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DPT Program Mission Statement 

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Doctor of Physical Therapy program offers innovative educational opportunities that respond to societal needs. The Physical Therapy Program fosters diverse graduates who are competent, autonomous, and contemporary-movement specialists with a foundation in evidence-informed practice and clinical reasoning. We prepare critical thinking and reflective practitioners who provide culturally responsive patient-centric care.   

DPT Program Vision Statement    

Harrisburg University DPT program graduates exemplify the professionalism and leadership skills necessary to transform society by optimizing human movement.    

DPT Program Core Values     

Civic Engagement:  Establish high standards of professionalism by engaging in the community through leadership and advocacy, both politically and non-politically, for the inclusive and equitable well-being of patients, the community, and the profession of physical therapy.     

Global Awareness/Health Equity: Support local, regional, national, and global societies using movement sciences expertise to identify the cause and effects of inequity. We provide culturally responsive, comprehensive education to future physical therapists.   

Ethical-Decision Making: Guide education by the physical therapy profession’s core values and ethical principles.    

Communication/Teamwork and Collaboration:  Inspire effective communication, mutual respect, and teamwork through culturally responsive collaboration with peers, patients, families, and communities.    

 Information literacy/Critical Thinking/Evidence-Informed Practice: Integrate critical-thinking skills, clinical reasoning, self-directed learning, and evidence-informed practice for effective implementation of culturally responsive patient-centric care and societal engagement.   

Entrepreneurship:  Develop the movement of science specialists who employ an entrepreneurial framework to pursue opportunities that generate value to satisfy individual, organizational, community, and societal needs.    

DPT Curriculum Map 

FallSpringSummer
Year OneCulturally Responsive Professionalism – Cr: 2
Clinical Medicine in PT Practice I – Cr: 4
Movement Science I – Cr: 4
Evidence Informed PT Practice I – Cr: 2

Total Credits: 12
PT Exam and Rehab Principles – Cr: 4
Clinical Medicine in PT Practice II – Cr: 4
Movement Science II – Cr: 4

Total Credits: 12
Neuroscience Fundamentals in PT – Cr: 3
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation – Cr: 4
Musculoskeletal PT I – Cr: 4
Integrated Clinical Experience I – Cr: 1

Total Credits: 12
Year TwoCulturally Responsive Professionalism II – Cr: 1
NeuromuscuIar Rehabilitation – Cr: 4
Clinical Integration of PT Principles I – Cr: 3 Musculoskeletal PT II – Cr: 4

Total Credits: 12
PT within the Inpatient Continuum of Care –
Cr: 3
Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Assistive
Technology in Healthcare –
Cr: 2
Clinical Integration of PT Principles II –
Cr: 3
Evidence Informed PT Practice II –
Cr: 2
Integrated Clinical Experience II –
Cr: 1

Total Credits: 11
Culturally Responsive Professionalism III – Cr: 2
Clinical Medicine in PT Practice III – Cr: 2
Clinical Integration of PT Principles III – Cr: 3
Pediatric Physical Therapy Practice – Cr: 3
Physical Therapy for the Aging Adult – Cr: 2

Total Credits: 12
Year
Three
Leadership and Health Informatics in PT Practice – Cr: 3
Physical Therapy in Primary Care – Cr: 2
Clinical Integration of PT Principles IV – Cr: 2
Service Learning in Physical Therapy – Cr: 1
Advanced Practice Electives – Cr: 2

Total Credits: 10
National PT Exam Review – Cr:1
Clinical Experience in PT I – Cr:4
Clinical Experience in PT II – Cr:4

Total Credits: 9
Physical Therapy Capstone – Cr:1
Clinical Experience in PT III Clinical – Cr:4
Experience in PT IV – Cr:4
Total Credits: 9

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Essential Functions & Technical Standards of Physical Therapy Education

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) do not have set criteria but rather allow programs to define essential functions and technical standards to determine success within individual programs.

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) is open to all academically qualified candidates regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or genetic disposition.  The HU Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program intentionally developed the curriculum with Justice/Equity/Diversity/Inclusion (JEDI) in mind.  Having candidates from various backgrounds and lived experiences requires intentionality to universal design principles to ensure multi-modal delivery for all students.

The essential abilities required to successfully complete the curriculum are in the following areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities, and the behavioral and social attributes of a practicing physical therapist.

Observation Ability:

The learner must have the ability to observe a patient at a distance and up close. Observation requires a combination of vision and somatic sense functions and may necessitate the sense of smell.

Communication Ability:

The learner must have functional hearing to actively listen to patients past medical history and present complaints. Communication requires the ability to identify both verbal and non-verbal cues to qualify a patient’s mood, activity, and posture. The learner must demonstrate the ability to communicate sensitively, effectively, and efficiently in all forms (oral, written, and non-verbal) with patients and all members of the healthcare team.

Motor Ability:

The learner must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements competently to complete a physical examination using a variety of physical examination techniques. The learner must develop sufficient psychomotor skills necessary to perform physical therapy interventions, which includes the management and operation of therapeutic healthcare equipment in the general practice of a physical therapist. Gross and fine motor movements and psychomotor skills must be performed in a coordinated manner, without a loss of equilibrium. The learner must demonstrate physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, lifting, and physical exertion required for patient care and classroom/laboratory settings.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities:

The learner must be able to develop and refine problem solving and reasoning skills required as a physical therapist. This includes gathering data, calculation, analysis and synthesizing information for practical application and patient-focused care. The learner must demonstrate the ability to comprehend spatial relationships and applied physics in a

three-dimensional space. The learner must have the ability to comprehend and integrate evidence from the literature to cognitively make decisions and reflect metacognitively on decisions to adapt and collaborate with patients and colleagues.

Behavioral and Social Attributes:

Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and a genuine concern for others are attributes required of the physical therapist. The learner must possess the emotional health and stability required for full utilization of intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, timely completion of all responsibilities related to patient/client management, and development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, support members, and other members of the healthcare team. Emotional health and stability optimize the learner’s ability to tolerate physically tiring loads and still perform under stress, demonstrate adaptability through uncertainty or changing environments, accept critical feedback to improve performance and handle difficult interpersonal situations or conversations.

The essential abilities required to successfully complete the curriculum are in the following areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities, and the behavioral and social attributes of a practicing physical therapist.

These abilities are mandatory for admission to, retention in, and completion of the HU DPT program. The program is committed to providing accommodations to qualified learners with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. However, the program is unable to make accommodations that present a threat, compromise the safety or learning of others, or fundamentally alter the nature of the academic or clinical curriculum.

The HU DPT program requires mastery of all didactic knowledge and demonstration of entry-level competence with all clinical skills for successful completion of the program. Academic standards differ from essential functions or “technical standards,” which refer to the physical, cognitive, and behavioral abilities required to successfully complete all aspects of the curriculum and develop the skills and professional attributes of all students upon graduation.

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

The HU DPT program admits qualified individuals who wish to further their academic studies in the field of physical therapy and offers a career pathway for licensed physical therapist assistants to learn the necessary skills of a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Learners accepted into the HU DPT Program must meet the following criteria:

HU GENERAL ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS:

DPT PROGRAM ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

Health Info and Clearances:

The HU DPT Program requires students to submit their immunization records in addition to other health related requirements as listed below.

Immunizations:

Documentation of immunizations and, in some cases, proof of immunity are necessary for participation in clinical education experiences. Insufficient immunity determined by titer (a blood test used to measure the level of immunity to the disease process) will require re-immunization before clinical placement. If a student cannot provide proof of this information, they may have limited opportunity for placement in clinical education experiences, which may result in the inability to complete the necessary requirements for degree completion. Requirements are subject to change based on clinical facility and/or CDC/OSHA requirements. Detailed information regarding immunization requirements is discussed at DPT Orientation and is listed in the DPT Student and Clinical Education Handbooks.

The following immunizations are required:

  1. Annual influenza vaccination.
  2. Childhood vaccinations: MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Varicella (chicken pox), OPV (polio), DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), TDAP.
  3. Hepatitis B vaccinations.
  4. COVID-19 vaccination according to CDC standards.
  5. Negative TB test *prior to clinical education experiences.* Testing must occur before DPTH 628 starts and must remain active throughout Program matriculation. Students who cannot complete PPD testing are required to provide negative chest x-ray results showing no active TB disease.

Annual Physical Exam

Students must have an annual physical documented on the Program’s Medical History for Clinical Education Experiences form, which is required before each clinical education experience or series of experiences starts. Athletic and work/pre-employment physicals are unacceptable forms of health assessment for clinical education.

Personal Health Insurance Coverage

Students must maintain personal health insurance coverage throughout the Program. Students upload proof of coverage (front and back copies of their insurance cards) annually with other required clinical education paperwork.

CPR Certification

Students must possess CPR certification before beginning their first clinical education experience. Students must have proof of active status of the CPR certification through

the last day of the final clinical education experience. Students are responsible for all costs associated with CPR training or card replacement.. CPR training must include adult, child, and infant resuscitation. American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer is recommended.

Criminal Background Check, Drug Testing, and Child Abuse Registry

Obtaining Criminal Background Checks (CBC) and drug screens are intended to protect the public. All professional phase students will complete a baseline National CBC. International students may be required to complete additional background checks beyond what the Program requires for their visa application. Students may be required to complete additional background checks/fingerprinting/drug screens at the request of assigned clinical sites and are responsible for the cost of such unless conducted by the clinical site. Students who complete a school system pediatric experience must follow the state’s Department of Education (PDE) guidelines. Only the student ad DCE/ADCE will have access to the student’s background and drug screen records, and the DCE accesses this data to provide a Verification letter to the clinical site where a student is assigned.

  • The DCE/ADCE will evaluate a positive background or drug screen results individually; the clinical site will make the final decision as to the student’s acceptability for the scheduled clinical education experience. If the clinical site cancels the clinical placement, the Program does not guarantee placement or replacement to allow the student to remain in the cohort sequence of courses/clinical education experiences. If replacement is successful and the student must complete additional background checks and drug screens, the student is responsible for all costs associated with additional reports.
  • Students with a prescribed medication that will result in a positive drug screen result should discuss the appropriate actions with the DCE/ADCE prior to conducting the drug screen.
  • Students convicted of any felony offense may be refused by clinical sites and encounter significant difficulty or inability to reschedule clinical placement thereby inhibiting completion of curricular requirements, failing to graduate. Likewise, a clear or acceptable background check does not guarantee successful completion of the curricular/Program requirements, graduation, or licensure.

Students with records of criminal convictions may be disqualified from licensure. Students must assume the responsibility for ascertaining their status in this regard with the physical therapy licensure board in the state where they seek to apply for licensure. Individual state licensing boards develop their own policies and procedures regarding positive applicant reports.

Physical Therapist

DPT Tuition and Financial Facts

  • FAFSA Code – 039483
  • The cost of this program is $830 per credit hour. Textbooks (electronic access) and lab kits are included.
  • Fees: $500 per semester fee
  • Tuition for 99 credits = $82,170
  • Fees for 9 semesters = $4,500
  • Total Cost: $86,670.
  • Cost of travel and lodging during lab immersions and clinical experiences is not included within tuition and fees.

TuitionFinancial Aid

Notice of Accreditation Status

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Candidacy is considered to be an accredited status, as such the credits and degree earned from a program with Candidacy status are considered, by CAPTE, to be from an accredited program. Therefore, students in the charter (first) class should be eligible to take the licensure exam even if CAPTE withholds accreditation at the end of the candidacy period. That said, it is up to each state licensing agency, not CAPTE, to determine who is eligible for licensure. Information on licensing requirements should be directed to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT; www.fsbpt.org) or specific state boards (a list of state boards and contact information is available on FSBPT’s website.

Harrisburg University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on November 1, 2024. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.