2022-2023 Course Catalog

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

All physical therapy courses are limited to physical therapy students unless permission is obtained from the program director.

The Chatham University Physical Therapy Program educates Doctors of Physical Therapy who will advance the quality of human life through excellence in clinical practice. The Program prepares professionals to meet the challenges of a dynamic health care environment and supports faculty scholarship that bridges science and practice.

The Chatham University Physical Therapy Program offers an exceptionally innovative and student-centered curriculum that promotes critical analysis and produces professionals who are guided by integrity, committed to excellence, and oriented to service. The Program supports practitioners in achieving best practice through scholarly inquiry, dissemination, and outreach.

Designed to prepare graduates to serve as generalists, the curriculum stresses clinical decision making through the study of patient problems typically encountered in the clinical setting. Normal structure and function provide a basis for the study of disease processes and prevention, and the effect of pathology and impairments on function and quality of life. The modified problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum presents the clinical arts and science of physical therapy in an integrated manner organized around body systems.

Chatham University offers a DPT degree upon successful completion of seven terms of study. Candidates follow a sequence of courses that includes 36 weeks of clinical education.

Admission Requirements

How to Apply

Applicants to Chatham University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program must use the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Beginning June 15, 2022, applications may be submitted through PTCAS with all admission requirements noted below. Please note the GRE is not required, and there is no supplemental application.

Important dates FOR FALL 2023 Admission

Application Deadline:  October 3*
Virtual Admission Interview Date:  Saturday, November 5, 2022  (by invitation only)

In order to be eligible for invite to the admission interview:

  1. Applicants need to have at least 60% (24 credits) of the ten prerequisites complete by August 31, 2022
  2. PTCAS applications must be e-submitted by October 3*
  3. Applications must be PTCAS verified no later than October 15

*It is highly recommended to e-submit your application to PTCAS on or before September 15. PTCAS’s verification process occurs once an applicant e-submits the application and all official transcripts have been received. Verification involves some processing time, so it is in your best interest to submit all materials as early as possible to ensure your complete, verified application is available for us to review. Only verified applicants will be invited to interview.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • A completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution prior to the beginning of classes.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended sent directly to PTCAS.
  • Overall combined GPA of 3.0 or better on a scale of 4.0 as calculated by PTCAS.
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, grades less than a "B-" in Anatomy and a "C" in all other courses are not acceptable.
  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed no more than ten years prior to the anticipated start date of the program.

2022-23 CYCLE UPDATE: A "Pass" or "Satisfactory" grade for prerequisites will be accepted for coursework completed during the Spring 2020 semester. However, such grades do not impact GPA calculation.

  • At least six of ten completed prerequisite courses by August 31, 2022. If admitted, all prerequisites must be complete by July 31, 2023.
  • Prerequisite Courses:
    • Biology with lab - two terms
    • Chemistry with lab - two terms
    • Physics with lab - two terms
    • Physiology with lab (prefer human) - one term**
    • Human Anatomy with lab - one term**
      • **If taking anatomy with physiology, both anatomy & physiology I and II with labs are necessary to fulfill the anatomy and physiology requirements. A grade of B- or better is required in both courses.
  • Statistics or Research Methods - one term
  • Developmental Psychology or Lifespan Development – one term
    • Fulfillment of this pre-req requires course content that includes the entire human lifespan from birth to end of life. Individual courses that focus on a specific life period will be accepted (i.e. Childhood Development), as long as additional courses completed span human psychological development from birth to end of life (i.e. Adolescent Development and Aging Adult Development).

  • Evidence of volunteer/work experience in a minimum of two different physical therapy locations OR two different physical therapy settings included in the PTCAS application. Please note verification of this experience is not required. Examples of different settings include:
    Inpatient
    • Acute Care/Hospital
    • Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility/Extended Care Facility
    • Acute/Sub-acute Rehabilitation
    Outpatient
    • Free-standing PT Clinical/Hospital-based Clinic
    • Industrial/Occupational Health
    Home Health
    School/Pre-school
  • 2022-23 CYCLE UPDATE: We understand volunteer/work experience may not be accessible due to COVID-19 and are advising affected students to develop insight into the PT profession through alternative ways: interview a PT (may be virtual) or research the field via the American Physical Therapy Association website. Students will not be required to verify their interview or research experiences.

    • Three letters of reference included in the PTCAS application: two academic (faculty or advisor) and one licensed physical therapist OR one academic and two licensed physical therapists
    • Attendance at on-campus interview.

    INTEGRATED DEGREE PROGRAM

    Chatham University undergraduates applying through the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) must complete all requirements outlined on their respective admission or track tab on the IDP Portal Site. All IDP applicants should work closely with their academic advisors to ensure all requirements are met according to the IDP course of study.

    INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

    International Applicants must submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions. A list of these documents can be found on the International Admission web page.

    ADMISSION REVIEW PROCESS

    After verifying that the minimum academic requirements are met, the physical therapy program faculty reviews each candidate's entire application and invites the most talented and qualified students to interview before program faculty and alumni. As part of the admission review, Chatham reserves the right to request a background check prior to the offer of admission. The physical therapy program strives for diversity and gender equity within each class.

    ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS

    Chatham University has entered into "Articulation Agreements" with a select group of Colleges and Universities. These agreements provide for additional student pre-professional advisement and possible priority admission status for candidates with exceptional applications, demonstrating academic preparation above the minimal acceptable standards.

    Agreements exist with the following institutions for the 2022-2023 academic year:

    • Allegheny College
    • Baldwin Wallace University
    • Grove City College
    • Saint Vincent College
    • Washington and Jefferson College
    • Waynesburg University

    Applicants from these institutions are advised to discuss the articulation requirements with their advisor as well as the graduate admission counselor at Chatham University. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Admission Department:

    Office of Admission
    Chatham University
    Woodland Road
    Pittsburgh, PA 15232
    (800) 837-1290
    (412) 365-1394
    Email Admissions



    ADMITTED STUDENT PROFILE

    Students Beginning Fall 2022

    Number Enrolled:40
    Average Overall GPA:3.66
    Average Prerequisite GPA:3.55
    Average Age:23
    Out-of-State Residents:36%
    Females:62%
    Males:38%

    Students Beginning Fall 2021

    Number Enrolled:40
    Average Overall GPA:3.64
    Average Prerequisite GPA:3.62
    Average Age:23
    Out-of-State Residents:37%
    Females:58%
    Males:42%

    Learning Outcomes

    Graduates will be able to:

    • Practice in an ethical, legal, safe, professional, and effective manner
    • Screen individuals to determine the need for habilitation, rehabilitation, referral, and/or care to promote fitness, health and wellness
    • Effectively examine a patient/client.
    • Formulate the physical therapy diagnosis.
    • Design a comprehensive physical therapy plan of care.
    • Manage a comprehensive plan of care
    • Demonstrate effective written, oral, and nonverbal communication with patients/clients and their caregivers, colleagues, other health providers, payers, and the public
    • Apply principles of management in the provision of physical therapy to individuals, organizations, and communities
    • Apply concepts of teaching and learning theories in designing, implementing, and evaluating learning experiences used in the education of patients/clients, students, colleagues, and the community
    • Apply the principles of evidence-based practice to collaborative clinical decision making
    • Develop personal and professional self-assessment skills and formulate/implement a career development plan

    Curriculum

    +Degree Requirements

    107 credits, including:

    BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy

    An in-depth study of gross human anatomic structure, emphasizing the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems through study of head and neck, body wall, and upper and lower extremity structures. Clinical correlates examine normal movement and pathological processes. Four hours of class and three hours of laboratory per week.

    4
    BIO502L Human Gross Anatomy Lab

    Human Gross Anatomy Lab

    2
    BIO506 Principles of Neuroscience

    A study of the structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous system, including vascular components and special senses. The course emphasizes nervous system control of movement. Three hours of class per week.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
  • BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
  • 3
    BIO506L Lab: Principles of Neuroscience

    Laboratory experience includes the human nervous system material, brain sections, and anatomical models. Two hours of Laboratory per week.

    Co-requisites
    • BIO506 Principles of Neuroscience
    1
    PTH690 Clinical Skills

    This course provides an introduction to physical therapy clinical skills with an emphasis on basic assessment and intervention procedures, along with surface anatomy palpation. Principles relating to these foundational techniques will be introduced via lecture and laboratory experiences. The techniques will be applied in future courses in increasingly complex patient/client problems and diagnoses.

    3
    PTH691 Clinical Sciences

    An in-depth analysis of normal and abnormal human motion with an emphasis on biomechanics, gait, patterns of motion and mechanisms that affect or limit movement. Principles of the physical therapy diagnostic process, along with therapeutic techniques, procedures and modalities will be introduced.

    Pre-requisites Complete all 3 of the following courses:
  • BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
  • BIO502L Human Gross Anatomy Lab
  • PTH690 Clinical Skills
  • 6
    PTH702 Movement Science

    This course includes the study and application of theories of motor control, motor learning, and motor development that are utilized to guide examination of children and adults with neuromuscular dysfunction. Movement analysis is expanded along a continuum from infancy to older age, incorporating age-related movement changes and theories of aging.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
  • BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
  • 3
    PTH703I Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Part One

    The first part of this two-part course will provide in-depth preparation required to perform the examination, evaluation, and management of musculoskeletal conditions commonly encountered in physical therapy practice. The course includes the physical therapy diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and development of evidence-based physical therapy plans of care.

    2
    PTH703II Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy- Part Two

    The second part of this two-part course will provide in-depth preparation required to perform the examination, evaluation, and management of musculoskeletal conditions commonly encountered in physical therapy diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and development of evidence-based physical therapy plans of care.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH703I Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy Part One
  • 10
    PTH706 Clinical Physiology

    This course provides in-depth study of normal human physiologic mechanisms with special application to exercise. Topics include: protein synthesis, cell communication, and energy metabolism; neuromusculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, immune and endocrine systems; and exercise prescription, health promotion, and wellness. Students will participate in comprehensive fitness assessments during laboratory sessions.

    Pre-requisites Complete all 2 of the following courses:
  • BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
  • BIO502L Human Gross Anatomy Lab
  • 5
    PTH707 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

    This course provides didactic, laboratory and problem-based learning experiences in the examination, evaluation and treatment of patients with primary and secondary cardiac, vascular and/or pulmonary dysfunction. Content ranges from the development of individualized, scientifically-based fitness/wellness programs to the management of patients across the lifespan with a wide spectrum of acute illnesses and/or chronic conditions.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH703II Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy- Part Two
  • 7
    PTH708 Pediatric Physical Therapy

    This problem-based course will provide in-depth information on the examination, evaluation, and management of pediatric neuro-musculoskeletal system dysfunction from birth through adolescence and young adulthood. Students will build upon concepts of normal development, motor control, and motor learning to develop a theoretical framework for addressing the physical therapy needs of children.

    Pre-requisites Complete all 2 of the following courses:
  • PTH702 Foundations of Movement Science II
  • PTH707 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy
  • 4
    PTH709 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy

    This problem-based course explores the prevention, evaluation and management of neuromuscular system dysfunction throughout the adult life span. Students will build upon concepts from all previous courses to gain a comprehensive understanding of the multiple complex problems seen in patients with neurologic diagnoses.

    Pre-requisites Complete all 2 of the following courses:
  • PTH702 Foundations of Movement Science II
  • PTH707 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy
  • 9
    PTH713I Multi-System Physical Therapy Part One

    The first part of this problem-based learning course emphasizes the physical therapy management of complex patients across the lifespan who present with pathology affecting multiple body systems. Students utilize advanced clinical decision-making skills to evaluate and prioritize interventions. Laboratory and problem-based learning experiences focus on educating and directing patients, families, and other providers is included.

    1
    PTH713II Multi-System Physical Therapy-Part Two

    The second part of this problem-based learning course continues with the physical therapy management of complex patients across the lifespan who present with pathology affecting multiple body systems. Students utilize advanced clinical decision-making skills to evaluate and prioritize interventions. Laboratory and problem-based learning experiences focus on educating and directing patients, families, and other providers is included.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH713I Multi-System Physical Therapy Part One
  • 2
    PTH722 Research I

    The purpose of this course is to offer students the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills that are essential to the critical evaluation of the medical literature and the application of research to the practice of physical therapy.

    3
    PTH724I Research II Part One

    The purpose of this course is to offer students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills that are essential to the critical evaluation of the medical literature and the application of research to the practice of physical therapy.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH722 Research I
  • 1
    PTH724II Research II-Part Two

    The purpose of part II of this course is to offer students the opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills that are essential to the critical evaluation of the medical literature and the application of research to the practice of physical therapy.

    1
    PTH730 Clinical Experience I-A

    The first part of this ten (10) week, full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of musculoskeletal system coursework. Students will be placed in outpatient facilities or general hospitals with an expectation that students, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, will primarily evaluate and treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

    4
    PTH731I Clinical Experience IB-I

    The first part of this ten (10) week, full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of musculoskeletal system coursework. Students will be placed in outpatient facilities or general hospitals with an expectation that students, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, will primarily evaluate and treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

    1
    PTH731I Clinical Experience IB-I

    The first part of this ten (10) week, full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of musculoskeletal system coursework. Students will be placed in outpatient facilities or general hospitals with an expectation that students, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, will primarily evaluate and treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

    1
    PTH731II Clinical Experience IB-II

    The second part of this ten (10) week, full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of musculoskeletal system coursework. Students will be placed in outpatient facilities or general hospitals with an expectation that students, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, will primarily evaluate and treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

    3
    PTH733 Clinical Experience II

    A ten (10) week full-time experience scheduled at the completion of study of didactic and laboratory course work. Students will generally be placed in acute care, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric, sub-acute, outpatient, or home health settings. Students will, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, primarily evaluate and treat patients with cardio/pulmonary and neurological conditions. Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements is required.

    7
    PTH735I Clinical Experience V-Part One

    The first part of this sixteen (16) week full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of didactic and laboratory course work. Students will generally be placed in acute care, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric, sub-acute, outpatient, or home health settings. Students will, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, primarily evaluate and treat patients with cardio/pulmonary and neurological conditions.

    1
    PTH735II Clinical Experience V-Part Two

    The second part of this sixteen (16) week full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of didactic and laboratory course work. Students will generally be placed in acute care, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric, sub-acute, outpatient, or home health settings. Students will, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, primarily evaluate and treat patients with cardio/pulmonary and neurological conditions.

    11
    PTH741 Principles of Practice I: Intro to PT Practice

    This course introduces the novice professional student to the roles of the physical therapist as: a professional; a communicator; and as a scholar. There is a heavy emphasis on patient-practitioner communication skills, especially during the patient interview. Fundamentals of evidence-based practice help students embrace the role of scholarly clinician.

    3
    PTH742I Principles of Practice II: Communication and Ethics-Part One

    Part one of this course enhances basic concepts related to evidence-based practice, ethics and communication while introducing new concepts of health behavior and the current healthcare environment for application throughout the physical therapy curriculum.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH741 Principles of Practice I: Intro to PT Practice
  • 1
    PTH742II Principles of Practice II: Communication and Ethics-Part Two

    Part two of this course enhances basic concepts related to evidence-based practice, ethics, and communication while introducing new concepts of health behavior and the current healthcare environment for application throughout the physical therapy curriculum.

    2
    PTH743 Principles of Practice III: Ethical Action and Social Responsibility

    This course is an integrated synthesis of material learned in previous Principles of Practice courses with practical application into clinical education. Students preliminarily explore the integration of social responsibility and professionalism via community-based learning.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH742II Principles of Practice II: Communication and Ethics-Part Two
  • 1
    PTH744 Principles of Practice IV: Service Learning

    This course is an integrated synthesis of material learned during previous POP courses. This course, guided by faculty and community service advisors, primarily evaluates the service learning project as it evolves over the past year. The evaluation will review the benefits of and obstacles to a meaningful learning experience. Students will discuss their contribution to the community agency and the population it serves, and will disseminate this to the Chatham physical therapy community through a group oral presentation.

    Pre-requisites Complete any 1 of the following courses:
  • PTH743 P.P. III: Integration of Psychosocial Issues and Social Responsibility
  • PTH743 Principles of Practice III: Ethical Action and Social Responsibility
  • 1
    PTH745I Principles of Practice V: Health Care, Management & Policy Part One

    Part one of this course integrates the principles of professional development with health care policy, delivery, and management.

    1
    PTH745II Principles of Practice V: Healthcare, Management & Policy- Part Two

    Principles of Practice V integrates the principles of health care delivery, management, policy and leadership within the physical therapy profession.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH744 Principles of Practice IV: Service Learning
  • 2
    PTH746I Clinical Experience III-Part One

    The first part of this eight (8) week full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of didactic and laboratory course work. Students will generally be placed in acute care, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric, sub-acute, outpatient, or home health settings. Students will, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, primarily evaluate and treat patients with cardio/pulmonary and neurological conditions.

    1
    PTH746II Clinical Experience III-Part Two

    The second part of this eight (8) week full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of didactic and laboratory course work. Students will generally be placed in acute care, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric, sub-acute, outpatient, or home health settings. Students will, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, primarily evaluate and treat patients with cardio/pulmonary and neurological conditions.

    5
    PTH747 Clinical Experience IV

    An eight-week, full-time experience in combination with PTH 746 Clinical Experience IV completed at the conclusion of didactic and laboratory course work. During this experience, the student will continue to develop competency in his or her entry-level professional physical therapy skills. An alternative to this course in combination with PTH 746 Clinical Experience IV is PTH 735 Clinical Experience III (16 weeks). Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements is required.

    6
    PTH748 Research III: Evidence in Practice

    In this course, students integrate previous curricular topics related to evidence based practice. Students develop and complete a presentation of the systematic review completed in PTH 724. Students also complete a Knowledge-to-Action project aimed at increasing the use of research evidence in clinical practice.

    Pre-requisites Complete the following course:
  • PTH724II Research II-Part Two
  • 2
    HSC633I Global Health Perspectives Part One

    This course is intended to provide an opportunity for occupational therapy students to study and experience global health issues by participating in an international fieldwork experience. Not everything that is germane to understanding global health can be covered in a single elective course; this experience is intended to give students the opportunity to 1) understand the culture and contemporary health care issues of the visiting country 2) illustrate the role or potential role of occupational therapy in contributing to the health and wellbeing of the population and 3) reflect on their personal growth and on the sustainability of their service.

    1
    HSC633II Global Health Perspectives Part Two

    This course is intended to provide an opportunity for occupational therapy students to study and experience global health issues by participating in an international fieldwork experience. Not everything that is germane to understanding global health can be covered in a single elective course; this experience is intended to give students the opportunity to 1) understand the culture and contemporary health care issues of the visiting country 2) illustrate the role or potential role of occupational therapy in contributing to the health and wellbeing of the population and 3) reflect on their personal growth and on the sustainability of their service.

    1