Programs in Physical Therapy

There are two ways to enter into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, a six-year freshman-entry program or a three-year graduate program.  Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree and who have satisfactorily completed all pre-requisite courses may apply to enter the professional phase (year 4) of the DPT Program as graduate students. Following successful completion of the 3-year professional phase, these students will receive the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.  This entry-level clinical doctorate allows graduates to apply for physical therapy licensure; hence this program is not appropriate for individuals who have already earned a physical therapy degree either in the U.S. or in other countries.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to become a center of excellence for the education of physical therapists who are prepared to transform society through the application of their knowledge, skills, research, and leadership.

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 are dedicated to providing excellent student-centered learning in secure and open learning environments.  The faculty incorporate 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. 

 Goals

The Program will:

  • Support faculty and student scholarship
  • Provide pro bono services to promote health and wellness in the community
  • Monitor the healthcare and educational environments and will adjust the curriculum in order to provide physical therapist education that reflects current and future needs

Faculty Members will:  

  • Demonstrate service to the University, community or the profession
  • Meet or exceed CAPTE and University expectations related to scholarship
  • Demonstrate participation in professional development activities to maintain currency in their areas of expertise and pedagogy of teaching and learning

Graduates will: 

  • Demonstrate service to the profession
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning

Students will: 

  • Demonstrate entry-level competence in physical therapy examination, assessment and interventions targeting the human movement system
  • Demonstrate entry-level behaviors related to culture, ethics and legal responsibilities of physical therapist practice
  • Participate in a community or professional service activity

Graduate Admissions Criteria for the Three-year DPT Program

Applicants who have earned a Baccalaureate degree may apply for entry to the fourth year of the six-year the program. Graduate student applicants applying for fall entry into the three-year DPT program must apply online through PTCAS, the Central Application Service for Physical Therapy programs. PTCAS applications will be accepted at www.ptcas.org. Please apply early as it is time-consuming to collect your supporting application materials.

Husson University has adopted a rolling admissions process. Completed PTCAS applications will be reviewed starting in September and will continue until the class is full. Official transcripts showing evidence of completion of a Bachelor’s Degree must be sent to Husson’s Graduate Admissions Office by the program’s start date in August.


Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an undergraduate degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Have successfully completed the following pre-requisite courses with a minimum grade of C:
  • Introductory Statistics (3 credits)
  • General Psychology (3 credits)
  •  Anatomy with lab (4 credits)
  • Physiology with lab (4 credits)
  •  May take Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs to meet anatomy and physiology requirements (8 credits)
  •  Chemistry I and II with labs (8 credits)
  • Physics I and II with labs (8 credits)
  • Two Biology courses (6 credits)
  • Upper level Psychology (3 credits), such as Abnormal, Developmental, or Child Psychology


Applicants must submit the following items to PTCAS:

  • Application with the application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college or university work
  • Official GRE transcript of test score taken within 5 years of application
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from a physical therapist or employer, and one from a past instructor
  • Physical Therapy observation hours verification
  • One essay responding to PTCAS prompt
  • One supplemental essay on one of the following topics:
    • Think of an example where you have failed? How did you use that experience to help you grow? What does success mean to you? 
    • Give an example of feedback you received and how you made changes as a result?

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 the content. Please include the topic at the top of your essay.

Please review program-specific admission requirements and deadlines on the PTCAS Husson University program profile page.  

Accreditation

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

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 four clinical placement periods during the professional phase of the programs shown below:

Year 4 1 eight week placement generally mid-May to early July

Year 6  2 twelve week placements generally September to March

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

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 Americans 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 at (207) 992-1934 or accessibility@husson.edu.

Revised and adopted June 7, 2021