The Physical Therapy Profession
Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical base and widespread clinical applications in the preservation, development and restoration of optimal physical function throughout the lifespan. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has published the following vision statement: 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.
Physical therapists engage in an examination process that includes taking the history, conducting a review of body systems, and administering tests and measures to identify potential and existing functional problems. Physical therapists develop treatment programs and conduct re-examinations to achieve anticipated goals and outcomes. Charges for physical therapy
Earning a License to Practice.
Students must graduate from an accredited physical therapy program in order to be permitted to sit for state licensing examinations. Graduates generally take the state licensing examination in the state or jurisdiction in which they wish to practice and must pass the exam in order to receive a license. Graduation from a physical therapy program alone does not permit the graduate to practice and it is illegal to practice physical therapy without a license.
Employment and Career Opportunities
Graduates have opportunities to specialize in areas like: pediatrics, sports medicine, rheumatology, orthopedics, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, critical care, geriatrics, rehabilitation, community education, home care, management, and teaching. Graduates are in demand and are hired into hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, outpatient facilities, public schools, and some graduates start their own private practices.
The La Roche College-Duquesne University Affiliation
In this program, students majoring in physical therapy complete a pre-professional program at La Roche College (designed to take a minimum of three years), and then transfer to Duquesne University to complete their professional phase in physical therapy (designed to take another three years). Students who successfully complete this program earn a Bachelor of Science in biology from La Roche College after year four, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) from Duquesne University at the end of year six.
Admission to the Physical Therapy Program
All students admitted to La Roche College who intend to major in physical therapy will be initially designated as "Physical Therapy candidates". Physical Therapy candidates will be automatically considered for full admission to the physical therapy major upon completion of the second semester of courses at La Roche College.
Prospective students to the program must have earned a minimum SAT score (Verbal and Math) of 1100, or a minimum ACT score of 24. Prospective students must have earned a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 The high school curriculum must have included seven units in Math and Science.
In addition, prospective students must demonstrate evidence of extracurricular activities during high school and knowledge of the Physical Therapy profession as evidenced by 100 hours of documented shadowing experiences with a licensed Physical Therapist in various clinical settings. Students complete the 100 credits of the pre-professional phase at La Roche College in three years, then students apply to Duquesne University for the professional phase. La Roche College is guaranteed an allotment of three students every year. In event that more than three students have entered the program, only the top three will be allowed admission to Duquesne University. These students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Science/Math courses, with no course grade below a "C". Students must also be recommended by the pre-professional committee consisting of La Roche College Science faculty.
Students with prior college credits who are admitted as transfer students to La Roche College may express their intent to major in physical therapy. Each student will be evaluated individually by the Coordinator of Health Science Programs.
Admission to Duquesne University
Through the Chairperson of the La Roche Pre-professional Health Committee, a La Roche physical therapy major must submit a Duquesne University Application for Undergraduate Admissions by December 1st of the year prior to anticipated transfer to Duquesne, along with additional required documentation (which the student will be informed of during a health sciences orientation at La Roche College).
Academic requirements for admission to Duquesne University for the professional phase of the physical therapy program include:
- successful completion of all pre-professional course work with a 3.0 cumulative QPA at La Roche College, and a "C" or better in all courses
- recommendation by the La Roche Pre-professional Health Committee
- documentation of current C.P.R. Certification (including adult, infant, and child CPR)
- documentation of a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer, paid, or shadowing experience in physical therapy at two separate clinical sites
- completion of a physical examination and other health requirements
The pre-professional phase at La Roche College consists of 97 credits to be completed over a three-year period, in the coursework detailed below.
To complete the Pre-Professional Phase at La Roche College the following coursework is required:
- 66 credits of Physical Therapy Major Requirements (includes 1 credit "Introduction to Physical Therapy" course taken as a PCHE course)
- 31 credits of CORE Curriculum courses