University of Miami

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Miami



University of Miami (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 01/10/2005
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
Leonard M Miller School of Medicine
University of Miami
5915 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, 5th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone:   (305)284-4535
Fax:   (305)284-6128
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (305)284-4535
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Sherrill H Hayes, PT, PhD
Professor and Chair
  Accreditor:   Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (very high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor’s degree, March 1982 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, December 1986 (no longer offered) DPT degree, May 2001.
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2007
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Students enter the program in May and continue through the program, for three years (nine semesters), to graduation in May. Each year consists of two summer sessions and the fall and spring semesters. It is a full-time lock-step graduate program consisting of 105 graduate credits, including a research project and four full-time clinical internships. The objective of the Program is to prepare a highly skilled generalist practitioner in physical therapy, capable of practice in any setting. Students participate in faculty research as part of their required course work. The majority of students present their research projects at the Annual Conference of the American Physical Therapy Association or the Combined Section meeting of APTA; all students present their research at the Annual Research Colloquium of the Department of Physical Therapy. A variety of research facilities are available to students, including The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and the Department’s Steven J. Rose Center for Clinical Research, a dedicated research center of several well-equipped labs - cardio-pulmonary, isokinetics, electrophysiology, and movement analysis.
Students begin clinical experiences and internships in the second year of study, and end with 24 weeks at the end of the third year, for a total of 32 weeks of clinical internships. Every student is required to complete an assignment in an acute care setting, rehabilitation setting, and a specialty setting. The university has more than 350 clinical experience sites across the United States, including Hawaii.
There are 16 full-time and five part-time faculty members. Of the full-time faculty 88% hold post-professional doctoral degrees. Six faculty are certified as clinical specialists, 11 are engaged in clinical practice, and two are Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the APTA. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged 26 publications per year in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:4.
There are approximately 8,000 undergraduate students (80 pre-physical therapy students) and 4,500 graduate students at the university.
The mean grade point average (GPA) for the last 5 years (2002-2007) was 3.2-3.4. Classes are usually 25-45 persons per class. Each class of students begins in the summer session (mid-May). Minimum requirements for admission include an overall GPA, science GPA, and prerequisite GPA of 3.0; a Graduate Record Exam score of 500 on all three parts; three recommendations (one from a physical therapist); an essay detailing reasons for choosing physical therapy as a profession; and a personal interview. The prerequisite courses required include one semester in each: English composition, general biology, psychology, introductory statistics, human anatomy, human physiology (or 2 semesters of human anatomy/physiology combined); and 2 semesters in each: chemistry (w/lab) and physics (w/lab). Applications for the DPT program are processed on a rolling admissions basis with the final deadline on January 5th.
99% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). NPTE First Time pass rates for the last three years (2001-2003) were 98%, 97% and 96%. Students have multiple offers of employment at graduation, and 6 month post-graduation employment has been 100% for the last 3 years.
For the class of 2007, block tuition was $7,500 per semester for the nine semesters of study. There is limited on-campus housing for graduate students. Students usually find local apartments in the greater Miami-Coral Gables area with costs ranging between $400-$500 per month, per person. Approximately 90% of present students receive some sort of financial assistance. The Department of Physical Therapy offers numerous graduate assistantships in the second and third year of studies. The University of Miami Office of Financial Assistance works closely with all students in assisting them with securing adequate resources for their educational needs. Current programs available include the Graduate Student Loan (GSL up to $8,500 per year), the Supplemental Loan Program (SLP up to $10,000 additional), and the PLUS Loan (up to $4,000 additional, but with a higher interest rate). Additionally, there are work-study programs and other graduate assistantships throughout the university available on a competitive basis. Alumni and minority scholarships of $1,000-$3,000 are offered to students in all years of study through an endowment fund.
Intercollegiate athletics are traditionally of a national championship nature, especially in football and baseball. Some physical therapy students have the opportunity to work with the athletic teams in the training room. Intramurals are an important part of campus activities, and physical therapy students have had championships in women's softball and volleyball and in coed softball and flag football. Many physical therapy students find part-time employment working at the 200,000 square foot Wellness Center. Annual events and opportunities organized by and for our students are the Marquette Challenge (students raising money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy, U of Miami participating since 1989), the Hurricane Challenge (since 1987, our students raising money to bring all Miami-Dade county students with disabilities to the university for a day of special events, a picnic, and celebrity guests), and the Recreation for the Disabled course, in cooperation with Shake-a-leg of Miami (sailing course for able-bodied and disabled persons). Miami is a rich and unique city with numerous cultural activities, such as the ballet, the symphony, the theater, and, of course, South Beach and the Florida Keys.