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Entry-level DPT

Entry-level DPT

Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in a hybrid, low-residency format.

OverviewCurriculumAdmissionFacultyTuition and Fees

About our DPT program

Spalding University’s new entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is offered in a hybrid, low-residency format. Lectures take place online, and you will attend lab sessions every month on our campus in Louisville, Kentucky. This format is more flexible than traditional DPT programs that are mainly made up of in-person classes.

  • You’ll move through the program with a cohort of students much smaller than other DPT programs.
  • You’ll learn with and from physical therapy students from around the country.
  • You’ll work with a skilled and caring faculty who have experience in hybrid programs.

Additionally, Spalding’s entry-level DPT program offers admission to students in their last year of undergraduate study. Undergraduate admission allows you to earn your bachelor’s degree at the completion of your first year of DPT coursework.

Program Details 

  • Low residency, hybrid format
  • 110 credit hours
    • Online classes and lectures (68 credit hours)
    • Onsite immersive labs one week per month (26 credit hours)
    • Clinicals (16 credit hours, 32 weeks)
  • Fall 2022 start date (annual admission)
  • 42 students per cohort

We will begin accepting applications on June 15, 2021. Tell us a little bit about yourself and we’ll let you know when our application opens.

Immersive onsite lab experiences

Doctor of Physical Therapy building architect rendering
With our hybrid, low-residency format, you’ll attend labs one week per month on Spalding’s campus in Louisville, Kentucky. During these hands-on, immersive lab experiences, you will apply the knowledge gained in your online classes. Your learning will take place in a newly-renovated facility that’s dedicated to physical therapy education.

This modern, practice setting is fully equipped and designed with the physical therapy student in mind. The nearly 22,000 sq. ft. facility includes anatomy and skills labs as well as a student lounge and study space. There is plenty of space to collaborate with your peers and faculty. You’ll also have the opportunity for interprofessional collaboration with other graduate students in nursing, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, social work and athletic training. 

Hands-on Clinical Experience

You’ll be able to gain clinical experience in a variety of practice environments in Louisville and across the country. Our entry-level DPT curriculum includes 32-weeks of full-time clinical practice. The experiences will further build upon your skill and expose you to diverse, real-life practice opportunities.

  • You’ll have the help of our Director of Clinical Education in selecting clinical sites.
  • Clinical experiences are integrated across all three years of the program.
  • Integrated clinical experiences will allow you to gain experience and build confidence prior to the three-month terminal clinical experience during your last semester of the program. 

Sign up to learn more about our program.

Entry-level DPT program requirements

The entry-level DPT is 110-credit hours. The content is organized around 10 themes: Foundational Basic Science, Introductory Patient Care Skills, Foundational Clinical Science, Applied Clinical Science, Professional Engagement, Critical Inquiry, Multisystem Management across the Lifespan, Patient Management, Professional Practice and Clinical Decision Making.


Year 1


Fall Semester 1

Total 11
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 701 Human Gross Anatomy 5
DPT 711 Patient Care Skills I 
DPT 741 Professional Engagement I 3

 

Spring Semester 1

Total 12
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 702 Applied Physiology 3
DPT 703 Foundations of Neuroscience for Physical Therapy Practice 4
DPT 712 Patient Care Skills II 3
DPT 721 Cells, Systems and Disease I 2

 

Summer Semester 1

Total 8
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 722 Cells, Systems and Disease II 2
DPT 731 Diagnostics and Pharmacology I 1
DPT 761 Foundations of Movement Science 5

Year 2


Fall Semester 2

Total 11
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 862 Fundamentals of Patient Management 2
DPT 851 Critical Inquiry I 2
DPT 871 Integumentary Physical Therapy 2
DPT 842 Professional Engagement II 3
DPT 881 Professional Practice I 2

 

Spring Semester 2

Total 11
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 872 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I 4
DPT 874 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy 3
DPT 832 Diagnostics and Pharmacology II 2
DPT 852 Critical Inquiry II 2

 

Summer Semester 2

Total 10
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 833 Diagnostics and Pharmacology III 2
DPT 873 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II 4
DPT 875 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy I 4

Year 3


Fall Semester 3

Total 12
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 863 Physical Therapy in Geriatrics 3
DPT 878 Physical Therapy for Special Populations 2
DPT 843 Professional Engagement III 3
DPT 882 Professional Practice II 4

 

Spring Semester 3

Total 12
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 876 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy II 4
DPT 877 Orthotics and Prosthetics 2
DPT 864 Physical Therapy in Pediatrics 4
DPT 834 Diagnostics and Pharmacology IV 2

 

Summer Semester 3

Total 6
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 991 Clinical Decision Making in PT Practice 2
DPT 983 Professional Practice III 4

Year 4


Fall Semester 4

Total 8
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 979 Health Promotion and Wellness 2
DPT 944 Professional Engagement IV 3
DPT 953 Critical Inquiry III 3

 

Spring Semester 4

Total 8
Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
DPT 945 Professional Engagement V 2
DPT 984 Professional Practice IV 6

Application Deadlines

We are accepting applications for our Fall 2022  cohort through PTCAS from June 15, 2021 – May 16, 2022. We accept applications for our entry-level DPT cohort once per academic year. 

In the meantime, we encourage you to tell us about yourself, and we’ll be in touch with more program information.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the DPT Program are required to meet or exceed the following criteria:

  1. Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university – or –completion of 90 credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university that include the DPT Program course prerequisites – or –enrollment in the final year of the Spalding University Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree program for DPT majors
  2. Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a four-point scale.
  3. Minimum prerequisite and science grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a four-point scale.
  4. At least two letters of reference from a professional who can best address the applicant’s ability to be academically successful as well as address personal/professional characteristics. Letters should come from a college/university counselor/advisor/faculty member, a physical therapist that supervised your volunteer/work experience, and/or faculty advisor for a college/university club or organization.
  5. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) recommended minimum scores of 150 on each of the verbal and quantitative, and minimum of 3 on the analytical writing section. GRE scores must be taken within the past 5 years.
  6. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) for applicants who graduated from a college, university or professional training school in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States do not need to take the TOEFL.  All other applicants must score at least 550 on the written examination, 213 on the computer-based examination, or 79 on the internet-based examination.
  7. Observation/Employment in Physical Therapy totaling 40 hours under the supervision of a physical therapist signed and verified by a physical therapist.
  8. Prerequisite coursework:
    Applicants must submit evidence of satisfactory completion of the following courses with a minimum of a “C” (courses must be completed within 10 years):
    Science Courses: Each science course must be a course for science majors, have a  laboratory component, and be a two-course sequence with more than 3 semester credits in length per course.
    i. Human Anatomy and Physiology – or one three-credit course in human anatomy and one three-credit course in human physiology
    ii. Chemistry – 8 credits
    iii. Physics – 8 credits
    Statistics – 3 credits
    English/Psychology/Humanities: 18 credit hours total with a minimum of one 3-credit course in English, Psychology and Humanities.
    One writing-intensive course, which may also be any prerequisite course.
  9. Interview with members of the DPT Program Admissions Committee
  10. Technical standards and essential functions statement of agreement

About PTCAS

The School of Physical Therapy at Spalding University plans to participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS, in the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.  Applicants applying to the Spalding University physical therapist education program for the 2022 entering class will apply online using the PTCAS application beginning in June 2021. To learn more about PTCAS, visit www.ptcas.org.

Spalding’s physical therapy faculty is knowledgeable, experienced and ready to support you in your learning. As academic leaders, physical therapists and board-certified specialists, our faculty are skilled at providing current, evidence-based instruction in a hybrid and online learning environments.

Program Director & Faculty

Elisa Zuber, PhD

Program Director

Email Dr. Zuber

Dr. Elisa ZuberElisa M. (Lisa) Zuber, PT, PhD is Professor and Chair of the School of Physical Therapy and Director of the DPT Program. She holds a BS degree in physical therapy from the Medical College of Virginia, an MS degree in education from Radford University and a PhD in physical therapy from the University of Central Arkansas. She had a variety of experience in physical therapy practice and education before becoming Associate Director of the Department of Accreditation at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for 12 years. She returned to education in 2008 and has become passionate about the delivery of physical therapy curricula in a blended format, earning a certificate in blended learning in 2017. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Health Humanities Consortium, and has been active with Hands of Light in Action, a non-governmental organization (NGO) specializing in disaster relief.

Meredyth Arnott, PT, DPT

Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor

Email Dr. Arnott

Meredyth ArnottMeredyth Arnott, PT, DPT graduated with a BS in Physical Therapy from Georgia State University (1995) and completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Dakota (2014). Dr. Arnott is a Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, holds CAPP-1 certification in pelvic floor physical therapy from American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is a vestibular therapist with Advanced Competency (Herdman/Clendaniel) credentials. She has served as a clinical instructor since 1996 and is a certified APTA Clinical Instructor. Dr. Arnott has been teaching post-professional Physical Therapy DPT and entry-level physical therapy education, beginning in 2017, utilizing online and hybrid (low residency) formats. She is co-author of a peer-reviewed published manuscript, continues to work on scholarly endeavors, and holds membership in American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) and Academy of Physical Therapy Education (APTE).

Lynda Ross, PT, DPT

Associate Professor

Email Dr. Ross

Lynda Ross

Dr. Ross received a BS in Physical Therapy (1984), an MS (1996) Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy from Northwestern University, a DHS (2014) in Health Professions Education from Midwestern University, and a DPT (2015) from Nova Southeastern University.  She is a Board-Certified Pediatric and Neurologic Clinical Specialist.  She has 6 years’ experience as core faculty in both blended learning and traditional format professional DPT education programs.  Her scholarship interests are focused on clinical reasoning, interprofessional education, blended learning instructional strategies, and vestibular and balance dysfunction across the lifespan.  She has 37 years of clinical experience with diverse patient populations across the lifespan and health care continuum and is actively involved in clinical practice as a home health physical therapist. Her primary teaching responsibilities are neuroscience, movement science, and neuromuscular physical therapy.

Goutam Singh, PhD

Assistant Professor

Email Dr. Singh

Goutam Singh, PhD is an assistant professor of Natural Sciences in the Kosair Charities School of Physical Therapy. Dr. Singh graduated with a BS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (2008) and graduated with an MS in exercise physiology (2012) and PhD in physiology (2017) from the University of Louisville. Dr. Singh subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship (2021) in the Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric Neurorecovery at the University of Louisville. Dr. Singh’s research is focused on identifying the multifaceted role of trunk muscles across multiple physiological systems and to investigate therapeutic potential of non-invasive neuromodulation to promote motor recovery in children with spinal cord injury.

Kay Tasso, PT, PhD

Professor

Email Dr. Tasso

Kay TassoDr. Tasso obtained her PhD in Curriculum Leadership from the University of Florida, her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech, and her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University.  She has over 20 years of teaching experience both in the traditional on-campus model and the blended model.  Dr. Tasso has over 37 years of experience as a physical therapist primarily in early intervention in children’s homes.  She has been a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy since 1994.

Her professional volunteerism has included local and state components of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, the Florida Board of Physical Therapy and pro bono pediatric PT services.

The DPT at Spalding University is a 110 credit-hour program.

DPT Tuition and Fees 2021-2022
Tuition, Fees, etc.  Cost
Tuition $1,060/credit hour
DPT program deposit (non-refundable, applied towards tuition) $500 (one-time fee)
Lab and technology fees $100/semester
University Health & Counseling Services Fee $100/year
Textbooks/Software/Apps $2,550/year
Health Insurance (required) $2,500
Background check $75 (estimated)
Lab & clinic attire $200 (estimated)