2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a six and-one-half-year, Early Assurance (freshman admit) program. Students complete their Bachelor of Health Sciences degree and directly enter into the Graduate Program for completion of the DPT. External transfers into the Graduate Program are not accepted at this time.

Through academic and clinical education, students learn the basic and applied sciences and gain competence in skills required for the professional physical therapist.

Students complete a total of 40 weeks of clinical education in the DPT program.  Students are full time on clinical rotations and are expected to accept responsibility in the examination and treatment of patients/clients in a variety of clinical settings under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist. Successful completion of the program does not guarantee that an individual will pass the licensure exam and practice as a physical therapist.

Candidates must pass a state-administered national exam after graduation. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state-to-state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical therapy. A state board may refuse to issue a license for specific reasons related to moral turpitude, intemperate use of alcohol or drugs, or conviction of a crime. 

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination in the United States, which is required in all states.

The Physical Therapy Program at Maryville University of St. Louis is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Dr. Jill Heitzman at 314-529-9563 or email at jheitzman@maryville.edu.

Admissions Requirements

Before students can be admitted to the program, they must meet certain entrance requirements. For specifics on these requirements, refer to the Physical Therapy Requirements section under Undergraduate Admission Requirements .

Health and Other Special Requirements

The following requirements must be met prior to participating in required clinicals:

  • Physical Examination
  • Documentation of Immunization or Titer Immunity
    • Measles/Rubeola, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
    • Tetanus, Diphtheria and acellular Pertusis (Tdap)
    • Polio series completed
    • Varicella titer or Varicella vaccinations
    • Hepatitis B Vaccine Series or Declination
    • Annual Flu Vaccine
    • TB-Tuberculin PPD test (documented 2-step initially, then annual)
    • COVID vaccines are required for many of the clinical education sites
  • Health insurance (copy of card required annually)
  • CPR Certification-American Heart Association Basic Life Support for the Health Care Provider required
  • Urine Drug Screen (from the Maryville authorized lab)
  • Criminal Record Background checks from Maryville University’s authorized agency and signed release to clinical sites (possible checks include: state criminal checks, disqualification lists, sex offender lists, social security number, address and alias)
  • Fitting for a respiratory isolation device (i.e. N95 Mask) may be required by some clinical sites
  • A few hospitals in Missouri now require nicotine screenings for all new employees.  Therefore it is anticipated that students may be excluded from some clinical sites based upon their use of nicotine.
  • Essential functions of a Physical Therapist include mobility for transferring and moving patients and Gross/Fine motor skills including lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying patients and equipment

Progression in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) A student in the Physical Therapy program is expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 each semester. When a student’s semester GPA and/or cumulative GPA is below 3.0, he/she will be on Physical Therapy program academic probation the following semester. Students may also be placed on probation for any single course grade below a C level during years 1-3 with requirement to repeat the course;  and may be dismissed from the Program at the Graduate level (years 4-7) for any PHTH course below a B- level.  At the end of one semester on probation, if the student earns a semester and/or cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, the probation will be removed. If the student earns less than 3.0 in any subsequent semester, he/she will be dismissed from the Physical Therapy program.  A student has the right to appeal faculty decisions regarding academic dismissal.