Samford University Catalog 2017-2018 Academic Year 
    Nov 17, 2018  
Samford University Catalog 2017-2018 Academic Year [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy

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Matthew P. Ford, Chair, Professor
Christopher Scott Bickel, Associate Professor
Andrea Bowens, Assistant Professor
Moira Jackson, Assistant Professor
Ashley E. Parish, Assistant Professor
Sarah Ross, Assistant Professor
Lydia A. Thurston, Assistant Professor
Nicholas B. Washmuth, Assistant Professor

Graduate Programs and Requirements


Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)  

Fast Track Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

The Department of Physical Therapy offers a clinical doctorate in physical therapy degree (D.P.T.). This is a full-time, three-year graduate program preparing students to practice physical therapy in a variety of settings: hospitals, inpatient rehab, inpatient, out-patient, pediatrics, schools, nursing homes, home health, and community wellness. In collaboration with the School of Public Health’s Department of Kinesiology, the department also offers a six-year fast track doctor of physical therapy-a combination of their bachelor of science in exercise science with our doctor of physical therapy program.

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Effective April 29, 2015 Samford University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245;

Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with CAPTE that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

Doctor of Physical Therapy (D. P.T.)

Admission Requirements
  1. Possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university (degree in any field) or be in the senior year of undergraduate study. A completed bachelor’s degree is required prior to enrollment, as evidenced by a final official college/university transcript. Applicants may receive a conditional acceptance with a letter from the registrar stating they have in fact completed the requirements for the degree. The “conditional” status is removed once an official transcript is received.
  2. Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  3. Achieve a “B” or better in all pre-requisite courses. All pre-requisite courses must have been completed within ten years prior to application.

    Required pre-requisite courses include:
    Biology I & II with labs
    Chemistry I & II with labs
    Physics I & II with labs
    Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II with labs
  4. Graduate Record Examination within the past 5 years. (Minimum scores: Verbal: 146; Quantitative: 146; Analytical: 4.0).
  5. Ten hours of documented volunteer experience in each of three different physical therapy practice settings (30 hours total).
  6. Three letters of reference submitted through the application system. The three required references should be from a) current or previous professor, b) work supervisor, c) professional colleague.
  7. International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  8. Exceptions to any admission requirements will be handled on an individual basis.
  9. If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $500 is required to secure admission into the program. This fee is applied to the first semester’s tuition.
Transfer Credit

At this time, students may not transfer in any credit to count towards the physical therapy program.

Fast Track Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)

For those called to a career in physical therapy, Samford University offers a fast track program that provides eligible students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor of science in exercise science and a doctor of physical therapy in just six years. Incoming freshmen may apply for the fast track and must meet specific progression standards in order to remain in the program. Acceptance to the fast track as a freshman guarantees admission into Samford’s D.P.T. program as long as progression standards are met. The first three years of the program are dedicated to completion of all required undergraduate courses. Summer of the fourth year, students begin the D.P.T. program. A bachelor’s in exercise science is awarded in December of the fourth year, and a doctor of physical therapy at the end of the sixth year.

Admission into the fast track program is highly competitive (see below). Based on the application, a limited number of candidates will be interviewed for admission. If selected, students are assigned a faculty mentor in the Kinesiology and Physical Therapy Departments.

Admission Requirements

The following requirements apply:

1. Admission to Samford University with a declared major in exercise science.

2. Minimum high school GPA of 3.80 (4.00 scale).

3. Minimum ACT score of 29.

4. Completion of the Fast Track D.P.T. Application.

5. On-campus interview.

Progression Standards for the Fast Track Doctor of Physical Therapy

During the undergraduate program, bachelor of science in exercise science (BSEXER), students must meet the following progression standards to remain in the program.

1. Complete all exercise science degree requirements on time in the first three years.

2. Achieve a B or higher in all major courses.

3. Earn a minimum 3.20 GPA and complete 20 convocation credits by end of freshman year.

4. Earn a minimum 3.50 GPA and complete 40 convocation credits by end of sophomore year.

5. Earn a minimum 3.80 GPA and complete 60 convocation credits by end of junior year.

6. Participate in Samford approved service or mission work by spring semester of third year.

7. Must pay a nonrefundable fee of $1,000 to secure admission into the D.P.T. program by January 15th of the junior year.

Once students have begun the doctoral program, D.P.T. progression standards apply.




      Physical Therapy

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