Washington University of St Louis

Information about Physical Therapist program at Washington University of St Louis



Washington University of St Louis (A4, D6, F1, PR)

Last Updated by Program: 02/11/2004
Address:   Program in Physical Therapy
Washington University of St. Louis
School of Medicine
4444 Forest Park Blvd., Suite 1101
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone:   (314)286-1400
Fax:   (314)286-1410
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (314)286-1400
Financial Aid Phone:   (314)362-6855
Web Address:   http://pt.wustl.edu/
Program E-mail:   ptprog@msnotes.wustl.edu
Susan S Deusinger, PT, PhD
  Accreditor:   Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (very high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor’s degree, June 1942 (no longer offered) Master’s degree, March 1988 (no longer offered) DPT degree, May 2000
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
The program embraces the view that the area of expertise unique to physical therapy is movement dysfunction. The clinical science of physical therapy is both knowledge of the structure and function of the human organism drawn from the basic biomedical and physical sciences and knowledge of human behavior derived from the social and behavioral sciences. The curriculum is designed to train students to examine a patient for the presence of a movement-related condition, determine a diagnosis and prognosis and, as indicated intervene directly and/or refer to another practitioner. Courses are organized by topic and combine lecture and lab format as is appropriate. The first year begins in August and includes two academic semesters followed by eight weeks of full-time clinical experience in May. The second year includes two academic semesters, an interim eight-week, full-time clinical experience in January. The third year begins with a 10-week, full-time clinical experience, a 12-week, full-time clinical experience and concludes with a 15-week semester that ends in May. Students are required to learn and integrate material from all of the sciences relevant to clinical practice and understand the impact of structure, function, disease, and aging on the ability of the human body to move, function, and respond to treatment. Students use their understanding of scientific principles and knowledge to support their clinical decisions, and interact with patients in an effective, ethical, and compassionate manner. Students spend an average of 32 hours per week in class each semester, with a substantial amount of class time dedicated to developing technical and problem-solving skills, using classmates, patients, and written case studies, which are increasingly complex. While approximately 170 individuals are involved in teaching our students, 23 of them have offices in the department and are regarded as primary faculty. Strengths of the program include the use of a large, diverse community-based faculty, a strong emphasis on clinical practice and research as faculty responsibilities, and the extent and breadth of our clinical education component.
Students participate in part-time clinical experiences for a total of 80 hours in the first semester and 45 hours in the second semester of the first year of study. Two 8-week, full-time clinical experiences are scheduled, the first one immediately following the second semester, and the second one between semesters three and four. One 10-week, full-time experience is completed after the fourth semester followed by a 12-week, full-time clinical experience prior to the start of the fifth semester (which begins in January). Clinical sites are offered throughout the United States. Students are required to have a variety of experiences to facilitate becoming general practitioners.
There are 24 full-time and 2 part-time faculty members. Of the primary faculty 92% hold post-professional doctoral degrees, 3 are certified as clinical specialists and 16 are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 2 years, the faculty has averaged 41 publications in peer-reviewed journals annually. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:6.9.
Washington University has a total enrollment of 13,020 students. Over the last three years, the physical therapy program has selected an average of 60 students from an average pool of 145 national and international applicants. A total of 179 students are currently enrolled in the program.
Students must have a baccalaureate degree prior to enrollment and must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination. CPR and first aid certification are also required prior to enrollment. The grade point average for the class entering in 2004-05 was 3.60 on a 4.0 scale. The following prerequisite courses are required: 1 year in each: physics (w/lab), chemistry (w/lab), and biology, English (including English composition), and psychology (including abnormal psychology). Courses in anatomy, physiology, trigonometry, statistics, social sciences, and the humanities are also required. Applications are available in mid-July and must be submitted no later than March 1, unless special circumstances prevail, or with extension considered on a year-to-year basis. The program uses a rolling admissions process where applications are reviewed in the order in which they are completed, and decisions are sent out immediately following each meeting of the Admissions Committee. The review process normally begins in late fall and ends in May. 78% of qualified applicants are admitted to the program (3-year average).
98% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). 93% of our students who graduated in 2004 have passed the physical therapy national licensure exam on their first attempt (national average is 73%). The majority of our students accepted positions of their choice (many having multiple offers) by graduation, while the remainder accepted positions within three months of graduation.
For the 2005-06 academic year, tuition is $13,207 per semester with a $543 per credit fee for each clinical experience. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $600. At this time approximately 88% of students in the physical therapy program are receiving some form of financial aid, which is awarded on the basis of financial need or academic merit.
A dormitory housing medical, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and health administration students is located on the Medical School campus. Apartments are plentiful in the area. The university offers multiple opportunities for students to participate in intramural sports. The Program in Physical Therapy is located on Washington University’s medical campus in the heart of St. Louis. Located near multiple attractions including the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Museum of History, the St. Louis Science Center, and Forest Park, including recreational activities such as bicycling and jogging paths, golf courses and tennis courts. The city is served by Lambert International Airport, and public transportation is also available.