Physical Therapy — D.P.T. (Entry Level)

Program director
Lawrence E. Chinnock

Academic coordinator of clinical education
Theresa Joseph

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree is for individuals who have no previous degree in physical therapy or who have an associate degree in the field of physical therapy. The D.P.T. degree curriculum is three years in length. Individuals may enter the program with or without a bachelor's degree. Those who enter with a previous bachelor's degree will be granted the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree upon completion of the curriculum. Individuals who enter the program without a previous bachelor's degree will be granted a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree upon completion of the curriculum.  [Students entering the program in June 2018 will be required to have an earned bachelor's degree, in any area, from a regionally accredited institution prior to starting the program.]

Clinical experience

Supervised experience is obtained in a variety of settings and at different times during the course of study. First-year students complete a two-week practicum assignment during the Spring Quarter. Second-year students complete a four-week assignment following Spring Quarter. The major clinical assignments are during the third year. The student will be assigned a ten-week affiliation during the Summer Quarter, an eleven-week affiliation during the Winter Quarter, and a ten-week affiliation during the Spring Quarter.

All clinical assignments will be made by the academic coordinator of clinical education or a designee. Because of the limited number of local facilities available, assignments cannot be made on the basis of the student's family/marital status or personal preference. Although the department makes an effort to accommodate the student's preference, the student agrees to accept the clinical assignments made by the department at any of the affiliated facilities, whether local or out of state.  Students should expect that at least one rotation will be beyond commuting distance from Loma Linda University. Many clinical sites will require the student to have a current flu vaccine if the rotation is during the "flu season."  Students need  to be aware of this potential requirement before enrolling in the D.P.T. degree program. 

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of the degree, graduates should be qualified to demonstrate:

  • Entry-level knowledge and clinical skills appropriate for safe and effective physical therapy practice.
  • Multicultural competence, i.e., compassion and respect during interactions with individuals from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Clinical reasoning evidenced by the ability to think critically and integrate evidence-based practice into their clinical decision-making skill set.
  • Awareness and application of the ethical and legal parameters surrounding the profession of physical therapy.
  • Understanding of evidence-based clinical care utilizing collaborative relationships among the patient, physical therapist, and other health-care practitioners.
  • Effective verbal and nonverbal communication with instructors, classmates, and clinical personnel as needed to work effectively as a member of a health-care team.

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Loma Linda 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: accreditation@apta.org; website: <http://www.capteonline.org>.

Admission is based on a selective process. Criteria used include: G.P.A., completion of subject requirements, interview, and recommendations. In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • a minimum G.P.A. of 3.4.
  • a minimum of 138 quarter units (92 semester units) at a regionally accredited college or university. The minimum subject admission requirements are listed below. Note: Grades of C- and below are not transferable for credit.  Individuals who already have an earned bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution need to complete only the prerequisites denoted with two asterisks (**).
  • Work/observation experience—A minimum of 80 hours of work /observation experience is required prior to beginning the degree. Of the 80 hours, a minimum of 20 hours must be in an inpatient physical therapy setting and a minimum of 20 hours must be in an outpatient physical therapy setting.

Domain 1: Religion and Humanities (24 quarter/16 semester units, minimum)

Humanities (12 quarter/8 semester units minimum)

Credits in humanities must be selected from at least three of the following content areas, and one course must be at the upper division level.

Civilization/History
Fine arts
Literature
Modern language
Philosophy
Performing/Visual arts (not to exceed 4 quarter units)

Religion

An applicant who has attended a Seventh-day Adventist college or university is required to have taken 4 quarter units of religion from an Adventist institution for each full year of attendance at an Adventist college or university. Up to 12 quarter units may apply towards the 24 units required in Domain 1. If the applicant has not attended an Adventist institution, no religion units are required. In either case, however, the applicant must have completed 24 quarter/16 semester units in Domain 1: Humanities and Religion.

Domain 2: Scientific Inquiry and Analysis

Natural Sciences

** Human anatomy and physiology, complete sequence with laboratory

** General chemistry, complete sequence with laboratory

** General physics, complete sequence with laboratory

** Two additional biological science courses (e.g. cell biology, microbiology, upper division anatomy and/or physiology)

** Statistics

 ** Medical terminology

Social Sciences (12 quarter/8 semester units, minimum)

The study of social sciences must include at least one upper division course:

** General psychology

** Human growth and development

Domain 3: Communication (9 quarter/6 semester units, minimum)

English composition, complete sequence (must meet transfer requirements to four-year college or university)

** One course in basic communication skills (speech)

Domain 4: Health and Wellness (3 quarter/2 semester units, minimum)

Physical education (two physical activity courses)
Personal health education or nutrition course

Domain 5: Electives

To meet total requirements of 138 quarter/92 semester units

Students must have a minimum of 18 quarter/12 semester units of upper division course work.

No more than 105 quarter/70 semester units may be transferred from a community college.

**

Individuals who already have an earned bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution need to complete only the prerequisites denoted with two asterisks (**).

Technology requirement

Students are required to have a lap top computer or an iPad that can be brought to class with them as the majority of quizzes and test are completed on the device.  A $60 technology fee is charged in years one and two.

Prerequisite changes for individuals entering the program in June 2018:

All applicants must have an earned bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution prior to enrolling in the program.  In addition to having a bachelor's degree, the prerequisites for all applicants will be:

Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory (complete sequence)

General chemistry with laboratory (complete sequence)

General physics with laboratory (complete sequence)

Statistics

Two additional biological science courses (e.g. cell biology, microbiology, upper division anatomy and/or physiology)

Medical terminology

General psychology

Human growth and development

One course in oral communication skills

A minimum of 80 hours of work /observation experience is required prior to beginning the degree. Of the 80 hours, a minimum of 20 hours must be in an inpatient physical therapy setting and a minimum of 20 hours must be in an outpatient physical therapy setting.

First Year
Summer QuarterUnits
AHCJ 510Human Gross Anatomy9
PHTH 510Kinesiology3
PHTH 514Manual Muscle Testing3
RELR 709Christian Perspectives on Death and Dying2
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 560Physiology4
AHCJ 561Neuroscience I: Neuroanatomy4
AHCJ 705Infectious Disease and the Health Care Provider1
AHCJ 721Wholeness Portfolio I0
PHTH 509Physical Therapy Modalities3
PHTH 513Therapeutic Procedures3
PHTH 563Scientific Inquiry I2
RELT 718Adventist Heritage and Health2
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 538Histology3
AHCJ 542Pathology I4
AHCJ 562Neuroscience II: Neurophysiology3
AHCJ 721Wholeness Portfolio I0
PHTH 527Scientific Foundations for Therapeutic Exercise2
PHTH 528Therapeutic Exercise I2
PHTH 557Life Span Studies I: Infant through Adolescent3
PHTH 564AScientific Inquiry IIA1
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 543Pathology II3
AHCJ 563Neuroscience III: Clinical Neurology2
AHCJ 721Wholeness Portfolio I1
PHTH 506Exercise Physiology3
PHTH 508PT Communication and Documentation2
PHTH 519Locomotion Studies3
PHTH 521AOrthopaedics 1A3
PHTH 564BScientific Inquiry IIB1
PHTH 571Physical Therapy Practicum I1
Second Year
Summer Quarter
AHCJ 524Pharmacology2
PHTH 511Clinical Orthopaedics2
PHTH 512Clinical Psychiatry2
PHTH 526ACardiopulmonary I2
RELT 740World Religions and Human Health3
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 516Clinical Imaging3
AHCJ 722Wholeness Portfolio II0
PHTH 501Neurology I2
PHTH 521BOrthopaedics 1B3
PHTH 525General Medicine3
PHTH 526BCardiopulmonary II2
PHTH 530Therapeutic Exercise II3
PHTH 575Orthopaedics IV0
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 722Wholeness Portfolio II0
PHTH 502Neurology II3
PHTH 518Aspects of Health Promotion2
PHTH 522Orthopaedics II3
PHTH 534Soft Tissue Techniques2
PHTH 540Concepts of Acute Care2
PHTH 558Life Span Studies II: Developmental Disabilities3
PHTH 575Orthopaedics IV0
RELE 707Ethics for Allied Health Professionals2
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 722Wholeness Portfolio II1
PHTH 503Neurology III3
PHTH 517Movement Science2
PHTH 523Orthopaedics III3
PHTH 555Differential Diagnosis2
PHTH 559Life Span Studies III: Geriatrics2
PHTH 561Physical Therapy Administration4
PHTH 575Orthopaedics IV1
Third Year
Summer Quarter
PHTH 572Physical Therapy Practicum II2
PHTH 701APhysical Therapy Affiliation IA4
Autumn Quarter
PHTH 567Pain Science2
PHTH 701BPhysical Therapy Affiliation IB1
PHTH 731Advanced Orthopaedic Studies3
PHTH 732Advanced Neurologic Studies3
PHTH 733Advanced General Medicine Studies3
Winter Quarter
PHTH 702Physical Therapy Affiliation II5
Spring Quarter
PHTH 703Physical Therapy Affiliation III5
 Total Units: 163

Normal time to complete the program

3 years (12 academic quarters) — full-time enrollment required