Thomas Jefferson University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Thomas Jefferson University




Thomas Jefferson University (D5, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 08/11/2006
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
School of Health Professions
Thomas Jefferson University
130 South Ninth Street
Suite 830, Edison Building
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5233
Phone:   (215)503-8025
Fax:   (215)503-3499
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (215)503-1044
Financial Aid Phone:   (215)955-2867
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Penny G. Kroll, PT, PhD
Associate Professor and Department Chair
  Accreditor:   Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, May 1985 (no longer offered) Master's degree, April 1990 (no longer offered) DPT degree, September 2003
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2010
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The DPT program is a post-baccalaureate program based upon a clinical problem-solving approach to health care issues throughout the life span, integrated with a health and wellness model. In addition to educating experts in examination and treatment of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems that affect peoples’ ability to function optimally, the program seeks to educate physical therapists skilled in prevention and health maintenance techniques employed to assure maximum health and fitness in themselves and in clients. The DPT program emphasizes teaching of process skills that better prepare students to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare environment, and encourages professional behaviors that embody those advocated by the APTA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Students are expected to integrate theory, practice and research within a problem-solving approach employing scientific knowledge, humanistic values, critical analysis and a systematic approach to making clinical decisions. As part of a faculty member’s research agenda, students are required to design and implement a research project, and complete a manuscript related to this research. Some of the educational goals of the program are to: provide students with the conceptual framework that is necessary to adjust to evolving changes in providing health care within our diverse society; inculcate the uses of evidence-based practice in establishing diagnosis, prognosis, plans of care and interventions; plant the seeds of inquiry that will challenge future practitioners to employ research methods in clinical settings in order to discover optimum physical therapy interventions in addressing functional problems in client populations. The DPT program is three years in length with didactic work interspersed with clinical internships in the second and third years.
The DPT program includes 38 weeks of fulltime clinical experiences with one 8-week internship occurring in the fall semester of the 2nd year and another 8-week internship occurring in the spring of the second year. In the third year students complete a 10-week internship in the fall, followed by a 10-week internship in the summer prior to graduation in August. Clinical experiences in the form of field trips to local facilities are integrated throughout the curriculum, the first occurring in the second semester. The full-time clinical experience that commences during the first 8-week internship is typically a general acute care experience. Prior to graduation, the students will be able to participate in clinical experiences with sites that are national, and sometimes international, in scope. Student placement is individualized to each student's strengths, weaknesses, and needs. The final clinical experience may be incorporated as a specialty clinical experience, exposing the student to less traditional practice and professional arena; for example, government, research laboratories, ergonomics, education, and administration.
The Department of Physical Therapy at Thomas Jefferson University has 12 permanent faculty positions, with 11 full-time positions, one part-time position, and 15 part-time faculty positions. Of the full-time faculty members, 9 have post-professional doctoral degrees, 2 are certified as clinical specialists, and 6 are engaged in clinical practice. Faculty are engaged in various scholarly activities such as invited presentations (18), poster or platform presentations (7) and publications (10). In addition, 5 faculty served as manuscript/grant reviewers for 13 different publishers and organizations, and 8 faculty served on 34 different local, state and national level panels, boards, committees, or organizations.
The physical therapy program has a total enrollment of 105 students in all three years of the program. The entering class of 2006 is expected to have 40 students chosen from approximately 200 applicants.
Applications are evaluated on a rolling admission, first-come, first-serve basis and are accepted after September 1st for the following fall. A bachelor’s degree is a general required for admissions. However, under exclusive articulation agreements, a small number of students may be considered for early acceptance. Admission, in these cases, is a selective process and occurs after acceptance to the articulating school, and an application and interview with faculty from Jefferson and the articulating school. To be considered a strong academic record is required and the student’s record must show evidence of the depth and breadth of coursework typically seen in records of bachelor’s degree applicants. For all applicants, prerequisites include (59 semester hours): 3 semester hours (sh) each of mathematics (college algebra/trigonometry, or pre-calculus, or calculus), and statistics, 9 sh in the humanities (including 3 sh of composition/writing and preferably ethics or philosophy), 9 sh of social sciences (including 6 sh of psychology, abnormal and developmental preferred) 4 sh of science-major-level anatomy and physiology, 8 sh of general biology w/lab, general chemistry w/lab, and science-major-level physics w/lab (need not be calculus-based); and 3 sh of nutrition/health and wellness. For admissions information, contact Office of Admissions, 130 South Ninth Street, Suite 1610, Edison Building, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5233; 215/503-1044, toll free 877/JEFFCHP (9533-3247), web site:
Tuition for the 2006-07 academic year will be $25,617 per year. For specific information regarding financial aid, contact Susan Batchelor, PhD, Director of Financial Aid, G 1 College Building, 1025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5083; 215/955-5855.
The College of Health Professions is housed in an academic health center within Philadelphia. The campus covers nine square blocks and includes a 697-bed hospital, the College of Graduate Studies, the Jefferson Medical College, and the College of Health Professions. On-campus housing ranges from private dorm rooms to apartments. Both on and off campus housing are plentiful and reasonably priced. Intramural basketball, rugby and volleyball are among the competitive sports available to students. The University has an Activities Department that sponsors programs for persons with varied interest. Student professional organizations and special interest clubs are supported by the Activities Department. Each student receives free membership to a premier health club on campus.