Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

FacultyAdmission | Policies | Tuition and Costs | Requirements | Schedule

    Transitional DPT Program
  • All post-professional D.P.T. courses are 2-credit, fully online courses.
  • The program can be completed in one to three years.
  • Additional Information for internationally educated physical therapists.
  • Pricing schedule makes the program affordable and competitive.
  • Students can start any semester, and there is no required course sequence.
  • Course waivers based on experience are possible for up to 6 credits.
  • Students network and connect with nationally recognized faculty and peers.
  • Students can take two courses before formal application and matriculation.
  • Arcadia’s Physical Therapy program is ranked 14th among the 210 accredited programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The profession and practice of physical therapy is rapidly changing. The demands imposed upon a physical therapist today are very different from those of even five or 10 years ago. These demands often go beyond the formal education provided in more traditional entry-level programs. Therapists increasingly are required to justify their practice patterns based on research evidence, to take on consulting and supervisory roles, and to provide administrative expertise and leadership.

Offered completely online, this program gives practicing clinicians easy access to make their formal education congruent with students graduating from entry-level DPT programs. The program’s goal is to educate clinicians who achieve practice consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Vision 2020 and beyond. Graduates will function with a high degree of professionalism and possess the requisite knowledge, skills and behaviors to practice physical therapy in a truly scientific manner (i.e., using evidence-based practice).

Graduates will demonstrate the ability to do the following:

  • Solve clinical problems based on evidence.
  • Critically evaluate current literature and popular theories.
  • Communicate professionally through scientific writing.
  • Function as an effective teacher at multiple levels—with patients, students, peers, and the public.
  • Lead others and advocate effectively (serve as a consultant or manager).
  • Use skills required to be a lifelong independent learner.

This is a program for practicing professionals who want to interact with nationally recognized faculty and network with exceptional peers. The program is highly interactive and capitalizes on the wealth of knowledge clinicians bring with them.


Admission Requirements

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Students can take two courses before formal application and matriculation. Acceptance into a course does not guarantee admission.

In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate students, the following program-specific requirements must be met:

Academic Policies and Procedures

A student accepted into the Transitional Physical Therapy program is expected to abide by the regulations set forth by Arcadia University. For a discussion of the general academic policies and procedures for graduate students, see the Academic Policies

Tuition and Costs

2013-14 Tuition: $788 per credit

Degree Requirements

(12-18 credits)

The program curriculum is 12-18 credits. A minimum of 12 credits are needed. Credit waivers are available for up to 6 of these credits (3 courses) based upon a student's prior professional experiences and coursework as demonstrated in a portfolio. (A portfolio review charge of $200 will be applied to review material submitted for consideration of course waivers.)

Students can start any semester, and there is no required course sequence except that PT 702 Case Analysis must be taken last. (PT 505 is recommended as a first course.)

Students are only required to take one course per semester but may take more as they are able. Therefore, most students will take two years to complete the program, but it may be completed in one to three years depending on student preference and experience.

The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practice and addresses core competencies to enrich the practice of physical therapy. All courses are held online, both synchronously and asynchronously.

Core Courses (2 credits each) - View Course Descriptions

  • PT 504 Physical Therapist Teaching Methods*
  • PT 505 Clinical Decision Making
  • PT 508 Medical Screening
  • PT 547 Health Promotion and Wellness
  • PT 555 Pharmacology
  • PT 556 Diagnostic Imaging
  • PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues*
  • PT 702 Case Analysis

Clinical Practice Series (Choose one of the following)*

  • PT 705 Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • PT 706 Neurological Physical Therapy
  • PT 707 Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy

* Courses for which a waiver is possible

Course Waiver Criteria

Course waiver requests are evaluated on the following detailed criteria via portfolio review. Note: the course waiver is not guaranteed.

A waiver for PT 504 Physical Therapist Teaching Methods requires Portfolio Elements that provide evidence of the following:

  • The ability to write educational objectives
  • The ability to develop physical therapy-related course content
  • The ability to use PowerPoint or equivalent presentation technology
  • Peer or student evaluations of teaching effectiveness
  • The ability to write test questions related to the content or some equivalent assessment of learning

A waiver for PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues requires that prior coursework must be at the graduate level, and completed within the last seven years at time of matriculation. The student must submit the following:

  • Course description
  • Course syllabus
  • Written documentation of content

A waiver for a course in the Clinical Practice Series (PT 705 Orthopedic Physical Therapy; PT 706 Neurologic Physical Therapy; PT 707 Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy) requires APTA Clinical Specialist Certification or prior post- professional coursework that may either be university-based or continuing education and total at least 42 contact hours in a particular specialty area. The student must submit the following:

  • Course description
  • Course syllabus
  • Written documentation of content

Course Schedule

Spring 2014
  • PT505 Clinical Decision Making, Jan. 13 – February 28
  • PT508 Medical Screening, Mar. 10 – Apr. 25

Summer 2014

  • PT504 Teaching Methods, May 5 – June 20
  • PT656 Neuromuscular Tissues OL1, May 5 – June 20
  • PT547 Health Promotion, June 30 – Aug.15

Fall 2014

  • PT556 Diagnostic Imaging, Aug. 25 – Oct. 10
  • PT555 Pharmacology, Oct. 20 – Dec. 5

 Additional Course Offerings

  • PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues – Offered every semester as an independent study
  • PT 702 Case Analysis – Offered every semester 


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