University of Rhode Island

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Rhode Island




University of Rhode Island (D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 03/15/2006
Address:   Physical Therapy Program
Physical Therapy Department
University of Rhode Island
25 West Independence Way
Suite J
Kingston, RI 02881-0180
Phone:   (401)874-5001
Fax:   (401)874-5630
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Beth C Marcoux, PT, PhD
Professor and Chair
  Accreditor:   New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc./Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Masters degree, April 1991: DPT degree, March 2006
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2015
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Master of Science in Physical Therapy (no longer admitting students); Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
URI offers a 109 credit DPT. A team evidence-based inquiry project is required, resulting in a major paper often presented at regional or national professional conferences. The program is a full time day program. Students spend half-days in class, either mornings or afternoons, depending on their year in the program. The average classroom lecture and laboratory time is 15-21 hours per week; in internships 35-40 hours a week is average. An additional 4-6 hours per week is needed during the evidence-based inquiry courses.
The course sequence in physical therapy is fixed and requires successful completion of all course work as prescribed. Clinical experiences are infused within later clinical courses. The first full-time internship experience is taken in the summer session between the second and third years of the program for 12 weeks. Two more sessions of full-time internship experience of 9 weeks at affiliated health care institutions occur during the spring semester of the third year. These experiences include settings of acute care, rehabilitation, and specialties. The clinical experiences are generally in the New England area; however, additional opportunities include nationwide locations. Two additional weeks are spent in non-traditional settings and can include experiences in developing nations, hippotherapy, and community service organizations.
There are seven full-time, five part-time, and four adjunct faculty members. Five of the seven full-time faculty hold academic doctorates (PhD or ScD), and clinical specialists in orthopedics, pediatrics, and geriatrics are on faculty. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:8.
MMore than 14,000 students are enrolled at The University of Rhode Island. The physical therapy program accepts 24 students each year. In the 3-year program, there are 72 students enrolled; approximately fifty percent of the students in each class are Rhode Island residents.
For fall acceptance, apply as early as September 1 of the previous year, but not later than the second Friday in January of the year of enrollment. Requirements include 3 credits each: general psychology and another advanced level psychology, pre-calculus math, and English; at least 3 credits of statistics required through ANOVA level; 8 credits each: chemistry and physics; and 12 total credits of biology (must include 4 credits in human anatomy and 4 credits in human physiology, these should be lab courses, and may be combined as A&P I and A&P II). Medical terminology is competency tested, and exercise physiology is recommended. Volunteer experience with a physical therapist is required (minimally 35 hours). A GPA of 3.0 is required overall. A GPA of 3.2. is required in the prerequisites. Most competitive applicants are over the 50th percentile in Graduate Records Exam scores. A bachelor's degree is required.
85% of admitted students graduate from the program (2-year average); 95% of the graduates passed the licensure exam on the first try (2-year average); and 100% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed if they desire to be so (2-year average).
There are teaching and service assistantships available for entry-level students. Full-time tuition and fees for RI residents are $6,178 per year. Nonresident tuition and fees are $17,772 per year. Tuition and fees for the summer semester, which occurs between the second and third year, are $1,580. Campus housing ranges from $5,352-$6,180 per 12-month yearly rental (two- or three-bedroom apartment, not including heat/electricity) for graduate students, but there is a significant waiting list. Average book costs are $500-600 per year. For graduate students, there are a few institutional fellowships and grants awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need. There are also a number of teaching assistantships and research or service assistantships available and a number of non-teaching college-assigned jobs. Federal and state fellowships, grants, loans, and work-study jobs are available. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 401/874-2314, or see the program website for details regarding availability of graduate assistantships.
Kingston is located in southern Rhode Island near ocean beaches and rural areas. The major metropolitan areas of Providence and Boston are 30 and 90 miles away, respectively. The campus is served by a mass transit bus system. The airport is 28 miles from campus, and passenger rail service is 2 miles from campus. Intramural athletics and a campus recreational facility are available. Many graduate students live off campus in rentals available in the off-season for the southern Rhode Island beaches (September-May).