DPT Curriculum

The DPT program is three years (nine semesters) of year-round graduate study. Academic coursework with active learning labs, clinical education, and research activity take place during the first seven semesters. The final two semesters of the program are centered on four immersive clinical rotations. 

Year 1: Summer

PT 6058 Anatomy for Physical Therapy

Study of gross human anatomy, and surface anatomy, for practice of physical therapy. Cadaver dissection of extremities, head, neck, back, abdomen, thoracic, and pelvic regions. Correlation to clinical conditions. Lecture, laboratory.

 

PT 6212 - Becoming a Physical Therapist

This course is designed to orient Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students to the culture and operations of the institution, the Program, and the Physical Therapy profession. Learners engage with their peers, faculty, and staff to explore: 1) the breadth of resources available at the University of Minnesota, 2) the DPT curriculum and inclusive Program culture, 3) student engagement and leadership opportunities for early professional development, 4) strategies for a successful transition to graduate professional education, and 5) the foundations of healthcare and the Physical Therapy profession.

Year 1: Fall

PT 6231 Clinical Biomechanics

Principles of biomechanics. Forces/structures internal/external to body responsible for normal human movement. Muscle, joint, and tissue mechanics. Joint-specific normal function, whole body posture, gait mechanics. Focuses on normal mechanics as foundation for abnormal mechanics and pathology. Lecture, laboratory.

PT 6280 Clinical Assessment

Clinical assessment techniques of goniometry, manual muscle testing, range of motion, gait analysis, physical/sensory examination, and anthropometrics. Basic intervention approaches, including stretching techniques and resistive exercise. Weekly integration assignments with first clinical clerkship. Lecture, discussion, lab.

PT 6213 Developing the Physical Therapist I: Introduction to Legal and Ethical Considerations

Practical aspects of clinical education and professional behavior. Psychological, sociological, and cultural needs of diverse patient populations. Students complete a three hrs/week clinical affiliation at University Good Samaritan Center. Patient/therapist observations, concurrent didactic coursework. Facilitation of group exercise, restorative ambulation, range of motion programs, and resident assessment instrument.

PT 6281 Physiology for Physical Rehabilitation

An in-depth presentation of fundamental concepts in tissue and organ system physiology as it relates to general health, aging, and physical exercise. Emphasis is on the following systems: muscle, bone & connective tissue, endocrine, immune, renal, GI, and hematology. Influence of aging on these systems will be addressed as well. 

PT 6340 Human Growth and Development

Developmental process throughout life span. Physical, motor, social, and personality development. Theories of development. Factors that influence a child's development.

PT 6217 Integrated Clinical Education I (ICE)

This course is designed to promote hands-on engagement in the clinical learning environment throughout Year 1 of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Experiential learning opportunities allow students to apply and integrate previous and concurrent course content to develop professional, patient management, and practice management skills. Learning is enhanced through self-assessment, external feedback, and clinically oriented assignments linked to didactic courses. Experiences are structured in consultation with community partner organizations and are conducted under the direct supervision of licensed faculty.

Year 1: Spring

PT 6285 Neuroscience for Rehabilitation

This course provides foundational information about cellular and systems neuroscience needed to understand how diseases that affect the nervous system disrupt function and the mechanisms by which treatments restore function for patients. Emphasis is placed on clinical relevance of the material and students learn to apply basic principles of neuroscience, including nervous system disease based on presenting symptoms, and functional neuroanatomy, to support clinical reasoning in small group exercises. 

PT 8132 Research Seminar

This initial course for the research series provides a foundation for future guided projects on components of the research cycle. Students explore why research is important and how it can be translated to improvements in clinical care. Basic research designs and reporting venues, literature search strategies and tools, critical review of literature, responsible conduct of research, and reference management are discussed.

PT 6214 Developing the Physical Therapist II: Documentation and Reimbursement

Documentation of physical therapy exams, progress, discharge services. Regulatory agencies responsible for outcomes/accreditation, third party reimbursement, coding, peer review. Complete three hrs/wk clinical affiliation at Good Samaritan Center under supervision of clinical faculty. Observations/documentation, group exercise, restorative ambulation, range of motion programs, resident assessment instrument.

PT 6282 Cardiopulmonary Physiology and Rehabilitation

Conveys foundational information regarding human basic physiology cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology.  In addition, fundamental principles of cardiac and pulmonary systems as it relates to physical therapy and will be known in the clinic to the physical therapist as Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation will be addressed. A focus of this course is on normal and abnormal responses to exercise and the pathophysiology, assessment, evaluation and rehabilitation of patients with cardiopulmonary disorders.  

PT 6221 Therapeutic Procedures

Theory/application of physical agents and therapeutic techniques.  Therapeutic massage, ultraviolet radiation, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, positive pressure devices, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, biofeedback, iontophoresis, high volt pulsed current.

PT 6002 Ethics in Healthcare

Moral/ethical analysis. Issues in physical therapy research/practice. Ethical decisions in a practice and in professional training. WebCT lectures, in-class discussions/instruction, exams.

PT 6217 Integrated Clinical Education I (ICE I)

This course is designed to promote hands-on engagement in the clinical learning environment throughout Year 1 of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Experiential learning opportunities allow students to apply and integrate previous and concurrent course content to develop professional, patient management, and practice management skills. Learning is enhanced through self-assessment, external feedback, and clinically oriented assignments linked to didactic courses. Experiences are structured in consultation with community partner organizations and are conducted under the direct supervision of licensed faculty.

Year 2: Summer

PT 6241 Movement and Pathokinesiology

Provides an experiential bridge between foundational clinical courses and applied content area courses to aid in the development of comprehensive movement system examination and evaluation skills. Learners will solidify didactic integrative knowledge of the human movement system and its component elements through applied, real-world activities and clinical simulations. Growth in holistic clinical reasoning is fostered through exploratory practice and identification of the connections between 1) qualitative and quantitative movement examination, 2) analysis and diagnosis of movement system dysfunction, and 3) basic hypothesis generation of multi-system physical impairments/pathology and abnormal movement patterns/postures as contributing factors to movement system dysfunction. Oral and written communication of movement system examination and evaluation findings will enhance learner development of education and documentation skills.

PT 6250 Acute Care Physical Therapy

General care of acute and critically ill patient. Disease/disorders common to acute care environment. Integration of evaluation, treatment, and client management skills.

PT 6251 Integument

Response of integument to injury, disease, and aging. Emphasizes wound management, burn care, amputee care, and rehabilitation of persons with acute/chronic integument disorders. Integrating elements of physiology, pathophysiology, and therapeutic procedures to evaluate, treat, and manage clients.

PT 8193 Research Problems

Process of developing/completing a scholarly research project or literature review related to rehabilitation science/Physical Therapy education and practice. Students work directly with faculty participating in research in guided small group experience. Type of research experience is determined by adviser.

Phar 6800 Pharmacology

The goal of this course is to equip physical therapy students with a general understanding of the impact of medications on rehabilitation and how rehabilitation affects medication use. Students will practice applying content through patient cases and writing a patient care plan.

PT 6252 Pathophysiology

General and organ system pathology. Complicating pathological factors that affect patients. Implications of pathology on a patient's clinical presentation.

PT 6217 ICE I

This course is designed to promote hands-on engagement in the clinical learning environment throughout Year 1 of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Experiential learning opportunities allow students to apply and integrate previous and concurrent course content to develop professional, patient management, and practice management skills. Learning is enhanced through self-assessment, external feedback, and clinically oriented assignments linked to didactic courses. Experiences are structured in consultation with community partner organizations and are conducted under the direct supervision of licensed faculty.

Year 2: Fall

PT 6283 Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation I

First of a two part series on musculoskeletal rehabilitation.  Evaluation concepts are introduced and methods practiced.  Techniques for the treatment of lower extremity, lumbar and thoracic spine conditions will be covered, including exercise, mobilization/manipulation, traction and orthotics. Surgical interventions, medical imaging and pathology background related to these regions will be provided. Instructional methods include lecture, demonstration, lab practice, readings, problem solving, student presentation, research, and written assignments. Clerkship (PT 6215) clinic experience complements the coursework.

PT 6215 Developing the Physical Therapist III: The PT in Today’s Society

Roles of physical therapist, in orthopedic outpatient setting, as educator and promoter of health/wellness. Students are assigned to a community outpatient orthopedic clinic. Patient evaluations/treatment. Instructing patients, therapists, student physical therapists, and community members to promote physical therapy, health, and wellness. Students assess, prepare, and provide educational experiences.

PT 6286 Neurorehabilitation I

An in depth exploration of fundamental principles of neural plasticity, neurophysiology, motor control, and motor learning as a basis for understanding scientific advancements in pathophysiology and therapeutic intervention in motor dysfunction.

PT 8193 Research Problems

Process of developing/completing a scholarly research project or literature review related to rehabilitation science/Physical Therapy education and practice. Students work directly with faculty participating in research in guided small group experience. Type of research experience is determined by adviser.

PT 6293 Essentials of Rehabilitation Research

Develop abilities to obtain, critically evaluate, synthesize and integrate the peer-reviewed literature. It will also enable students to identify and compute appropriate statistical procedures and interpret the meaning of statistical analyses. Finally, it will give students an opportunity to present the aims, methods, intended analyses, and preliminary results of their own research. 

PT 6218 Integrated Clinical Education II (ICE II)

This course builds upon the foundation established in Integrated Clinical Education (ICE) I and promotes continued hands-on engagement in the clinical learning environment throughout Year 2 of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Progressively advanced experiential learning opportunities allow students to further develop, apply, and integrate cognitive, psychomotor, and professional behavior skills in the examination, evaluation, and treatment of clients. Learning is enhanced through self-assessment, external feedback, and clinically oriented assignments linked to didactic courses. Experiences are structured in consultation with community partner organizations and are conducted under the direct supervision of licensed clinicians.

Year 2: Spring

PT 6284 Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation II

Second of a two part series on musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Techniques for the evaluation and treatment of cervical, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and temporomandibular joint conditions will be covered, including exercise, mobilization, orthotics and neurodynamics. Surgical interventions, radiology and pathology background related to these regions will be provided. Screening for non-mechanical pain conditions will be discussed. The rehabilitation needs of specific populations, such as athletes, women, industrial workers, and musicians will be investigated.  Joint and disease specific content from fall semester will be used in the patient management sections of the course. Instructional methods include lecture, demonstration, lab practice, readings, problem solving, student research. 

PT 6216 Developing the Physical Therapist IV: Advocacy and Adjustment to Disability

Role of physical therapist, in acute care or rehabilitation setting, as clinical educator of physical therapy students. Students are assigned to a local hospital or rehabilitation facility. Patient evaluations, treatment, discharge planning. Students prepare for full time clinical experiences and for their role as potential clinical instructors.

PT 6287 Neurorehabilitation II

Second portion of a year-long course sequence. Assessment/rehabilitation of patients with neurological conditions (e.g., cerebral vascular disease traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Using treatment procedures, orthotics, and equipment to improve function and prevent, stabilize, or decrease impairments.

PT 8193 Research Problems

Process of developing/completing a scholarly research project or literature review related to rehabilitation science/Physical Therapy education and practice. Students work directly with faculty participating in research in guided small group experience. Type of research experience is determined by adviser.

PT 6218 Integrated Clinical Education II (ICE II)

This course builds upon the foundation established in Integrated Clinical Education (ICE) I and promotes continued hands-on engagement in the clinical learning environment throughout Year 2 of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Progressively advanced experiential learning opportunities allow students to further develop, apply, and integrate cognitive, psychomotor, and professional behavior skills in the examination, evaluation, and treatment of clients. Learning is enhanced through self-assessment, external feedback, and clinically oriented assignments linked to didactic courses. Experiences are structured in consultation with community partner organizations and are conducted under the direct supervision of licensed clinicians.

Year 3: Summer

PT 6290 Contemporary Physical Therapist Practice

This course will include learning experiences and project assignments related to contemporary physical therapy practice. Topics included are legal and regulatory aspects of practice management, the contemporary practice environment, professional development, and the integration of professional practice in the various practice settings.

PT 6288 Pediatric Rehabilitation

Provides a study of the etiology, theoretical framework, and techniques used in the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and assessment of pediatric patients with neurological, orthopedic, cardiac, developmental, systemic, and behavioral conditions.  Students will also gain exposure to treatment techniques and equipment used in comprehensive pediatric settings, with additional emphasis on developing plans of care that focus on optimizing functional outcomes for pediatric patients.  Discussion, integration of written/video case studies, review of evidence-based practice, practice of psychomotor skills, assessment of children with and without disability, and practice establishing goals and plan of care will be used to facilitate learning.

PT 6294 Clinical Integration

Integrates content from the entire physical therapy program to address physical therapy assessment and management of complex patient cases.  Focus is on real-world examples of clinical practice, combining psychomotor skills with clinical reasoning, effective communication, professionalism, and affective competence.  Students will deepen critical thinking skills and the ability to facilitate competent, evidence-based, patient-centered physical therapy care for patients with complex presentations.

PT 6218 ICE II

This course builds upon the foundation established in Integrated Clinical Education (ICE) I and promotes continued hands-on engagement in the clinical learning environment throughout Year 2 of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Progressively advanced experiential learning opportunities allow students to further develop, apply, and integrate cognitive, psychomotor, and professional behavior skills in the examination, evaluation, and treatment of clients. Learning is enhanced through self-assessment, external feedback, and clinically oriented assignments linked to didactic courses. Experiences are structured in consultation with community partner organizations and are conducted under the direct supervision of licensed clinicians.

*Students should choose one of the following three electives:

PT 6401 Pediatric Elective

This course will expand upon the study of pediatric rehabilitation introduced in PT6288 to a greater variety of pediatric diagnoses and treatment settings.  Pediatric evaluations will be administered in accordance with the Guide to Physical Therapy Practice 3.0 and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) Model.  Pediatric screenings will be practiced in the community.  Students will gain exposure to health and wellness activities for children/adolescents with developmental disabilities to improve community participation and gross motor outcomes.  Selection of adaptive equipment for children with physical and developmental disabilities will be explored, along with communication with a multidisciplinary assistive technology team and medical justification documentation.  Evidence-based child and family-appropriate treatment techniques will be expanded from PT6288.  

PT 6402 Shoulder in Sport Elective

A three-credit online course for students who are interested in investigating the biomechanical and epidemiological aspects of the shoulder in athletics. The course will explore the unique demands placed on the shoulder in sports that involve throwing, swimming, swinging, and bodily impacts. The course begins with an investigation into sport-specific biomechanics, pathomechanics, and epidemiology and progresses to applied problem solving for rehabilitation and research scenarios.  Prerequisites: (1) an undergraduate or graduate human anatomy course and (2) an undergraduate or graduate biomechanics course.  It is recommended, but not required, you have an anatomy course including a detailed shoulder anatomy section and a biomechanics course including a detailed shoulder biomechanics section.  Consent from course instructor or Rehabilitation Science graduate program is required.

PT 6403 Topics in Aging Elective

An elective course covering a variety of topics related to aging. It is intended to enhance the basic aging content students have already acquired. The course will be taught in a seminar format, requiring active engagement and discussion from all students.

 

Year 3: August through May

PT 6295 Clinical Experience I

Communication skills, team participation, and evaluation/treatment. Predicting outcomes. Managing patient diagnoses/problems. Selected specialty area of physical therapy practice.

Prereq Registered 3rd yr PT student.

PT 6296 Clinical Experience II

Second of four courses. Students must demonstrate proficiency in communication, team participation, evaluation and treatment, predicting outcomes, and managing patient diagnoses and problems. Selected specialty area of physical therapy practice.

PT 6297 Clinical Experience III

Third of four courses. Students must demonstrate proficiency in communication, team participation, evaluation and treatment, predicting outcomes, and managing patient diagnoses and problems. Selected specialty area of physical therapy practice.

PT 6298 Clinical Experience IV

Fourth of four courses. Students must demonstrate proficiency in communication, team participation, evaluation and treatment, predicting outcomes, and managing patient diagnoses and problems. Selected specialty area of physical therapy practice.

Electives

PT 6220 - Clinic Volunteer

Students may elect to volunteer at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic or the Diabetic Foot Clinic during their time in the program. 

PT 6404 - Interprofessional Education Independent Study

This course is designed to provide guidance and oversight to students engaged in structured interprofessional education experiences offered external to the core Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Experiences vary by term depending on availability. Each approved experience allows an opportunity to engage with learners from other professions and develop interprofessional competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, values and ethics, and roles and responsibilities as health care team members.

PT 8131 - Research Problems Elective 

As part of the Phase II experience, students from participating programs will meet with patient volunteers in the community to further develop and refine their interprofessional communication and teamwork skills. These patient volunteers, called Community Teachers, serve as an integral part in this phase of the interprofessional education curriculum. Community Teachers provide students with a deeper understanding of the importance of interpersonal skills in combination with their program-specific knowledge, and will share with students their experiences as patients in navigating the healthcare system, managing chronic health conditions, and being an active participant in the coordination of their care. 

Total Credits: 137
Changes in course numbers and sequence may occur during the course of the curriculum.