Physical Therapy

Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

Degree Offered:D.P.T.
Interim Director (D.P.T.): Dr. Diane Clarke
Phone:(205) 934-3566
Web site:www.uab.edu/pt

Program Information

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a course of study for students who hold baccalaureate degrees in fields of study other than Physical Therapy.  Completion of the program after nine semesters leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and serves as initial preparation for practice as a physical therapist.

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

Physical therapists provide services to patient/clients who have body structure and function impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease, and other causes. Physical therapists also address risk and provide prevention services and promote health, wellness, and fitness. Physical therapists interact and practice in collaboration with a variety of professionals. Physical therapists also function in consultative, education, administrative and supervisory roles in many different types of practice, research, and education settings.

Accreditation: The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Credentials Conferred: The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is awarded by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

License : Graduates are eligible for the physical therapist licensure examination. Note that state law regulates the practice of Physical Therapy; contact a specific state’s Board of Licensure for Physical Therapy to obtain information on that state’s eligibility requirements. http://www.fsbpt.org/LicensingAuthorities/index.asp

Length of Study:  Nine semesters.

Program Entrance Date: Spring semester.

Application Procedure: This program participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Please consult www.ptcas.org for more information regarding specific PTCAS application requirements, procedures and fees. The PTCAS application needs to be completed by the  PTCAS deadline for the class beginning January, 2015. Applicants should send all application materials  including GRE scores (use code 7801) directly to PTCAS. PTCAS will verify the application information and send completed applications to the program.

Requirements for Admission: The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university within the United States in a field other than physical therapy. Acceptance will be based on the student’s academic ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist. The candidate is expected to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete the PTCAS application based on the PTCAS deadline.
  •  75% of prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the fall semester of the year of application.
  • Complete at least 40 hours of documented observation of physical therapy. Various settings are recommended. Documentation should be submitted to PTCAS.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation to PTCAS.
  • Letters 1 and 2: Written by a physical therapist who has interacted with the applicant for at least 20 hours in a clinical setting.
  • Letter 3. Written by a professor with whom the applicant had significant interaction in an academic setting.
  • Complete the GRE and have scores sent to   PTCAS (code 7801).
  • Have a minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall, prerequisites, and last 60 semester hours grade point averages. For prerequisite courses, no grade lower than a C will be accepted.
  • If invited, complete a personal interview with the Department of Physical Therapy.

Students who are accepted into the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program must:

  • Complete the UAB Graduate School application to include the Graduate School fee.
  • Complete the UAB medical history questionnaire and physical.
  • Provide proof of required immunizations, and receive satisfactory screening by the UAB Medical Center Student Health Service.
  • Send all official transcripts to the UAB Graduate School.
  • Complete a criminal background check and drug screen at program admission and again prior to clinical placement as required by school policy. 

State law regulates the practice of Physical Therapy. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to review the nonacademic eligibility requirements for licensure to practice physical therapy upon completion of the program. These may be obtained from each individual state’s Board of Licensure for Physical Therapy. http://fsbpt.org/LicensingAuthorities/index.asp  

Variations in these requirements are considered. In instances where applicants do not meet the principle requirements for admission, they may be admitted on probation with the approval of the Graduate School Dean. Such students must establish themselves in good standing by achieving not less than a B average by the time they have completed 1 term of approved work taken at UAB for graduate credit.

Program Prerequisites–UAB Equivalents

(Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours)

Arts and Humanities
English Compositions (6)

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Psychology (9)

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Biology (12)
Human/Mammalian Physiology (4)
Chemistry for Science Majors (8)
Physics for Science Majors (8)
Pre-Calculus Trigonometry (3)
Psychology (9)
Statistics (3)
Medical Terminology (3)

It is strongly recommended that applicants take the following courses: practical reasoning or logic course, biomechanics or kinesiology and upper level biology (physiology).

Essential Requirements: Fundamental tasks, behaviors, and abilities necessary to successfully complete the academic and clinical/residency requirements of the program and to satisfy licensure/certification requirements, if any, have been outlined and are available upon request from the academic program office. Students requesting disability accommodations must do so by filing a disability accommodation request with the UAB Office of Disability Support Services.

Typical Program
(Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours)

First Year
Second TermHours
PT 7004
PT 7023
PT 7112
PT 7133
PT 7303
PT 7602
 17
Total credit hours: 17
First Year
Summer TermHours
PT 7123
PT 7203
PT 7313
PT 7701
PT 7901
PT 7911
 12
Total credit hours: 12
First Year
First TermHours
PT 7043
PT 7064
PT 7141-2
PT 7153
PT 7213
PT 7712
PT 7921
 17-18
Total credit hours: 17-18
Second Year
Second TermHours
PT 7054
PT 7073
PT 7405
PT 7722
PT 7981-9
 15-23
Total credit hours: 15-23
Second Year
Summer TermHours
PT 7431-3
PT 7444
PT 7613
PT 7931
PT 7981-9
 10-20
Total credit hours: 10-20
Second Year
First TermHours
PT 7415
PT 7464
PT 7623
PT 7991-15
 13-27
Total credit hours: 13-27
Third Year
Second TermHours
PT 7632
PT 7642
PT 7738
 12
Total credit hours: 12
Third Year
Summer TermHours
PT 7749
 9
Total credit hours: 9
Third Year
First TermHours
PT 7759
 9
Total credit hours: 9

Total Credit Hours for Program: 119

Additional Information

For detailed information, contact Betsy Moore,  Physical Therapy Department, School of Health Professions, SHPB, Room 333, 1705 University Boulevard (mailing address: SHPB 333,  1720 2nd Avenue South), Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1212.

Telephone 205-934-4363
E-mail   becol@uab.edu

Courses

PT 700. Human Gross Anatomy. 4 Hours.

A study of the anatomical structure of the human body includes limbs, back, abdominal wall and cavity. Specific emphasis includes regional study of the relationships between musculoskeletal, nervous, and vascular systems, joint structure, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, and surveys of selected viscera.

PT 701L. Human Gross Anatomy II Lab. 0 Hours.

Prerequisites: PT 700

PT 702. Functional Anatomy. 3 Hours.

Integrated study of anatomy, kinesiology, muscle biology, and biomechanics to develop an understanding of and ability to analyze normal and pathologic human movement. Includes palpation and surface anatomy.

PT 704. Analysis of Human Movement. 3 Hours.

Study of human movement through an examination of the movement patterns during common motor skills (eg: walking). The kinematics and kinetics related to movement will be studied across the lifespan.
Prerequisites: PT 706 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently)

PT 705. Human Movement Dysfunction. 4 Hours.

Study of human movement dysfunction including recovery processes related to injury, impairments associated with pathology and behavior and kinematic/kinetic descriptions of movement dysfunction related to cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscular pathology across the lifespan.
Prerequisites: PT 704 [Min Grade: C]

PT 706. Neuroscience I. 4 Hours.

A study of structures and functions of the human nervous system with emphasis on sensory/motor function.
Prerequisites: PT 730 [Min Grade: C]

PT 707. Neuroscience II. 3 Hours.

Study of the theories of motor control and motor learning will serve as a foundation for the understanding how the CNS is organized in relation to human movement.
Prerequisites: PT 706 [Min Grade: C]

PT 711. PT Examination I. 2 Hours.

Introduction to the physical therapy examination process which includes history taking, systems review, and tests and measures. Emphasis will be placed on systems review and medical screening for each of the major systems. Overview of the major types of tests and measures employed by physical therapists and the type of data generated with a focus on self-care for patient.

PT 712. Physical Therapy Examination II. 3 Hours.

Continuation of Physical Therapy I with focus on knowledge and skills needed to test and measure strength, range of motion, and posture.
Prerequisites: PT 711 [Min Grade: C]

PT 713. Physical Therapy Intervention I. 3 Hours.

Introduction to the components and process of physical therapy intervention. Emphasis on beginning communication & documentation skills and basic procedural interventions of patient transfers, gait with assistive devices, superficial physical agents, massage, and passive range of motion. Overview of major categories of procedural interventions utilized by physical therapists.

PT 714. Physical Therapy Intervention II. 1-2 Hour.

Procedures and techniques for the design and implementation of fundamental therapeutic exercise; recognizing impairments in body function and structure and activity limitations amenable to physical therapy; students will utilize therapeutic exercise interventions for prevention and rehabilitation of movement dysfunction and disability.
Prerequisites: PT 713 [Min Grade: C]

PT 715. Physical Therapy Intervention III. 3 Hours.

The study and use of knowledge and skills needed to select and use both electrodiagnostic and electrotherapeutic modality interventions for various impairments and functional limitations. Emphasis will be placed on integrating electrical evaluation, electrical and deep heat therapy with previously learned examination, evaluation, and intervention skills. An overview of integument system repair and the management of chronic wounds will be discussed with an emphasis on examination, clinical decision making, and intervention.
Prerequisites: PT 712 [Min Grade: C]

PT 720. Pathology and Pharmacology for Movement Disorders I. 3 Hours.

Basic principles of pathology and pharmacology. Medical and surgical management of disorders involving the cardiovascular/pulmonary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, endocrine, integumentary, genitourinary, and GI systems. For each disease discussed, the diagnosis, medical, surgical, and pharmacological management will be included, as appropriate.
Prerequisites: PT 730 [Min Grade: C]

PT 721. Pathology and Pharmacology for Movement Disorders II. 3 Hours.

Basic principles of pathology and pharmacology. Medical and surgical management of disorders involving the cardiovascular/pulmonary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, endocrine, integumentary, genitourinary, and GI systems. For each disease discussed, the diagnosis, medical, surgical, and pharmacological management will be included, as appropriate.
Prerequisites: PT 720 [Min Grade: C]

PT 730. Essentials of Human Physiology. 3 Hours.

Fundamental principles and concepts of human physiology are covered regarding cell physiology, the cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, renal, and skeletaltal muscle systems as well as thermoregulation of the body. Both cellular and systemic issues are addressed with an emphasis on a mechanistic and integrative approach to understanding function.

PT 731. Human Performance Physiology. 3 Hours.

Course provides fundamental knowledge about the adaptability of human physiological systems in meeting a range of exercise demands. Areas covered include energy transfer during rest and exercise, physiologic and performance adaptations, exercise prescription for healthy adults, and body composition. Research evidence regarding how exercise and physical activity impact health, wellness, and disease is included.
Prerequisites: PT 730 [Min Grade: C]

PT 740. PT Management of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction I. 5 Hours.

Application of biological and physical sciences in understanding musculoskeletal disorders. Diagnosis of common musculoskeletal dysfunctions; clinical decision making concerning treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. Medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment procedures with implications for rehabilitation. Focus for one course is on the lower quarter and the thoracic spine; focus of the other course is on the upper quarter.
Prerequisites: PT 704 [Min Grade: C]

PT 741. PT Management of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction II. 5 Hours.

Application of biological and physical sciences in understanding musculoskeletal disorders. Diagnosis of common musculoskeletal dysfunctions; clinical decision making concerning treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders. Medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment procedures with implications for rehabilitation. Focus for one course is on the lower quarter and the thoracic spine; focus of the other course is on the upper quarter.
Prerequisites: PT 740 [Min Grade: C]

PT 743. PT Management of Cardiopulmonary Dysfunction. 1-3 Hour.

Physical therapy examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention for patients with primary and secondary disorders involving the cardiovascular/pulmonary system.
Prerequisites: PT 731 [Min Grade: C]

PT 744. PT Management of Neuro Dysfunction I. 4 Hours.

Application, analysis, and synthesis of principles of neurophysiologic rehabilitation in physical therapy examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention.
Prerequisites: PT 721 [Min Grade: C]

PT 746. Physical Therapy Management of Neuromuscular Dysfunction II. 4 Hours.

Continuation of PT 744 Application, analysis and synthesis of principles of neurophysiologic rehabilitation in physical therapy examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and intervention.
Prerequisites: PT 744 [Min Grade: C]

PT 760. PT Professional Practice I. 2 Hours.

Introduction to the profession of physical therapy, including history, APTA, and scope of practice. Introduction to legal, ethical and other regulatory mechanisms that guide the practice of physical therapy. Presentation of cultural diversity issues related to physical therapy practice.

PT 761. PT Professional Practice II. 3 Hours.

Synthesis and application of regulatory mechanisms, legal mandates and ethical principles and theories to issues facing the physical therapy student and the physical therapist functioning in a multifaceted role; values clarification and decision making related to current professional issues. Strategies for dealing with diverse cultures and conflict. Utilization of documentation strategies to promote effective physical therapy practice and payment.
Prerequisites: PT 760 [Min Grade: C]

PT 762. PT Professional Practice III. 3 Hours.

Forces contributing to the health care environment and the effects of this environment on physical therapy practice, research and education. Concepts of health promotion (including wellness and patient education) and the role of the physical therapist in promoting healthy lifestyles in the health care and community settings. Theoretical basis for health behaviors and application of theories to physical therapy practice. Concepts of consultation, program planning, implementation, and evaluation applied to health promotion-oriented physical therapy programs.
Prerequisites: PT 761 [Min Grade: C]

PT 763. PT Professional Practice IV. 2 Hours.

Study of management and supervisory principles and current issues related to physical therapy practice: Practical concepts of marketing , organizational structure, fiscal management, facility planning, design and entrepreneurship.
Prerequisites: PT 762 [Min Grade: C]

PT 764. Prof Practice V - Capstone Exp. 2 Hours.

Integration of all previous coursework applied to reflection of the scope of PT practice: direct patient care, professional growth/development, professional issues, education, consultation, evidence based practice (EBP), communication, cultural competency, and promotion of the profession in achieving Vision 2020. Development and presentation of an individual portfolio that reflects core values, personal and professional growth and accomplishments, and appropriate plans for future professional development.

PT 770. Clinical Education I. 1 Hour.

Supervised clinical education in patient care skills and practice issues related to physical therapy.

PT 771. Clinical Education II. 2 Hours.

Supervised clinical education in patient care skills and practice issues related to physical therapy.
Prerequisites: PT 770 [Min Grade: C]

PT 772. Clinical Education III. 2 Hours.

Supervised clinical education in patient care skills and practice issues related to physical therapy.
Prerequisites: PT 771 [Min Grade: C]

PT 773. Clinical Education IV. 8 Hours.

Supervised clinical education providing client care in supervision, consultation, research, management and teaching. Emphasis is on examination and evaluation skills; intervention techniques and treatment planning (including care of problems related to musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary and integumentary systems).
Prerequisites: PT 772 [Min Grade: C]

PT 774. Clinical Education V. 9 Hours.

Supervised clinical education providing client care in supervision, consultation, research, management and teaching. Emphasis is on examination and evaluation skills; intervention techniques and treatment planning (including care of problems related to musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary and integumentary systems).
Prerequisites: PT 773 [Min Grade: C]

PT 775. Clinical Education VI. 9 Hours.

Supervised clinical education providing client care in supervision, consultation, research, management and teaching. Emphasis is on examination and evaluation skills; intervention techniques and treatment planning (including care of problems related to musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary and integumentary systems).

PT 790. Scientific Inquiry I. 1 Hour.

Introduction to bibliographic information and database searching, annotated bibliographies, critical review of scientific literature, and beginning concepts of the application of research to clinical practice.

PT 791. Scientific Inquiry II. 1 Hour.

This course combines concepts of measurement principles, experimental design, qualitative, survey outcomes research and a review of basic statistical concepts that will prepare the graduate to critically analyze and use the scientific literature to improve clinical practice. Emphases will be placed on understanding the components of a research report and the concepts associated with judging quality of research design as applied to clinical practice.
Prerequisites: PT 790 [Min Grade: C]

PT 792. Scientific Inquiry III. 1 Hour.

Emphasis will be placed on the assessment of research literature in Physical Therapy and the application of research findings to clinical practice. Additionally, advanced clinical research designs will be discussed.
Prerequisites: PT 791 [Min Grade: C]

PT 793. Scientific Inquiry IV. 1 Hour.

This is the final course in the Scientific Inquiry Series. The emphasis will be placed on peer review and professional presentation of scholarly work.

PT 798. Doctoral Level Non-Thesis Research. 1-9 Hour.

Implementation of project activities with data collection, analysis, and preparation of manuscript of scholarly activity project. Student and mentor work together to identify specific project components to be completed during each specific term the course is taken.
Prerequisites: PT 792 [Min Grade: C]

PT 799. Scholarly Activity Project. 1-15 Hour.

Implementation of project activities with data collection, analysis, and preparation of manuscript of scholarly activity project. Student and mentor work together to identify specific project components to be completed during each specific term the course is taken.
Prerequisites: PT 793 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently) and GAC D

Faculty

Bickel, C. Scott, Assistant Professor (Physical Therapy); Skeletal Muscle Function, Electrotherapeutics
Christy, Jennifer Braswell, Assistant Professor (Physical Therapy); Pediatrics; Vestibular Dysfunction
Clark, Diane, PT, DScPT, MBA, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Clelland, Jo Ann, Professor Emerita (Physical Therapy); Pain Management
Denton, Betty G., Associate Professor Emerita (Physical Therapy); Curriculum Development
Fidopiastis, Cali, Assistant Professor, (Physical Therapy); Virtual Rehabilitation, Brain-Computer Interfaces, Tests and Measurements
Ford, Matthew, Associate Professor (Physical Therapy); Motor Control Dysfunction
Graham, Cecilia, PT, PhD, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Knowles, Cheryl J., Associate Professor Emerita (Physical Therapy); Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
Lein, Donald, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Lowman, John, Assistant Professor (Physical Therapy); Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
McCarthy, John, PT, PhD, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Morris, David, PT, PhD, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Murphy, Patrice, Assistant Professor (Physical Therapy); Developmental Disabilities, Orthotics
Ogard, William, Assistant Professor (Physical Therapy); Sensory Function of Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Proprioception of Knee Joint, Anatomy, Function of Lumbar Musculature
Peel, Claire, Professor (Physical Therapy); Fall Prevention, Exercise as an Intervention to Enhance Mobility
Perez, Patty, Assistant Professor (Physical Therapy); Orthopedic Rehabilitation
Shaw, Sharon E., Associate Professor (Physical Therapy); Health Outcomes Assessment, Neurological Rehabilitation