University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center



University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (A4, D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 08/29/2005
Address:   Physical Therapy Program
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
4200 East Ninth Avenue, Box C244
Denver, CO 80262
Phone:   (303)372-9144
Fax:   (303)372-9016
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (303)372-9142
Financial Aid Phone:   (303)315-8364
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD
  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:   Bachelor’s degree, November 1947 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, September 1990 (no longer offered) DPT degree, June 2003
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2010
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) educational program is an entry-level professional program that educates competent, ethical physical therapists to assume the multifaceted roles of clinical practitioner, patient manager, teacher, researcher, administrator, consultant, and advocate. The Program also offers a transitional DPT educational program for licensed physical therapy clinicians who want to pursue a DPT degree. The doctoral entry-level professional program is on the semester system with the first semester beginning in early June. The program requires 3 academic years and three summers (9 semesters, 36 months) of full-time study. Unique characteristics of the Program include: a metropolitan academic health sciences center campus whose mission includes rural and underserved commitments; strong clinical faculty interaction involving clinicians as lab assistants, teaching in their specialty areas, as well as supervising students on clinical rotations; collaborative learning with small group activities; use of community volunteers and standardized patients; full computer access to the Internet; service learning components; and early clinical experiences. Students are in class an average of 20 hours a week which includes approximately 12 lecture/discussion hours and 8 laboratory hours. Clinical experiences are integrated within the 3-year curriculum. Graduation is at the end of May.
Students participate in 36 weeks of full-time clinical education experiences and 4 weeks of fieldwork. In year one, there is a 4-week full-time clinical rotation in the second semester. In year two, 160 hours of field work are integrated with course work in the first and second semesters and an 8-week full-time experience occurs at the end of the third semester. In year three, there are two 12-week full-time clinical experiences in general and/or specialty physical therapy practice settings in the second and third semesters. The Physical Therapy Program affiliates with 275 clinical sites. Clinical sites are located in metropolitan Denver as well as throughout Colorado and the western states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Opportunities exist for international clinical affiliations. Clinical opportunities include acute care, rehabilitation, pediatrics, sports medicine/outpatient orthopedics, industrial rehabilitation, nursing homes and extended care facilities, home health, and geriatric centers. A rural or underserved clinical affiliation is required.
There are eight full-time and five part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty 50% hold post-professional doctoral degrees and 77% are engaged in clinical practice. In addition to these faculty members, approximately 68 faculty, who are part of the Health Sciences Center campus, instruct in the basic and medical science courses as well as the physical therapy management tracks. With the advent of the DPT, the number of full-time faculty will be expanded. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged 12 publications in peer-reviewed journals annually. The faculty to student ratio is 1:6 for lectures and 1:4 for most labs.
The total enrollment of students on campus is approximately 2,476 with an academic and clinical faculty numbering 2,573. By 2006-07, one hundred twenty of these students will be enrolled in the Physical Therapy Program. Forty to 45 students are accepted into the Program annually. The program is an integral part of the School of Medicine.
Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in a field other than physical therapy. Prerequisite courses for 2005 include 4 semester hours each in human anatomy and human or mammalian physiology, and 8 semester hours in biology, chemistry and physics. For 2006 and beyond, minimum coursework in semester hours includes; 4 hours each in separate courses in human anatomy and human physiology, 8 hours each in general chemistry and general physics, 3 hours each in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and statistics, calculus or upper division mathematics, 6 hours in psychology or sociology, and an additional 3 hours of upper division basic science, psychology or sociology. A minimum cumulative and science grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected. All applicants are expected to have computer literacy. The online application is available from July through early December. All applications submitted online, with all supporting materials received by December 15th, will be evaluated based upon coursework completed and in progress, GRE scores, completion of 45 hours of field work, and 3 recommendations (academic & clinical). The most qualified applicants will be invited for a personal interview in February, and notification of admission for the June matriculation is sent in late February. The cumulative GPA for the current class is 3.78. The average 2-part GRE score is 1150; the average Written Assessment score is 4.5. The average age of students entering the Program is 26.
95% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average).
For the 2005-06 academic year, the resident tuition is $339 per credit, and the non-resident tuition is $794 per credit for the first year. Once resident status is achieved (1 year), the tuition cost decreases for the subsequent two years. Tuition for Transition DPT students is $350 per credit hour. Health insurance fees are $1,493 per year; health service fees are $280 per year; the activity fee is $20 per year; and the physical therapy fees are $250 per year. The total cost of books, supplies, and laboratory instruments for the 36-month program is approximately $3,000. Financial aid packages available to students include scholarships, work-study, and/or student loans. The majority of students utilize Federal Direct Stafford Loans that allot $18,500/yr for physical therapy students. A variety of other loans, grants, and scholarships are available through the institution, the Physical Therapy Program, and private sources. 94% of the physical therapy students received financial aid during the 2003-04 academic year. Additional information may be obtained from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Financial Aid Office, 4200 E 9th Avenue, Box A088, Denver, CO 80262, 303/315-8364,
The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center is one of four campuses of the University of Colorado. Its location in Denver affords the cultural advantages of a major metropolitan center. The Health Sciences Center includes the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Dentistry, Graduate School, Colorado Psychiatric Hospital, the University of Colorado Hospital Authority, and various related affiliated institutions. As the only academic health sciences center in the state as well as the only one within a 500-mile radius of Denver, CU serves as a hub for a broad network of health care delivery and has a clearly defined mission of quality education, patient care and community service, and the advancement of knowledge through research. Inexpensive housing within bicycle or walking distance is readily available. The university has the following support services available to students: Student Assistance Office (housing, child care referral, counseling, intramural sports, social events, and the Student Senate), Denison Memorial Library, Center for Multicultural Enrichment, Fitness Center, Bookstore, Health Services, and a Learning Resource Center. The Physical Therapy Council coordinates activities related to student government, orientation for prospective students, social activities, and student involvement with the Colorado Chapter of the APTA.