University of Nebraska Medical Center

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Nebraska Medical Center



University of Nebraska Medical Center (D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 10/04/2006
Address:   Division of Physical Therapy Education
University of Nebraska Medical Center
984420 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-4420
Phone:   (402)559-4259
Fax:   (402)559-8626
Financial Aid Phone:   (402)559-4199
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Patricia A Hageman, PT, PhD
Professor and Director
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, May 1972 (no longer offered) Master's degree, April 1990 (no longer offered) DPT degree, May 2000
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2014
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The entry-level DPT program is designed to provide a broad scope education for entry-level practitioners and to emphasize development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. UNMC was one of the first public institutions to offer the entry-level DPT degree, accepting its first DPT class in 2000. In 2006, the UNMC Division of Physical Therapy Education was recognized for excellence in teaching when it received the University-Wide Departmental Teaching Award, which is awarded to only one unit in the entire, four-campus University of Nebraska system each year. The DPT program, located on an academic health sciences center campus, affords interaction with over a dozen other health professions educational programs and a strong relationship with the affiliated teaching hospital, The Nebraska Medical Center. The state-of-the-art, $53 million Sorrell Center for Health Sciences Education will open on the UNMC campus in 2008. Students must complete a minimum of 90 semester hours of prerequisite course work prior to admission into the professional program. The DPT professional program is 3 years in length, during which students complete 125 credit hours of didactic and clinical course work. A formal thesis is not required, but opportunities for participation in clinical and basic science research are available for interested students. Students enter the program in mid-August and graduate in May of their third professional year.
The clinical education component of the curriculum comprises 34 weeks of full-time clinical experience spread over the course of the 3-year professional program. The program offers clinical experiences in a variety of practice settings in more than 180 facilities throughout the United States. To promote physical therapy practice in underserved areas, all students are encouraged to participate in at least one rural clinical practice experience. Opportunities for international clinical experiences are also available.
There are currently 13.2 FTE faculty positions, with 6 faculty holding PhD degrees and eight certified as clinical specialists in 5 different practice areas. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged ten publications per year in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty to student ratio is 1:9.
Student enrollment at UNMC includes more than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The entering DPT class size is 42, with at total DPT student enrollment of approximately 126.
Complete information regarding admissions requirements and procedures may be found at . Applicants must complete an online application, available at . Current applications are available August 1st of each year, and all application materials must be received by November 1st. Based on the written application materials, a limited number of applicants are offered personal interviews, which are held in early January. A personal interview is required for admission. Applicants are required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and to submit scores for the GRE. Applicants must have a minimum of 90 semester hours of prerequisite course work including 1course in anatomy, 1 course in physiology, and 1 year each of chemistry and physics (all with labs). Applicants are strongly encouraged to take a balance of electives consistent with a liberal arts education, while pursuing depth of study as typically demonstrated by a discipline major. The preferred applicant will have an academic record that reflects a balance of course work in the humanities and the social and natural sciences. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply regardless of residency, although preference is given to applicants who are current residents of Nebraska. Typical characteristics of the entering classes include a mean GPA of 3.75, a male:female ratio of 1:2.5, and an average student age of 23 years. Approximately 27% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
95% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average, 2004-2006). 92.3% of graduates pass the licensure examination on the first attempt and 100% ultimately pass the licensure exam (3-year averages, 2004-2006).
For the 2006-07 academic year, tuition for Nebraska residents averages $8,003 per year for each of the three years in the professional program, and tuition for nonresidents averages $19,756 per year. Costs for course fees, health care fees, general fees, malpractice insurance and books average approximately $2,400 per year. Costs associated with travel and room and board during clinical experiences are additional. Nearly all students receive some financial assistance in the form of loans, grants, or scholarships. Information about financial assistance may be obtained at
More than 716,000 people live in Omaha and the surrounding metropolitan area. The size of the city leads to a variety of options for arts, theater, entertainment, restaurants and services. The 18,000 seat Quest Center arena consistently draws top concerts, and has been ranked in the top 10 in ticket sales for arenas world-wide. Omaha has one of the lowest costs of living among major metropolitan areas, and the crime rate is one of the lowest in the nation for cities its size. Newly constructed student apartments are available on campus, and a variety of affordable off-campus rental accommodations are available. The campus Student Life Center houses a state-of-the-art health and fitness facility, and intramural sports and other student activities are available on campus.