PhD in Physical Therapy

Prepare for a rewarding career in Physical Therapy education and research!
Upon review of the website, please feel free to email
phdptadmissions@umflint.edu for more information.

Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Physical Therapy (PT) program at the University of Michigan - Flint is designed to address the demand for qualified faculty in PT educational programs and to create academic leaders in PT education and scholarship. The Ph.D. in PT program meets these needs by enhancing knowledge in important areas such as: Evidence-based practice in an area of specialization/core area of teaching, research/scholarship, and academic teaching and leadership. Most courses are taught face-to-face on UM-Flint's campus in Flint, Michigan with some online coursework.

PhD in PT Degree Requirements for MPT/MSPT or BS in PT & MS

While in the Ph.D. in PT program, students complete a minimum
of 64 credits; 18 credits will be based on the individual student’s
chosen area of concentration/specialization coursework (online format, electives),
10 credits in elective content, 6 credits on educational teaching and
leadership, 14 credits on research design, statistics and critical review
of the literature, 2 credits in Ph.D. in PT Seminar or Independent Study,
and a minimum of 14 credits on the Ph.D. in PT dissertation including
pre-candidacy and candidacy research.  During the admission process,
the student will acquire a mutually agreed upon Doctoral Chair
(also serves as the faculty advisor), designate the area
of concentration/specialization, and submit the information to the
Associate Director for the Ph.D. in PT program for approval.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements for DPT or t-DPT

While in the Ph.D. in PT program, students complete a minimum
of 54 credits; 18 credits will be based on the individual student’s
chosen area of concentration/specialization coursework (online format, electives),
6 credits on educational teaching and leadership, 14 credits on research
design, statistics and critical review of the literature, 2 credits in Ph.D. in PT
Seminar or Independent Study, and a minimum of 14 credits on the
Ph.D. in PT dissertation including pre-candidacy and candidacy research. 
During the admission process, the student will acquire a mutually agreed
upon Doctoral Chair (also serves as the faculty advisor), designate the area
of concentration/specialization, and submit the information to the
Associate Director for the Ph.D. in PT program for approval.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements
  • Doctorate, Master's, or Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from an accredited institution in the United States or its equivalent in another country.  For individuals with a bachelor's degree in PT, a Master's degree in PT or another health-related field is also required
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale
    (or 5.0 on a 9.0 scale)
  • Physical Therapy license or registration (or equivalent)
  • Completion of prerequisite courses or their equivalents:
     
    • PTP 662 – Critical Inquiry I
    • PTP 663 – Critical Inquiry II
    • PTP 681 – Teaching, Learning & Health Education
    • PTP 861 – Literature Analysis in Evidence-Based Practice
    • PTP 602 – Independent Research (Recommended)

Note:  You are encouraged to speak with the Associate Director for the
Ph.D. in PT program regarding your eligibility for admission.  Meeting
the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee entrance
into the program.

 

Ph.D. Course Requirements

Prerequisites
Students must have taken the following courses
(or their equivalents) in their course work to date:

PTP 662 Critical Inquiry I (3)
PTP 663 Critical Inquiry II (3) 
PTP 681 Teaching, Learning & Health Education (2)
PTP 861 Literature Analysis in Evidenced Based Practice (2)
PTP 602 Independent Research (Optional)

An additional 50-60 credit hours in the PhD in PT program
is the minimum required to grant the PhD in PT degree.

The required curriculum includes the courses listed below:

Area of Specialization/Advanced Practice (18 credits, elective choice).

Currently enrolled Ph.D. students may enroll in an area of
Specialization/Advanced Practice. Students may choose one
of the following four areas of Specialization/Advanced Practice
for a total of 18 credits: orthopedics, neurology,  or pediatrics.
This allows the student to obtain a Ph.D. degree with
an area of advanced specialized practice in an area in which
the graduate can teach, practice and perform research.
See the Post-Professional Physical Therapy Clinical Certificates
website for more information. Each student who choses a specialization
path for electives, must designate a specified Specialization/Advanced
Practice area upon admission to the program.

A. Specialization/Advanced Practice Area (Elective Choice)

Area 1: Orthopedics PTP 674, PTP 675, PTP 676, PTP 775, PTP 774, PTP 776.

Area 2: Neurology PTP 677, PTP 678, PTP 679, PTP 777, PTP, 774, PTP 778.

Area 3: Pediatrics PTP 690, PTP 691, PTP 692, PTP 790, PTP 774, PTP 791.

PTP 815 Ph.D. in PT Independent Study (Variable credits)

PTP 816 Advanced Biomechanics/Instrumentation (4 credits)

PTP 817 Motor Control & Motor Learning (2 credits)

B.  Teaching and Educational Leadership (6 credits) (Core Content)

PTP 883 Higher Education Teaching Methods and Assessment (2 credits)

PTP 884 Higher Education Teaching Practicum (2 credits)

PTP 885 Educational Leadership in Higher Education (2 credits)

C.  Scholarly Activity/Research (14 credits) (Core Content)

PTP 820 – Quantitative Research Methods (4 credits)

PTP 823 - Statistical Analysis for Quantitative Research (4 credits)

HCR 621 – Qualitative Research Methods (cross-listed with PTP 821 - Qualitative Research Methods) (3 credits)

HCR 500 – Epidemiology (cross-listed with PTP 822 - Epidemiology Research Methods) (3 credits)

D.  One of the following options for a minimum of 2 credits (Core Content, either/or):

               PTP 810 - PT Ph.D. Seminar (1 credit for two semesters)

               PTP 815 – PT Ph.D. Independent Study (2 credits)

           Ask us how we can further individualize your Ph.D.!

E.  Dissertation: Pre-Candidacy & Candidacy Research (minimum of 14 credits) (Core Content)

PTP 990 – Dissertation: Pre-Candidacy (1-3 credits) (minimum of 3 credits across one to three semesters)

Students will regularly meet to discuss and provide feedback during their research proposal preparation process. The student will prepare in writing and orally present a dissertation proposal. The research proposal will generally contain a systematic review of the student’s selected dissertation topic which is journal submission-ready. Usually, students enroll for 1 credit for three semesters in years 2 and 3 in the Ph.D. program to develop and present their dissertation research proposal. The student must register for and participate in the PTP 990 course each semester after fall semester year 2 until successful completion of the qualifying exam and the preliminary exams.

PTP 995 – Dissertation: Candidacy (1-5 credits) (minimum of 11 credits across multiple semesters)

While enrolled in this course, students will conduct and complete their dissertation research. The dissertation will generally contain 1-3 journal submission-ready manuscripts. The student must register for PTP 995 for at least 1 credit per semester upon passing their preliminary exam until successful completion of the dissertation defense.

Application Process

Prior to submitting your application, it is strongly suggested
that you meet as early as possible with the Associate Director of
the Ph.D. in PT program to assist you in your career and
professional development.  You should also meet with the
coordinator of the specialization/advanced practice area of interest. 

To be considered for admission, submit the following to the
Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Copy of current Physical Therapy license or registration (or equivalent)
  • Official transcript from the colleges or university where you
    earned your graduate degree(s) as well as any transcript that shows completion
    of prerequisite coursework
  • Resume/CV
  • A clearly defined Statement of Purpose that includes the following:
    • Why you are interested in an academic and/or research career.
    • The specific area of Specialization/Advanced Practice
      (orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics) that you wish
      to focus on while completing the Ph.D. in PT degree program.
    • Your proposed area/topic(s) of scholarly inquiry.
    • If you have secured a PT faculty member to serve as your advisor and Ph.D. Committee Chair, explain how your research goals align with your chair’s scholarship.  If you have not yet secured a Chair, name the faculty member(s) you could likely work with and how your research goals may align with their scholarship (see the PT website for a current listing of faculty with Ph.D. degrees).
  • Two letters of reference are required. Please include individuals
    who are able to comment on your academic and clinical abilities,
    personal qualities, and potential teaching, research/scholarship,
    and service capabilities. Please include:
    • One letter from a graduate-level faculty member from the
      program that granted your degree.
    • One letter from a faculty member with specific expertise
      in your area of Specialization/Advanced Practice.
  • Please attach a sample of a recent technical/scientific manuscript or
    report you have written.  If you have questions regarding this manuscript/report,
    please discuss this with the Associate Director for the Ph.D. in PT
    program before submitting.
  • International students must submit additional documentation.
    Visit the International Students page for details.

Application Deadlines

Students are admitted for the fall semester only. Application
packets submitted by February 1 are eligible for early admission
consideration; completed application packets submitted by
May 1 are eligible for regular admission consideration.

Application deadlines:

  • February 1 (early admission)
  • May 1 (regular admission)

Timeframe

Full Time Student:
A minimum of a 2.5 year program is designed for the full time student who knows their long-term career aspirations are in academia to teach and do research. There are part time options as well.  Students are expected to participate fully; and will spend sufficient time on campus for participating in the face-to-face classes, conducting research, interacting with other graduate students, and fostering intellectual activities.

 

Tuition and Fees

Please visit our Cashier's Office webpage for more information!

CAPTE Statement

Expectation that institutions clearly indicate on their website and other public information that programs not subject to CAPTE accreditation are not accredited by CAPTE. [§8.19(3)]