The Physical Therapy program at Georgia Southern University is a full-time doctoral program and is offered at the Armstrong Campus in Savannah. There are 36 students admitted to each class. The program consists of nine semesters of academic coursework, including three full-time clinical affiliations (with a minimum of 31 weeks of full-time clinical practice) and several additional clinical experiences. Upon completion of the program, all students are awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All program graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for state licensure in all jurisdictions.
The professional curriculum consists of two phases: “systems” and “life span”. Courses introduced during the first year use a systems approach with cases in musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, neuromuscular and integumentary physical therapy. As closely as possible, courses are coordinated so that students are instructed in the anatomy, pathology and diagnosis related to specific joints or systems of the body at the same time. During the third semester, students are given the opportunity to practice and integrate their professional skills in a simulated clinic course, Case Management. (Use of this experiential learning technique has been presented at international meetings.) Following the completion of the first year, students have an 8-week full-time clinical experience, allowing them to further solidify and integrate the classroom material in a clinical setting.
During the second year and early third year of study, students explore practice topics in greater depth within the context of a life span approach, covering content from diseases of children to impairments associated with aging. These advanced courses are followed by two final full-time 11-week clinical experiences, with a return to campus for final coursework at the end of the program.
The curriculum is further integrated by team teaching, a feature of several of the courses. Besides providing linkages between courses, this enables the faculty to serve as role models for the advantages associated with working together as a team.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703.706.3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website:http://www.capteonline.org
Currently the program consists of 11 full-time faculty and several adjunct faculty members. All are licensed to practice within the state of Georgia.
Of the 82 students admitted to the Classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017, 78 students (95.1%) graduated and 100% were employed within three (3) months of licensure. Over the same time period, 98.7% of graduates passed the licensure examination (NPTE), 98.8% on the first attempt.