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The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at Radford University is a post-baccalaureate degree conferred upon successful completion of a doctoral level professional physical therapy education program.
It signifies completion of the current requirements needed to enter the profession and represents the completion of a comprehensive program and the fulfillment of high standards of clinical performance in professional preparation. Graduates of an accredited physical therapy education program are eligible to sit for the state licensure exam.
The DPT degree was created by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Their Vision 2020 states that "By 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function, and health."
The Department of Physical Therapy aspires to prepare responsive and engaged professionals who lead by example by providing best practice care. Our vision parallels the APTA’s 2030 vision that physical therapy will be provided by doctors of physical therapy. Physical therapists will be recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function and health.
Offering the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is one example of Radford University’s commitment to educate highly competent practitioners to serve the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. This department strives to develop leading practitioners who will improve access and quality of care for aging and underserved populations.
If you are interested in our physical therapy program, we invite you to review the physical therapy prerequisite requirements, curriculum and clinical education opportunities. Student learning and evidence based practice are emphasized throughout the DPT curriculum. Faculty research is tangible and supports evidence based practice by bringing the most current knowledge into the classroom as it evolves.
Radford University features strong partnerships with local and national businesses, hospitals, and public schools to offer a variety of experiential learning experiences. This diversity will prepare our students to provide quality physical therapy care throughout the lifespan of population and within areas of interest. Radford University interdepartmental associations also provide a multitude of positive on-campus learning opportunities.
The curriculum for the Physical Therapy Program is designed to foster an intellectual and psychomotor teaching/learning environment that is student focused. The educational format engages students to develop and perfect decision-making skills, critical thinking, psychomotor skill development, and social skills integration. The curriculum is built on a simple to complex model beginning with an integration of foundational and clinical sciences and progressing to complex and diverse practical learning experiences. Participation and application of current research stimulates practitioners to be current in everyday practice and pursue life-long learning. These activities result in the development of diverse autonomous practitioners with the intellectual awareness, social skills, and psychomotor skills to positively impact their communities and the profession of physical therapy.
The program offers a course of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy. The program is designed to prepare students as entry-level, diverse, culturally sensitive autonomous practitioners of physical therapy. A variety of health care institutions, agencies, and practice settings are utilized for clinical educational experiences; both on a local and national level. Clinical Education is an integral component of the student’s educational experience. The Graduate College Catalog describe(s) the curriculum, which is subject to revision and refinement as needed to keep abreast of current physical therapy education and practice.
The mission of the Department of Physical Therapy is to develop culturally sensitive autonomous physical therapy practitioners. These practitioners will serve as advocates by meeting the physical therapy needs of their communities to improve the human experience. The development of autonomous practitioners will be facilitated through an engaging and challenging intellectual and psychomotor teaching/learning environment that is student focused. Research is considered a vital corollary to the educational process leading to lifelong learning and the creation of new knowledge to meet current and future healthcare needs.
- The teaching/ learning environment is student centered.
- The teaching/ learning environment is intellectually engaging and culturally sensitive.
- The educational process creates an autonomous physical therapy practitioner.
- The educational experience creates a lifelong learner.
- The learning process is based on an integration of foundational and clinical sciences.
- Critical reasoning and use of evidence based practice are essential elements of the curriculum.
- Research is a vital corollary to the teaching/ learning process leading to the development of a lifelong learner and the creation of new knowledge.
- Practitioners of physical therapy advocate for the provision of physical therapy services for underserved and underrepresented populations.
- The program will facilitate the development of culturally sensitive autonomous practitioners.
Core faculty, students and graduates will provide physical therapy services to rural communities, the Commonwealth, and the region.
- The program will provide a student focused teaching learning environment.
- The program and faculty will facilitate use of current research in the application of evidence-based practice.
- Graduates of the program will pursue lifelong learning.
Meeting the program’s expected performance outcomes reflects the mastery and application of the goals of the physical therapy curriculum. Graduates who have met or exceeded the program’s outcome goals will have met the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective requirements of the curriculum. These performance outcomes are entry-level level qualifications for the practice of physical therapy and are required to sit for the national licensure examination in physical therapy.