Western Carolina University

Information about Physical Therapist program at Western Carolina University




Western Carolina University (A4, D5, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 09/29/2005
Address:   Department of Physical Therapy
312 Moore Building
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723-9646
Phone:   (828)227-7070
Fax:   (828)227-7071
Admissions/Student Inquiry Phone:   (828)227-7070
Financial Aid Phone:   (828)227-7290
Web Address:   http://www.wcu.edu/aps/pt
Program E-mail:   klunnen@email.wcu.edu
Karen Y Lunnen, PT, EdD
Department Head, Associate Professor
  Accreditor:   Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges
  Carnegie Classification:   Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   May 1998
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2013
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Master of Physical Therapy
Each new class is enrolled in August and continues for six consecutive semesters. Two summer sessions are included in the curriculum. Graduation is in August, two calendar years after enrollment. The final summer semester consists of two full-time clinical internships.
At this time, the program provides a total of 26 weeks of full-time clinical education experiences. One after each semester of didactic content. The first internship begins following completion of the first fall semester. The final two internships, one 6-week and one 8-week, are completed during the final summer semester prior to graduation in August. Numerous clinical sites throughout western North Carolina and the United States are available. Beginning the first fall semester and continuing throughout the curriculum there are clinical laboratory and service-learning experiences that provide short-term clinical involvement.
Seven full-time faculty members provide the core content supplemented with many adjuncts who share their expertise in specialized areas. Of the full-time faculty 71% hold postprofessional doctoral degrees. Over the past 3 years the faculty has averaged three publications in peer-reviewed forums. The faculty to student ratio is 1:9.
Western Carolina University enrolls approximately 8,100 students, with approximately 1,500 graduate students. The Department of Physical Therapy accepts a maximum of 32 students each year.
The first class graduated in August 1998. For the last three classes admitted to the program, the average grade point average (GPA) (last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework) was 3.3; average GPA (pre-requisite courses) was 3.46; average verbal score on the G.R.E. was 466 and the average quantitative score on the G.R.E. was 566. Minimum requirements for admission include an undergraduate degree (major not specified), prerequisite courses, GRE scores, recommendations from 3 persons (one physical therapist and one college instructor), record of volunteer and/or paid work in physical therapy, and an essay on a subject determined by the Admissions Committee each year. Prerequisite courses include: human anatomy (4 sh), human physiology (4 sh), chemistry (8 sh), general physics (8 sh), statistics (3 sh), and social sciences (6 sh). All prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C. Science courses must include a laboratory. Application deadline is February 1.
90.8% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average); 84.6% of the graduates passed the licensure exam on the first try (3-year average); and 99% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed (3-year average).
Estimated fall and spring semester graduate tuition and fees for 2005-2006 are $1672 for North Carolina-residents and $6465 for out-of-state residents. Summer tuition is estimated at $153 per credit for in-state and $203 per credit for out-of-state residents. On-campus housing in graduate student dormitories is available for approximately $2,100 per semester. Off-campus housing is available in the surrounding area. Graduate assistantships are available. A limited number of tuition waivers, chancellor’s fellowships and study grants are available to well-qualified graduate students. The department offers a scholarship to encourage diversity in a total amount of $3000 per year. Other financial aid services and loans are available through the university’s Office of Financial Aid.
Western Carolina University provides excellent fitness, individual and team sports facilities, and a recently expanded University Center with student lounges and galleries, movie theater, recreation, and food services. Multiple cultural events occur on campus throughout the year such as guest lecturers, concerts and art exhibits. A new $28 million Fine Arts Center open Fall 2005. Outdoor sports such as whitewater rafting, fishing, mountain biking, and hiking are available in nearby mountain recreational areas. The campus is approximately 50 miles west of Asheville, the nearest metropolitan area.