Apr 03, 2020  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Department Chair and Program Director: Jennifer Collins

Vice-Chair: Scott Bennie



Director of Clinical Education: Jeff Emde

Faculty: Laura Podschun, Andrew Crofton, Elizabeth Clark


Licensure and Accreditation

For information regarding Adventist University of Health Sciences (“ADU”) regional and church accreditation, see Accreditation section of this Catalog.


Effective November 11, 2015, Adventist University of Health Sciences (ADU) has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314; phone 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.


Mission Statement

Consistent with the values of a faith-based environment, Adventist University of Health Sciences prepares Doctors of Physical Therapy who promote holistic, person-centered care and wellness through evidence-based practice, leadership, life-long learning, scholarship, and service to the local and global communities.

Vision Statement

As valued experts in movement and rehabilitation science, graduates will be the primary professional for movement dysfunction, health promotion, and prevention.

Curriculum Philosophy

The ADU DPT Faculty believe that:

  • Students are responsible, reflective, active learners.

  • Students require a foundation in basic and clinical sciences and skills that are applied across the lifespan, diagnoses, and systems, moving from simple to complex.

  • Faculty are role models and mentors.

  • Faculty facilitate transformational learning through critical thinking and self-reflection.

  • Values-based experiential learning, woven throughout the program, instills professionalism and fosters the vision of the institution.

  • Inter-professional learning develops competent and compassionate practitioners for team based environments.

Program Description

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares graduates to become licensed physical therapists. The program uses a selective admission process to identify a new group of students to begin study each summer trimester in the 3-year DPT program.  The curriculum, grounded in Christian principles, builds on the students’ undergraduate foundation in the arts and sciences, and progresses students through foundational and clinical sciences, patient/client management skills, and ultimately, the provision of person-centered care.


By accepting enrollment as a physical therapy student, each applicant agrees to abide by the program policies as contained and outlined in the Student Handbook - Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Supplement.

Application Process

All applicants to the DPT program must apply online through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

Applications for the DPT program are accepted once per academic year. The program will begin to accept applications through PTCAS on July 1 each year. The preferred deadline for submissions is December 1. The final deadline for submissions is February 1. The program starts a new cohort of students each Summer trimester.

Applicants to the DPT program must submit the following directly to PTCAS:

  1. Completed PTCAS Application. The program does not accept applications through the ADU website.

  2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and/or graduate institutions attended. Failure to disclose all colleges previously attended could result in denial or dismissal.

    Additionally, transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES, P.O. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087, (212) 966-6311, info@wes.org, http://www.wes.org). This is the only company from which transcript evaluations are accepted.

    For more details on the PTCAS polices related to transcripts, please go to: http://www.ptcas.org/Transcripts/

  3. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required of all applicants, including the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning and the Analytical Writing sections.

    The program requires that one official copy of the GRE scores be sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to ADU’s (“Adventist U of Health Sciences”) PTCAS code - 1777.

    For more details on the PTCAS policies related to the GRE, please go to: http://www.ptcas.org/Tests/

  4. Three electronic references are required from the following:  two physical therapists and one person of the applicant’s choice (employer, professor, academic advisor, etc.).  References from friends or family members will not be accepted.

    For more details on the PTCAS policies related to references, please go to: http://www.ptcas.org/References/

  5. All applicants for whom English is not their primary language must submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.

    For more details on the PTCAS policies related to the TOEFL, please go to: http://www.ptcas.org/Tests/


Supplemental Application Fee

Applicants to the ADU DPT program must submit a $50 supplemental application fee, which can be paid online, over the phone at (407)303-1631, or by check. If by check, it should be:

  • made payable to: Adventist University of Health Sciences

  • labeled as “DPT Supplemental Application Fee” on the memo line (please include the applicant’s name on the memo line as well), and

  • mailed to:

Adventist University of Health Sciences
Attn: Financial Services
671 Winyah Drive
Orlando, FL 32803

Admission Requirements

Submit application through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). The program does not accept applications through the ADU website.

All applicants for the DPT program must meet ADU’s general admission requirements to enroll for graduate study at ADU.

Additionally, applicants for the DPT program must meet all of the following admission requirements in order to be considered for admission:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university by his or her start date in the program.
  • A minimum cumulative, science, and prerequisite grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. 
  • Prerequisite courses from a regionally accredited college or university. It is recommended that these prerequisites be completed within the five years immediately prior to application to the program. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrolling in the program; at least 75% should be completed prior to application to the program. Grades of “C” or better are required in all prerequisite courses. Three quarters are considered equivalent to two semesters of course work.

a. Anatomy & Physiology, two semesters with lab (Anatomy with lab, one semester, and Physiology with lab, one semester, may be substituted)

b. General Biology, two semesters with lab

c. General Chemistry, two semesters with lab

d. General Physics, two semesters with lab

e. Statistics

f. General Psychology

g.One course in human development across the lifespan (e.g., developmental psychology, human growth and development)​

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): 

    On the Revised General Test, scores of 151 or greater on the Verbal (≥460 on the General Test) and 153 or greater on the Quantitative (≥680 on the General Test) Reasoning sections, and 3.5 or greater on the Analytical Writing section are recommended. 

    Test scores more than five years old will not be accepted.

    If there are multiple test scores available for an applicant the program will consider the highest score earned in each section of the GRE. (For example, if the applicant’s Verbal Reasoning test score was 153 on their first attempt and 147 on their second attempt, the program will use the first (higher) score when considering the application. However, if the applicant has scores from both the prior General Test and the revised General Test, the program will use the scores from the revised General Test.)

  • The program requires that one official copy of the GRE scores be sent directly from the Education Testing Service (ETS) to ADU’s (“Adventist U of Health Sciences”) PTCAS code - 1777.

  • Three electronic references are required from the following: two physical therapists and one person of the applicant’s choice (employer, professor, academic advisor, etc.).References from friends or family members will not be accepted.

  • All graduate students for whom English is not their primary language must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction in the United States; or
  • A minimum score of 570 on the paper-based TOEFL exam; or
  • A minimum score of 230 on the computer-based TOEFL exam; or
  • A minimum total score of 89 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam
    • Composite of reading, listening, and writing: 63
    • Speaking: 26


Applicants found to be competitive will be invited for an interview. The interview process serves a dual purpose:

  1. It provides a realistic evaluation of eligibility for admission into the program by assessing oral communication skills, professional behaviors and attitudes, ability to interact in a group, knowledge of the profession, ability to solve problems, and motivation to pursue a career in physical therapy. The applicants’ written communication skills will also be measured with an on-site writing sample.
  2. It gives the applicant an opportunity to learn more about the program’s teaching and learning philosophy and to spend time with faculty to appraise the program in terms of meeting personal and professional growth.

Interviews will begin after the preferred deadline of December 1 and may continue until the class is full.

Student Selection

The primary requirement for admission into the DPT program is the applicant’s ability, as appraised by the program’s Admissions Committee, to successfully complete the 3-year curriculum. Applicants who are admitted into the program have strong academic records as evidenced by their grade point averages and GRE scores, their breadth and depth of science background and their demonstrated consistency of academic performance. A firm and clear commitment to the profession of physical therapy and to fulfilling the missions of the University and program are additional criterion for admission.  

Applicants are reminded that, due to the competitive nature of the admission process, meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission to the program.

Admission decisions may occur until the program start date in May.

Additional Admissions Requirements

An applicant who receives a provisional acceptance on the basis of course work still in progress must satisfactorily complete all outstanding courses prior to enrollment and matriculation. All students must have an official final transcript submitted by the degree-granting institution directly to ADU prior to matriculation, verifying the completion of the bachelor’s degree.

Applicants, who are accepted into the physical therapy program, must complete the following items prior to their enrollment in the program. Adventist University of Health Sciences and the program use VERIFYStudents to verify and ensure compliance with the following requirements. Students will also utilize VERIFYStudents to submit proof of those immunizations that are required on an annual basis:

  1. Yearly verification of tuberculosis screening test. If test is positive, refer to the guidelines provided in the ADU Student Handbook’s Communicable Disease Policy.
  2. Updated verification, on the Adventist University of Health Sciences Student Immunization Form, of the following vaccinations or immunity titer including:
  1. Completed and signed Student Health Assessment Form for Professional Programs within the three months prior to the start of the program. Students must update their records annually by submitting the Student Annual Medical Requirements Form.
  2. Criminal background check: A student may encounter potential problems with clinical education placement and/or licensure as a physical therapist if he or she has a criminal record. For specific information, contact the Florida Board of Physical Therapy Practice, or the board that regulates physical therapy licensure in the state in which the student intends to practice. 
  3. Each student who is enrolled in the program must complete the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers certification. This training and certification must occur no later than the start of the second trimester and must be maintained throughout the remainder of the professional curriculum. Proof of this certification must be presented as requested by the program. Online training courses will not be accepted.
  4. Each applicant who is accepted into the program must demonstrate proof of health insurance, through the use of the ADU Verification of Insurance Form, prior to entry into the program and must maintain health insurance throughout their enrollment. 
  5. Each applicant who is accepted into the program must undergo and pass a drug test prior to entry into the program.
  6. The applicant’s acceptance letter will contain a deadline indicating when the nonrefundable $500 deposit must be received by the University, in order to reserve the student’s place in the program. Once the student enrolls in the program, this deposit will be applied toward the student’s account. Students who have paid the deposit, but decide not to, or become ineligible to, enroll in the program, for any reason, will forfeit the deposit. If that student is admitted to the same program at a later date, he or she will be required to pay the full deposit amount again. A professional program deposit is not transferable to another department.
  7. In addition to the information regarding the required deposit, the acceptance letter will include an Essential Functions Acknowledgment form.  If the student is an individual with a disability and needs reasonable accommodation in order to accomplish these Essential Functions, the student must follow the directions provided in ADU’s Catalog under “Rehabilitation Act (1973) Section 504: Services for Students with Special Needs.” The student must complete and submit the signed Essential Functions Acknowledgment form along with their deposit.

The program reserves the right to rescind an acceptance offer if the above are not completed by the start of program classes.

The Program supports and upholds the nondiscrimination policy of the Institution, which is published in the Catalog under ‘Nondiscrimination Statement’ and on the ADU website at: http://www.adu.edu/about-adu.

Reapplication Process

Applicants who are not admitted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program may reapply for the next admissions cycle as long as they have successfully met the minimum admission requirements. Reapplicants are expected to meet the published admission deadlines by submitting their application materials through PTCAS.  Further information on reapplication via PTCAS can be found at: http://www.ptcas.org/Reapplicants/.

Reapplicants are required to submit the following directly to ADU:

  • a written self-assessment of the steps that he or she has taken to improve their application since they last applied

  • a non-refundable $50 supplementary application fee

Reapplicants are encouraged to submit:

  • new references to demonstrate what steps they have taken to improve their application since they last applied.


As the DPT Program is a “block program”, 3-year, continuous course of study, students will be deemed to be making continuous satisfactory progress toward the DPT degree when they:

  1. Complete all required courses with a grade of ‘B’ or better. One course with a grade of ‘C’ is permitted.

  2. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, on a 4.00 scale, or better in all program coursework.

Laboratory Practical Exams

In all courses with a laboratory practical examination, the grade attained on the first attempt at the practical will be the grade counted towards the overall course grade. A student must, by the end of any allotted retakes permitted, have attained an 80% or better on the practical. If the student is unable to attain the 80%, the student will fail the course.


Adventist University of Health Sciences will consider students for graduation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree when they have:

  1. Met the general requirements for the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

  2. Completed the Comprehensive Exam with a score that meets or exceeds the program-set scoring standards. The exam will be offered at the end of the final trimester. 

  3. Completed all required courses (124 credit hours) in the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00, on a 4.00 scale and no more than one grade of “C” or below.

  4. Successfully completed all required courses in the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum within 54 months of their matriculation into the program.

  5. Completed a Graduate Student Final Project that has met, if not exceeded, the University’s and program’s standards.

  6. Participated in the University’s Colloquium as instructed by the program.

Clinical Education Requirements

All students are expected to meet ADU DPT requirements prior to attending any clinical experience. The Institution utilizes a web-based product,VerifyStudents.com, to monitor the requirements associated with admission into the program and clinical site placement. 

All expenses during clinical education courses are the student’s responsibility (including transportation, accommodations, pre-clinical requirements). While some facilities may be able to offer incentives or assistance to students, this cannot be expected.

Some clinical placements may have additional requirements.  These are the student’s responsibility.  Examples include:

  • X-rays
  • HIV testing
  • Non-traditional immunization titers
  • Character/Professional references
  • Repeat drug testing and/or criminal background checks

Clinical Site Selection

All clinical education assignments will be made by the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) or designee.  Assignments cannot be made solely on the basis of the student’s family/marital status or personal preference/needs.

Clinical education experiences are arranged for each student approximately 6-12 months prior to the scheduled assignment. Once the arrangements are finalized, no changes will be allowed.  If the assigned clinical site should become unable to provide the clinical experience, the DCE will obtain an alternate placement for the student.

Information and related materials are subject to change.


Physical Therapy, D.P.T.


Program Sequence

Total: 15 Credit Hours

Total: 17 Credits

Total: 16 Credit Hours

Total: 15 Credit Hours

Total: 16 Credit Hours

Total: 15 Credit Hours

Total: 13 Credit Hours

Total: 9 Credit Hours

NPTE Preparation

Total: 8 Credit Hours

Comprehensive Exam

Total DPT Program Credits: 124