Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) – Georgia Campus

Introduction to Physical Therapy

The mission of the physical therapy program at PCOM Georgia is to prepare individuals who demonstrate excellence in the practice of physical therapy, emphasize a “whole person” approach to patient management, commit to the advancement of knowledge and intellectual growth, and engage in the wellbeing of the community.

The PCOM Department of Physical Therapy will be recognized for its:

  • Commitment to cultivating an inclusive learning environment that is diverse, inquisitive, dignified, and respectful and that will inspire caring graduates who advocate for all individuals in our changing healthcare environment.
  • State-of-the-art learning environment that offers the opportunity for students to learn “whole person” patient management through inter-professional collaboration, development and intellectual growth, as well as hands-on experiences.
  • Educational advancement for faculty, students and clinicians to promote development of exceptional healthcare professionals who  are committed to life-long learning and engagement in the profession of physical therapy.

Physical Therapy Philosophy

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) provides the basic framework for organizing the curriculum. This framework was chosen because of its emphasis on the individual client as the focus of health care and its consistency with osteopathic philosophy, which emphasizes management of the “whole person” and recognizes the unity of body systems. This is consistent with the program’s belief that physical therapists are experts in movement and use their skills to restore, maintain, and promote optimal movement and function. As such, physical therapists function interdependently in a variety of settings and use theory and established scientific evidence as the foundation upon which they address the needs of the “whole person” (physical, psychological, spiritual, and socio-economic). The curriculum is also founded on the belief that optimal physical therapy is provided in a client-focused environment in which the therapist assumes various roles, including educator, consultant, and advocate. The organization of the curriculum is based on the assumption that understanding and responding to the effects of health conditions begins with knowledge of good health. The implication is that practitioners need a firm foundation in “normal” in order to recognize and assist clients in managing impairments and deficits in activities and participation. The model is “wrapped” in an envelope made up of four themes that will be emphasized throughout the curriculum: Critical Thinking, Evidence-Based Practice, Professional Engagement, and Lifespan Development.

The curriculum model is best described as hybrid, incorporating elements of traditional and systems-based curricula. In the early stages, the instruction focuses on normal body structure and function and includes content from both the Basic/Foundational sciences and the Clinical/Physical Therapy sciences. As the student develops an understanding of “normal” and how to assess it, the emphasis begins to shift to health conditions commonly seen in physical therapy,  focusing on addressing impairments and activity and participation limitations/restrictions. All components of the patient/client management model are addressed in courses that are systems-based. Throughout the curriculum students will encounter each of the four themes noted above; sometimes in one of the systems-based courses or in courses whose primary function is to address those themes.

Each course is assigned to one of five content areas: Basic/Foundational Sciences, Clinical/Physical Therapy Sciences, Evidence-Based Practice, Professional Engagement, and Clinical Experiences. The following provides course information on the sequencing of courses and course descriptions as related to assigned content areas.

Educational Goals

  1. Provide a professional education that will prepare individuals for entry into the practice of physical therapy.
  2. Promote the development of professional core values and behaviors.
  3. Promote participation in and appreciation for scholarship that will contribute to the evidence supporting physical therapy practice.
  4. Promote participation in activities designed to advocate for the profession, community, and individuals.
  5. Engage in service to the college, community, and profession.
  6. Provide opportunities for post-professional education and professional development.
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Term 1Hours
PT 601AG Clinical Anatomy for Physical Therapists I 4
PT 602AG Clinical Kinesiology I 3
PT 621AG Principles of Evidenced-Based Practice 3
PT 631AG Professional Engagement I, Introduction 2
 Hours12
Term 2
PT 601BG Clinical Anatomy for Physical Therapists II 4
PT 602BG Clinical Kinesiology II 2
PT 604AG Clinical Neuroscience I 3
PT 611AG Physical Therapy Exam I 4
 Hours13
Term 3
PT 603G Differential Diagnosis for PT 4
PT 605G Clinical Exercise Science and Wellness 4
PT 611BG Physical Therapy Exam II 3
PT 631BG Professional Engagement II, Health Systems Interdisciplinary Collaboration 2
PT 632G Teaching and Learning 2
 Hours15
Term 4
PT 612G Cardio and Pulmonary Management 3
PT 613G Integumentary Management 2
PT 614G Pharmacology and Medical Diagnostics: CVP and Integumentary Dysfunction 3
PT 615G Clinical Interventions I 3
PT 621BG Composition of Evidenced-Based Practice & Design 4
 Hours15
Second Year
Term 1
PT 741G Clinical Experience I 8
 Hours8
Term 2
PT 711AG Musculoskeletal I Management 4
PT 712AG Pharmacology and Medical Diagnostics, Musculoskeletal Disorders 2
PT 714AG Clinical Interventions II 2
PT 722AG Evidence-Based Practice, Project I 1
PT 713G Assistive Technology: P&O 2
 Hours11
Term 3
PT 711BG Musculoskeletal II Management 4
PT 604BG Clinical Neuroscience II 3
PT 722BG Evidence-Based Practice, Project II 1
PT 731G Psychosocial Aspects of Health Management 3
 Hours11
Term 4
PT 715AG Neuromuscular I Management 4
PT 712BG Pharmacology and Medical Diagnostics, Neuromuscular Disorders 2
PT 714BG Clinical Interventions III 2
PT 722CG Evidence-Based Practice, Project III 2
 Hours10
Third Year
Term 1
Choose Any of the Following Electives for a Minimum of 4 Credits  
PT 981EG
Advanced Prosthetic Rehabilitation Training
or Directed Study in PT Research
or Integrative Dry Needling
or Professional Service in Physical Therapy: Leadership
or Community Service: Social Responsibility and Advocacy
or Special Topics in Anatomy
or Special Topics in Pediatrics
or Advanced Topics in Orthopedics
or Education & Teaching
2-3
 Hours2-3
Term 2
PT 732G Professional Engagement III, Practice Management Policy and Ethics 2
PT 715BG Neuromuscular II Management 4
PT 716G Complex Multi System Disorders 4
PT 714CG Clinical Interventions IV 2
 Hours12
Term 3
PT 742AG Clinical Experience II 13
 Hours13
Term 4
PT 733G Professional Engagement IV, Lifelong Commitment 1
PT 743AG Clinical Experience III 13
 Hours14
 Total Hours136-137

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) - North Georgia Campus

Admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is competitive and selective. PCOM seeks well-rounded, achievement-oriented individuals whose maturity and dedication will lead them to a successful career as a physical therapist. Acceptance by the Admissions Committee is based on the applicant’s fulfillment of prerequisite coursework, grade point average (GPA), Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation, essay, resume, and a personal interview.

Your application will be processed and assessed by the Faculty Committee on Admissions only after the receipt of:

  • A completed application and $75 institutional application fee
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (must be completed prior to matriculation)
  • Official transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate course work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official score report from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE - General Test)

Application Process

All inquiries about admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program should be directed to PCOM’s Office of Admissions. The physical therapy program participates in the centralized online application service for physical therapy (PTCAS). Visit ptcas.org for more information. The Faculty Committee on Admissions utilizes a rolling admissions policy. Therefore, applications will be considered throughout the year as received until the desired enrollment of 40 new students has been achieved. However, those applications completed prior to December 1 will be given priority.

All materials must be forwarded to PCOM’s Office of Admissions.
Note that official college transcripts from all colleges/universities schools attended must be sent directly to:

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Georgia Office of Admissions
625 Old Peachtree Road NW
Suwanee, GA 30024

Baccalaureate Degree Requirement

For matriculation into this program, an applicant must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prior to matriculation, an applicant must have successfully completed the following:

  • General/Introductory Biology: two-course sequence for science majors (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs; or two-course sequence in Anatomy & Physiology (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs;
  • If the two-course sequence in Biology for science majors is chosen, one additional upper division Biology course with a lab must be completed.
  • If the two-course sequence in Anatomy and Physiology is chosen, on additional course in Biology for science majors must be completed.
  • General/Introductory Physics: two-course sequence for science majors (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs (sequence should include content related to mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and light);
  • General/Introductory Chemistry: two-course sequence for science majors (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs;
  • Social or behavioral sciences: two courses (6 semester-credit hours); Acceptable courses include psychology (any), sociology, anthropology and world religions.

Grades of D or F are not accepted. If courses are repeated, PCOM will take the highest grade, not an average of all attempts. Prerequisite courses cannot be older than 7 years.

At the time of application, candidates must have the prerequisite coursework completed or be able to provide a plan in writing that demonstrates the completion of the prerequisites prior to enrollment in the program (this can be achieved by completing the “Planned or In Progress Coursework” section of PTCAS). Note that the requirements for the baccalaureate and all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation. At least six of the ten required prerequisite courses must be completed before an application will be considered.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a licensed physical therapist. The two remaining letters are preferred to be from any of the following sources:

  • College professor
  • Employer/Supervisor
  • Pre-health professions advisor
  • Other healthcare professional

To the extent appropriate, each letter should address the applicant’s character, leadership abilities, commitment to service, ability to be self-directed, communication skills, and ability to work as a member of a team.

We will accept electronic transcripts via email from Parchment Services and National Student Clearinghouse to admissions@pcom.edu. Letters of recommendation can be sent directly to PCOM Admissions in PDF format to recommend@pcom.edu. All other admissions documents can be sent to admissions@pcom.edu.

Standardized Test Scores

Along with a completed application, letters of recommendation and transcripts, candidates to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must submit an official score report from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE - General Test) to be considered for admission. The PCOM Georgia PTCAS code for the GRE is 2849.

The minimum GRE scores required are as follows: GRE-V, 146; GRE-Q, 144; and GRE-W, 3.5. PCOM will take the highest score of multiple attempts. A combined score of 290 or above for verbal and quantitative are accepted. 

Healthcare Experience Requirements

There are no specific requirements for health care experiences to be eligible for enrollment. Applicants should, however, be able to demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge about the practice of physical therapy through meaningful exposures as demonstrated through a completed application for admission. Any volunteer work or paid work in a clinical setting wherein candidates are either providing hands-on care or witnessing care first hand is valued. Health care shadowing experiences are also highly recommended.

Assessing Applicants for Interview Consideration

On receipt of a completed application, each applicant will be screened to determine if they are to be invited for an on-campus interview. The following will be considered during the screening process:

  • Academic ability based on GPA (overall and prerequisite) and GRE scores. Admission to PCOM’s PT program is very competitive and selective. Higher GPAs and GRE scores will enhance your chances of being selected for an interview. The average undergraduate GPA for applicants accepted to physical therapy programs nationally during the 2018-19 admissions cycle was 3.57/4.00. The average unofficial GRE percentile scores for the same admissions cycle ranged from 44% on the Quantitative scale to 61% on the Analytical scale.
  • Major and minor areas of undergraduate study
  • Observation/experience in physical therapy (quantity and variety)
  • Leadership
  • Interest in underserved populations
  • Personal interests

All applicants selected for an interview will be contacted in writing, via e-mail, with a proposed date, time and location of the interview. Please note, although all applicants who are eventually accepted must be interviewed, the granting of an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the program. On the day of the interview, applicants may have an opportunity to meet with a student ambassador, sit in on classes and tour the campus. The interviews are conducted by a panel consisting of one or more of the physical therapy program faculty members and/or a local clinician. Current students may also be involved.

Following the completion of the admissions process, each applicant is notified of the Admission Committee’s decision in writing, including any conditions that must be satisfied prior to enrollment in the program.

Enrollment Requirements

Accepted applicants are asked to send a $500 non-refundable deposit by January 15. An additional deposit of $500 is required by April 15 from all confirmed students. This fee is non-refundable and, along with the initial deposit, will be credited to the student’s tuition account.

The accepted candidate is also asked to review and acknowledge PCOM’s Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation by sending the completed/signed forms to TechStandards@pcom.edu.

In effort to foster the safety and well-being of the entire campus community, as well as to ensure that students accepted to PCOM will be permitted to perform clerkships/internships required to successfully complete their degree requirements, PCOM requires all first year students to complete a criminal background check prior to matriculation. All students must have their criminal background checks processed through a PCOM vendor of choice. The Admissions Office will send notification of the process after confirmation of enrollment and must have this information on file prior to orientation; students will not be allowed to start classes without this information.

Policy on Transfer of Credits

The Department of Physical Therapy does not routinely accept transfer students; however, a transfer application may be considered under extenuating circumstances and depending on the availability of places within the class. In order to be considered, a prospective student must provide documentation of the circumstances necessitating the transfer and must be in good standing in a CAPTE-accredited program of physical therapy. The applicant must be able to demonstrate equivalency of courses undertaken with courses within the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. Credit will only be granted for courses that “match” courses within the DPT curriculum and for which a grade of B or higher was achieved. A minimum of two years must be completed at PCOM for a student to be eligible to receive the DPT degree.

Questions

Should you have any questions, please contact us via email at gaadmissions@pcom.edu.