Physical Therapy

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Graduate programs

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Entry-Level Program

Marcia Himes, Interim Department Head and Program Director
McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall, Room 204
Phone 417-836-8998;

Scott W. Wallentine, Admissions Coordinator
McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall, Room 204
Phone 417-836-4514;

The Department of Physical Therapy offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program for individuals wanting to enter the profession of physical therapy.

DPT program description

The Physical Therapy curriculum focuses on the academic and clinical foundations necessary for a career in physical therapy. Program graduates are prepared to examine patients with impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities (or other health-related conditions) in order to determine a diagnosis and prognosis relevant to physical therapy. They will be able to design, implement, and modify therapeutic interventions to produce changes in their patients’ conditions. Graduates will be prepared to offer a variety of additional services including: (1) prevention, wellness and health promotion; (2) consultation with patients, clients, and other health care professionals; (3) screening to identify individuals at risk, or in need of, physical therapy; (4) educating patients, the general public, local, state, and federal health agencies, and other health care professionals; (5) clinical and basic science research; and 6) administration including direction and supervision of support personnel.

The program prepares graduates to practice in a variety of settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, homes, private physical therapy practices, skilled nursing facilities, schools, corporate and industrial health centers, athletic training facilities, fitness centers, sports injury treatment centers, and education or research centers.

Academic and Clinical Standards

The Physical Therapy program enforces high academic standards and ethical behaviors. To remain in the program, students must earn a "C" or better in all academic courses or a pass when pass/not pass grading is used. A student who earns a "D" or "F" in any academic course in the curriculum, or receives more than 12 semester hours of "C" will be dismissed from the program. A student who earns a failing mark in a clinical internship may be dismissed from the program.

Admission requirements

Minimum requirements
  1. Admission into the Physical Therapy Program is highly competitive and the number of students who can be admitted each year is limited; therefore, completion of all prerequisites and other requirements does not assure acceptance into the program. Competitive applicants will be invited for an interview as part of the admission process.
  2. The Physical Therapy Program at Missouri State University, Springfield Campus, participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (PTCAS). Applicants applying to the program must apply online using the PTCAS application. To learn more about the PTCAS application process, please visit Application deadline is October 1 (all application documents must be received by this date). Classes begin in May of each year.
    • Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to PTCAS. No minimum score is required; however, scores among students are compared.
    • Submit two letters of recommendation to PTCAS: one from the applicant's undergraduate advisor at the institution where the majority of science courses were taken, and one from a licensed physical therapist.
    • Complete all other requirements listed in PTCAS.
  3. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. The undergraduate major may be in any field, but students must have completed the prerequisites (or their equivalents) listed under “prerequisite courses”.
  4. A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  5. Ability to meet the technical standards of the program in order to successfully undertake the course of study (available upon request from the program).
  6. Verification observation experience is required in at least two (2) different areas of physical therapy specialty.
Program Requirements

Physical Therapy students will be required to:

  1. Complete a yearly physical examination including a TB skin test or chest X-ray. In addition, MMR, Hepatitis B, and other vaccinations are required.
  2. Have the capacity for performance of the technical standards (essential functions) and tasks required of a physical therapist.
  3. Pass periodic drug and alcohol screening and periodic criminal background checks (Missouri State Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or other approved agency). These program requirements are the result of health organizations' requirements for placement at their clinical sites. Students will be financially responsible for security checks and drug/alcohol screens and for housing/transportation costs during clinical internships. Students who do not pass the appropriate screenings may not be able to complete the program or practice professionally.
  4. Maintain current professional liability insurance for the duration of the program.
  5. Maintain current health insurance for the duration of the program.
  6. Maintain current American Heart Association Basic Life Support Certification for the duration of the program.
  7. Maintain current membership in the American Physical Therapy Association for the duration of the program.
  8. Abide by the American Physical Therapy Association's Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist ( and Guide for Professional Conduct (
  9. Abide by the policies and procedures for physical therapy students that are explained in the Handbook for Physical Therapy Students at Missouri State University. This handbook may be found online.

Prerequisite courses

Below is the minimum number of required hours listed by discipline. The course numbers after each discipline indicate those courses offered at Missouri State University that fulfill that prerequisite. Students must complete the courses listed below, or their equivalents, in order to satisfy the prerequisite. If you have questions regarding the prerequisites, contact the Director of Admissions at 417-836-4514. Courses listed below are offered at Missouri State University.

  1. English: 6 hrs. English (Composition I and II)
  2. Mathematics: 3 hrs. College Algebra (MTH 135) or higher
  3. Statistics: 3 hrs. MTH 340 or MTH 545 or ECO 308 or QBA 237 or PSY 200 or SOC 302 or BIO 550
  4. College Physics: 8 hrs. PHY 123 and PHY 124
  5. Chemistry: 8 hrs. CHM 160 & 161, CHM 170 & 171 or CHM 201, CHM 202
  6. Psychology: 6 hrs. One course should cover basic psychology and one should include abnormal psychology, PSY 121, PSY 304
  7. General Biology: 8 hrs. BIO 121 and BIO 122 or BMS 110 & BMS 111 & BMS 230
  8. Human or Vertebrate Anatomy: 4 hrs. BMS 307
  9. Human or Vertebrate Physiology: 4 hrs. BMS 308

DPT Degree Requirements - 133 hrs

  1. Students must successfully complete the 133 hours of the physical therapy curriculum. The courses must be taken in the order and at the time scheduled for each admitted class (cohort group).
  2. Research. Students must complete and present a graduate level scholarly paper, which is part of the requirement in PTE 880.
  3. Comprehensive Examination. Students must pass a comprehensive examination, which is implemented in the curriculum as computer competency testing.

The curriculum is designed sequentially so that courses must be taken in the order and at the time scheduled for each admitted class (cohort group). Any exceptions to the cohort progression requirement must stem from unavoidable and extreme personal circumstances, and must be approved by the core faculty and Department Head.

DPT Program course schedule

Summer, Semester 1 (10 weeks classroom)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 707 Medical Human Anatomy 6 hrs
PTE 711 Professional Issues I 2 hrs
PTE 712 Clinical Biomechanics for Physical Therapy 2 hrs
PTE 713 Embryology 1 hrs
Fall, Semester 2 (17 weeks classroom)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 710 Introduction to Physical Therapy 3 hrs
PTE 720 Neuroanatomy- Neuroscience 4 hrs
PTE 723 Patient Management: Musculoskeletal I 4 hrs
PTE 726 Clinical Kinesiology for Physical Therapy 2 hrs
PTE 740 Essentials of Research Methods 2 hrs
PTE 760 Management of Research Projects 1 hr
Spring, Semester 3 (17 weeks classroom)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 714 Imaging Analysis in Physical Therapy Practice 2 hrs
PTE 721 Professional Issues II 2 hrs
PTE 722 Physical Agents and Mechanical Modalities 2 hrs
PTE 733 Patient Management: Musculoskeletal II 3 hrs
PTE 743 Patient Management: Neurological I 4 hrs
PTE 750 Essentials of Statistics 2 hrs
BMS 752 Medical Physiology 3 hrs
Summer, Semester 4 (7 weeks classroom; 4 weeks clinical)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 732 Electrotherapeutic Modalities and Clinical Electrophysiology 2 hrs
PTE 737 Clinical Internship I 4 hrs
PTE 753 Patient Management: Neurological II 2 hrs
PTE 760 Management of Research Projects 1 hr
PTE 773 Patient Management: Musculoskeletal III 2 hrs
Fall, Semester 5 (11 weeks classroom; 6 weeks clinical)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 731 Pathophysiology/Differential Diagnosis I 2 hrs
PTE 747 Clinical Internship II 6 hrs
PTE 760 Management of Research Projects 1 hr
PTE 763 Patient Management: Neuromuscular III 3 hrs
PTE 764 Patient Management: Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, and Wellness 3 hrs
Spring, Semester 6 (11 weeks classroom; 6 weeks clinical)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 730 Motor Control/Motor Learning 2 hrs
PTE 741 Pathophysiology/Differential Diagnosis II 2 hrs
PTE 744 Patient Management: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Problems 3 hrs
PTE 754 Patient Management: Special Considerations Across the Life Span 3 hrs
PTE 757 Clinical Internship III 6 hrs
PTE 760 Management of Research Projects 1-2 hrs
  Electives 1-2 hrs
Summer, Semester 7 (11 weeks classroom)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 756 Patient Management: Integumentary 1 hr
PTE 760 Management of Research Projects 1 hr
PTE 761 Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice 2 hrs
PTE 762 Medical Pharmacology 2 hrs
PTE 765 The Physical Therapist as Educator 1 hr
PTE 767 Health Care Systems and the Physical Therapist 1 hr
  Electives 1-2 hrs
Fall, Semester 8 (10 weeks classroom; 8 weeks clinical)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 760 Management of Research Projects 1 hr
PTE 871 Physical Therapy Management and Administration 3 hrs
PTE 872 Orthotics and Prosthetics, and Assistive Technologies 3 hrs
PTE 873 Patient Management: Advanced Differential Diagnosis 3 hrs
PTE 877 Clinical Internship IV 8 hrs
  Electives 1-2 hrs
Spring, Semester 9 (3 weeks classroom; 14 weeks clinical)
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
PTE 880 Research Seminar 1-2 hrs
PTE 883 Patient Management: Critical Integration and Analysis 1-2 hrs
PTE 887 Clinical Internship V 8 hrs
PTE 888 Clinical Internship VI 6 hrs
  Elective (Education Abroad) 0-2 hrs

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Missouri State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 417-836-6179 or email