University of South Dakota

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of South Dakota




University of South Dakota (D6, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 07/20/2004
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
University of South Dakota
414 East Clark
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone:   (605)677-6241
Fax:   (605)677-6529
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (605)677-5915
Financial Aid Phone:   (605)677-5446
Web Address:
Lana R Svien, PT, PhD, MA
Professor and Chair
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Doctoral/Research Universities
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Master's degree, May 1993: DPT degree, June 2005
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The University of South Dakota Physical Therapy Program is a two-year academic program (82 semester credits) leading to a Master of Science degree. The program is selective and admits students to begin matriculation in the fall semester. Students who are accepted into the program must be enrolled on a full-time basis for each semester, including summer sessions. The physical therapy plan of study is arranged in a specific sequence that students must follow. No courses may be taken prior to admission to the program. The first year of the program consists of basic science courses that are integrated with Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant and Medical students, as well as foundational physical therapy courses. The second year of the program focuses on clinical science courses for the entry- level practitioner.
Clinical education begins in the second semester of the program and is integrated throughout the program with 1-day integrated experiences. Clinical education courses include one 4-week internship, one 5-week internship and two 7-week internships. Most of the clinical facilities are located in South Dakota, and others are in the surrounding Midwestern states. Two of the full-time clinical education internships must be completed at rural sites.
There are five full-time faculty members and six adjunct faculty members. Three are certified as clinical specialists and four are doctorally trained. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 1-2 publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty-to- student ratio is 1:8.6.
The physical therapy program accepts 26 students per year. Preference is given to South Dakota residents.
A baccalaureate degree is required. Prerequisites include 3-4 semester credits each: human anatomy, human physiology, statistics, general psychology, developmental psychology, and abnormal psychology; 6 semester credits of English composition; 6-8 semester credits each: biology, chemistry, and physics; and 9-12 semester credits each: humanities and social sciences. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative basic science GPA of 2.7. Completion of the Graduate Record Exam, three letters of recommendation, a monitored writing sample, an interview and a minimum of 100 hours of observation with a physical therapist are also required. 39.8% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
98% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). Passage rate on the Federation Board Exam is 90% (3-year average) and 100% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed (3-year average).
Tuition in 2004-2005 was approximately $8970 per year for South Dakota residents, $10,000 per year for Minnesota residents and $26,441 per year for nonresidents. The curriculum is composed of 82 credit hours. The Financial Aid Department assists the physical therapy students in obtaining financial assistance.
Founded in 1862 by the Dakota Territorial Legislature, USD is the oldest state university in South Dakota and is designated as the state’s only liberal arts university. The University houses the state’s only law and medical schools and the only College of Fine Arts. USD is one of six universities governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents of Education. The University has been accredited by the Commission in Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913. USD is an active member of Land Grant Colleges and many other state agencies. The University of South Dakota is located in Vermillion, a community of 10,000 people situated in the southeastern corner of the state. The University is composed of the Graduate School, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, College of Fine Arts, School of Education, School of Law, and School of Medicine. Off-campus housing is available within walking distance. Support services are available within the University.