Mar 31, 2023  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pre-Physical Therapy 3+D.P.T Pathway

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3+D.P.T. Biology Major Leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Liaison to the Undergraduate Departments

Professor of Physical Therapy
Jan Stephen Tecklin

Related Graduate Study at Arcadia University

Doctor of Physical Therapy

About the 3+D.P.T. Pathway

This is an accelerated program from a Biology major into the graduate Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree program at Arcadia University. Qualified applicants will be contacted by Enrollment Management for review.

During their first three years of study, students take prerequisite coursework and Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. In the fourth year of study, students begin their graduate coursework, but will not receive the B.A. in Biology until they have successfully completed the first year of the D.P.T. program. This pathway allows a student to fulfill all of the Undergraduate Curriculum and major requirements and the requirements of the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in six years. The 3+D.P.T. program provides a pathway to ensure that the undergraduate coursework taken by the student meets the expected prerequisites and required background knowledge for the D.P.T.

The Pre-Physical Therapy program emphasizes the sciences but also includes a well-rounded background in the liberal arts. This combination prepares students for a health-care profession that helps people to overcome the effects of disease and injury and prevent health problems.

Students who complete the program are prepared to work as physical therapists in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine centers, private homes, nursing homes, schools, private practices, specialized pediatric facilities, and wellness/fitness centers. They also can work as educators, researchers and consultants in a wide variety of organizations.

Study Abroad and Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy students are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad. Many exciting opportunities are available. Students in the 3+D.P.T. program interested in study abroad typically do so during the summer.

Since 1997, students have taken a range of biology courses in Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition, students have completed Undergraduate Curriculum requirements while studying abroad at some of the top universities around the world through Arcadia’s College of Global Studies. Students also have completed independent research projects or internships.

Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the Department Chair and the Associate Dean of International Affairs.

Admission Requirements

Applying From High School

Qualified applicants will be contacted by Enrollment Management for review. Students can only matriculate into the 3+D.P.T. program directly from high school. Highly selective admissions criteria will be used to choose academically talented students capable of handling the accelerated schedule. Applicants are expected to have taken academic science and mathematics classes in each year of high school, including one year each of biology, chemistry, and physics. Matriculated students will not be accepted into the 3+D.P.T. program, (Note: Matriculated students can follow the 4+D.P.T. pathway leading to assured admission in Arcadia’s D.P.T. program for qualified students.)

At the end of the first year, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in their major and overall to stay in the program. At the end of the second year, students must have at least a 3.2 GPA in their major and overall to stay in the program.

At the completion of their third year of undergraduate study, students will be evaluated to ensure that they meet the qualifications to begin graduate coursework. At this point the students must have met the following criteria:

  • Completed all major and Undergraduate Curriculum requirements.
  • Maintained a 3.2 GPA and have received no less than a “C” in any of the required courses for the D.P.T.
  • Earned at least 110 semester hours by the end of the third year.
  • Received an acceptable letter of recommendation from the Chair of the Biology Department and from the pre-PT liaison.
  • Taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and achieved the minimum acceptable score as noted below.

At the start of their fourth year, students in the 3+D.P.T. program begin their studies in the D.P.T. program. Two undergraduate-level courses, BI 475 Biomedical Foundation Science I  and BI 476 Biomedical Foundations Science II , are taken in this fourth year and are only available to students in the 3+D.P.T. program. These courses are equivalent to PT675 and 676 taken by the other D.P.T. students.

Applying to the D.P.T. Program

By the Fall semester of their third year, students in the 3+D.P.T. program must have completed, or made arrangements to complete, all application criteria for the assured admission program including observations in two clinical settings (one inpatient and one outpatient as defined by PTCAS). These observations are expected to be completed by November 1 of the year of application to the program. A letter of recommendation will be required from the Chair of the Biology Department and, a currently practicing, licensed physical therapist.

Students apply to the D.P.T. program in the Fall semester of their third year through PTCAS ( by the November 1 deadline. The GRE is required for admission to the D.P.T. program. Students are strongly encouraged to take the exam after their first year of undergraduate study and no later than the summer preceding their third undergraduate year. Applicants are expected to meet the minimum required scores in all areas of the GRE: (1) individual Verbal ≥ 151 and Quantitative ≥ 150, (2) Combined Verbal and Quantitative ≥ 303, (3) Analytical Writing ≥4. NOTE: the GRE code for the D.P.T. program is 7637.

What constitutes a completed D.P.T. application?

A completed application is the application and all of the supporting documents (the three previously stipulated recommendations, GRE scores, and transcripts). Arcadia University students applying for assured admission must electronically submit their completed application by November 1. Applications are NOT reviewed until ALL materials are received by Arcadia. (This includes the PTCAS application, the required recommendations, and GRE scores.)

To meet the Assured Admission requirements, all of the criteria in the Arcadia University Undergraduate Catalog (by appropriate year of entry) must be met at the time of the application deadline; however, not all of the prerequisite courses need to be completed to apply or to be accepted. If accepted any remaining prerequisite courses need to be completed with a “C” or better in order to start the Physical Therapy program.

Upon acceptance into the program under the Assured Admission category, students will be required to pay a deposit in order to reserve a seat in the class. Scholarships are based on merit and any offer of scholarships or other assistance will be made known to the student along with the letter of acceptance to the D.P.T. program.

Students whose credentials do not meet the requirements that assure them automatic admission to the D.P.T. program will be decelerated to the traditional four-year Biology degree. They still may apply for assured admission to the D.P.T. program, but they must meet the minimum requirements for assured admission at the time of application. Please see the Graduate Catalog for the minimum requirements. To maintain the ongoing quality of the Physical Therapy program, the University reserves the right to limit the enrollment in all its offerings.

Essential Functions to Participate in the D.P.T. Program

Essential functions are the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills necessary for a student to participate in the physical therapy program and become a physical therapist. Below are the “Clinical Performance Criteria for the Physical Therapist Student” as outlined in the “Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument for Students” developed by the American Physical Therapy Association. Students must have the physical and mental capacity, with or without reasonable accommodations, to meet all of the below criteria. These essential functions apply in the classroom, lab, community, and clinical settings as part of the physical therapy program. Independent facilities used for clinical education may or may not be willing or able to provide the same reasonable accommodations provided by the university.

  1. Practices in a safe manner that minimizes the risk to patient, self, and others.
  2. Demonstrates professional behavior in all situations.
  3. Practices in a manner consistent with established legal and professional standards and ethical guidelines.
  4. Communicates in ways that are congruent with situational needs.
  5. Adapts delivery of physical therapy services with consideration for patients’ differences, values, preferences, and needs.
  6. Participates in self-assessment to improve clinical and professional performance.
  7. Applies current knowledge, theory, clinical judgment, and the patient’s values and perspective in patient management.
  8. Determines with each patient encounter the patient’s need for further examination or consultation by a physical therapist or referral to another health care professional.
  9. Performs a physical therapy patient examination using evidenced-based tests and measures.
  10. Evaluates data from the patient examination (history, systems review, and tests and measures) to make clinical judgments.
  11. Determines a diagnosis and prognosis that guides future patient management.
  12. Establishes a physical therapy plan of care that is safe, effective, patientcentered, and evidence-based.
  13. Performs physical therapy interventions in a competent manner.
  14. Educates others (patients, caregivers, staff, students, other health care providers, business and industry representatives, school systems) using relevant and effective teaching methods.
  15. Produces quality documentation in a timely manner to support the delivery of physical therapy services.
  16. Collects and analyzes data from selected outcome measures in a manner that supports accurate analysis of individual patient and group outcomes.
  17. Participates in the financial management (budgeting, billing and reimbursement, time, space, equipment, marketing, public relations) of the physical therapy service consistent with regulatory, legal, and facility guidelines.
  18. Directs and supervises personnel to meet patient’s goals and expected outcomes according to legal standards and ethical guidelines.

Sample behaviors for each of the above performance criteria are available upon request. Please send requests to

From: Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument: Version 2006. American Physical Therapy Association: Alexandria, VA; 2008

Requirements for the B.A. in Biology and the D.P.T

The First Year

The Second Year

Fall Semester (20 credits)

Spring Semester (18 credits)

The Third Year

Fall Semester (20 credits)

Spring Semester (20 credits)

The Fourth Year

Fall Semester

  • PT 605 Introduction & Exposure to P.T. Practice (4 credits)
  • PT 615 P.T. Examination/Evaluation Skills I (2 credits)
  • PT 625 P.T. Intervention Skills I (4 credits)
  • PT 645 P.T. Integrative Care & Practice I (3 credits)
  • (PT 675) (5 credits)

Spring Semester

  • PT 616 P.T. Examination/Evaluation Skills II (4 credits)
  • PT 626 P.T. Intervention Skills II (5 credits)
  • PT 636 Exposure to P.T. in a Healthcare System (1 credit)
  • PT 646 P.T. Integrative Care & Practice II (4 credits)
  • (PT676) (8 credits)

Summer Sessions

  • PT 717 P.T. Examination/-Evaluation Skills III (2 credits)
  • PT 727 P.T. Intervention Skills III (2 credits)
  • PT 747 P.T. Integrative Care & Practice III (4 credits)
  • PT 777 Biomedical Foundation Sciences III (9 credits)

The Fifth Year

Fall Semester

  • PT 718 P.T. Examination/-Evaluation Skills IV (2 credits)
  • PT 728 P.T. Intervention Skills IV (2 credits)
  • PT 738 Clinical Education Experience I (4 credits)
  • PT 748 P.T. Integrative Care & Practice IV (2 credits)
  • PT 778 Biomedical Foundation Sciences IV (2 credits)

Spring Semester

  • PT 819 P.T. Examination/-Evaluation Skills V (6 credits)
  • PT 829 P.T. Intervention Skills V (6 credits)
  • PT 849 P.T. Integrative Care & Practice V (4 credit)
  • PT 879 Biomedical Foundation Sciences V (6 credits)

Summer Semester

  • PT 860 Clinical Education Experience II (6 credits)

The Sixth Year

Fall Semester

  • PT 870 Clinical Education Experience III (6 credits)

Spring Semester

  • PT 805 Physical Therapist Practice II (3 credits)
  • PT 869 Independent Study-Research (2 credits)
  • PT 899 Clinical Decision Making (2 credits)

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