Department of Physical Therapy

Chair and Professor: Dr. Reese, 450-3611
Department Advisor: Ms. Charlotte Fant, 450-5541
Professor: Dr. Bandy
Associate Professors: Dr. Fletcher, Dr. Garrison, Dr. McGee,Dr. Taylor
Assistant Professors: Dr. Forbush, Dr. Huitt, Dr. Lairamore, Dr. Wang, Dr. Yates
Senior Clinical Instructor: Dr. Maresh
Instructor II: Dr. Booth, Ms. Stephens

[1] Physical Therapy: A Dynamic Health Care Profession

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss  of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

Physical therapists:

  • Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
  • Restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but optimal wellness and fitness and optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
  • Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression off impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries.

The median annual earnings of all physical therapists in the United States were $76,310 in May 2010. Employment of physical therapists is expected to increase 39 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition.

[2] Mission

The mission of the Department of Physical Therapy is to develop outstanding physical therapy professionals who are practicing autonomously in the global clinical and research communities and to model excellence in education, research, and service.

[3] Accreditation Status

The BS in Health Science with an emphasis in physical therapy does not require specialized accreditation. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). CAPTE may be contacted vial mail, telephone, or email as follows:

Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA   22314
Telephone: 703/706-3245

[4] DPT Student Outcomes

Graduation rate:  98%

Employment Rate:  100% (for students passing the licensure examination)

Licensure Examination Pass Rates:

1st Time:   95%

Overall:   98%

[5] Requirements for Application to the DPT Program

Students who wish to apply for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program must first complete a baccalaureate degree and specific prerequisite courses. A complete list of prerequisites for the UCA DPT program may be found in the UCA Graduate Bulletin  or on the UCA Physical Therapy website Applicants for the DPT program may complete the baccalaureate degree in any field as long as all prerequisites for the program are complete by the time of matriculation and all other requirements for the DPT program are met.

[6] Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Physical Therapy Emphasis

Students who are interested in applying to the UCA professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program may elect to pursue the BS in Health Science with a physical therapy emphasis. This degree is specially designed to assist students completing prerequisite course work to obtain a baccalaureate degree in order to meet application requirements for the professional DPT program.

The purpose of the bachelor of science (BS) degree with a physical therapy emphasis is to qualify graduates of the program as candidates for the professional DPT degree. In addition to the baccalaureate degree, students applying for the DPT program must meet specific grade point averages, have designated prerequisite courses, observe in the clinic, and take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The BS in Health Science with physical therapy emphasis does not prepare a graduate for licensure or employment as a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant.

For more information on the professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, the student is referred to the UCA Graduate  Bulletin or Physical Therapy website

The BS in Health Science degree with an emphasis in physical therapy requires a total of 120 semester credit hours, of which 40 credits must be upper division. Degree requirements are as follows (see individual departments for course descriptions):

[6.1] General Education Requirements (47 hours)

Health Sciences – Physical Therapy Emphasis majors must include the following courses in their general education selections: MATH 1390, PSYC 1300, BIOL 1440, and CHEM 1450 or CHEM 1402.

[6.2] Health Science Core (15 hours)

BIOL 2406 Structure and Function of the Human Body I
CHEM 1451 College Chemistry II or CHEM 2450 Physiological Chemistry II
PHYS 1410 College Physics 1
PSYC 2330 Psychological Statistics

[6.3] Degree Requirements (25 hours)

BIOL 2407 Structure and Function of the Human Body II
BIOL 2420 Histology for Health Sciences
BIOL 3370 Introduction to Neuroscience
BIOL 4311 Pathophysiology or BIOL 4351 General Pharmacology
H SC 3123 Medical Terminology
PHYS 1420 College Physics 2
PSYC 3332 Research Methods
PSYC Elective

[6.4] Physical Therapy Related Electives (33 hours: 7 courses of which must be taken from the following):

BIOL 4311 Pathophysiology
BIOL 4351 General Pharmacology
H ED 3305 Human Sexuality
H ED 3320 Epidemiology Research
H ED 4300 Community Health
H ED 4301 Health Education in the Medical Care Setting
H ED 4302 Health Education in the Worksite
H ED 4303 Environmental Health Problems
H ED 4310 Health Concerns of the Aging
H ED 4312 Drug Education
H ED 4343 Health Strategies for Multicultural Populations
H ED 4395 Contemporary Health Concerns – Women
KPED 3331 Care and Prevention of Exercise and Sport Injuries
KPED 3382 Mechanical Kinesiology
KPED 4300 Exercise Physiology
MGMT 3305 Social Issues in Management
MGMT 3315 – Diversity/Multicultural Communications
NUTR 3370 Advanced Nutrition
NUTR 3390 Nutrition and Metabolism
NUTR 4315 Sports Nutrition
PSYC 3325 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 3330 Sensation & Perception
PSYC 3350 Psychology of Women
PSYC 3351 Psychology of Learning
PSYC 3360 Social Psychology
PSYC 3370 Sports Psychology
PSYC 4320 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 4325 Physiological Psychology
SOC 3310 Racial and Ethnic Relations
SOC 3350 Marriages and Families
SOC 3361 Gender Roles
SOC 3381 Death and Dying

[7] Courses in Physical Therapy (PTHY)

Follow this link for PTHY course descriptions: course link.