Physical Therapy (DPT) Curriculum
All physical therapy courses are limited to physical therapy students unless permission is obtained from the program director.
Chatham’s entry-level physical therapy program supports and enhances the University’s mission to educate its graduates to become leaders in their careers and to serve society. The program strives to educate competent physical therapists qualified to practice autonomously and within the interdisciplinary health care team in diverse health care settings. It seeks to advance the student’s knowledge and skills by promoting the value of evidence-based practice and encourages service to a variety of communities through active involvement in service-oriented programs. Through this unique program, Chatham seeks to provide an academic community in which all participants exhibit a commitment to excellence in clinical practice, service to the profession and larger community, and lifelong learning.
Designed to prepare graduates to serve as generalists, the curriculum stresses clinical decision making through the study of patient problems typically encountered in the clinical setting. Normal structure and function provide a basis for the study of disease processes and prevention, and the effect of pathology and impairments on function and quality of life. The modified problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum presents the clinical arts and science of physical therapy in an integrated manner organized around body systems.
Chatham University offers a DPT degree upon successful completion of seven terms of study. Candidates follow a sequence of courses that includes 36 weeks of clinical field placements.
+ Degree Requirements
105 credits, including:
BIO502 Human Gross Anatomy
An in-depth study of gross human anatomic structure, emphasizing the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems through study of head and neck, body wall, and upper and lower extremity structures. Clinical correlates examine normal movement and pathological processes. Four hours of class and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.
6 BIO502L Lab: Human Gross Anatomy 0 BIO504 Human Physiology
An in-depth study of the mechanisms of human body function, emphasizing cells, genetic control of protein synthesis, transport across membranes, contraction and excitation of muscles, the phsiology of cardiac muscle, and rhthmical excitation of the normal heart.
3 BIO506 Principles of Neuroscience
A study of the structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous system, including vascular components and special senses. The course emphasizes nervous system control of movement. Three hours of class per week. Prerequisite(s): BIO502 & BIO503 or permission of instructor. Corequisite(s): BIO506L
3 PTH700 Introduction to Clinical Skills
This course provides an introduction to physical therapy clinical skills with an emphasis on basic assessment and intervention procedures, along with surface anatomy palpation. Principles relating to these foundational techniques will be introduced via lecture and laboratory experiences. The techniques will be applied in future courses in increasingly complex patient problems and diagnoses.
2 PTH701 Foundations of Movement Science I
An in-depth analysis of normal and abnormal human motion with an emphasis on biomechanics, gait, patterns of motion and mechanisms that affect or limit movement. Principles of the physical therapy diagnostic process, along with therapeutic techniques, procedures, and modalities will be introduced. Prerequisite(s): BIO 502 and BIO 504.
7 PTH702 Foundations of Movement Science II
This course includes advanced study and application of current theories of motor control, motor learning, and motor development, including basic premises, clinical implications, and limitations of each model. The use of this information to guide the examination of children and adults with neuromuscular dysfunction is explored. Prerequisite(s): BIO 506 and PTH 701.
2 PTH703 Management of Musculoskeletal Systems Dysfunction
This course will provide in-depth preparation required to perform the examination, evaluation, and management of musculoskeletal conditions commonly encountered in physical therapy practice. The course includes the physical therapy diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and development of evidence-based physical therapy plans of care. Prerequisite(s): PTH 700, PTH 701, BIO 502 and BIO 504.
11 PTH704 Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology
Students will learn the basic principles of exercise physiology utilizing a firm understanding of both anatomy and physiology. These principles stem from how the human body's normal structure and physiological functioning alters with physical activity. Understanding these adaptations is critical to the understanding of the physiological demands of rehabilitation programs. Prerequisites(s): BIO 504
2 PTH707 Management of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary System Dysfunction
This course provides didactic, laboratory and problem-based learning experiences in the examination, evaluation and treatment of patients with primary and secondary cardiac, vascular and/or pulmonary dysfunction. Content ranges from the development of individualized, scientifically-based fitness/wellness programs to the management of patients across the lifespan with a wide spectrum of acute illnesses and/or chronic conditions. Prerequisite(s): PTH 703, PTH 730 and PTH 731.
7 PTH708 Management of Pediatric Neuromuscular System Dysfunction
This problem-based course will provide in-depth information on the examination, evaluation, and management of pediatric neuromusculoskeletal system dysfunction from birth through adolescence and young adulthood. Students will build upon concepts of normal development, motor control, and motor learning to develop a theoretical framework for addressing the physical therapy needs of children. Prerequisite(s): PTH 702 and PTH 707.
4 PTH709 Management of Neuromuscular System Dysfunction
This problem-based course explores the prevention, evaluation and management of neuromuscular system dysfunction throughout the adult life span. Students will build upon concepts from all previous courses to gain a comprehensive understanding of the multiple complex problems seen in patients with neurologic diagnoses. Prerequisite(s): PTH 702, PTH 703, and PTH 707.
9 PTH713 Management of Multi-System Dysfunction
This problem-based learning course emphasizes the physical therapy management of complex patients across the lifespan who present with pathology affecting multiple body systems. Students utilize advanced clinical decision-making skills to evaluate and prioritize interventions. Laboratory and problem-based learning experiences focus on educating and directing patients, families and other providers is included. Prerequisite(s): PTH 709 and PTH 733.
3 PTH722 Research I
The purpose of this course is to offer students the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills that are essential to the critical evaluation of the medical literature and the application of research to the practice of physical therapy. Prerequisite(s): PTH 700, PTH 701, PTH 702, PTH 703, PTH 709, PTH 737, PTH 741, and PTH 742.
3 PTH724 Research II
The purpose of this course is to offer students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills that are essential to the critical evaluation of the medical literature and the application of research to the practice of physical therapy. Prerequisite(s): PTH 722.
2 PTH730 Clinical Experience I-A
The first part of this ten-week, full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of musculoskeletal system coursework. Students will be placed in outpatient facilities or general hospitals with an expectation that students, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, will primarily evaluate and treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements.
3 PTH731 Clinical Expereience I-B
The second part of this ten-week, full-time experience is scheduled at the completion of musculoskeletal system coursework. Students will be placed in outpatient facilities or general hospitals with an expectation that students, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, will primarily evaluate and treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements.
4 PTH733 Clinical Experience II
A ten (10) week full-time experience scheduled at the completion of study of didactic and laboratory course work. Students will generally be placed in acute care, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing, pediatric, sub-acute, outpatient, or home health settings. Students will, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, primarily evaluate and treat patients with cardio/pulmonary and neurological conditions. Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements.
7 PTH735 Clinical Experience III
A sixteen (16) week full-time experience completed at the conclusion of didactic and laboratory course work. Student is assigned to an area of academic need and/or interest. During this experience the student will continue to develop competency in his/her entry-level professional physical therapy skills, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. An alternative to this course is the combination of PTH 746 Clinical Experience IV (8 weeks) and PTH 747 Clinical Experience V (8 weeks). Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements.
12 PTH746 Clinical Experience IV
An eight-week, full-time experience in combination with PTH 747 Clinical Experience V (eight weeks) completed at the conclusion of didactic and laboratory course work. During this experience, the student will continue to develop competency in his or her entry-level professional physical therapy skills, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. An alternative to this course in combination with PTH 747 Clinical Experience V is PTH 735 Clinical Experience III (16 weeks). Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements.
6 PTH747 Clinical Experience V
An eight-week, full-time experience in combination with PTH 746 Clinical Experience IV completed at the conclusion of didactic and laboratory course work. During this experience, the student will continue to develop competency in his or her entry-level professional physical therapy skills. An alternative to this course in combination with PTH 746 Clinical Experience IV is PTH 735 Clinical Experience III (16 weeks). Prerequisite(s): Satisfactory completion of all previous academic requirements.
6 PTH737 Correlative Neuroscience
This course uses a seminar format to reinforce and make relevant to the practice of physical therapy content learned in BIO 506. The student identifies and analyzes functional problems related to neurological insult. Case study analysis and presentation are used for clinical application. Prerequisite(s): PTH 700 and BIO 502; Co-requisites: BIO 506 and PTH 701.
1 PTH741 Principles of Practice I: Intro to PT Practice
This course introduces the novice professional student to the roles of the physical therapist as: a professional; a communicator; and as a scholar. There is a heavy emphasis on patient-practitioner communication skills, especially during the patient interview. Fundamentals of evidence-based practice help students embrace the role of scholarly clinician.
3 PTH742 Principles of Practice II: Communication and Ethics
Communication and Ethics enhances basics concepts learned in PTH 741 related to evidence-based practice, ethics and communication while introducing new concepts of health behavior and the current healthcare environment for application throughout the physical therapy curriculum. Prerequisite(s): PTH 741.
3 PTH743 P.P. III: Integration of Psychosocial Issues and Social Responsibility
This course is an integrated synthesis of material learned in previous Principles of Practice courses with practical application into clinical education. Students preliminarily explore the integration of social responsibility and professionalism via community-based learning.
1 PTH744 Principles of Practice IV: Service Learning
This course is an integrated synthesis of material learned during previous POP courses. This course, guided by faculty and community service advisors, primarily evaluates the service learning project as it evolves over the past year. The evaluation will review the benefits of and obstacles to a meaningful learning experience. Students will discuss their contribution to the community agency and the population it serves, and will disseminate this to the Chatham physical therapy community through a group oral presentation. Pre-requisites: PTH741, 742, 743.
1 PTH745 Principles of Practice V: Health Care Delivery, Management, & Policy
Principles of Practice V integrates the principles of health care delivery, management, policy and leadership within the physical therapy profession. Prerequisite(s): PTH 741, PTH 742, PTH 743, and PTH 744.
3 PTH748 Research III: Evidence in Practice
This course provides the student with the opportunity to integrate previous curricular topics related to evidence based practice. Students develop and complete a presentation of the systematic review completed in PTH 724. Students also select and answer a clinical question based on experiences on clinical internships.