Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

Campus Locations Online, Charlotte, Seattle
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 26
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No

Overview

Designed for practicing physical therapists, the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is an innovative, 100% online program. Integrating art and science, as well as professional and experiential education, the degree curriculum provides you with the necessary knowledge base for today’s doctorally prepared practitioners.

Core courses within this physical therapy doctoral program include differential diagnosis and medical screening, diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, nutrition, and motor control. The capstone course, Comprehensive Case Analysis, is a culmination of all work within the transitional DPT curriculum. Students will prepare a comprehensive and publishable case report or other scholarly work in partial fulfillment of the requirement for a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree.

The transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy also includes concentrations in a variety of areas such as orthopaedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, advanced nutrition, women's health, education, and business management. If you have a unique concentration interest, you may also complete a directed study on a pre-approved topic of your choosing.

Program Objectives

  • Gain the knowledge and skills required to competently screen patients for musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and integumentary conditions, interpret clinical findings, and make sound clinical judgments
  • Evaluate the clinical interpretation of various medical imaging techniques, including plain film radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and computerized tomography
  • Write, refine, and analyze a comprehensive and publishable case report that addresses the patient/client management model, clinical decision-making processes, and resource utilization
  • Examine current motor control concepts, along with state-of-the-art technology and equipment
  • Review advanced pharmacologic management concepts, including the interrelationship between pharmacologic management and physical therapy interventions

Career Outlook

By the year 2020, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) envisions that the clinical DPT will become the profession’s terminal degree. In addition, degree-holders can expect to enjoy excellent job prospects for years to come.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow much faster than average for the foreseeable future. This growth can be attributed to an increasing elderly population, as well as medical and technological advancements—all of which are expected to drive demand for advanced rehabilitative and therapeutic services.

One recent DPT graduates wrote upon graduation, “A stagnant clinician is no longer acceptable. Today’s dynamic health care system requires an advanced clinician, and I believe this doctorate program provided the knowledge and practical skills a clinician needs to meet these demands. I, for one, feel I have evolved. I have left behind some old treatment patterns and comfort zones. Instead, I now strive to deliver the most current, evidence-based practice available.”

PLEASE NOTE: Degree requirements differ for North Carolina students. For more information, please visit the Northeastern University-Charlotte website


Curriculum

The transitional DPT degree is built upon a core of six courses. Beyond the common core, requirements may vary depending on whether the physical therapist is MSPT or BSPT prepared in addition to the student's past experiences.

PLEASE NOTE: Degree requirements differ for North Carolina students. For more information, please visit the Northeastern University-Charlotte website.

For students entering with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy


Required Courses (22 q.h.)

PTH 6100 Differential Diagnosis and Medical Screening 4 q.h.
PTH 6110 Diagnostic Imaging 4 q.h.
PTH 6120 Clinical Nutrition 3 q.h.
PTH 6130 Pharmacology 3 q.h.
PTH 6900 Comprehensive Case Analysis 4 q.h.
PTH 6140 Motor Control 4 q.h.


Elective Courses (4 q.h.)

Choose one elective course from the list of elective courses below.

 

Total Quarter Hours: 26

 

For students entering with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy


Required Courses (31 q.h.)

PTH 6100 Differential Diagnosis and Medical Screening 4 q.h. 
PTH 6110 Diagnostic Imaging 4 q.h.
PTH 6120 Clinical Nutrition 3 q.h. 
PTH 6130 Pharmacology 3 q.h.
PTH 6900 Comprehensive Case Analysis 4 q.h. 
PTH 6140 Motor Control 4 q.h. 
PTH 6200 Research Methods and Statistical Analysis 5 q.h.

 

Choose one of the following courses:

PTH 6235 Administrative and Management Keys for Contemporary Physical Therapist Practice 4 q.h. 
PTH 6220 Fostering Change in Health Behavior 4 q.h. 
PTH 6430 Educational Strategies for Effective Health Care Delivery 4 q.h.

Elective Courses (4 q.h.)

Choose one elective course from the list of elective courses below.

 

Total Quarter Hours: 35

 

Elective Courses

PTH 6430 Educational Strategies for Effective Healthcare Delivery 4 q.h.
PTH 6983 Topics in Physical Therapy 4 q.h.
PTH 6480 Evidence-Based Exercise for the Older Adult 4 q.h.
PTH 6490 Pediatric Physical Therapy: Emerging Topics and Evidence-Based Practice 4 q.h.
PTH 6985 Psychosocial and Emotional Challenges Facing Older Adults 4 q.h.
PTH 6200 Research Methods and Statistical Analysis 5 q.h.
PTH 6235 Administrative and Management Keys for Contemporary Physical Therapist Practice 4 q.h.
PTH 6220 Fostering Change in Health Behavior 4 q.h.
PTH 6561 Evidence-Based Examination and Outcomes for the Cervical-Thoracic Spine and Temporomandibular Joint  4 q.h. 
PTH 6562 Evidence-Based Examination and Outcomes for Upper Extremity: Shoulder, Elbow, and Hand  4 q.h. 
PTH 6563  Evidence-Based Examination and Outcomes for Lumbar Spine and Sacraliliac Joint  4 q.h. 
PTH 6564  Evidence-Based Examination and Outcomes for Lower Extremity: Hip, Knee, Foot, and Ankle  4 q.h. 

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Academic transcripts:
    • Official undergraduate degree transcript in physical therapy OR Official graduate degree transcript in physical therapy AND official undergraduate degree transcript
    Foreign Academic Credentials: Must submit the following
  • Advanced standing may be granted to students that are ABPTS certified or hold similar certifications. Please contact Susan Lowe for further information: s.lowe@neu.edu or 617.304.9253
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Tuition

Estimated total tuition for this program is $15,444.00.

Please note that the number of quarter hours required for graduation for this program is either 26 q.h. (if you enter with a master's degree) or 35 q.h. (if you enter with a bachelor's degree). This will affect total tuition for the program. The estimated total tuition listed above is based on 26 q.h.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2014-15 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.


Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is designed for practicing physical therapists who currently hold baccalaureate or master's degrees in physical therapy.

Learn Alongside Professionals Dedicated to a Cause 

Petronella van der Merwe and FamilyPetronella van der Merwe fell in love with physical therapy, even though she was discouraged from practicing medicine in her native South Africa because of her gender. After traveling abroad for her undergraduate degree and returning to South Africa to launch her own practice, she used the Northeastern College of Professional Studies' Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy to stay current in the field and learn new and exciting skills.

"Because of its emphasis on evidence-based practice, it’s made me a more well-rounded therapist,” she said. “ I felt rejuvenated in my work.”

Read her full story: How a Physical Therapy Degree Helped One Woman Fight Sexism, Autism and HIV in South Africa

Leah H.

DPT Program: Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

Graduation Date: 2015

What she learned from her classmates:
“I appreciated the varied clinical backgrounds and ages of my colleagues and their input on the discussion board. My classmates shared their clinical experiences and expanded my knowledge of other physical therapy work environments and various types of patients.”

Why she chose the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program:
“Northeastern has an excellent reputation as a quality school with clinical applications. This program has had a direct impact on my clinical practice. I can apply what I have learned directly to my patients. The online program, the professors, and the Dean of this program, have not only met my expectations but also exceeded them.”


Kristin, PT, DPT, MS

Image of DPT Graduate Student Program: Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

Graduation Date: October 2010

About her favorite class:
"I enjoyed every course offered in this program. I found each course provided me with a deeper understanding of the evidence of my profession and with real life skills I could use immediately. My favorite course was Comprehensive Case Analysis which taught me how to develop a publishable piece of scholarly work."

About her classmates:
"My classmates were from all over the country and abroad. I learned how physical therapy is practiced in many areas of the country. My classmates' experience ranged from 1-2 years to 30 years, allowing me to see the profession as a whole and incorporate a wide variety of perspectives into my learning throughout the program."


Foreign-Trained PT

Foreign-Trained Physical Therapists

 

The tDPT program is for individuals who are licensed in the United States or eligible to be licensed in the United States. In order to be license-eligible in the United States, applicants must have the equivalent of a master’s degree in physical therapy that was earned in the United States. In order to make this determination, your physical therapy coursework must be evaluated. 

If your previous coursework is determined to be the equivalent of a U.S. master’s degree, you will be eligible for acceptance into the program. If your coursework is found not to be the equivalent of a U.S. master’s program in physical therapy, you will need to complete the coursework outlined in your evaluation prior to applying to the tDPT program.

Credentialing Services:

 

Need to Satisfy Your Professional Education Deficiencies?


Course Offerings:

PTH 6102 Cultural Competency for Health Care Professionals 1 q.h.

PTH 6103 Consultation, Delegation, and Supervision 1 q.h.

PTH 6104  Integumentary System 2 q.h.

 

Application Process

  1. Complete online application
    • Select “graduate” as level, “non-degree course enrollment” as degree, and "Personal or Professional Enrichment" as your intended program of study on your application
  2. Submit your official undergraduate transcripts with degree conferral date. (Official as opposed to unofficial in case transcripts need to be sent for CED evaluation)
  3. Submit FCCPT(preferred) IERF, ICD, or ICA credential evaluation

Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Civic Learning
    Gain the knowledge and skills required to competently screen patients for musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and integumentary conditions, interpret clinical findings, and make sound clinical judgments.

  2. Critical and Creative Thinking
    Evaluate the clinical interpretation of various medical imaging techniques, including plain film radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and computerized tomography.

  3. Applied Learning and Experiential Knowledge
    Write, refine, and analyze a comprehensive and publishable case report that addresses the patient/client management model, clinical decision-making processes, and resource utilization.

  4. Broad Integrated Knowledge
    Apply current motor control concepts, along with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to clinical practice.

  5. Specialized Knowledge
    Review advanced pharmacologic management concepts, including the interrelationship between pharmacologic management and physical therapy interventions.

  6. Personal Development
    Gather, critically review, and incorporate research into daily physical therapy practice.

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.

 

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Next Class Starts
  • Summer Term
    Jul 28, 2014 (4-week classes)
  • Fall Term
    Sep 8, 2014 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 20, 2014 (6-week classes)

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