Jul 17, 2024  
2019-20 Graduate Catalog 
2019-20 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, T.D.P.T.

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Program Coordinator

Michael A. Tevald, PT, PhD Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Director of Post-Professional Programs


  • Joseph Adler, PT, DPT CCS., Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • William G. Boissonnault, PT, DHScFAAMOPT, Professor at University of Wisconsin
  • Charles D. Ciccone, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Professor at Ithaca College
  • Rebecca L. Craik, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Professor and Dean of the College of Health Science at Arcadia University
  • Kristin Vamvas Day, PT, PhD, NCS
  • Michael Dilleno, PT, DPT, CSCS
  • Martha E. Eastlack, PT, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Entry-Level Physical Therapy Admissions
  • Brian Eckenrode, PT, DPT, OCS Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
  • Daniel Goldstein, PT, DPT, OCS
  • Alex Haddad PT, DPT, OCS, PhD
  • Stephan Kareha, PT DPT, OCS, ATC, St. Luke’s Physical Therapy
  • Shailesh Kantak, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
  • Philip McClure, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Professor and Chair of Physical Therapy
  • Amy Miller, PT, D.P.T., Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Curriculum Director
  • Kerstin Palombaro, PT, Ph.D., CAPS, Assistant Professor, Community Engagement Coordinator, Widener University
  • Kshamata Shah, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor, Director: Education for International Physical Therapists
  • Scott Stackhouse, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
  • Kristin von Nieda, PT, M.Ed., DPT, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

About the Program

All post-professional D.P.T. courses are 2-credit, fully online courses.

  • The program can be completed 1 to 3 years, or 1.5 to 3 years for internationally educated therapists.
  • Pricing schedule makes the program affordable and competitively priced.
  • Students can start any semester, and most courses can be taken in any sequence.
  • Course waivers, based on experience documented in a portfolio, are possible for up to 6 credits.
  • Students network and interact with nationally recognized faculty and peers.
  • Students can take two courses before formal application and matriculation.
  • Arcadia’s Physical Therapy program is ranked 20th among the 217 accredited programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The profession and practice of physical therapy is rapidly changing. The demands imposed upon a physical therapist today are very different from those of even five or 10 years ago. These demands often go beyond the formal education provided in more traditional entry-level programs. Therapists increasingly are required to justify their practice patterns based on research evidence, to take on consulting and supervisory roles, and to provide administrative expertise and leadership.

Offered completely online, this program gives practicing clinicians easy access to make their formal education congruent with students graduating from entry-level D.P.T. programs. The program’s goal is to educate clinicians to achieve practice consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Vision 2020 and beyond. Graduates will function with a high degree of professionalism and possess the requisite knowledge, skills and behaviors to practice physical therapy in a truly scientific manner (i.e., using evidence-based practice).

Graduates will demonstrate the ability to do the following:

  • Solve clinical problems using evidence.
  • Critically evaluate current literature and popular theories.
  • Communicate professionally through scientific writing.
  • Function as an effective teacher at multiple levels—with patients, students, peers, and the public.
  • Lead others and advocate effectively (serve as a consultant or manager).
  • Enhance skills required to be a lifelong independent learner.

This is a program for practicing professionals who want to learn and interact with nationally recognized faculty and exceptional peers. The program is highly interactive and capitalizes on the wealth of knowledge clinicians bring with them.

Admission Requirements

Therapists educated in the United States can take two courses before formal application and matriculation, while internationally-educated therapists may take up to three courses to satisfy credentialing deficits. Acceptance into a course does not guarantee admission into the program.

  1. Proof of graduation (official transcript) from a physical therapist degree program accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education (currently CAPTE) with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. Current license to practice physical therapy in the United States
  3. Three written recommendations (professional or academic)
  4. Brief essay articulating goals for D.P.T. study

Foreign-educated therapists must complete a graduate application at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp and include the following items:

  1. Current license, registration, or equivalent to practice physical therapy 
    • If licensed to practice in the US, submit a copy of your license and an official PT credentialing report from an agency approved by the Federated State Boards of Physical Therapy.Approved agencies include the following: FCCPT, CGFNS, ICD, ICA, UTA, IERF see list here:
    • If licensed to practice outside the US, submit a notarized copy of your license (or equivalent) and an official GPA report (e.g., World Education Service or Education Credential Evaluator) verifying a minimum GPA.
  2. Official transcript indicating that the applicant has earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from an accredited or government recognized physical therapist degree program with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  3. Official transcripts from any US College or University attended
  4. Three written recommendations (professional or academic)
  5. Brief essay articulating goals for D.P.T. study
  6. Official TOEFL (minimum 80 overall; minimum 21 for writing, 18 for all other sections) or IELTS (minimum 6.5 Band score, no individual score below 5.5. Official results from the TOEFL or TELTS are required for all students for whom Englisb is a second language or who have not earned degree or diploma from post-secondary institutions in English- speaking countries (e.g, the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. 

In addition, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Possess basic computer skills including Internet and email
  2. Have access to a computer system that meets the requirements described here: https://www.arcadia.edu/arcadia-online-student-computer-requirements
  3. Complete an online plagiarism training module and submit a certificate of completion prior to beginning their first class. Complete instructions will be communicated at the time of acceptance into the program or registration for a course.

Please note, as an International Student in the TDPT program:

  • We will not issue an I-20.

While the courses in our tDPT program may help in fulfilling educational deficits, it does not directly qualify you for US PT licensure. All foreign-educated PTs must follow the steps listed on the following website: https://www.fsbpt.org/Secondary-Pages/Exam-Candidates/National-Exam-NPTE/Non-US-Candidates


2019-20 Tuition:

Prior to matriculation into the program, all students will be billed on a per-credit basis. The current tuition rate is $800/credit.  Each course in the curriculum is 2 credits.

Upon matriculation into the program, students may choose one of two payment options:

  • They may continue to be billed on a per credit basis.
  • They may choose to be billed the package price for the entire program.  Tuition paid for courses taking prior to matriculation will be credited to the students account.
    • The package price for US-educated therapists is  $10,500, billed over 6 equal installments of $1,750/semester.
    • The package price for foreign-educated therapists is $11,500, billed over 6 equal installments of $1,917/semester.


  • Application: $25
  • Registration: approximately $50 per semester, subject to change
  • Technology: approximately $100 per semester, subject to change
  • Portfolio review (if course waiver is requested): $200
  • Additional expenses for textbooks and course materials will also apply

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 18 credits (9 classes) for US-educated therapists and 22 credits (11 classes) for foreign-educated therapists. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practice and addresses core competencies to enrich the practice of physical therapy. Students with professional experience and/or coursework in certain areas may request waivers for up to 6 of these credits (3 courses, indicated in the course description below) by submitting a portfolio documenting their experience.  Detail instructions are included in ther acceptance packet.  Students submitting a portfolio will be charged a $200 portfolio review fee.

The program is entirely online.  Most courses include both synchronous (i.e., all students participate at a specific date and time) and asynchronous (i.e., on your own time) components.  Students are only required to take one course per semester, but many take two. Therefore, most students will take approximately two years to complete the program, although this may vary.

Students can start any semester.  Most courses can be taken in any order, with the following exceptions:

  • PT 505 Clinical Decision Making must be taken before the Clinical Practice Series course.  For individuals without a US license PT 505 must be taken first. 
  • PT 702 Case Analysis is designed as a capstone-like experience, and must be taken last.

All courses are 2 credits.  Students must maintain a 2.7 cumulative grade point average to remain in good academic standing.  Failure to maintain this may lead to dismissal from the program.

The curriculum consists of Core Courses and the Clinical Practice Series.

Core Courses (all are required)

Additional courses required of foreign educated therapists

  • 2 credits Required course for which a waiver is possible (note the course waiver is not guaranteed).
  • 2 credits Required course for which a waiver is possible (note the course waiver is not guaranteed).

Clinical Practice Series (Choose one course)

The Clinical Practice Series courses emphasize recent advances in a particular specialty area of physical therapy practice. Students choose one course based upon their area of practice, although therapists with significant post-professional training in their area of practice may request a waiver via portfolio submission (see “Portfolio Review/Course Waiver criteria below). The content in these courses reinforces and reflects principles taught in PT 505 Clinical Decision Making, which is a pre-requisite; however, emphasis is placed on specific recommendations for clinical management (i.e. content rather than process). Each course emphasizes a clinical reasoning process, use of appropriate tests and measures, use of appropriate interventions, and the most relevant outcome measures.

Students may take more than one of the Clinical Practice Series for additional tuition, which will be charged on a per-credit basis.

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