrolls 36 students each summer for the 2-1/2 year curriculum.
A baccalaureate degree is required for admission. Prerequisites include 3 semester hours in each: human physiology, mathematics, and statistics; 6 semester hours of psychology; 8 semester hours in each: general chemistry and physics; and 12 semester hours of biology/zoology. Applicants are also required to take the Graduate Record Examination general aptitude test. Although the minimum cumulative GPA required for admission is 3.00, the GPA of the last five classes was 3.68. Students matriculate in July. 51% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (5-year average).
94% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); 88% of the graduates passed the licensure exam on the first try (3-year average); and 100% of those program graduates are employed in physical therapy (or pursuing higher level education).
Based on 2004-2005 rates the total 2-1/2 year (102 semester hours) cost of tuition and fees (computer fees, student activities fee, health services fees) for residents of Iowa is $30,475; for nonresidents the total cost of tuition and fees is $66,560. This does not include housing, books, health insurance, etc. Housing costs vary greatly. An off-campus 2-bedroom apartment averages $585/month. Major sources of support for students include parental assistance, accumulated savings, the income of working spouses, part-time jobs, scholarships, and loans. Persons seeking financial assistance are encouraged to do so independently. The physical therapy program has some resources for financial aid awards. Eligibility for financial aid is based on need established by completion of the College Scholarship Service Financial Aid Form, which includes an evaluation of parents' income and assets. Eligible students may receive Stafford Loans, Graduate Tuition Grants, and college work-study program award packages. Interest on loans accrues at a comparatively low rate, and loans are repayable over an extended period of time after completion of the course of study.
University of Iowa students live and work in a place that provides for a wide range of activities and stimulation both on and off campus. Iowa City is a picturesque and thriving Midwestern city. Intellectual, cultural, social, and recreational opportunities are abundant. The program has a strong research focus that nurtures superior intellectual activity through its outstanding facilities, talented faculty, and students. The University of Iowa Health Center is one of the most advanced health science centers in the United States.