College of Health Sciences

Physical Therapy (T.D.P.T.)

College of Health Sciences

Colleges / Schools

Physical Therapy

Departments

Doctorate

Program Types

About the Transitional D.P.T. Program

  • All post-professional D.P.T. courses are 2-credit, fully online courses with both synchronous and asynchronous components..
  • The program can be completed in one to three years, or one and half to three years for the internationally educated.
  • Pricing schedule makes the program affordable and competitive.
  • Students can start any semester, and most courses can be taken in any sequence.
  • Course waivers, based on experience documented in a portfolio, are possible for up to 6 credits.
  • Students network and interact with nationally recognized faculty and peers.
  • Students can take two courses before formal application and matriculation.
  • Arcadia’s Physical Therapy program is ranked among the top 10 percent of accredited programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The profession and practice of physical therapy is rapidly changing. The demands imposed upon a physical therapist today are very different from those of even five or 10 years ago. These demands often go beyond the formal education provided in more traditional entry-level programs. Therapists increasingly are required to justify their practice patterns based on research evidence, to take on consulting and supervisory roles, and to provide administrative expertise and leadership.

Offered completely online, this program gives practicing clinicians easy access to make their formal education congruent with students graduating from entry-level DPT programs. The program’s goal is to educate clinicians to 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 using evidence.
  • Critically evaluate current literature and popular theories.
  • Communicate professionally through scientific writing.
  • Function as an effective teacher at multiple levels—with patients, students, peers, and the public.
  • Lead others and advocate effectively (serve as a consultant or manager).
  • Enhance skills required to be a lifelong independent learner.

This is a program for practicing professionals who want to learn from and interact with nationally recognized faculty and exceptional peers. The program is highly interactive and capitalizes on the wealth of knowledge clinicians bring with them.
 

Degree Requirements

VIEW REQUIREMENTS

Admission Requirements

  • Therapists educated in the United States can take two courses before formal application and acceptance into the TDPT program, while foreign-educated therapists may take up to three courses to satisfy credentialing deficits. Acceptance into a course does not guarantee admission into the program.

REGISTER FOR COURSES PRIOR TO ADMISSION

Application Process

US-educated therapists must complete a graduate application at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp and include the following items:

  1. Proof of graduation (official transcript) from a physical therapist degree program accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education (currently CAPTE) with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. Current license to practice physical therapy in the United States 
  3. Three written recommendations (professional or academic, such as an employer, manager, coworker, colleague, professor, etc. Please note: friends are not acceptable references.)
  4. Brief essay articulating goals for D.P.T. study.

Foreign-educated therapists must complete a graduate application at www.arcadia.edu/gradapp and include the following items:

  1. Current license, registration, or equivalent to practice physical therapy
    • If licensed to practice in the US, submit a copy of your license and an official PT credentialing report from an agency approved by the Federated State Boards of Physical Therapy.  Approved agencies include the following: FCCPT, CGFNS, ICD, ICA, UTA, IERF see list here:
    • If licensed to practice outside the US, submit a notarized copy of your license (or equivalent) and an official GPA report (e.g., World Education Service or Education Credential Evaluator) verifying a minimum GPA.     
  2. Official transcript indicating that the applicant has earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from an accredited or government recognized physical therapist degree program with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  3. Official transcripts from any U.S. college or university attended
  4. Three written recommendations (professional or academic)
  5. Brief essay articulating goals for D.P.T. study
  6. Official TOEFL (minimum 80 overall; minimum 21 for writing, 18 for all other sections) or IELTS (minimum 6.5 Band score, no individual score below 5.5). 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).

In addition, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Possess basic computer skills including Internet and email
  2. Have access to a computer system that meets the requirements described here: https://www.arcadia.edu/arcadia-online-student-computer-requirements
  3. Complete an online plagiarism training module and submit a certificate of completion prior to beginning their first class. Complete instructions will be communicated at the time of acceptance into the program or registration for a course.
Please note, as an International Student in the TDPT program:
  • We will not issue an I-20.
  • While the courses in our TDPT program may help in fulfilling educational deficits, the program does not directly qualify you for U.S. PT licensure. All foreign-educated PTs must follow the steps listed on the following website:  FSBPT info on licensure
Formally Apply for Admission to the Transitional DPT Program

Apply Now

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, as explained in the Graduate Student Handbook

Withdrawing from Classes: Requests to withdraw from a class must be submitted to the Registrar and the program administrator by the withdraw deadline (end of the fourth week of classes for a seven-week class, end of the eighth week of classes for 15-week class). Requests submitted after this deadline will only be considered in extenuating circumstances. Students may withdraw from a maximum of two courses during the program.

Expenses for 2019-20

Prior to acceptance into the program, all students will be billed on a per-credit basis. The current tuition rate is $800/credit.  Each course in the curriculum is 2 credits. See www.arcadia.edu/gradtuition  

Upon matriculation into the program, students may choose one of two payment options:

  • They may continue to be billed on a per credit basis.
  • They may choose to be billed the package price for the entire program. Tuition paid for courses taken prior to matriculation will be credited to the student account.
    • The package price for students who are U.S.-educated therapists is $10,500*, billed over 6 equal installments of $1,750/semester (plus semester fees, see below).
    • The package price for foreign-educated therapists is $11,500*, billed over 6 equal installments of $1,917/semester (plus semester fees, see below).

* Program package prices will be effective for new matriculated students beginning with the Summer 2019 term.

Fees
  • Application: $25
  • Registration: approximately $50 per semester, subject to change
  • Technology: approximately $100 per semester, subject to change
  • Portfolio Review (if course waiver is requested): $200
  • Additional expenses for textbooks and course materials will also apply.

Course Schedule

*New elective mini-courses (0.5 credits) will be offered in Spring, Session 1:  PT686A - Documentation and Delegation, PT686B - Wound Care, and PT686C - Community Reintegration.  (see below)
Spring 2020

Full semester (January 13 - April 24):

            PT702 Case Analysis

Session 1 (January 13 - February 28):

            PT505 Clinical Decision Making
            PT656 Neuromuscular Tissue and Motor Control
            PT706 Neurologic Physical Therapy

Session 2 (March 9 - April 24):

            PT528 Health Care Systems (foreign-trained PTs)
            PT508 Medical Screening
            PT547 Health Promotions
            PT708 Geriatric PT (prerequisite: PT505)

Summer 2020

Full semester (May 4 - August 14):

            PT702 Case Analysis

Session 1 (May 4 - June 19):

            PT503 Ethics and Law (foreign-trained PTs)
            PT504 Teaching Methods
            PT505 Clinical Decision Making
            PT556 Diagnostic Imaging
            PT656 Neuromuscular Tissue and Motor Control
            PT685 Pediatric PT (clinical practice series course)

Session 2 (June 29 - August 14):

            PT547 Health Promotions
            PT555 Pharmacology
            PT705 Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Fall 2020

Full semester (August 24 - December 4):

            PT702 Case Analysis

Session 1 (August 24 - October 9):

            PT503 Ethics and Law (foreign-trained PTs)
            PT504 Teaching Methods
            PT505 Clinical Decision Making
            PT556 Diagnostic Imaging

Session 2 (October 19 - December 4):

            PT528 Health Care Systems (foreign-trained PTs)
            PT508 Medical Screening
            PT555 Pharmacology
            PT705 Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

New! Elective Mini Courses

PT686A – Documentation and Delegation

This online, asynchronous course is designed to discuss the essential components of documentation to assist the physical therapist to create meaningful documentation that serves as an adjunct to clinical practice. A clinical reasoning process for how documentation is formed utilizing the Elements of the Physical Therapist Patient Management Model and International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model terminology is common throughout the lessons in this course. The principles guiding effective documentation and delegation of physical therapist practice to physical therapist assistants, aides and students will be discussed in the context of clinical scenarios that require self-reflection which will serve to facilitate the development of clinical-decision making skills. 

PT686B – Wound Care

This online, asynchronous course will discuss the role of physical therapy in the management of chronic dermal wounds.  Topics will include the anatomy and function of skin, the physiology of wound healing, and the assessment and management of wounds of differing etiologies, including pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and vascular ulcers.  Wound management principles will be discussed in the context of patient cases to facilitate the development of clinical decision making skills. 

PT686C – Community Reintegration

This online, asynchronous course will discuss the role of physical therapy in the reintegrating individuals with disabilities into the community.  Topics will include assessment of the home and work environment, assistive devices and environmental modifications to facilitate independence, workplace ergonomics and task assessment, adaptive task modification and proper body mechanics to allow task performance, accessibility standards for home and public environments, and community resources for reintegration.   These topics will be discussed in the context of patient cases to facilitate the development of clinical decision making skills. 

Please use the Register for a Course link to register.

Foreign-educated Physical Therapists (current students, alumni, and students not enrolled in our program) may take these courses for credentialing purposes. The cost is $400/course not including other applicable University fees.

Note: All TDPT students can take these elective mini-courses; however, these mini-courses are not included in the program package price. There will be an additional cost (listed above).

Please email TDPT@arcadia.edu for more information.

Transitional DPT Faculty

Director of Post-Professional Programs

Michael A. Tevald, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

Director of Education for International Physical Therapists

Kshamata Shah, PT, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Faculty
  • Joseph Adler, PT, DPT CCS., Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • William G. Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, DPT, FAAOMPT, FAPTA, Executive Vice President, Professional Affairs, American Physical Therapy Association Rehab Essentials Logo
  • Charles D. Ciccone, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Professor at Ithaca College  Rehab Essentials Logo
  • Chris Condran, PT, DPT, MBA-HCM, MS EP-C, CCS, Adjunct Professor
  • Rebecca L. Craik, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Professor and Dean, College of Health Sciences
  • Kristin Vamvas Day, PT, Ph.D., NCS, Adjunct Professor
  • Michael DiIenno, PT, DPT, CSCS, Adjunct Professor
  • Martha E. Eastlack, PT, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Entry-Level Physical Therapy Admissions
  • Daniel Goldstein, PT, DPT, OCS, Good Shepherd Penn Partners
  • Elliot Greenberg, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Alex Haddad, PT, DPT, OCS, Ph.D., Moss Rehabilitation Institute
  • Stephan Kareha, PT DPT, OCS, ATC, St. Luke's Physical Therapy
  • Shailesh Kantak, PT, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
  • Philip McClure, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Professor and Chair of Physical Therapy
  • Amy Miller, PT, D.P.T., Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of the Entry Level Curriculum
  • Kerstin Palombaro, PT, Ph.D., CAPS, Assistant Professor, Community Engagement Coordinator, Widener University
  • Christian Porter, PT, DPT, Pivot Physical Therapy
  • Daniel Safford, PT, DPT, MAT, OCS, CSCS, Good Shepherd Penn Partners
  • Kristin von Nieda, PT, M.Ed., DPT, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions About the TDPT Program

For All Prospective Students

Is the TDPT program online or on-campus? 

Our TDPT program is fully online; there is no requirement to be on campus. 

Do I need a Master’s degree to apply for the TDPT program? 

We accept students with entry-level PT education at the bachelor’s and/or master’s degree level. 

How many credits do I need to complete for the TDPT degree? 

The program is 18 credits for U.S.-educated therapists and 22 for foreign-trained PTs.  However, students may apply to waive up to 6 credits. The minimum number of credits required for degree completion are 12 credits for U.S.-trained therapists and 16 credits for foreign-trained PTs.  

Can I apply for a course waiver for any of the TDPT courses? 

Yes, for some courses. But, course waiver requests are evaluated on the specific portfolio review criteria (available when you are accepted to the program). You will be charged an additional fee for review of your portfolio. Please note that course waiver is not guaranteed.

Do you have special "track/degree of specialization" that you offer such as Orthopedics or Athletic Conditioning/Training? 

There is some elective coursework that you can take for orthopedic, cardiopulmonary or neurology (one out of these), but we do not offer a specific track at this point. Please check our website for updates. 

How long will it take to complete the program? 

It will take about one to three years, or one and a half to three years for internationally educated students, to complete the required coursework.

What are the application deadlines for the program? 

We have rolling admission; thus you may apply whenever you are ready. Review of the application may take up to 6 weeks. Further, most courses are 2 credits and run in 7 week units, so the wait time to start a course after registration may be 1–7 weeks. Since many of our courses run synchronously, you will only be able to register for courses that are offered in each semester. Visit the Schedule tab for details about the courses offered in each semester.

What is the course structure, i.e., do we have any exams or assignments only? Do we need to just view videos or is there formal class time? 

In general, every course is structured differently based on the content area that is taught. We use a variety of tools such as multiple choice questions, quizzes and self-reflection assignments to test students. Most classes also require synchronous (“live” class discussion) and asynchronous (discussion board) participation. We have many clinicians from the U.S. and around the world representing a vast amount of expertise you can all benefit and learn from. This program is based on principles of adult learning. Adult learning is a lot like what you do in your role as a clinical professional. You cannot learn passively any more than our patients can get stronger with passive exercise! 

Which degree will I be awarded on completion of the TDPT program? 

You will be awarded a “Doctor of Physical Therapy” degree when you graduate from the program. Words like “online”, “transitional” and/or “distance learning” are not included on the degree certificate.

What is the payment structure of the program? 

Visit the Expenses tab on the TDPT program site for details about expenses and payments. Cost of textbooks and materials is not included in our package price. Also, the University charges an additional fee each semester which is not included in the package price.

Additional Information For International Students

Do you offer an I-20 (needed to apply for non-immigrant F-visa) for students enrolled in the TDPT program? 

At this point, we do not offer an I-20 to students in our post-professional program. 

I am working on completing educational deficits for my license eligibility, can I register for courses in TDPT program? 

Yes, currently, you may register for up to three courses pre-licensure for credentialing purposes.  Please note: acceptance into a course does not guarantee admission into the program. 

Can a person currently not residing in the U.S. or a non-U.S. citizen apply for the program? 

Yes! We welcome applications from all students. Our TDPT program is fully online. The program is highly interactive and capitalizes on the wealth of knowledge clinicians bring with them. 

Do I need a U.S. PT license to enroll in the program?

No! Beginning Fall 2019, we will have limited seats available for foreign-educated physical therapists who are not currently licensed to practice in the US, provided they meet the admissions criteria listed on our website (see admissions criteria page).

Is the TDPT program accredited? 

CAPTE, the accrediting body for Physical Therapy programs, does not provide for accreditation of post-professional programs. However, our entry-level DPT program is accredited.

Will your program be sufficient to satisfy visa screening for USCIS requirements? 

While the courses in our TDPT program may help in fulfilling educational deficits, the program does not directly qualify you for US PT licensure. All foreign-educated PTs must follow the steps listed on the following website: FSBPT info on licensure

Only a credentialing agency that issues work certificates (Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT), CGFNS International Inc.) or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can determine if the program fulfills their requirements. Since our entry-level DPT is CAPTE-accredited, we believe our TDPT will be accepted by FCCPT/CGFNS, but individuals should check with the respective agencies.

What are the specific admissions requirements for foreign-trained PTs? 

Please visit our TDPT website for admissions criteria for all students, including criteria for foreign-trained. In particular, for foreign-trained students, we will need:

  • Current license, registration, or equivalent to practice physical therapy
    • If licensed to practice in the U.S., submit a copy of your license and an official PT credentialing report from an agency approved by the Federated State Boards of Physical Therapy.  Approved agencies include the following: FCCPT, CGFNS, ICD, ICA, UTA, IERF see list here:
    • If licensed to practice outside the U.S., submit a notarized copy of your license (or equivalent) and an official GPA report (e.g., World Education Service or Education Credential Evaluator) verifying a minimum GPA.     
  • Official transcript indicating that the applicant has earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from an accredited or government recognized physical therapist degree program with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts from any US College or University attended
  • Three written recommendations (professional or academic)
  • Brief essay articulating goals for D.P.T. study
  • Official TOEFL (minimum 80 overall; minimum 21 for writing, 18 for all other sections) or IELTS (minimum 6.5 Band score, no individual score below 5.5). 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).