Post-Professional Transitional Program for
International Physical Therapists
Faculty | Admission | Tuition and Costs | Requirements | Schedule
- Courses are fully online.
- The program can be completed in two to three years.
- A minimum of 18 credits is required of all students. (The typical range is 18-22 credits.)
- The program is affordable and competitively priced.
- Students network and connect with nationally recognized faculty and peers.
- Students are permitted to take three courses before formal application and matriculation. Acceptance into a course does not guarantee admission.
- Arcadia University's Physical Therapy program is ranked in the top 15 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
The profession and practice of physical therapy in the United States is changing rapidly. Almost all physical therapist education programs in the United States are currently at the doctoral level, and post-graduate programs, such as fellowships and residencies, are growing rapidly.
Offered completely online, this program gives foreign-educated clinicians easy access to make their level of education and practice more congruent with physical therapists practicing in the United States. 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 theories.
- Communicate professionally through scientific writing.
- Function as an effective teacher at multiple levels—with patients, students, peers, and consumers.
- Use skills required to be an independent and lifelong learners.
This is a degree program for foreign-educated physical therapists who are currently licensed in the United States. The program is highly interactive and capitalizes on the wealth of knowledge clinicians bring with them.
Register for a Course | Apply for Admission
Students are permitted to take three 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:
- Proof of graduation (official transcript) from a government-recognized physical therapist degree program with a GPA of 2.75 or better
- International applicants should visit www.arcadia.edu/international for detailed information on admission requirements and application procedures. Official results from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for all students for whom English is a second language or who have not earned degrees or diplomas from post-secondary institutions in English-speaking countries (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand)
- Portfolio submission to include:
- Official transcript from all physical therapist programs attended
- Detailed course descriptions and/or syllabi for the years enrolled
- Educational Credentialing Report from a recognized agency in the US
- Current professional license in US jurisdiction
- Three written recommendations (professional or academic)
- Brief essay articulating goals for Post-Professional DPT study program
- Basic computer skills including use of the internet and email
- Computer system requirements
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 Academic Policies
Tuition and Costs
- 2014-15: $800/credit: Students entering program prior to Fall 2014
- Students entering the program in 2014-2015: $11,000 total for entire program, billed over 6 equal installments of $1,833/semester.
- Prior to matriculation, students will be charged per credit, which will be applied to the $11,000 tuition total upon matriculation.
- All students may choose to be billed on a course-by-course basis at the current cost/credit fee.
The program curriculum is 18-22 credits. A minimum of 18 credits is needed. Credit waivers are available for up to 6 courses (12 credits) based on a student’s prior educational and professional experiences as demonstrated in a portfolio. (A portfolio review charge of $200 will be applied to review material submitted for consideration of course waivers.)
Students may start in any semester. Three courses, PT 503 Ethics and Law, PT 528 Health Care in the US, and PT 505/515 Clinical Decision Making, must be completed successfully with a GPA average of 3.0 in order to achieve matriculation into the program. After successful completion of these three courses there is no required course sequence.
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)
See Course Descriptions for more information about each course.
- PT 503 Ethics and Law
- PT 504 Teaching Methods*
- PT 508 Medical Screening
- PT 515 Clinical Decision Making for International Physical Therapists†
- PT 528 Health Care Systems
- PT 547 Health Promotions and Wellness
- PT 555 Pharmacology
- PT 556 Diagnostic Imaging*
- PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues and Motor Control
- PT 702 Case Analysis
- PT 705 Orthopedic Physical Therapy*
- PT 706 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy*
- PT 707 Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy*
- PT 708 Integumentary Physical Therapy*
† All matriculated students must begin with these two courses. Enrollment in a course does not guarantee admission to the program.
* Courses that may be waived based on Portfolio Assessment (See details below.)
Course Waiver Criteria
Course waiver requests are evaluated on the following detailed criteria via portfolio review. 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 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
- PT 503 Ethics and Law, August 25 - October 10
- PT 556 Diagnostic Imaging, August 25 – October 10
- PT 528 Health Care in the US, October 20-December 5
- PT 555 Pharmacology, October 20 – December 5
- PT 505/515 Clinical Decision Making, January 12 – February 27
- PT 508 Medical Screening, March 9 – April 24
Courses Offered Every Semester
- PT 504 Teaching and Learning, May 4 –June 19
- PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues OL1, May 4 – June 19
- PT 547 Health Promotion, June 29 – August 14
- PT 656 Neuromuscular Tissues (independent study)
- PT 702 Case Analysis
For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of our students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.arcadia.edu/gainful.