Jun 27, 2022  
2020-2021 Academic Bulletin 
2020-2021 Academic Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy DScPT (Distance Education)

The Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) degree represents the highest clinical specialty doctorate in the world.  This unique degree is designed to enhance the skills of practicing physical therapists.  Respecting the importance of fundamental principles of orthopaedic manual therapy, each graduate will be recognized as a Certified Manual Physical Therapist (CMPT) through our partner, the North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT).

In addition to the CMPT the student will choose a concentration in Women’s Health or Orthopaedic Manual Therapy. The Women’s Health concentration prepares the student to meet the underserved, complex physical therapy needs of women. The Orthopaedic Manual Therapy concentration will gain the designation of COMT (Certified Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapist). A dual concentration is also available.

Our partnership with NAIOMT provides students the opportunity to pair the DScPT degree with the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) accredited and American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) recognized Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy program offered by NAIOMT. 

For the student who already possesses a DPT degree from a CAPTE accredited program and a FAAOMPT or manual therapy certification from another approved institution the DScPT degree is available without a concentration.  

The DScPT is an advanced degree uniquely designed to cater to the needs of bachelors, masters, or doctoral trained physical therapists. The curriculum is feasible for full-time or part-time students, allowing flexibility to meet each individual’s work/life balance needs. The program can be paced from 3 to 7 years. Graduates of the DScPT program are primed for teaching in a University setting, contributing to scholarly research, as well as leading the profession in evidence based clinical practice.

The DScPT program offers three tracks:

  • Track 1: DPT with FAAOMPT/Manual Therapy Certification to DScPT (35 credits)
  • Track 2: BS/Master’s to DScPT (64 credits)
  • Track 3: DPT to DScPT (45 credits)

Delivery: The program is a combination of didactic and supervised clinical experience, using a blend of interactive online courses, intensive hands-on short courses and clinical practice hours. This program is delivered mostly in an interactive online format, with some required on-campus intensives (see School of Distance Education  definitions). The format of this degree program, the distinguished faculty and the diverse background and practice of the students provides a rich experience and outstanding opportunity to flourish as master clinicians.

Total Credits - 35-64

Tracks - 16-45

Selected at the time of admission based on your a student’s educational background.

Track 1: DPT with FAAOMPT or Manual Therapy Certification to DScPT - 16

Track 1 is for students with a DPT degree who already have FAAOMPT or manual therapy certification from another approved institution.

Track 2: BS/Master’s to DScPT - 45

Track 2 is for students with a BS or Master’s degree.

Track 3: DPT to DScPT - 26

Track 3 is for students with a DPT degree.


Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Concentration

This concentration prepares the student to gain advanced skills in advanced manual therapy techniques. Students in Tracks 2 or 3 can choose this concentration.

Women’s Health Concentration

This concentration prepares the student to meet the underserved, complex physical therapy needs of women. Students in Tracks 1, 2 or 3 can choose this concentration.

Additional Requirements

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
  • No grade lower than “C” (2.00) in any course.
  • A minimum of 80% of credits must be taken at regular tuition for degree conferral.
  • Level II certification through NAIOMT or equivalent certification from another approved program. Completed by registering for and passing  
  • For candidates completing the Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Concentration: Level III/IV Manual Therapy Certification through NAIOMT or equivalent certification from another approved program. Completed by registering for and passing  .    (3 credit) must be concentrated in advanced manual therapy skills.   (6 credits) must be focused on an area of orthopaedic manual therapy
  • For candidates completing the Women’s Health Concentration:   (1 credit) must be concentrated in women’s health (for example clients with a diagnosis of obstetrical trauma/pregnancy/Post-Partum, Urinary Incontinence, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Gastrointestinal, Breast Cancer, Gynecologic Cancers, Pelvic Pain ).   (6 credits) must be focused on an area of women’s health
  • Successful completion of the dissertation project and presentation.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Graduate exit survey.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have graduated from an approved school of physical therapy and be licensed to practice physical therapy in United States or Canada.
  • Applicants must have the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.  Applicants with a bachelor’s degree must have a minimum of two years of experience working in an orthopedic setting as a physical therapist prior to applying.
  • Applicants must submit graduate application and all the required components
    • Applicants must submit an original copy of all academic transcripts from any institution where classes were taken.  In addition, if the transcripts are not written in English, a copy in the original language as well as the English translation are required.
    • Applicants must submit a copy of physical therapy license.  If license is not in English a translated copy must be submitted as well.
    • Applicants must submit a minimum of three satisfactory recommendations: one from a currently practicing physical therapist, one from a medical doctor or supervisor, and one from another person familiar with the candidate.
    • For U.S. and Canadian trained candidates holding only a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, completion and submission of the APTA Physical Therapy Evaluation Tool (PTET) proving competency towards an entry-level master’s degree in physical therapy is required.
    • English Proficiency - Applicants whose language of education is not English must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 80 or 6.5 on the IELTS.
  • Applicants for the Women’s Health concentration: Prior learning is required in the following content areas:
    • Basic anatomy, physiology, evaluation, and intervention for urogenital and colorectal conditions (including prolapse).
    • Pelvic pain (neurological, musculoskeletal, and centrally-mediated) and basic female sexual function.
    • Satisfactory completion of content areas include prior training and certification or certificate of completion and lab skills checklist in one or more of the following categories:
      • Herman &Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute : Level 1, 2a and 2b
      • APTA/Section On Women’s Health: Pelvic 1 and 2
      • Other courses with similar content upon approval of admissions committee
      • Portfolio review with rubric if greater than 1,500 clinical hours in women’s health.If less, above courses will be required.(Must include a statement or letter speaking to skill competence from a colleague or a supervisor)
      • Practical examination utilized if necessary.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the DScPT Program will:

  1. Possess the critical inquiry skills necessary to evaluate professional knowledge and competencies in relation to evidence-based physical therapy practice
  2. Be an active contributor to the body of knowledge regarding evidenced base practice, clinical research and/or publishable quality case studies.
  3. Function as a direct access provider of physical therapy care with advanced clinical skills.
  4. Possess the leadership skills necessary to serve as a leader in their physical therapy academic and/or practice setting, and community healthcare network.
  5. Value the capabilities of other health care providers and possess the critical thinking skills necessary to determine the need for referral to those individuals.
  6. Participate in the advancement of physical therapy at the community, state or national level.
  7. DScPT graduates with a concentration in Orthopaedic will also:
    • Attain nationally recognized certification in orthopedic manual and manipulative physical therapy
    • Be prepared to serve as an orthopedic clinical specialist in their physical therapy practice setting and community healthcare network as well as faculty in entry-level physical therapist education programs.
  8. DScPT graduates with a concentration in Women’s Health will also:
    • Serve as a women’s health clinical specialist and/or women’s health clinical specialist educator in their physical therapy practice setting, community healthcare network, global healthcare community, and in entry-level physical therapist programs.
    • Demonstrate and execute leadership in women’s health within organizations and institutions, including identifying and strategically addressing individual and population level women’s health needs.