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Welcome to the FAQ section of our website. We hope that the information contained here will be of value to you. After reviewing this page and the related sections of our web page, please feel free to contact the department with any additional questions you may have. If you have questions regarding admissions, please contact the program coordinator at rebecca-littleton@utc.edu.

 

GENERAL PT QUESTIONS

UTC DPT PROGRAM

 

 

 

GENERAL PT QUESTIONS

 

What is a DPT?

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is an entry-level post-baccalaureate degree conferred upon successful completion of a professional clinical doctoral education program.  Refer to the official American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) web site www.apta.org for further information on DPT education and view the video You Can Be Me: A Career in Physical Therapy.

 

What is the expected salary of a DPT?

According to salary.com, The median expected salary for a typical Physical Therapist in the United States is $76,357. This varies by region and level of experience.

 

Where do PTs practice?

PTs practice in a great variety of settings including outpatient clinics, acute care hospitals, neuro-rehabilitation hospitals, inpatient hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, pediatric clinics, schools, home health settings, industrial or office settings (ergonomics), sport and fitness facilities, obstetrician gynecology practices (women’s health), etc.

 

What qualities are needed to be a good therapist?

Good therapists have a thirst for knowledge to constantly access and execute the best evidence based practices for their patients, empathy to identify with and care for patients facing greatly diverse health issues, drive to advocate for patients with disabilities that may not be able to advocate for their own needs, care and concern for the needs of others, and pride in achieving functional outcomes in the lives of their patients. These are just a few qualities that make a good therapist. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

UTC DPT PROGRAM

 

Is the DPT program at UTC accredited?

The Department of Physical Therapy at UTC is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). We received our initial accreditation by CAPTE in 1992, and have been continuously accredited since that time. 

 

How do UTC graduates perform on the PT state licensure exam?

Since the charter class graduated in 1992, the vast majority of UTC PT classes have exceeded the national pass rate average for all PT programs on the state licensure exam on their “first attempt.” For eight of the past nine years, 100% of our graduates have passed the licensure exam.

 

What is the graduation rate?

Our department has achieved an average graduation rate of 90.0% for the last three graduating classes (2010, 2011, 2012).

 

Is UTC highly ranked?

CAPTE does not rank individual PT programs. However, UTC is a highly competitive program.

 

How long is the DPT program?

The DPT program is a year-round program, spanning eight semesters and three years. The length of our professional physical therapy program is 3 calendar years (8 straight semesters, including 2 summers).  Our 4 + 3 program model accepts students after completing an undergraduate (UG) degree.  Therefore, the total length of prerequisite and professional coursework is a minimum of 7 years (4 + 3).

 

Does the DPT program offer night classes?

No, the program meets full time during the day (8-4:30).

 

Can I attend your DPT program as a part time student? Can the program be completed online?

No, the entry-level DPT program is full time, and cannot be completed online. A transition DPT program is offered online for professionals who are currently licensed and practicing physical therapists.

 

What courses do the DPT students take?

Students take orthopedics courses and basic sciences (anatomy, neuroscience, kinesiology, pathology) in the first year in addition to basic skills courses. This is to prepare them for their first clinical rotation in the summer, which is in outpatient orthopedics, and to build a foundation for the rest of the curriculum. The second year is focused on advanced adult and pediatric neuro and med/surg coursework to prepare for the second summer’s two clinical rotations in acute care hospitals and neuro rehab hospitals. The students also begin their research projects in the second year. The third year focuses on advanced coursework in orthopedics, licensure prep, research, and a variety of advanced electives based on the student’s particular interest (i.e. neuro, ortho, pediatrics, sports, etc.). In the second semester of the third year, the students go on their fourth and final clinical rotation for fifteen weeks.

 

Does the UTC DPT program offer areas of specialty?

In the third year, the student can choose electives as well as the final clinical rotation to be specific to the branch of physical therapy that interests the student. However, clinical specializations and certifications are pursued after physical therapy school through continuing education programs in the physical therapist’s professional career.

 

When do classes start?

Classes start in the fall semester of each new academic year.

 

Can I work while in PT school?

The program is designed to be completed on a full-time basis.  Typically classes meet between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday-Friday.  Working during the first year of the professional program is strongly discouraged.  Students with financial need, however, may choose to work part-time after classes. In the second year, a limited number of graduate assistant positions are available to be applied for.

 

What are the housing options for students?

Most students live off campus in houses or apartments. There are numerous apartment complexes and rental properties within a 10-20 minute commute from campus. The program does not recommend specific housing, but can connect incoming students with their new classmates in order to find roommates or housing information.

 

What is the Chattanooga area like?

Chattanooga is a beautiful area combining beautiful mountains and outdoor activities (climbing, hiking, mountain biking, etc.) with a vibrant city and downtown area centered around the waterfront. New locally owned shops and restaurants open every year. While the city underwent major revitalization in the nineties, individual areas and neighborhoods continue to become newer and more lively every day.

 

What kinds of extracurricular activities are there?

There are several student-sponsored events each year, and students form intramural teams, as well as small groups to just get together and throw frisbees in the park, for example. The ARC also rents kayaks, canoes, mountain bikes, snowboarding equipment, backpacking equipment, etc., for free to UTC students, so our students take advantage of these opportunities and more.

 

Is there are student recreation center?

UTC has a brand new fitness complex called the ARC that has swimming, indoor climbing, and excellent workout facilities in addition to equipment rentals. There is also a rec room in the basement of the UTC University Center that has pool tables, foosball tables, table tennis, Wiis, Xboxes, Playstations, etc.

 

What are student/professor relationships like?

The professors are very dedicated to the students’ success. They are available to help in any way that they can. Since the faculty is a relatively small group, students get to know their professors well throughout the program, and some of them become mentors when the students graduate and enter the field.

 

What specialties are represented by the faculty?

We have an exceptional faculty that represent a variety of specialties. Please visit our Profile page for additional information.

 

Are the professors active in the profession?

Yes. The vast majority of our professors either currently work in the community in various settings, or come to us as full time faculty with many years of clinical experience.

 

Are the professors working on the forefront of new research?

Each professor designs a research project every year that students work on in conjunction with the professor. In addition to this, many of our professors are continuously working on their own research projects, and are published in a variety of publications. Please visit the “Research” section of our web page to see some of the research that faculty and students have been involved with.

 

Are there research/publishing opportunities within the UTC program?

Students are required to complete a research project as a part of completing the program. Students are sometimes published for their work. Please visit the “Research” section of our web page to see some of the research that faculty and students have been involved with.

 

Is a dissertation required for the DPT students?

Students are not required to write a dissertation, however they are required to complete research projects.

 

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