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Frequently Asked Questions - Graduate Admission

1.   How many seats are available for graduate admissions?

Admission to the professional program as a graduate student is limited.  Typically, we anticipate between 5 and 15 seats will be available for this pathway to admission.

 

2.  How do I apply to Duquesne University’s Physical Therapy Program?

Application should be made through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) at www.ptcas.org.

 

3.   What is PTCAS?

PTCAS is the centralized application service that allows you to use a single Web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple physical therapist (PT) education programs.

 

4.  Do I send GRE scores to Duquesne University or report them to PTCAS?

GRE scores should be submitted to PTCAS.  The Graduate Records Examination will send scores directly to PTCAS beginning July 1, 2011.  To submit your scores to Duquesne University the departmental code for physical therapy is 7603.

 

5.   Who should I call for more information

Chris Hilf, MA        
Recruiter/Academic Advisor
Office of the Dean
Phone: 412.396.5653
E-mail: hilfc@duq.edu

 

6.   Where do I send letters of reference?

File your letters of reference with PTCAS as instructed by the service.

 

7.   How soon will I hear about my admission status?

Admission to the professional phase of the physical therapy program will occur on a rolling basis.  Notification of acceptance will begin as qualified applicants are received and evaluated.  Applications may be submitted through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) which typically begins receiving application in July.  Applications will be considered through March 1 for the class that begins the following fall.

 

8. If I am on a waitlist, how late will I hear if a seat has opened?

Waitlist decisions are made on a rolling basis. If an accepted applicant notifies the department that she/he will not be attending, a student on waitlist will be offered the seat. Students who are on the waitlist will be contacted at the latest by August 1st.

 

9.  What is the post graduation employment rate?

The post graduate employment rate for graduates is 100% immediately following graduation.  Many of our students have employment contracts prior to graduation.

 

10.   What are starting salaries for Physical Therapists?

Starting salaries for physical therapists can vary considerably, based on many factors such as location, type of facility, experience level, and degree.  A recent salary survey by APTA reported a median starting salary of $56,000 for therapist with 0-3 years experience and median salary of $75,000 for experienced physical therapists.

 

11.  What is the program’s first time taker pass rate on the physical therapy licensing exam?

Duquesne University Three Year Pass Rate (First-Time takers)            98%

  • 2011 Pass Rate        100%
  • 2012 Pass Rate        100%
  • 2013 Pass Rate           93%

 

  • National Pass Rate Three Year Average (First-time takers) 89%
  • Duquesne University Ultimate Pass Rate (Three Year Average) 100%
  • National Ultimate Pass Rate (Three Year Average) 86%

 

 

12.   Why the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and how is it different from the Masters degree?

In 1999 the American Physical Therapy Association House of Delegates created a strategic plan to transition the practice of physical therapy to a doctoring profession.  This plan, “Vision 2020” cites six key elements, the first being the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) as the appropriate degree for the profession.  In addition, physical therapists in many states now have direct access privileges which allow patients to seek medical advice from a physical therapist without a referral from a physician.  The DPT allows for additional education and training in differential diagnosis, professionalism, and autonomous practice for direct access physical therapy.

 

13.  Who teaches the basic science courses?

All of our faculty teaching basic science courses are experienced clinicians in addition to being basic science researchers.

Neuroscience Dr. David Somers, Physical Therapy Adjunct Faculty
Anatomy Mr. Benjamin R. Kivlan, Physical Therapy Instructor
Anatomy Dr. Anne Burrows, Physical Therapy Associate Professor
Physiology Dr. Matthew Kostek, Physical Therapy, Assistant Professor

 

14.   Does anatomy class include cadaver dissection?

Knowledge of anatomy is essential to the physical therapist.  There are three ways anatomy is taught in physical therapy programs: full cadaver dissection – dissecting all regions of a cadaver; prosections studying previously dissected regions of a cadaver; or computer model - learning anatomy in virtual form on the computer screen.  While there are some benefits to each, Duquesne utilizes primarily full cadaver dissection.  This gives students an understanding of the nature of human tissues and an excellent three dimensional perspective of the human body. The instructor also makes use of computer models and refers students to various websites to use as resources, and when appropriate, uses prosections to further illustrate a point. Our anatomy class spans two full semesters.  The instructor teaches students respect for the individuals who donated their bodies to further the education of health care professionals.  At the end of each course, the remains of the individuals are cremated followed by a memorial service.  The remains are then returned to the appropriate caretaker.

 

15.   What is the complement of the physical therapy faculty?

Christopher R. Carcia, PhD, PT, SCS, OCS Associate Professor and Program Chair; Orthopedic & Sports Clinical Specialist
Diane Borello-France, PhD, PT Associate Professor
Anne Burrows,PhD,  DPT Professor
Leesa DiBartola, EdD, DPT, CHES Assistant Professor, Certified Health Education Specialist and Director of Clinical Education
Kenneth Havrilla, PT, DPT, MS Assistant Professor, Assistant Director of Clinical Educatin
Benjamin R. Kivlan, PT, SCS, OCS, CSCS Instructor and Orthopedic & Sports Clinical Specialist; Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Matthew Kostek, Ph.D., HFS Assistant Professor
Gregory Marchetti, PhD., PT Associate Professor
Mary Marchetti, PhD, PT, GCS Instructor and Geriatric Clinical Specialist
RobRoy Martin, PhD, PT CSCS Professor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Martha Somers, DPT, PT Assistant Professor
David L. Somers, PhD, PT Adjunct Faculty

All of the faculty teaching clinical and basic science courses are or were practicing clinicians.  This enables us to bring clinical examples to class to illustrate educational points.  The faculty have a strong working knowledge of the clinical environments for which they are preparing the students.  The combined experience of our faculty includes practice in acute care, intensive care, outpatient care, inpatient rehabilitation, home health, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and management. Several members of the faculty continue to work clinically on a part-time basis which helps them to improve their clinical skills and knowledge.

At Duquesne University, we are fully staffed and have a full complement of faculty.  Our faculty members have an open door policy and are available to students outside of class during the work week.  The non-faculty staff is equally dedicated to providing our students with excellent educational experiences and works diligently to support the work of our faculty and students.

 

16.  Is there a minimum grade point average required to stay in the program?

A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained every semester after entering the professional phase of the program. If the semester GPA falls below 3.0 the student is placed on academic probation.  Failure to obtain a 3.0 GPA in any subsequent semester will result in dismissal from the program.  Consistent with our mission, extenuating circumstances are considered in cases of academic dismissal. Each student has a professional advisor from the physical therapy faculty and an academic advisor in the Dean’s office for support and guidance.  Additional support is available to students through various offices on campus.

 

17.   What is the clinical education experience like for this program?

The DPT includes 5 clinical education experiences, for a total of 40 weeks.

• Clinical Education I 6 weeks Year 2 of Professional Phase

• Clinical Education II 6 weeks Year 2 of Professional Phase

• Clinical Education III 8 weeks Year 3 of Professional Phase

• Clinical Education IV 8 weeks Year 3 of Professional Phase

• Clinical Education V 12 weeks Year 3 of Professional Phase

Students are placed at sites according to a multitude of factors including their learning needs, professional goals, geographical preferences, site availability, and program needs.  Focusing on the student’s education, the clinical education faculty are dedicated to assuring that students have a well-rounded, complete, and learning-focused clinical education experience.

 

18.   What shadowing/volunteer/employment experiences are required of students?

To ensure that applicants to the program understand the nature of physical therapy, prospective students are required to have participated in at least 100 hours of shadowing, volunteering, or employment under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.  These experiences must be with at least two different physical therapy patient populations prior to admission.  For example, an applicant may spend 50 hours working with clients in an outpatient orthopedic setting and another 50 hours working with clients in an acute care setting or in a skilled nursing facility, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation clinic, etc. It is not necessary that these patient populations be seen at different clinics or hospitals if one shadowing/volunteering site delivers care to multiple kinds of patients.

 

19.   What is the program’s graduation rate?

Three year average (2012-2014)

• 80% of students graduate who pursue the DPT degree.

 

20.   What is the cost of Physical Therapy Graduate Education at Duquesne University?

Graduate tuition for the Physical Therapy program for 2014-2015 is $1,112.00 per credit; fees are $100.00  per credit.  Additional expenses for books, housing and clinical education are variable.

 

21.   Why should I choose Duquesne University?

The Duquesne University faculty are dedicated to educating competent and compassionate Doctors of Physical Therapy.  We are committed to the highest quality education both in the academic and clinical settings.  Our class sizes are small (35-40) and courses are taught by the 12 full-time faculty members supplemented by a large cadre of adjunct professors. You will be educated by faculty who are licensed physical therapists; have advanced degrees in the sciences, education, and rehabilitation; are clinical researchers; and have dedicated their professional careers to the education of students in physical therapy.  Our student-faculty ratio allows us to provide quality education while maintaining close professional yet personal contact with students.  Our graduates are well-respected clinicians with an excellent local and national reputation.

 

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