Physical Therapy

The Doctor in Physical Therapy Program is an entry-level, graduate physical therapist program. The six-year program is for students entering directly from high school. Study during the first three years of the program (the pre-professional undergraduate phase) is in the areas of the humanities and sciences and fulfills the College’s general education and Exercise Science requirements. Study during the last three years of the program (the professional phase) consists of professional physical therapy courses that prepare the student for clinical practice and licensure as a physical therapist. After the successful completion of the fourth year of study and all undergraduate requirements, Physical Therapy students are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree. Transfer students, who have not completed a bachelor’s degree, may enter into year one or two depending on the number of credits being transferred.
 

The three-year professional phase program is for students who have earned a Baccalaureate degree and have taken all appropriate pre-requisite courses.  Admissions criteria for graduate program are found on the catalog graduate section or on the Physical Therapy Central Application website

School of Physical Therapy Mission Statement

The mission of Husson University’s School of Physical Therapy is to develop physical therapists who are specialists in the art and science of human movement, embody the characteristics of lifelong learners, and strive to be agents of change.  Graduates shall be distinguishable by their skills, ethical integrity, cultural competence, collaboration, and leadership.  Graduates will use evidence-based practice to optimize human movement and promote health and wellness in a dynamic healthcare environment.  

Philosophy of Physical Therapy Education

Husson is committed to providing individuals with a personalized, cost-effective educational experience leading to successful performance in productive and satisfying careers.  In keeping with the Husson philosophy, the Physical Therapy faculty is dedicated to providing excellent student-centered learning in secure and open learning environments.  The faculty incorporates active teaching and learning strategies that support the learner in assuming responsibility for his or her behavior, self-directed learning, evidence-based clinical knowledge and skills, critical and reflective thinking, and strong clinical experiences.  The Physical Therapy program emphasizes the preparation of the generalist practitioner who provides a continuum of care responsive to the individualized needs and well-being of clients and patients from diverse backgrounds.  
In believing that each member of society has the right to receive quality healthcare, the Physical Therapy faculty emphasizes an educational preparation consistent with society’s expectations of a physical therapist as an autonomous practitioner, educator, evaluator, therapy provider, family and community consultant, health and wellness advocate, clinical researcher, and an effective member of the healthcare community. 

Technical Standards of Physical Therapy Education 

Physical therapy education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of technical skills, professional attitudes, and professional behaviors.  The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree awarded by Husson University, School of Physical Therapy certifies that the graduating individual has acquired a broad base of knowledge and skills requisite for the safe and competent practice of physical therapy.  In order to acquire the foundation of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed throughout the physical therapist’s professional career, the student must demonstrate essential abilities in five areas: observation; communication; motor function; conceptual abilities and behavioral/social attributes.  The following essential requirements have been adopted by the Husson University School of Physical Therapy as requirements for admission to, promotion within, and graduation from its entry-level professional program.  A candidate must be able to perform these essential requirements in a reasonably independent manner.  When requested, Husson University will provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. 

Observation

Observation requires the functional use of vision, audition, olfaction, and somatic sensations.  The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in basic and applied sciences, in physical therapy theory, and in therapeutic practice.  The candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance for posture and functional performance and close at hand for palpation and the inspection of skin, muscles, and joints.  The candidate must be able to observe digital and waveform readings, and other graphic images to determine a patient’s condition. 

Communication

A candidate must be able to provide, receive, and interpret feedback from faculty and clinical supervisors in an appropriate matter. A candidate must be able to elicit information from patients, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive and accurately report nonverbal communications.  A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their families.  The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team in both immediate and recorded modes. Beyond interpersonal exchanges, effective communication includes reading, writing, and computer literacy.

Motor Function

Candidates must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, manual positioning of body segments and other evaluative procedures.  A candidate must be able to physically perform basic screening and examination (physiologic measures such a heart rate and respiration), diagnostic procedures (palpation, manual muscle testing, goniometry, sensory evaluation, gait analysis, balance assessment), and evaluation of EKGs and X-rays.  A candidate must be able to execute movements required in the provision of general care, emergency treatment and therapeutic treatment, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, wound care, positioning and transferring, gait training, and performing manual therapy techniques.

Each student must be willing to submit to screening, examination and therapeutic treatment, allowing student partners, of either gender, to practice therapeutic techniques. 

Conceptual - Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

To effectively solve problems required of physical therapist practitioners, the candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, and synthesize information in a timely fashion.  In addition, the candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Behavioral/Social Attributes

A candidate must possess the psychological ability required for full use of their intellectual abilities, for the exercise of good judgment, for the prompt completion of all responsibilities inherent to diagnosis and care of patients, and for the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.  Candidates must be able to tolerate physical and mentally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress.  They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to behave appropriately and professionally in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.  In summary, a candidate must be able to collect information, analyze and synthesize it, and effectively perform clinical reasoning in the limited time demanded by a given clinical setting, while under stress, and in an environment in which other distractions may be present.  Compassion, integrity, tolerance, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, motivation and ethical behavior are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and education process.

Reasonable Accommodation

It is the policy of Husson University and the School of Physical Therapy to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified students with disabilities so they can meet these essential requirements.  In addition, students may request academic or clinical adjustments based upon creed and religious restrictions, and under Title IX.  Whether or not a requested accommodation is reasonable will be determined on an individual basis.  Requesting and determining reasonable accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act, its Amendments, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires an interactive process, which the candidate must initiate with the Director of Accessibility Services in the Center for Student Success 207-992-1934 or at accessibility@husson.edu.

Program Goals

Through its faculty and curriculum, the program will demonstrate a commitment to develop graduates who

  • are lifelong learners, skilled in the art and science of human movement, culturally competent, ethical and legally responsible
  •  engage in outreach, community and professional service that contributes to the improvement of the profession and society
  •  evaluate, critique and use current best evidence to inform practice and patient- and family-centered health care decisions
  • the program will engage and promote professional development for the local physical therapist community through continuing education, pro bono services and legislative advocacy
  • the program will provide the necessary resources, leadership and opportunities to allow each faculty member to develop a scholarly agenda and engage in professional service
  • embrace our clinical partners and their contribution to the educatio5] [6] n of future physical therapists
  • support the missions of the University and College

 

Faculty will 

  •  demonstrate service to the community and the profession
  •  engage in scholarship that advances knowledge
  • demonstrate participation in professional development activities to learn student-centered pedagogy that promotes student reflection and clinical reasoning

Graduate Goals

Graduates will demonstrate the ability to;

  • provide physical therapy services in a manner that exemplifies contemporary practice, role models ethical and legal principles and the APTA's core values
  • advocate for patients, families, and communities to improve health outcomes and increase the overall health and well-being of our society
  • engage in outreach, community and professional service that contributes to the improvement of society and the profession
  • evaluate, critique and use the current best evidence to inform practice and patient- and family-centered health care decisions
  • educate patients/clients, inter-professional colleagues, and the public in a culturally sensitive manner that illustrates the value of physical therapist participation across a variety of contexts
  • design a professional development plan that illustrates a commitment to lifelong learning

Undergraduate Admissions Criteria for the Six-Year BS in Exercise Science/DPT Program

Freshman Applicants

Applicants applying for entry to the first year of the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Combined SAT scores of 1090 for Math and Verbal sections.  2016 SAT, based on 1600 scale.   (or ACT equivalent);
  • A high school average of 85 (3.0) GPA;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • Successful completion of courses in math, biology and chemistry; Physics and trigonometry are also recommended.
  • A written essay that is included as part of the application form.
  • And, a recommended minimum of 20 volunteer hours in at least two areas of Physical Therapy.

Early application is encouraged for the pre-professional phase. The College currently accepts approximately 70 students into year one of the program. Applications are reviewed on a continual basis. Early acceptance is offered to applicants who meet all program requirements.

Transfer Student Applicants

Students who have not completed a baccalaureate degree but have received undergraduate credits may apply as transfer students using the undergraduate application. Transfer students may enter in September or January of the pre-professional phase into year one or two depending on the number of credits being transferred.

Transfer students may seek admission to the BS in Exercise Science/DPT degree program by completing the following:

  • Have earned at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA.
  • Complete the Husson undergraduate application.
  • Include in Husson essay, or separately describe, why physical therapy as a career and profession appeals to you.
  • Provide proof of 8 hours of observation in physical therapy.

Students already enrolled at Husson who wish to transfer into the BS in Exercise Science/DPT degree program may request a change of major if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have earned at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA.
  • Complete the Husson Change of Major form.
  • Write a letter requesting a change of major. Address the letter to the Chair of PT Admissions Committee, School of Physical Therapy, Husson University.
  • Include in the lettter, or separately describe, why physical therapy as a career and profession appeals to you.
  • Provide proof of 8 hours of observation in physical therapy.

The number of transfer applicants selected is restricted to ensure the highest quality of education during the professional phase of the program and to facilitate clinical placement of all students. 

Requests for transfer or change of major will be reviewed at the end of the semester in which materials are submitted.  Acceptance into the BS in Exercise Science/DPT program is dependent upon the availability of openings so that completion of all of the above is not a guarantee of acceptance.

Pre-Professional Student Progression into the three-year DPT program

Students enrolled in the pre-professional phase of the physical therapy curriculum are offered a guaranteed admission into the professional phase (fourth year) of the DPT program if they have met the following requirements:

  • Attained a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or greater by July
  • Maintain an overall core GPA (courses listed below) of 3.0 with a minimum of (C) or better in each of the following pre requisite courses. Only one of these courses may be repeated one time; additional repeats of the core courses listed below will not be allowed. 

Pre-professional Courses Requiring a Grade of C or better are as follows:

MS 132Probability and Statistics3
MS 180Precalculus with Trigonometry4
PY 111General Psychology3
SC 181Chemistry I3
SC 182Chemistry II3
SC 221Anatomy and Physiology I3
SC 222Anatomy and Physiology II3
SC 271Physics I3
SC 272Physics II3
SC 291Cell Biology3

Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to 3.199 and have met the following requirements may apply for entry into the professional phase (fourth year) of the DPT program, but will be competing with other qualified applicants for available seats. The minimum requirements include:

  • Maintain an overall core GPA (courses listed above) of 3.0 with a minimum of (C) or better in each of the following pre requisite courses. Only one of these courses may be repeated one time; additional repeats of the core courses listed below will not be allowed.
  • Attain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by July of the third year.
  • Submit in hard copy the following material by April 15. This information will help you to compete with the applicants who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Send to: PT Admissions Committee, School of Physical Therapy, Husson University, 1 College Circle, Bangor ME 04401-2999.
  • A letter of intent stating your wish for admission into the DPT program. In this letter, you will want to advocate for yourself, persuading the committee of your potential for success as a DPT student.
  • A resume. Be sure to include those activities or jobs that support your future success as a DPT student or as a PT.
  • One letter of recommendation from an academic source, not a PT faculty member.
  • A written essay addressing one of several essay prompts listed below.

Written essay guidelines: Please write an essay on one of the following topics. Limit your essay to no more than two typed pages, double-spaced. The essay will be evaluated on organization, clarity, grammar, and punctuation, as well as content. Please include the topic at the top of your essay.

  • What does success mean to you? How do you feel when you fail at something?
  • Give an example of feedback you received and how did you used that feedback to make changes? 

Students who have not met the above GPA and course criteria by the close of the spring semester of the third year, or who have met the criteria but were not accepted into the DPT program, may not progress into the professional phase, thereby losing their reserved seats in the class they were admitted into. Such a student will be dismissed from the PT program, and advised to complete a bachelor's degree in another program. After attaining a bachelor's degree, the student may reapply for entry into the professional phase of the DTP curriculum.

All students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in the professional phase of the program.

After the successful completion of the fourth year of study and all undergraduate requirements, Physical Therapy students are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. These students then become graduate students who are awarded the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the successful completion of the final two years of the program.

 Advanced Placement Policy

Students who receive a score of 5 on AP science exams (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy/Physiology) may use these credits to meet pre professional core science requirements. All other AP credits will be accepted according to University Policy. 

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the School of Physical Therapy at Husson University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA  22314;  telephone:  703.706.3245;  email:  accreditation@apta.org;  website:  http://www.capteonline.org If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 207-941-7101 or email huhnk@husson.edu

Accredited by CAPTE - verify status

Financial Aid

A freshman-entry Physical Therapist student is classified as an undergraduate student through the fourth year, and as a graduate student in the fifth and sixth year. The student who holds a Baccalaureate degree is classified as a graduate student for the three years of the professional phase.

Tuition

The tuition structure in the first, second, and third years is identical to the per-credit hour fee applied to other Husson students. Students enrolled in the fourth, fifth, and sixth years pay a higher per-credit hour fee that is specific to the physical therapy program.

Clinical Education

Students in the fourth and sixth years of the Physical Therapy program are required to participate in unpaid full-time clinical experiences as part of their professional education. It is recommended that students budget an additional $2,000-$2,500 for travel, accommodations, etc. There are three clinical placement periods during the professional phase of the programs shown below:

Year 4—8-week placement generally mid-May to July

Year 6—12-week placement from September to mid-December

Year 6—12-week placement generally January to late March

The program currently has contracts with approximately 200 clinical sites throughout the United States.