Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Physical Therapy (PHTH) is a health care profession devoted to optimum health and function. Physical therapy improves and maintains an individual's ability to move and assists in the prevention of movement disorders.

Physical therapists work directly with patients and clients of all ages. They conduct evaluations to identify and then resolve problems and potential problems. Typical problems addressed by physical therapists include impaired movement, pain, and compromised ability to carry out daily activities. Physical therapists may choose to work in a variety of settings including private practice, acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, industry, private home therapy, school systems, and athletic programs.


About the Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is located in the School of Health Sciences and the Office of Graduate Studies at Stockton University. The Program values excellence in teaching, continuous learning, adapting to change, scholarship, and service.

Vision

The Physical Therapy Program at Stockton University will be recognized regionally and nationally for outstanding education and community engagement that results in optimized health of our region.

Mission

The Physical Therapy Program prepares students for contemporary physical therapy practice to function effectively for the patient/client, community, and profession. We embrace the mission of the School of Health Sciences and Stockton University by creating an environment of excellence in teaching, life-long learning, scholarship, community engagement, and service.

We have a responsibility to multiple stakeholders in our region including students, the University, the profession and the public. We meet our responsibility by being a focal point for the professional community through academic and continuing education, professional and community activities, and scholarship.

Values

Members of society have the right to quality health care. Health care professionals have an obligation to deliver their services to communities and society. In all realms of practice, physical therapists are obligated to conduct themselves in an ethical manner.  We provide a holistic approach to health care by optimizing function of the movement system to facilitate meaningful participation in life roles. We prioritize patient centered care that includes collaboration with family and other health care professionals.

We support our mission and guide our practices and behavioral expectations through an emphasis on:

  • excellence in teaching
  • serving as resources, role models, mentors, and advisors to students and colleagues
  • interprofessional collaboration

We embrace a responsibility to:

  • embody ideals of evidence based practice to our students.
  • contribute to the development of new ideas, both within and across disciplines.
  • create and preserve an environment that is free from prejudice and discrimination, and to take actions that affirm our commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

The DPT Program is a focal point for the professional community. The faculty are committed to increasing the foundation of knowledge of the profession through direct patient care, professional and community activities, continuing education, and research. Specifically, the faculty are committed to increasing the foundation of knowledge of the profession through research and scholarship by discovery, creation, dissemination, integration, and application of knowledge. The faculty are professional and personal role models for peers and students.

The Physical Therapy faculty are an impressive group devoted to our students and the profession of Physical Therapy. Collectively, we are a professionally and personally diverse group who are well renowned at a national, state, and local level. We have vast clinical expertise in all major areas of practice. Faculty conducts research on an ongoing basis and routinely present and publish work in collaboration with our students. The faculty are dedicated educators and highly accessible. In addition to our full-time physical therapy faculty members, many other professionals contribute to the program, including physicians, basic scientists, and other health care professionals.

The curriculum is contemporary and innovative. Students learn in small class sizes in well-equipped classroom facilities. They have ongoing patient contact in the program such as patients visiting the classroom and regular trips to local clinics including two (2) on-campus hospitals. Additionally, there are three (3) full-time clinical experiences. For optimal learning, the full-time clinical experiences are scheduled at key times throughout the curriculum. Clinical experiences are concentrated in the mid-Atlantic region with additional sites outside the area. Preclinical courses include experiences in the classroom, School of Health Sciences Simulation Suite, at AtlantiCare Medical Center, and part time integrated clinical experiences in a variety of clinical settings. Most clinical experiences require a student to obtain additional clearance, such as satisfactory criminal background check, fingerprinting, drug testing, and select immunizations. 

As a school within the New Jersey system of Higher Education, every effort is made to maintain the affordability of the program. Many students are awarded Stockton Graduate Assistantships that permit exciting learning experiences such as working in clinics and conducting research. Students can also apply for internal and external scholarships.

Students who gradute from a physical therapy program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) are qualified to take the National Physical Therapist Licensure Examination (NPTE). Each state's licensure board may have additional requirements to take the NPTE,  such as satisfactory criminal background checks. Upon passing the NPTE and recieving a state physical therapy license, you may then practice physical therapy in the states you are licensed. 

Program Outcome

National Physical Therapy License Exam

As reported by the Federation of State Board of Physical Therapy, Stockton graduates have 100% pass rate from 2015-2017; 2018 was 93.6%; 2019 was 100%; 2020 was 100%. Two-year average = 100%.

Graduation Rate

The graduation rate (as defined by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) for Stockton’s Physical Therapy Program:

2019 90.3%
2020 96.7%
   
2-year average 93.5%


Employment Rate

With a 100% employment rate among graduates, Stockton physical therapists are sought after for residency programs and clinical practice in every setting.


Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Stockton University is accredited by the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia, 22305-3085
Telephone: 703-706-3245
E-mail: accreditation@apta.org  |  Website: http://www.capteonline.org

The program has been continuously accredited since its inception.  Questions regarding the physical therapy program’s accreditation should be directed either to CAPTE or to the Program Chair, Dr. Patricia McGinnis, at (609) 652-4704 or E-mail:  Patricia.McGinnis@stockton.edu

Complaint Process 

While the Program seeks to offer due process in all situations, complaints not addressed through the university’s established due process procedures should be addressed via the following procedures:

  • Inform the Program Chair of the nature of the complaint to seek resolution, or to seek direction to appropriate university department.
  • Contact the Dean of the SHS if the grievance has not been resolved through the previous steps.
  • Contact the Provost for matters related to academic affairs if the grievance has not been resolved through the previous steps.

The faculty affirm the right of all individuals to address grievances without fear of reprisal or retaliation following submission of grievances.

Curriculum

DPT Curriculum Worksheet

Effective Academic Year 2020-2021

Credits for Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree: Undergraduate 9; Doctoral 102 (Total of 111 credits)

Year 1-Fall Semester Year 1- Spring Semester

BIOL 4230 Neuroscience (4)

BIOL 4231 Neuroscience Lab (1)

BIOL 4150 Advanced Human Physiology (4)

PHTH 5010 Human Gross Anatomy (4)

Additional undergraduate courses toward a baccalaureate degree if needed

Total Semester Credits: 13

 

PHTH 5001 Kinesiology/Basic PT Evaluation (7)

PHTH 5020 Pathology (4)

PHTH 5112 Community Wellness (2)

Additional undergraduate courses toward a baccalaureate degree if needed

All students must hold a baccalaureate degree by the end of this semester

Total Semester Credits: 13

 

Summer Session- 6 weeks- (May and June):
PHTH 5500 Musculoskeletal PT I (7 credits)
Year 2- Fall Semester
Year 2- Spring Semester

PHTH 5510 Musculoskeletal PT II (7)

PHTH 5600 Evidence Based Practice I (3)

PHTH 5615 Community Wellness Practicum I (1)

PHTH 5520 Musculoskeletal PT III (7)

PHTH 5805 Pre-clinical Experience I (1)

Total Semester Credits: 19

PHTH 5530 Musculoskeletal PT IV (7)

PHTH 6520 Cardiopulmonary PT (7)

PHTH 5610 Evidence Base Practice II (2)

PHTH 6805 Pre-Clinical Experience II (1)

PHTH 6610 Physical Therapy Management (2)

Total Semester Credits: 19

Summer Session- 10 weeks- full-time off-campus
PHTH 5810 Clinical Experience I (5)
Year 3- Fall Semester Year 3- Spring Semester

PHTH 6500 Neuromuscular PT I- 13 weeks (7)

PHTH 6510 Neuromuscular PT II- 13 weeks (7)

PHTH 6815 Pre-Clinical Experience III- 13 weeks (1)

PHTH 6615 Community Wellness Practicum II-full semester (1)

Total Semester Credits: 16

PHTH 6810 Clinical Experience II- 10-11 weeks full-time off campus begins December of previous semester (5)

6 weeks on campus after completion of PHTH 6810

PHTH 6530 Other Systems (7)

PHTH 6650 Issues in Health Care (2)


Total Semester Credits: 14

Summer Session- 10-12 weeks- full-time off-campus
PHTH 6820 Clinical Experience III (5)

Revised 11.11.19 & 10.24.19 – changes effective 2020-2021

Note: curricular revisions of MSPT I-IV course series with content moved from year 3 Neuromuscular PT course to Musculoskeletal PT I summer session year 1. Also, courses do not always follow university-wide calendar.

For course descriptions, please visit The University'sCourse Catalog.

Admissions Criteria

Application Deadline

Fall 2022: Verified by October 15, 2021
(Definition of PTCAS statuses found here)

Prerequisite Requirements

  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework with a grade "C" or better. 

The application process into the Stockton's DPT program is two-fold. You must submit an application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS) as well as through Stockton's Online Supplemental CAS Application prior to October 15 (the PTCAS application must be verified by that deadline). Program specific admissions information including prerequisite course requirements can be reviewed on the PTCAS Stockton Program Profile page.


FAQ’s Related to 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Admission Cycles related to COVID-19
(April 20, 2020, updated May 20, 2020, September 24, 2020, and February 2021)

  1. Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses:  The pass/no credit option will not be accepted for Stockton University DPT prerequisites courses.  In the instance that an applicant was not offered the choice of receiving a letter grade at their institution, proof of these grading policies will be required from the applicant.
  2. Online and/or distance learning courses: Stockton University will accept science prerequisite lab courses that are completed either in-person, online or within a hybrid format during the following semesters affected by COVID-19: Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021. As in all previous cycles, students may have up to 2 outstanding prerequisites courses remaining at the time of application.
  3. PT shadowing/observation hours: Although not required, it is strongly recommended that applicants shadow a licensed physical therapist prior to application in order to gain an understanding the profession. In light of COVID-19’s influence on healthcare environment, there is no specific requirement for the number of hours completed.
  4. PT Letter of Recommendation.  Three letters of recommendation are required for application. One letter of recommendation from a licensed physical therapist is strongly recommended.
  5. GRE Testing: Stockton University will accept the GRE General Test and the new GRE General Test at-home offered by ETS. More information on GRE testing is available on the ETS GRE website.

 I. PTCAS Application

Your application to PTCAS must include:

  • Official Transcripts from all schools attended (including Stockton)
  • Three letters of recommendation, one from a licensed physical therapist
  • Essay, observation hours (80 hours), and any other additional information
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (PTCAS code 0313)
  • For important dates, fees and other details about this process, visit the PTCAS Stockton Program Profile page

II. Stockton Online Supplemental CAS Application 

Your Stockton Online Supplemental CAS Application must include:

Frequently Asked Questions

I. Stockton University (SU) students have the benefit of two routes to admission into the program.

  1. "3 + 3" Alternative Format Program- Student is highly encouraged to consult with preceptor. 
    1. Students must have earned a minimum of 64 credits at the time of application.
    2. Must have 96 undergraduate credits by the end of the spring semester in the academic year which the student applies.
    3. Must complete a baccalaureate degree by the end of the spring semester of the first year of the DPT program.
    4. May have a maximum of 2 prerequisite courses outstanding as of the spring semester in the academic year the applicant applies. These courses must be completed by the end of that spring semester. Offers of admission are contingent upon evidence of successful completion of all pre-requisite courses.
  2. Traditional Format Program
    1. Stockton students may apply if they complete their SU baccalaureate degree by the end of the spring semester in which the applicant applies. 

II. Non-Stockton students may apply if they complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university by the end of the spring semester in which the applicant applies.

The DPT Program is 3 years of full-time study.

No, students can choose any major and can complete a baccalaureate degree in any discipline. However, all DPT Program prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester in the academic year in which the student applies. Biology and Health Sciences are common undergraduate majors for Stockton students who plan to apply for admission to the DPT Program.

The application process into the Stockton DPT program is two-fold. You must submit an application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS) as well as through Stockton's Online Supplemental CAS Application prior to October 15 (your PTCAS application must be verified by the deadline). Program specific admissions information including prerequisite course requirements can be reviewed on the PTCAS Stockton Program Profile page.

The CAS ID is found on your PTCAS application. The CAS ID is the same as your PTCAS ID number.

Stockton's DPT Program is highly selective regarding its admissions process. Here are some statistics and recommendations:

  • Currently the DPT Program admits a cohort of 34 students who begin the Program each Fall semester. The number of applications received by the Program varies from year to year. Typically, the Program receives more than 200 applications for every cohort.
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to apply. The average cumulative GPA and the average prerequisite science GPA of applicants who are admitted are typically higher than the minimum GPA requirement.
  • The DPT Admissions Committee will use the average grade for calculating GPA for course that are taken more than once. For example, if a student earns a C in Physics I, and repeats the course and earns an A, the grade will be averaged to a B for calculation of GPA.
  • All application requirements are taken into consideration for admission including: the cumulative GPA of all college or University coursework; the grades received in prerequisite courses (the prerequisite science GPA); the quality of the essays; letters of recommendation; extracurricular activities; and volunteer or paid physical therapy experience.

*Because Stockton is a public institution in the State of New Jersey higher education system, preference is given to residents of the State of New Jersey. Preference is also given to students who have received or will receive their undergraduate degree from Stockton. However, non-Stockton students are routinely accepted.

Please visit the PTCAS Course Prerequisite Summary (.pdf) by visiting www.PTCAS.org or by viewing Stockton Profile Page on PTCAS.

Your PTCAS application must be verified by October 15, 2021 for Fall 2022.
Notification of acceptance or non-acceptance into the DPT Program is typically sent to applicants in late December or early January.

Stockton is no longer accepting EAS/direct entry high school students.

PTCAS has processed your complete application, and it is fully available to your designated programs, including GPAs. You are responsible for monitoring the status of your application and the timely receipt of your documents, and for contacting PTCAS promptly with any questions or concerns you have regarding your application status. To view definitions of statuses, please click here.


Apply today. If you have further questions you can Request More Information or call the Office of Graduate Studies at (609) 626-3640 or E-mail gradschool@stockton.edu.

Patricia McGinnis, PT, M.S., Ph.D., FNAP
Chair, DPT Program
Professor of Physical Therapy