University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse



University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (A4, D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 09/16/2002
Address:   Physical Therapy Program
University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Department of Health Professions
1725 State Street
LaCrosse, WI 54601
Phone:   (608)785-8470
Fax:   (608)785-8460
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
Michele Thorman, PT, DPT, MBA
Program Administrator
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, July 1976 (no longer offered) Master's degree, May 1996 Doctoral degree, April 2006
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Master of Science in Physical Therapy (no longer admitting students) Doctor of Physical Therapy
The PT program is 30 months in length with the first courses beginning immediately after Memorial Day. Students attend classes throughout the two summers within the program and attend clinical affiliations during final summer and fall. Specific courses within the PT curriculum and additional information can be obtained at A unique feature of the UW-L curriculum is the opportunity for students to elect to complete a thesis or participate in advanced clinical electives in spine orthopedics, biomechanics, sports PT, or adult/pediatric neurological PT throughout the second year of the curriculum. The UW-L Physical Therapy program is housed in the Health Science Center which is a new $27 million facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. A virtual tour of the facility is available at The HSC building is a product of the La Crosse Health Science Consortium which is a partnership among UW-La Crosse, two La Crosse Medical Facilities (Gundersen-Lutheran and Franciscan/Skemp/Mayo Health Centers), a fine arts university (Viterbo University) and the local technical college (Western Wisconsin Technical College). This unique alliance was formed in 1993 to facilitate allied health education and meet the health care needs of the region. At least 12 allied health educational programs share the five-story facility.
Students participate in two short-term clinical experiences of 4 weeks distributed throughout the first 24 months of the program. Students participate in three long-term clinical experiences upon completion of the didactic portion of the curriculum. The clinical education portion of the curriculum totals 32 weeks.
There are 10 full-time and five part-time faculty members. Five of the full-time faculty members hold post-professional doctoral degrees, two are doctoral candidates, four are certified as clinical specialists, and eight are engaged in clinical practice. Since 2001, UW-L faculty members have had 18 publications. The faculty to student ratio is 1:9.
Total enrollment for the University is 8,500 students of diverse culture, gender, and age. The physical therapy program currently accepts 40 students.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. An undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average and two clinical observational experiences of 20 hours each are required for application. Prerequisites include 4 credits each: biology and statistics; 5 credits of algebra and trigonometry; 6 credits of psychology; and 8 credits in each: chemistry, physics, and human anatomy-physiology. 41% of qualified applicants have been offered and accepted admission to the program (3-year average).
95% of students beginning the program graduate from the program (3-year average); 97% of the students successfully pass their NPTE on their first attempt.
The cost for 2001-02 maximum academic year tuition and fees (including summer session) is approximately $7,900 for Wisconsin and Minnesota residents, and $25,100 for out-of-state students. The program awards approximately $90,000 annually in student scholarships. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.
Dormitories provide housing for 60% of the undergraduate students. There is an ample supply of off-campus rentals in a wide price range. Fraternities and sororities also provide some housing. Cars are admitted without restriction. Intercollegiate athletics include baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling. La Crosse (pop. 54,000) is situated in "God's Country" on the Mississippi, has two large medical facilities and numerous technical businesses, and is located between the larger cities of Madison and Minneapolis-St Paul.