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DPT Course Descriptions and Syllabi

Graduate Year One


Semester 1 – Fall (16 weeks)

PHT 6153 Physiology for PT Syllabus

General human physiology with systems review. (back)

PHT 6187C: Functional Anatomy Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide a detailed introduction to anatomy of the human body, and the functional ramifications of that anatomy to human motion. This will include study employing lecture and laboratory sessions involving regional cadaveric dissection of the upper extremity under the supervision of instructors, and information on joint structure and function, forces that effect motion and the resultant kinematics. Emphasis is on the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal anatomy. (back)

PHT 6605: Evidence Based Practice Syllabus

This course reviews relevant research design and statistical issues to prepare the student to become a critical consumer of rehabilitation research literature. The student will be exposed to selected topics on research theory/philosophy, sampling, research design, descriptive/inferential statistics, power, error, estimation, reliability, validity, and reading a journal article. (back)

PHT 6024: Professional Issues Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to prepare the students in professional practices that will be used throughout the curriculum and their professional careers. This course provides the student with an introduction to the role of the professional in physical therapy practice. Students are educated about the application of generic skills to the profession of PT. Topics of application include communication (verbal, nonverbal, and written), individual and cultural differences, professional behavior and abilities, ethics, legal issues, and responsibility for professional development. (back)

PHT 6502: Health Promotion and Wellness for Physical Therapy Practice Syllabus

This course is designed to initiate an interdisciplinary learning practicum for health professions, pharmacy, dental and medical students. The central theme of the course is family health over the life cycle. Students will learn to conceptualize family health beliefs and behavior from a biopsychosocial framework, and they will learn to assess family health care needs and health care access through a multidisciplinary lens. (back)

PHT 6206C: Basic Clinical Skills Syllabus

This course is designed to prepare the student for patient care activities including communication, assessing vital signs, body mechanics awareness, patient positioning and draping, basic exercise and transfers. Students will develop these basic skills in a laboratory setting and with case studies prior to practice with patients in authentic clinical situations in semester three of the program. (back)

Semester 2 – Spring (16 weeks)

PHT 6188C: Functional Anatomy II Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide a detailed introduction to anatomy of the human body, and the functional ramifications of that anatomy to human motion. This will include study employing lecture and laboratory sessions involving regional cadaveric dissection of the lower extremity and trunk under the supervision of instructors, and information on joint structure and function, forces that affect motion and the resultant kinematics. Emphasis is on the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal anatomy. Using this knowledge the student should be able to analyze activities regularly observed in the clinic. (back)

PHT 6189C: Examination and Evaluation Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to teach the student the basic elements of assessment that apply to all patients with a potential need for physical therapy services. Students will learn the basics of examination and evaluation, selection of appropriate tests and measures, use of validity, reliability, and best evidence to select tests and measures, and the use of critical thinking and decision-making to determine the most appropriate intervention and outcomes for all patients. (back)

PHT 6168C: Neuroscience in Physical Therapy Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, basic neuroscience and evidence based practice literature for neurological examination, evaluation, and therapeutic intervention. This course includes lecture, wet specimen anatomy laboratory, utilization of neurological case studies and review of current scientific literature. (back)

PHT 6503: Health Promotion and Wellness for Physical Therapy Practice II Syllabus

This course is the follow-up to the interdisciplinary learning practicum for health professions, pharmacy, dental and medical students which was initiated in the prior semester. The central theme of this course is developing wellness plans for individuals or families in the community. Students will learn to assess family health care needs, seek out community resources, and educate community members on specific issues related to their own health and well-being. (back)

PHT 6207C: Basic Clinical Skills II Syllabus

This course is designed to prepare the student for patient care activities including infection control, patient safety and emergency management, wheelchair and equipment management, gait training and durable medical equipment prescription. The student will obtain an overview of basic exercise training techniques (strength, flexibility, endurance, and relaxation) applicable to prevention and wellness services as well as to those populations requiring rehabilitation or restoration of function due to illness, injury, or chronic disability. (back)

PHT 6152C: Exercise Physiology Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to understand the physiological mechanisms and organ systems that allow humans to engage in physical activity and how these systems are changed by chronic activity (training) and disuse. (back)

Semester 3 – Summer (13 weeks)

PHT 6770 Musculoskeletal Disorders I Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to educate students about physical therapy evaluation and treatment for musculoskeletal disorders of the lower extremity. In the laboratory sessions, evaluation and treatment techniques will be demonstrated and practiced, including joint and soft-tissue mobilization, exercise prescription, and posture and movement retraining. (back)

PHT 6218C Therapeutic Modality Interventions in Physical Therapy Syllabus

This course is an introduction to the management of pain and dysfunction using thermal, electrical and mechanical modalities used by Physical Therapists in general practice. Lectures will highlight basic scientific rationale for approaches discussed while laboratory experience, and problem solving using patient case studies should enhance the student’s understanding relative to direct patient care. (back)

PHT 6860: Clinical Education I Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide part-time clinical experiences in acute care settings, wound care, ICU, and outpatient orthopedics as a means for the student to make associations between classroom material and clinical experiences. (back)

PHT 6608: Evidence Based Practice II Syllabus

This course will introduce the student to key concepts of evidence-based rehabilitation science. The first section of the course reviews basic principles of an evidence-based approach and subsequent sections review issues related to diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention. (back)

PHT 6352 Pharmacology in Physical Therapy Practice Syllabus

The purpose of this course is the study of prescription and/or over-the-counter medications used in the management of a variety of patient conditions encountered during physical therapy management. Case examples from the four primary practice patterns from the Guide to PT Practice will be utilized for application. (back)

PHT 6186C: Motor Control/Therapeutic Exercise Syllabus

This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of movement science, offers a framework for understanding normal and abnormal movement, and includes concepts of kinesiology, neuroscience, physiology, motor control, and motor learning.  The course will integrate theory and basic principles of motor behavior, motor development, motor control and motor learning as they relate to human motor performance across the lifespan. (back)


Graduate Year 2

Semester 4 – Fall (16 weeks)

PHT 6771: Musculoskeletal Disorders II Syllabus

This course will provide the student with an understanding of the techniques and rationale used in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction of the spine and upper extremity. In the laboratory sessions, evaluation and treatment techniques will be demonstrated and practiced, including joint and soft-tissue mobilization, exercise prescription, and posture and movement retraining. (back)

PHT 6381C: Cardiopulmonary Disorders in Physical Therapy Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiopulmonary disease, how to perform a Physical Therapy evaluation to treat these problems and design, safe and effective rehabilitation programs for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. (back)

PHT 6070C Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging in Physical Therapy Practice Syllabus

This course is a progression from a basic understanding of plain film principles to a systematic analysis of the spine and extremities. The student will learn a systematic method of analyzing and integrating imaging findings into the physical therapy diagnostic process. In addition, the utility of imaging in physical therapy practice will be emphasized. (back)

PHT 6861: Clinical Education II Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide part-time clinical experiences in outpatient orthopedics as a means for the student to make associations between classroom material and clinical experiences. Didactic material and clinical experiences are integrated with information from PHT 6771 Musculoskeletal Disorders II. Students spend a full day every other week in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. (back)

PHT 6761C: Neurorehabilitation I Syllabus

This course will provide information concerning neurologic diseases and disorders that are common to clients evaluated and treated by physical therapists in the acute care setting. From a medical perspective, information will include disease description, etiology, pathology, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, medical management, and precautions or special considerations pertinent to physical therapists. From a physical therapy perspective, specific standardized assessments, evaluation and treatment strategies, techniques, and approaches will be addressed. (back)

PHT 6302C: Principles of Disease Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to educate the Physical Therapy student on basic pathology, presentation, signs, and symptoms related to common diseases/conditions. Conditions that will be discussed are those that may be encountered by the Physical Therapist in the acute care, sub-acute/rehab, home health care, and outpatient settings. The course will also highlight evaluation and treatment strategies for patients presenting with these conditions. The course will place emphasis on the student’s ability to recognize signs/symptoms that may help to differentially diagnose pathologic conditions from musculoskeletal conditions, and to make a referral to an appropriate physician source for conditions beyond the scope of Physical Therapy treatment. This course provides the foundation for the “Differential Diagnosis” course that is offered in the following semester. (back)

Semester 5 – Spring (16 weeks)

First 8 weeks

PHT 6762C: Neurorehabilitation II Syllabus

This course will provide information concerning neurologic diseases and disorders that are common to clients evaluated and treated by physical therapists. From a medical perspective, information will include disease description, etiology, pathology, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, medical management, and precautions or special considerations pertinent to physical therapists. From a physical therapy perspective, specific standardized assessments, evaluation and treatment strategies, techniques, and approaches will be addressed. The role of the physical therapist will be addressed across treatment environments and across the time course or progression of the disease (acute through chronic). (back)

PHT 6527: Professional Issues II Syllabus

This course is designed to build upon the professional behaviors and skills identified in Professional Issues I. As students continue clinical visits started in Clinical Education I and continued in Clinical Education II, direct application of topics to currently encountered case studies is addressed. Topics related to skills necessary for taking responsibility for and providing health care services to the public will be explored in greater depth. This course will focus on developing skills needed to provide and bill for physical therapy services in a manner that is consistent with legal and ethical guidelines for clinical practice. (back)

PHT 6374: Geriatrics in Physical Therapy Syllabus

This course is an overview of the physical and psycho-behavioral aspects of aging in adulthood. Students are introduced to usual and pathological changes with aging and are challenged to problem solve treatment issues relevant to the types of older clients they will assist in physical therapy clinical settings. The multidimensional concerns of our older patients are emphasized, and students are encouraged to develop themselves as strong generalist physical therapists to serve the needs of our older clientele. (back)

Second 8 weeks

PHT 6805: Clinical Education III Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide the students with their first full time clinical experience that occurs in the settings of acute care, general orthopedics, or subacute care. This internship is mentored by one or more trained clinical instructors. (back)

Semester 6 – Summer (13 weeks)

PHT 6190C: Motor Control/Therapeutic Exercise II Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a foundation for examining, evaluating, and providing treatment interventions for individuals who have movement dysfunction secondary to neurological deficits. Emphasis is placed on understanding normal and impaired movement through discussion of current motor control, motor learning, and motor development/lifespan theories. This course teaches examination and evaluation of and interventions for basic functional movement skills and their underlying components such as motor control/coordination (ability to plan, initiate, sequence, time and grade movements), postural control and balance, perception and sensation, muscle tone, strength, and biomechanical considerations. (back)

PHT 6322: Pediatrics in Physical Therapy Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to review and analyze the normal and abnormal developmental changes over the course of the maturation process with emphasis on selected medical conditions in pediatrics. Current motor control and motor learning theories are applied to therapeutic intervention strategies for the pediatric population. (back)

PHT 6702C: Prosthetics and Orthotics Syllabus

This course reviews the kinesiological principles of gait analysis. Of importance is the student’s ability to detect gait deviations and compensations. An introduction to prosthetics and orthotics will be provided. Students will be expected to apply their gait analysis skills when analyzing and understanding the mechanics of gait of patients with an amputation and patients with lower extremity orthoses. (back)

PHT 6730: Differential Diagnosis in Physical Therapy Syllabus

This course is designed to assist the physical therapy student to develop into a direct access practitioner able to consider and identify the broad spectrum of conditions and pathologies represented by a musculoskeletal or neurological complaint. Additionally, patterns of referral to the appropriate healthcare providers will be discussed and the role of the physical therapist as ‘collaborator’ in the healthcare team emphasized. (back)


Graduate Year 3

Semester 7 – Fall (16 weeks)

PHT 6807: Clinical Education IV Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the second full time clinical experience that occurs in the settings of acute care, general OP orthopedics (which must be completed prior to a specialty in orthopedic sports), inpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, or a combination thereof. Internship selections may not be repeated and specialized internships must be approved by the ACCEs. These internships are mentored by one or more trained clinical instructors. (back)

PHT 6817: Clinical Education V Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide the students with their third full time clinical experience that occurs in the settings of acute care, general outpatient orthopedics (which must be completed prior to a specialty in orthopedic sports), inpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, or a combination thereof. Internship selections may not be repeated and specialized internships must be approved by the ACCEs. These internships are mentored by one or more trained clinical instructors. (back)

Semester 8 Spring (16 weeks)

First 8 weeks

PHT 6823: Clinical Education VI Syllabus

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the fourth and final full time clinical experience that occurs in the settings of acute care, general outpatient orthopedics (which must be completed prior to a specialty in orthopedic sports), inpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, or a combination thereof. Internship selections may not be repeated and specialized internships must be approved by the ACCEs. These internships are mentored by one or more trained clinical instructors. (back)

Second 8 weeks

PHT 6504: Health Promotion and Wellness in Physical Therapy Practice III Syllabus

This course is designed to provide a framework for the student to develop and implement a plan for a community-based project directed toward improving health awareness in a specific group or population. The skills needed for identifying community needs, developing a strategic plan and securing resources are reviewed. Students must implement the plan and report the results of their program within an 8- week timeframe. (back)

PHT 6530: Professional Issues III Syllabus

This course is designed to build upon the professional behaviors and skills identified in Professional Issues I,& II. This course will focus on developing business and professional skills needed to begin practicing as a physical therapist. Topics related to skills necessary for assuming professional responsibility in the areas of advanced management skills, marketing professional services, and providing consultative services are included. This course will focus on developing skills needed to successfully secure licensure as a PT, supervise and manage staff and students, plan and market therapy services, and advocate for legislative changes to state and federal regulations related to the provision of health care services. (back)

PHT 6609: Evidence Based Practice III Syllabus

This course concludes the department’s evidence based sequence by developing skills that assist students in making clinical decisions that are consistent with the professional literature. The student will gain experience searching the literature by developing clinical questions in a form compatible with electronic search engines and learning differences in available electronic databases. The student will also learn how to contribute to the rehabilitation literature as clinicians by completing modules on case reports and the peer review process. (back)