Jul 20, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy Track III (T.D.P.T.)

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Shenandoah University is committed to meeting the needs of practicing physical therapists who wish to be a part of the vision of the American Physical Therapy Association to become a doctoring professional by obtaining the Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree (DPT). Shenandoah’s distance-based post-professional DPT program (TDPT) is designed to transition the practicing physical therapist with an entry-level Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT) or Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) degree to a DPT level of academic training. The Shenandoah University TDPT program offers an opportunity to complement current knowledge and skills with advanced content designed to prepare clinicians for the responsibilities and expectations associated with doctoral-level practice. Graduates of the TDPT program will be versed in the importance and implementation of evidence-based practice and advanced clinical thinking in physical therapy to become outstanding clinicians and leaders in the field.

Program Philosophy

At Shenandoah University, we believe that physical therapists have an integral role in the interprofessional health care team in meeting the health care needs of society.

As members of a doctoring profession, physical therapists must be self-directed, life-long, collaborative learners who are able to use evidence-based clinical decision-making to achieve optimal patient care.

Shenandoah’s distance-based post-professional DPT program (TDPT) is designed to prepare the practicing physical therapist with an entry-level Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT) or Masters in Physical Therapy (MPT) degree for practice at a doctoral level through complementing current knowledge and skills with content that fosters advanced practice.

Shenandoah distinguishes itself by providing opportunities to gain knowledge and develop skills in a collaborative, personalized environment that intertwines professional and liberal learning. A Shenandoah education incorporates scholarship, experiential learning and sophisticated technologies, as well as practical wisdom.

Graduates of the Shenandoah University TDPT program will be prepared to be critical, reflective thinkers; lifelong learners; culturally competent practitioners; and ethical, compassionate citizens who are committed to making responsible contributions within a community, a nation and the world.  

Mission of the SU TDPT Program

The mission of the Shenandoah University TDPT program is to prepare practicing physical therapists as doctoral-level clinicians to enhance societal health.  

Degree Requirements

Doctoral level graduation requires a total of 30 credits. The curriculum may be taken in one of three tracks; Track I (3 sequential terms), Track II (6 sequential terms) and Track III (7 sequential terms). Tracks I and II are for individuals who have completed an MPT degree or for those BSPT-trained individuals who have completed an advanced master’s degree in a health-related field. Track I and II students are required to complete 16 credits in the SU TDPT program, with 14 graduate level credit hours transferred in from their previous degree. Track III is for BSPT trained individuals who do not have an advanced health-related graduate degree. Track III students are required to complete 20 credits in the SU TDPT program, with 10 graduate level credit hours transferred in from their previous degree. Only courses in which the student has earned the equivalent of a “B-” or higher will be considered for transfer credit.

The program is designed to integrate sophisticated technologies by offering courses in a distance education format along with a required one half-day orientation session and one half-day face-to-face final seminar on the Health Professions campus in beautiful historic Winchester Virginia. Both are held in mid-August of the first and final years of study, respectively. The orientation session outlines policies and expectations for the program and prepares students for success as an online learner in graduate-level education. This also gives incoming students an opportunity to meet faculty and begin networking relationships with their peers. The final face-to-face seminar will be held just prior to the graduate hooding ceremony. All travel, lodging and expenses associated with the on-site seminars are at the expense of the student. 

For all tracks, in order to be retained in the curriculum and receive the TDPT degree, all courses must be passed with a grade of 80% or higher. All coursework must be successfully completed within three years of the start date of the program. A student will have one additional year to retake a failed course (at the current per credit tuition rate as set forth by the university at that time) during the next regularly scheduled course offering. In the event the student is not successful upon the second course attempt, the student will be dismissed from the TDPT program. Students dismissed from the program for academic concerns may petition for re-admission to the program at the next enrollment period. If upon readmission the student receives another failing grade in one or more required courses, the student will be dismissed from the Division of Physical Therapy TDPT program without the option to petition for readmission.

In addition to policies and procedures of the university as identified in this catalog, students enrolled in the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program are responsible for reading, understanding, and adhering to the policies and procedures found in the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Handbook.

Admission Requirements for All Tracks

Application materials are reviewed as they are received. Applicants must meet and submit the following:

  1. Completed Shenandoah University graduate school application including the $30 application fee.
  2. All official higher education transcripts.
  3. Copy of current U.S. or Canadian licensure as a physical therapist.
  4. Completed Program Information Form indicating desired track to follow.
  5. All students must submit verification of full-time employment for at least 1 year as a physical therapist prior to applying to the program.
  6. Non-Native English Speaking (NNES) applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language as described in the admissions requirements for international students in this catalog. Applicants may also demonstrate proficiency in the English language by providing evidence that they earned the required TOEFL score in order to obtain licensure in their current state of practice.

All transcripts from non-U.S. institutions must have been submitted for an academic credential evaluation by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member organization to obtain equivalency information regarding courses, credits, grades and degrees earned. SU requires a copy of the full evaluation to be submitted. Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) is acceptable for academic credential evaluations.

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