University of Puget Sound

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Puget Sound



University of Puget Sound (A4, D6, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 03/12/2007
Address:   School of Physical Therapy
University of Puget Sound
1500 North Warner, CMB 1070
Tacoma, WA 98416
Phone:   (253)879-3281
Fax:   (253)879-2933
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (253)879-3211
Financial Aid Phone:   (253)879-3234
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Kathie Hummel-Berry, PT, PhD
Professor and Director
  Accreditor:   The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, June 1978 (no longer offered) Master's degree, September 1988 (no longer offered) DPT degree, August 2001
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Academic work in the program is sequentially integrated and supported by experiences in the on-site teaching clinic. (The on-site clinic is a primarily pro-bono, outpatient teaching clinic with five services: general orthopedics, sports therapy, oncology physical therapy, pediatrics and adult neurorehabilitation. Students under the direction of expert clinicians (who are hired solely to teach) provide all care in the on-site clinic.) During fall and spring semesters of the first year, students study critical foundational information and complete assignments that involve patient contact in the on-site clinic such as history-taking exercises. During fall and spring semesters of the second year, students study the theory and foundation, then the techniques of clinical practice. Throughout that time the students see patients one full day per week in the on-site teaching clinic. During the summer following the second year, students complete a 9 week clinical internship off campus. During fall semester of the third year, students take capstone courses to integrate all previous material, and two advanced clinical electives in addition to caring for patients in the on-site teaching clinic two full days per week. Students spend spring semester of the third year completing an additional 21 weeks of full-time clinical internship. Fall semester begins in September and spring semester ends in early May. Students spend 17-19 hours per week in class, with a combination of lecture and discussion classes, and laboratory classes emphasizing patient care. There is no thesis requirement; however each student participates in a collaborative clinical research project working in small groups mentored by faculty members.
Clinical experiences are integrated with the academic program beginning in the first year. In the second year, students practice in the on-site clinic one day per week throughout the academic year, then complete a 9-week internship off campus in the summer following the second year. During the third year, students continue to practice two full days per week in the on-site teaching clinic during fall semester, and 21 additional full-time weeks during spring semester. The aggregate total time spent in clinic is the equivalent of 38 weeks. Clinical internship sites are located throughout the western United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.
There are eight core faculty members, two of whom are half-time. In addition, selected clinical experts provide specialty instruction as part-time instructors. Of the core faculty members, five (65%) hold post-professional doctoral degrees, and a sixth is working on a post-professional doctorate. two are certified clinical specialists and five are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged nine publications per year in peer-reviewed journals. The core faculty to student ratio is currently 1:9.3.
Total UPS enrollment includes 2,900 undergraduate students and 208 graduate students from 50 states and 13 nations. The physical therapy program has a target enrollment of 90 students with 30 in each class. The class entering in fall 2007 was selected from a qualified pool of 274 applicants.
Required prerequisites include: 8 semester hours each of physics, anatomy and physiology (minimum GPA of 3.0); 8 semester hours of general chemistry; 4 semester hours each of introductory or abnormal psychology, and statistics (minimum C grade in each course). Approximately 31% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
Over the last three graduating classes 99% of admitted students graduated from the program, 90% of graduates passed the licensure exam on the first try, 100% ultimately passed the licensure exam, and 100% of graduates responding to surveys were employed in physical therapy within 6 months of graduation.
For the 2007-2008 academic year, tuition will be $12,000/semester (for 5 semesters) plus a $650 clinic fee in the summer following the second year and a $3,430 clinical fee payable in the sixth semester. Books cost approximately $500 per semester. Off-campus housing varies from $300-$600 a month depending on type of accommodation. Ten percent of the physical therapy students receive scholarships from the university based on academic credentials. Approximately 10% of the students receive WICHE funding from their state. Work-study and teaching assistantships provide some financial assistance. Approximately fifty percent of students successfully compete for scholarships from various sources.
The University of Puget Sound is located on a 72-acre campus in Tacoma. Tacoma is nestled in the midsection of western Washington, near the southern tip of Puget Sound, 30 minutes south of Seattle. Puget Sound and Commencement Bay provide walking, jogging, or bicycling on a waterfront path, just minutes from the campus. The Cascade Mountain Range lies 1 hour east of Tacoma, affording opportunities for skiing and hiking. Students seeking art, performance, professional sports, and entertainment will find numerous opportunities on campus, in the community, and in Seattle.