2016-17 Catalog

Publication date June 2016

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Summary of program

  • Cohort size: 45 admitted per year
  • Total program credits: 111 credits (with option for three additional elective credits)
  • Curriculum length: 34 months
  • Didactic study: 74 weeks (1790 -1793 contact hours)
  • Full time clinical study: 42 weeks (1680 contact hours)
  • Terminal internships: 36 weeks


Entrance into the program is competitive. Students will be selected based upon their application portfolio.

Students seeking admission to the DPT program must have:

  • Completed all pre-requisite coursework at the time of entry into the program.
  • Submitted scores on the general test portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five years. GRE minimums: 143 verbal, 143 quantitative, 3.0 written.
  • Achieved an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  • Achieved a GPA of 3.0 in the programs prerequisites courses.
  • Completed undergraduate degree by the time of entry into the program.1
  • Completed at least two 20-hour clinical experiences under the supervision of a licensed PT with clinical letters of recommendation.
  • Submission of program application.
  • Submission of Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) application.

Select students may be able to enter the program prior to receiving their undergraduate degree under dual-degree agreements. At UWL, such agreements exist with the Departments of Physics and Biology.

Prerequisite requirements

All applicants must successfully complete the following prerequisite courses:

General Biology (Lab)4
Human Anatomy (Lab)4
Human Physiology (Lab)4
Chemistry (Lab)8
Physics (Lab)8
Psychology 3
Psychology or Sociology3

The program has an early and general admissions deadline of August 15th and November 1st and students are accepted until the class is filled. Students are accepted during the months of September and December after a review process.

Admission to the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is based on academic and personal qualifications considered necessary for a successful and competent entry level physical therapist and is therefore competitive. The UWL Physical Therapy Program grants the privilege of admission to applicants who have met the criteria set by the Physical Therapy Admissions Committee.


Classroom and laboratory learning (listed in order of enrollment)

109 credits (includes internship credits)

Courses are taken at UWL.

PTS 509Human Gross Anatomy3
PTS 510Applied Human Gross Anatomy3
PTS 512Medical Physiology4
PTS 520Introduction to Physical Therapy Practice and Evaluation Techniques1
PTS 521Applied Introduction to Physical Therapy Practice and Evaluation Techniques2
PTS 516Physiological Regulation of Exertion and Disease1
PTS 517Applied Physiological Regulation of Exertion and Disease1
PTS 527Foundations of the Physical Therapy Examination3
PTS 528Applied Foundations of the Physical Therapy Examination2
PTS 523Physical Agents2
PTS 524Applied Physical Agents1
PTS 525Biomechanics and Kinesiology of Movement2
PTS 526Applied Biomechanics and Kinesiology of Movement1
PTS 535Functional Neuroanatomy2
PTS 536Applied Functional Neuroanatomy1
PTS 651Fieldwork: Introduction to Clinical Learning1
PTS 518Motor Control, Motor Learning and Motor Development1
PTS 519Applied Motor Control, Motor Learning, and Motor Development1
PTS 545Foundations of Clinical Research1
PTS 546Applied Foundations of Clinical Research1
PTS 611Pathophysiology2
PTS 619Early Intervention and Acute Care Physical Therapy2
PTS 620Applied Early Intervention and Acute Care Physical Therapy1
PTS 627Therapeutic Exercise and Manual Therapy1
PTS 628Applied Therapeutic Exercise and Manual Therapy1
PTS 625Physical Therapy Management of the Cardiovascular/Pulmonary System2
PTS 626Applied Physical Therapy Management of the Cardiovascular/Pulmonary System2
PTS 631Professionalism and the Ethos of Care2
PTS 542Research and Applied Statistics3
PTS 543Instrumentation for Human Movement1
PTS 544Applied Instrumentation for Human Movement1
PTS 623Integument System1
PTS 624Applied Integument System1
PTS 728Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Spine2
PTS 729Applied Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Spine1
PTS 751Fieldwork: General Practice2
PTS 701Applied Adult Clinical Practice (required in two semesters)2
PTS 709Health & Wellness in Physical Therapy Practice1
PTS 711Pharmacology2
PTS 712Clinical Radiology1
PTS 715Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Lower Extremity2
PTS 716Applied Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Lower Extremity1
PTS 717Clinical Teaching1
PTS 718Applied Clinical Teaching1
PTS 735Adult Neurorehabilitative Physical Therapy2
PTS 736Applied Adult Neurorehabilitative Physical Therapy2
PTS 741Evidenced Based Practice in Physical Therapy2
PTS 742Research Practicum1
PTS 710Applied Health and Wellness in Physical Therapy Practice1
PTS 737Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Upper Extremity2
PTS 738Applied Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Upper Extremity1
PTS 730Pediatric Neurorehabilitative Physical Therapy2
PTS 731Applied Pediatric Neurorehabilitative Physical Therapy2
PTS 733Health Care Systems & Administration3
PTS 742Research Practicum1
PTS 743Evidence Based Practice Seminar1
Total Credits90

Internships (taken off campus)

19 credits

Focus of internship may occur in different order per student.

PTS 851Internship: Inpatient-Acute/Rehab6
PTS 831Clinical Decision Making in an Inpatient Acute Care/Rehab Setting1
PTS 852Internship: Outpatient Orthopedic6
PTS 853Internship: Autonomous Practice6
Total Credits19

Elective courses (optional)

PTS 700Selected Topics in Physical Therapy1-3
PTS 702Advanced Manual Therapy2
PTS 703Clinical Anatomy Review1
PTS 798Independent Study1-3
PTS 854Capstone Project1

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (non-slash courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)

Classroom and laboratory learning

Year 1
(10 weeks) (14 weeks) Intersession (2 weeks) (14 weeks) 
PTS 5093PTS 5161PTS 6511PTS 5181
PTS 5103PTS 5171 PTS 5191
PTS 5124PTS 5273 PTS 5451
PTS 520 1PTS 5282 PTS 5461
PTS 5212PTS 5232 PTS 6112
 PTS 5241 PTS 6192
 PTS 5252 PTS 6201
 PTS 5261 PTS 6271
 PTS 5352 PTS 6281
 PTS 5361 PTS 6252
   PTS 6262
   PTS 6312
 13 16 1 17
Year 2
SummerCreditsFallCredits SpringCredits
(8 weeks): (14 weeks)  (14 weeks) 
PTS 5423PTS 70111 PTS 70111
PTS 5431PTS 7091 PTS 7022
PTS 5441PTS 7112 PTS 7101
PTS 6231PTS 7121 PTS 7372
PTS 6241PTS 7152 PTS 7381
PTS 7282PTS 7161 PTS 7302
PTS 7291PTS 7171 PTS 7312
August (4 weeks): PTS 7181 PTS 7333
PTS 7512PTS 7352 PTS 7421
 PTS 7362 PTS 7431
 PTS 7412  
 PTS 7421  
 12 17   15
Year 3
SummerCreditsFallCredits SpringCredits
(13 weeks) (14 weeks)  (14 weeks) 
PTS 85126PTS 8311 PTS 853 (12 weeks)26
 PTS 85226 PTS 8541
 6 7   7
Total Credits: 111

Students can take this course one time, either in fall OR spring semester, not both


Internship I, II, III: Inpatient, Outpatient, and Autonomous Practice. However, focus of internship may occur in different order per student.

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