Degree Requirements (50 or 60 credits)
Students with a previous DPT or tDPT are required to complete a minimum of 50 credits; those with a master’s degree are required to complete 60 credits.
A. Core Courses (41 credits)
Higher Education Teaching and Leadership (6 credits)
- PTP 883 - Higher Education Teaching Methods and Assessment (2)
- PTP 884 - Higher Education Teaching Practicum (2)
- PTP 885 - Educational Leadership in Higher Education (2)
Scholarly Activity, Research Design, Statistics, and Critical Review of the Literature (15 credits)
- HCR 500 - Epidemiology (4)
- HCR 621 - Qualitative Research Methods (3)
- PTP 820 - Quantitative Research Methods (4)
- PTP 821 - Statistical Analysis for Quantitative Research (4)
Ph.D. Seminars (2 credits)
- PTP 810 - Ph.D. in PT Seminar l (1)
- PTP 811 - Ph.D. in PT Seminar ll (1)
Movement Analysis and Instrumentation (4 credits)
PTP 816 - Movement Analysis and Instrumentation (4)
Dissertation: Pre-Candidacy Research (14 credits minimum)
- PTP 990 - Dissertation: Pre-Candidacy (1-3) (elected for a minimum total of 3 cr. in 2-3 semesters)
- PTP 995 - Dissertation: Candidacy (1-5) (elected for a minimum of 11 cr., at least 1 per semester of candidacy)
B. Electives (9 or 19 credits)
A plan of study for the remaining 9 credits (for students with a previous DPT degree) or 19 credits (for students with a previous master’s degree) is created depending on the student’s chosen areas of concentration, appropriate preparation for the teaching practicum, and individual needs and goals.
Note: It is expected that each Ph.D. in Physical Therapy student will spend sufficient time on campus for completing coursework, conducting research, interacting with other graduate students, and fostering intellectual activities.
The PhD program has several components in addition to coursework:
The qualifying examination is designed to assess the Ph.D. in Physical Therapy student’s knowledge in the three key areas of research methodology and statistics, teaching and leadership, and in his/her chosen area of specialization/advanced practice. Typically, students will be assessed in the areas:
- Research methodology and statistics, through written and oral assessments
- Teaching and leadership, through portfolio and oral assessments
- The chosen area of specialization/advanced practice, through written and oral assessments
The preliminary examination is the student’s dissertation proposal defense. For the examination, the student prepares in writing a research proposal and presents an oral presentation in defense of the research proposal which has been prepared in consultation with the dissertation Chair and committee. Prior to the students’s taking the examination, the PhD faculty must approve the dissertation committee. The dissertation committee, led by the Chair, must approve the dissertation topic and the proposal outline.
The dissertation committee must include at least three faculty members, including one member outside the Physical Therapy Department. The committee chair must be a qualified Physical Therapy Department faculty member. More details concerning the dissertation committee may be found in the PhD in PT Program Student Handbook.
A student becomes a candidate in the PhD in Physical Therapy program after completing the required coursework with a minimum GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and passing both the qualifying and preliminary examinations. At this time, the student is allowed to register for PTP 995 and receives a certificate acknowledging this progress toward candidacy, “all but dissertation” (ABD) or PhD (c) status.
Dissertation and Dissertation Defense
The dissertation must contain research work completed by the PhD in Physical Therapy candidate. The dissertation must include one to three manuscripts ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The candidate must submit a final written copy of the dissertation to the dissertation committee for approval four weeks prior to the scheduled oral defense. The dissertation is defended at a final oral examination open to faculty, other students, and the interested public.