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    May 26, 2024  
2011-2012 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog 
2011-2012 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Career Information

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.

Physical therapists develop personalized intervention plans to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, physical therapists work to prevent loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

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.

Career settings include:

  • general hospitals and hospitals for special populations (burns, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, etc.)
  • rehabilitation centers, hospices, extended care 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

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Georgia Health Sciences University is designed to challenge talented and ambitious learners to grow into autonomous health professionals. The curriculum combines first-rate classroom instruction and laboratory practice at our Augusta campus with extensive clinical training at sites throughout Georgia and the southeastern United States.

Our learner-centered curriculum emphasizes active learning, problem-solving skills, and evidence-based practices. Our primary goal is to prepare reflective individuals who possess the technical proficiency and problem solving capabilities sufficient to enable the safe, efficient, and effective practice of physical therapy in a rapidly changing health care environment. Graduates are prepared to maximize wellness and minimize disability of diverse populations across a variety of health care environments including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, schools, research laboratories, and corporations.

The program requires 36 months (9 consecutive semesters) of full-time study. A new class enters in May of each year. Classes ares scheduled in a traditional weekday format at the main campus in Augusta. Graduation occurs in May.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than physical therapy, preferably from a regionally accredited U.S. 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:
    • 1 academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) of general physics w/lab
    • 1 academic year of general chemistry w/lab
    • 1 academic year of anatomy and physiology w/lab
    • 1 course in general biology
    • 1 course in statistics
    • At least two courses in the social sciences (i.e., sociology, psychology, or anthropology)
  • Minimum GPA of 2.8 in the prerequisite Science/Statistics courses
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores equivalent to the 40th percentile on each section are required for admission (50th percentile or higher preferred).*

*The GRE revised General Test will feature a new scale for Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning scores, therefore, current minimum required or recommended score information is valid only for the GRE General Test taken prior to August 1, 2011. Visit for additional and important information regarding the revised GRE test.

  • 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.
  • Recommendations (which include a reference form and letter of recommendation) from three individuals are required 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.
    Graduate reference forms and letters of recommendation can be submitted online only. As part of the online application process, applicants provide the names and current email addresses for three individuals they have asked to serve as their referees. Once the online application is submitted, each referee will receive an email notification directing him/her to the online site where he/she can complete the reference form and submit his/her letter of recommendation. To change a referee after the application has been submitted, the applicant is instructed to log into his/her CollegeNet account and update the name and current email address for the referee. Status updates of your referees’ submissions will be provided to you directly from CollegeNet.
  • A personal interview is required for admission. Interviews are by invitation only and include an assessment of candidate’s personality, motivation, and ability to adapt successfully to the demands of physical therapy school.
  • 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 (internet-based) 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.