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    Feb 29, 2024  
2010-2011 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog 
2010-2011 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Career Information

Physical therapy is a dynamic health profession devoted to optimizing physical function. Physical therapists:

  • evaluate movement disorders and enhance physical and functional abilities
  • restore, maintain and promote optimal physical function, wellness, fitness and quality of life
  • prevent the onset, symptoms and progression of impairments, functional limitations and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions or injuries

Skills of a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists must have problemsolving skills, resourcefulness, patience, manual dexterity, physical stamina and the ability to work closely with people.

Career Opportunities

Average salaries are excellent and job opportunities are available nationwide. The department enjoys an excellent reputation in the healthcare community; within months of graduation, 100 percent of GHSU’s physical therapy graduates are employed. National and local recruiters visit campus to discuss employment opportunities.

Career settings include:

  • general hospitals and hospitals for special populations (burns, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, etc.)
  • rehabilitation centers, hospices, extendedcare facilities and public health centers
  • home health agencies
  • public and private schools
  • wellness programs and fitness centers
  • high school, college and professional athletic facilities
  • outpatient clinics and offices and private practice
  • corporate and industrial health centers
  • administration, research, education and consultant work

About the Program

Georgia Health Sciences University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares students with bachelors degrees in other disciplines for general physical therapy practice. GHSU’s program has been continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education since 1973.

The program emphasizes a case-based, problem-oriented curriculum with an excellent selection of clinical education sites located throughout the Southeast. Students learn the clinical skills necessary for comprehensive patient management in a collaborative environment that stresses decision-making and problem-solving. State-of-the-art labs include a movement analysis and balance lab. Faculty and staff are committed to student success.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than physical therapy, preferably from a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian Institution with a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0, or 3.4 in the last 40 semester hours
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better:

—Human anatomy/physiology or General Biology with labs–one academic year (two semesters)
—General chemistry with labs–one academic year (two semesters)
—General physics with labs (does not need to be calculus-based)–one academic year (two semesters)
—Advanced biology (i.e., not botany, ecology or environmental biology) - One course that has general biology as a prerequisite or Movement science (e.g., exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology) - One course that has anatomy and physiology as a prerequisite
—Knowledge of human behavior from an individual and societal perspective as evidenced by completing at least two courses in social sciences.

  • Minimum GPA of 2.8 in the prerequisite Science/Statistics courses
  • Combined verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Exam score of at least 1000 with no less than 400 each for verbal and quantitative scores. A minimum score of 3.0 on the analytical writing portion is also required.
  • 100 hours of observational, volunteer or other work experiences in physical therapy settings. We strongly recommend experiences in both inpatient and outpatient environments in order to appreciate the differences in physical therapists’ responsibilities in each setting.
  • Three recommendations that focus on the applicant’s aptitude for clinical work rather than just academic ability. These should be from rehabilitation professionals and at least one must be from a physical therapist.
  • Basic understanding of medical terminology is required as part of the physical therapy curriculum. This requirement can be met by taking a course prior to enrollment or by completion of a self-paced test during the first semester.
  • A minimum score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internetbased) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, if applicable.

Additional Requirements

In addition to specific academic requirements, candidates for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must have aptitude, abilities, and skills in the following five areas in order to meet the full requirements of the program’s curriculum.

  • Sufficient intellectual capacity to fulfill the curricular requirements of the program.
  • Ability to effect communication with patients, colleagues, instructors and other members of the healthcare community.
  • Physical ability to learn and implement the various technical skills required to prepare for the independent practice of physical therapy.
  • Sufficient emotional stability to withstand the stress, uncertainties and changing circumstances that characterize healthcare practice.
  • Social attributes and behaviors required for full use of intellectual abilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective therapeutic relationships with patients and clients.

Technical Standards

In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards for this program. Please visit to review these requirements.

Estimated Tuition and Fees

For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Tuition and Fees  section of this catalog.