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ERIC Number: EJ795381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree: A New Curriculum for a New Degree
Rapport, Mary Jane K.; Stelzner, Denise; Rodriguez, Jenny
Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services, v26 n1 p63-76 Fall 2007
By 2020, all graduates of accredited physical therapy programs will receive the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Bachelor degrees in physical therapy are no longer granted, and over 83% (N = 176 accredited programs) of the entry-level physical therapy education programs already grant the DPT degree. The purpose of this article is to highlight the significant curricular changes that have taken place in most physical therapy education programs as they have transitioned from a masters degree to the level of the clinical doctoral degree culminating in the DPT. A summary of the key philosophical elements and practical considerations that drove the development and implementation of the University of Colorado curriculum as the transition to the DPT occurred are highlighted. Focusing on the curricular changes in one accredited entry-level Physical Therapy Program allows for a clearer understanding of the evolution of physical therapy as a discipline within the context of healthcare delivery and the provision of PT services in multiple settings and environments, including school-based physical therapy practice. Once the DPT level physical therapist has the additional knowledge and skills necessary for school-based practice, and gains experience in this unique practice setting, it can be assumed that he/she will demonstrate an advanced level of clinical decision-making that will be a benefit to the students receiving PT as a related service and to the rest of the school team.
Division for Physical and Health Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; TTY: 866-915-5000; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado