Prerequisites

Prerequisite Verification Form

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Campus Events

California Campus Events

Welcome to WesternU’s California campus events listing! We are pleased to offer you several opportunities to visit our campus and learn more about any of our nine colleges and 22 academic programs at WesternU. We look forward to meeting you at one of our future events.

Office of University Recruitment and
Strategic Enrollment Management

recruitment@westernu.edu

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Come learn about all the opportunities WesternU has to offer. Our Preview Day will provide information specific to your program of interest.

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Campus Tours

Campus Tours are offered throughout the year and are led by current students or University Student Affairs professionals. Your campus visit will provide you with the opportunity to tour the facilities, get a feel for the campus community and learn about our programs.

Join us on the Road

University representatives from WesternU attend a variety of recruitment events throughout the year. Join us on the road and learn more about the colleges and programs at WesternU.



 Program/Video Topic
WatchCGN – Family Nurse Practitioner Program Overview
WatchCAHP - MS in Health Sciences Overview (2 min)
WatchCDM - WesternU ADEA Recruitment Video (2 min)
WatchCVM - Rabbit Population Control (2 min)
WatchIPE - Learning in an Interprofessional Environment (3 min)


NOTE:
This page is frequently updated; please check back periodically for additions to the schedule.

FAQs

FAQs - AdmissionsFAQs - PrerequisitesFAQs - Online AppFAQs - Other

Question 1: How many applications do you receive, interviews do you grant, and applicants do you accept in an average year?
For the class entering Fall 2017, we received almost 1200 applications, granted over 400 interviews, and seated a class of 54 students. On-campus interviews are required and we strongly encourage you to attend a Preview Day event or Information Session.

Question 2: Do you have an early decision process?
No. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program does not have an early decision process.

Question 3: How many hours of clinical experience are required prior to application?
A minimum of 100 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in two or more physical therapy facilities and/or clinical settings (minimum of 40 hours per facility or clinical setting) is required. In-patient hours are highly recommended. In-patient settings may include: in-patient hospital (acute, sub-acute/transitional care or rehab), skilled nursing facilities (SNF), extended care facilities (ECF) and residential facilities (geriatric/pediatric).

Question 4: Do you give preference to California residents?
No. Although a significant portion of our student body is from California, this is merely a reflection of our overall applicant pool.

Question 5: Do you accept international students?
Yes. International students and any other applicants who are not U.S. citizens should be prepared to provide proof of legal U.S. residency at the time of application. Proof of legal U.S. residency is required prior to any offer of acceptance. Visit the international student website for more information.

Question 6: Can I transfer into your DPT program from another DPT program?
No. We do not accept transfers at this time.

Question 7: Does it matter that I'm older than your average applicant?
No. We encourage applications from qualified candidates regardless of age.

Question 8: Do the recommendation letters have to be turned in with the application packet?
No. Letters of recommendations are a part of the PTCAS application. Three are required: one (1) from a supervising physical therapist, one (1) from a college professor/instructor for a course you have taken, and one (1) from either another supervising physical therapist or a college professor/instructor.

Question 9: May I turn in more than the required number of recommendation letters?
Yes. However, it is advisable to limit the number to one extra since a total of three well-chosen recommendations will usually paint a clear picture of the candidate, and additional recommendations will only add to the committee members' reading time.

Question 10: How does the committee decide which applicants will be offered seats?
After the committee has interviewed all eligible candidates they will be assigned a status: admit, alternate, or non-accept. Applicants will be notified by e-mail of their status within two weeks of their interview date. There is no need to call, as applicants will be notified immediately if there is a change in their status.

Question 11: When are acceptance letters and final notifications mailed?
Most final decision letters are mailed February through March.

Question 12: I am a re-applicant. How can I improve my application or my chances of being admitted?
Take a critical review of the information that you mailed the admissions office and see if there are any obvious voids. For example, maybe you had one or two low grades that lowered your overall and/or prerequisite GPA, or maybe you weren't involved in community service, or merely forgot to include it on your application. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your application simply by looking at it from an admissions perspective. If you had a low grade, especially in a prerequisite course, you should consider retaking that class, since we will recalculate your GPA with the new higher grade when we receive the new transcript. It is important to realize that sometimes there is not one obvious thing that you can change to be admitted. Every case is different and every year the competition is different. Above all else, it is important to realize that we receive applications from many highly qualified applicants each year and are only able to offer acceptances to 54. If this is the path to which you are committed, then keep trying!

Question 13: Will I be required to complete a background check?
Complete confidence in the honor and integrity of the health professions student and health care professional is essential, and students must exhibit honesty and integrity in all aspects of their life. Any prior criminal record of an applicant will be evaluated by the University as part of its determination that the applicant meets the Standards of Professional Conduct. In addition, a prior criminal record may negatively impact a student's ability to participate in the University's curriculum. To meet State regulations and hospital accreditation requirements, clinical facilities are requiring students to complete criminal background checks prior to beginning clinical education experiences. Some clinical facilities require a urine drug test as well. Because of this newer regulation to assure patient safety, students admitted to the Professional DPT program will be required to complete a criminal background check upon acceptance into the program. Certain convictions may prevent students from entering clinical facilities, which may hinder a student's ability to successfully complete the DPT Professional program. If a criminal conviction or other relevant sanction is shown on the background check, clinical sites may choose not to allow a student to utilize their facilities. If applicable, we encourage you to check with the appropriate State licensing board(s) to determine whether your background may be a barrier to future licensing.

Question 14: Does the DPT program require any additional background checks or drug screening tests?
Yes, you may be required to complete an additional background check. Urine drug screens may also be required if needed for clinical education experiences or any sentinel acts. Procedures and costs for obtaining background investigations and urine drug screenings will be disseminated by the Physical Therapy Clinical Education Staff.


Question 1: Can I have prerequisite courses in progress at the time of application? How many?
Yes, however, no more than one science (if semester-based course; two if the course is quarter-based) and one non-science prerequisite course can be in progress after the Fall term prior to matriculation (i.e. December 31, 2017 for Fall 2018 entering class). All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester/quarter prior to matriculation or June 15th of the planned matriculation year. View requirements for details.

Question 2: Can I substitute any courses for your prerequisites?
No. Other courses may not be substituted for the required prerequisites.

Question 3: How are repeated courses calculated into the GPA?
When calculating your GPA’s the admissions staff will use the Repeated Coursework Form submitted with the secondary application. The GPA’s reported on the PTCAS are re-calculated upon receipt and review of the form by the Admissions Office. Courses and the grades received will be excluded from the GPA calculations. Applicants are allotted five science course repeats (includes prerequisites and non-prerequisites). Repeating a course more than once counts toward the five the allotted.

Question 4: Do you accept advanced placement (A/P) credit, or Pass/No Pass courses?
Only one prerequisite course may be taken on an advanced placement or pass/no pass basis. For those prerequisites requiring a sequence (i.e. Chemistry or Physics), only one course in the sequence may be taken on an advanced placement or pass/no pass basis. While it will satisfy the prerequisite, it will not affect your GPA.

Question 5: Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree to apply?
Yes. This is a doctoral degree program and thus requires a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite. The degree must be conferred by the end of the Spring term prior to matriculation.

Question 6: Do you require any standardized tests prior to application?
Yes. Beginning with the 2017-2018 application cycle, applicants must request their GRE scores be sent to PTCAS using institution code 2228. Please refer to the Application Requirements for additional test requirements and information.

Question 7: Do you require a minimum GPA to apply?
Currently you are required to have and maintain through matriculation into the program, a minimum overall and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher. View requirements for details.

Question 8: May I use a single course to satisfy more than one prerequisite?
No, you may not use a single course to satisfy multiple prerequisites. Each prerequisite must be satisfied by an individual course. 

Question 9: Can I talk to a counselor about my coursework?
If you’d like to find out whether the courses you’ve taken or plan to take will satisfy WesternU’s Professional Program’s DPT prerequisites you can:

  1. Search the prerequisite database by institution.
  2. If your courses aren't listed in the database and you have numerous courses in question, or simply wish to lay out your coursework, you may instead print and submit an academic worksheet (available on the requirements page March-August)

By laying out your coursework in relation to our prerequisites, you will be able to determine the courses you may still need to complete. In addition, you will be able to assess your academic performance in the courses (prerequisites) our admissions committee believes are of greatest importance. If the course name does not match the prerequisite title, you must submit a course syllabus for review.

Once you receive our assessment, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. 

Question 1: How do I check my application status online?
You can check your application status by visiting the application status page.

Question 2: What if I want to change information on my application after I have completed it?
You may not change answers or documents submitted with your application, but you may upload additional, supplemental materials. To do so, visit the application status page and use the "Upload Materials" section of the page to submit your supplemental materials.

Question 3: What if I want to apply to more than one program? Do I need to create a new account?
You can apply to multiple programs using a single account. Visit our online application, log in, and click "Start New Application" at the bottom of the page.

Question 4: What address should I use if I need to mail any additional application materials?
For official transcripts please mail to:
Western University of Health Sciences
Attn: EDS/program you are applying for (MSMS, MSNE, MSPS, etc.)
309 E Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766

For unofficial documents, please upload to the online application as indicated in the application instructions.

Question 5: How do I pay my application fee?
All application fees require payments made by credit card. Only cards with Visa and Master Card logos will be accepted. No checks, money orders, or cash will be accepted for payment of application fees.

Question 6: What if I do not have a Visa or Master Card?
Payment may be made with a Visa or Master Card prepaid gift card which can be purchased at many major chain stores or online. Please be aware that the gift card must contain a balance sufficient to cover the application fee in one full payment.

Question 7: Are fee waivers accepted?
Payment is required at time of application, if fee waiver is approved a reimbursement will be issued.

Question 1: What is the board passing rate for your physical therapy students?
The success of WesternU’s Professional DPT curriculum is evident in the fact that 94% of the 2015-2016 DPT graduates passed their national licensure exam!

Question 2: Is tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state residents?
Yes. We are a private institution so the tuition rate is the same for all DPT students. Learn more about tuition and how to finance your education.

Question 3: Is there an opportunity to do research while attending WesternU?
Students are required to actively participate in research that is guided by a faculty mentor.  The mandatory Capstone Research Project provides an opportunity for collaborative, interprofessional research that can be empirical, clinical or community service focused.  The research process also allows students to enhance their  own academic development in a unique set of skills of interest and develop a unique collegial bond among the research team as they complete their Capstone Research, including student presentations at peer reviewed state and national conferences.  

Question 4: Is it advisable to work while I take classes?
No. This is a full-time commitment and we discourage you from working, even part-time.

Question 5: How can I learn more about the financial aid available to me?
For more information regarding tuition, financial aid and scholarships, please visit the financing my education page.

Question 6: Is the DPT program accredited?
Yes, the Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Allied Health Professions is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.
 

Your Interview

Students on campus

Preparing For Your Interview
Congratulations on making it to the next step in the admissions process! By now you should have received an electronic confirmation of your interview day and time – should you have any questions or need to change your appointment, please contact Karen Hutton-Lopez via email and they will be happy to assist you.

Please carefully review the information below to get a sense of what to expect on the day, tips on how to prepare, directions and parking information as well as some additional resources. We look forward to getting to know you better at the interview!

Your WesternU Support Team


About the Interview & Interviewers
To help ease the stress of the interview, we would like to give you a brief overview of what to expect for the day and specifically share with you the structure and composition of the interview team. While on campus you will hear from faculty and administration about the curriculum, admissions process, and student services as well as chat with students while taking a tour of the campus.

You can expect to be interviewed by two teams of two, comprised of faculty. The interview format is such that candidates complete a timed writing sample and participate in two, 15 minute mini interviews. The interview will serve as an opportunity for you to demonstrate qualities that could not be fully assessed by your application alone. The interviewers wish to learn more about you and to determine your compatibility with our program. The interviewers will not have seen your application nor will time permit you to discuss your application.

Check-in

Please report to the lobby of the Health Sciences Center (HSC), see map below. We encourage you to arrive to campus 15 minutes before your scheduled check-in time so that you have ample time to park and walk to the Health Sciences Center.

Identity Verification Policy

Proper identification of individuals allows WesternU to provide a safe and secure campus environment. In addition, the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Public Law 110-315, requires that University confirm that a person enrolling in the University is the person who is completing the enrollment form, and that the student taking an examination is the student who participates in, completes, and receives credit for the course.

It is the policy of Western University of Health Sciences that applicants to the University are required to provide a government issued ID when checking in for an Admissions interview. Applicants who are unable to provide an acceptable form of identification may reschedule their interview if space is available. For more information on acceptable forms of identification and the University’s Identity Verification policy, please visit: http://www.westernu.edu/registrar/id-verification/.

Preparing For Your Interview Day

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your time with us:

  • Make sure your best business professional attire is ready to wear
  • Review the prospective student website
  • Have a few questions ready for the interviewers in case they ask
  • Print directions and plan to arrive early
  • Bring a pen and notepad in case you need to take notes
  • Get a good nights’ sleep so your body and mind are refreshed

Airports & Hotels
When scheduling flights, we recommend flying in and out of Ontario International Airport (ONT), which is approximately 10 miles east of our campus. Additional options include Santa Ana/John Wayne Airport (SNA), which is approximately 30 miles south of our campus or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) which is approximately 40 miles west of campus. If you are an out of town guest, you may also wish to reference some conveniently located hotels.

Parking

All guest parking on campus is public metered parking, and spaces are available in Daily Permit Lot 12 (located at First and Gibbs St.)

Instructions for Public Metered Parking: (7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. and Weekends)

  1. There are payment machines located in Paid Permit Lots at First Street & Gibbs Street and Third Street & Gibbs Street. When parking you must note the space number and enter it in the machine.
  2. Enter the number of hours you expect to park there (plan for six hours).
  3. The machine will give you your cost and ask for payment. It accepts coins, bills, Visa and MasterCard
  4. You will receive a receipt but it is not necessary to put it in your vehicle.

Campus Student Parking Map


View Larger Map

Admitted Students

Congratulations and Welcome to the WesternU Family

WesternU Esplanade and FountainWe are excited for you to join the College of Allied Health Professions, Doctor of Physical Therapy program in Fall 2017! In the meantime, be sure to complete the items on your “To-Do Before Orientation” list and utilize the resources provided below to prepare for your arrival on campus.

It is essential that you regularly check your WesternU e-mail account (once assigned) as all reminders and follow-up from the University will be sent through this account (including financial aid, registration and final admission requirements information). If you wish to continue utilizing your external e-mail account, you must setup the WesternU e-mail forwarding feature today!

Again, congratulations and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Your WesternU Support Team


"To-Do" Before Orientation

Website Resources and Who to Contact with Questions

Website Resource/Topic Contact With Questions
Student Portal Access Instructions Information Technology
Student Portal Password Issues Registrar
Calendar: Class Schedule and Spring Break Carrie Rogers
Calendar:  Holidays and Winter Break University Student Affairs
Classified Ads:  Purchase Used Books, Furniture etc. University Student Affairs
Clubs and Student Interest Groups University Student Affairs
Counseling Services University Student Affairs
Financial: Award Letters and Check Disbursements Financial Aid
Financial: Budgets/Tuition, Fees, etc. Financial Aid
Financial: How to Apply for Financial Aid Financial Aid
Financial: How to Finance Your Education Financial Aid
Fitness Memberships University Student Affairs
Health Insurance University Student Affairs
Housing: Learn about the recommended luxury and convenient housing option, the Daumier University Student Affairs
Immunizations, History & Physical Exam Forms Student-Employee Health Center
Laptop Setup For Use at WesternU Information Technology
Laptop Technical Standards Information Technology
Library Information and Services Reference & Outreach Department
Orientation/Welcome Week: Event Information University Student Affairs
Orientation/Welcome Week: Excused Activity Absence Carrie Rogers
Orientation/Welcome Week: Tickets Lorraine Halverson
Pre-Matriculation Checklist Admissions
Registration Registrar
Technical Support Information Technology
Unofficial Grade/Degree Report Admissions
WesternU E-mail: Access Issues Information Technology

Summer Preparedness and Readiness Course

The Summer Preparedness and Readiness Course (SPaRC) is a five-week program generally held in June and July, before the start of the academic year in August. SPaRC familiarizes incoming students with the “WesternU Way” while preparing them for their program in a supportive, low-stress, interprofessional setting.

SPaRC courses introduce students to foundational material pertinent to their program of study. Instruction emphasizes the key basic principles in each program. SPaRC prepares incoming students by providing an overview of applicable basic medical science courses, efficient academic learning skills, and wellbeing competencies.

Participating programs include: College of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Department of Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA), Department of Physical Therapy (DPT), College of Optometry (OD), College of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), and the College of Dental Medicine (DMD).

For further information about SPaRC, please contact the program Director: Dr. Hector Arroyo at (909) 469-8499, or visit our SPaRC page.

Interprofessional Education

The Role of Teamwork and Communication in Medical Error

According to data from the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 people die and 974,000 are injured in U.S. hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical error. Such errors led to negative consequences such as additional days spent in the hospital, loss of ability to manage daily living activities, organ damage, loss of a limb and death. In addition to the physical and emotional impacts of medical error on both patients and healthcare providers, failures often have large financial consequences. In fact studies show that the financial cost of these errors is estimated at $17-29 billion per year.

The Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation reviewed nearly 2500 patient cases and found that 70% of negative medical outcomes resulted from ineffective teamwork and/or communication. In response to these and similar findings, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for significant changes in the way health care providers are educated and trained in order to decrease the unacceptable rate of medical errors prevalent in the United States.

Interprofessional Education
The concept of interprofessional education (IPE) has been proposed by many healthcare organizations as a way of equipping future health professionals with the skills needed to decrease medical errors and address the changing needs of patients. Therefore, WesternU responded to the IOM’s call to action by developing a wide-reaching Interprofessional Education (IPE) curriculum!

Interprofessional education (IPE) is most commonly defined as “occasions when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care”

WesternU’s IPE Curriculum

Group of students with faculty facilitator.During the first year of your professional program, you will meet with nine fellow students and one faculty facilitator for several case studies. Each case study takes four hours and is spread over several weeks. Each case study consists of a diverse mix of students from eight of our professional programs in Pomona, CA; Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Physician Assistant (MSPA), Physical Therapy (DPT), Pharmacy (PharmD), Nursing (MSN), Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Optometry (OD), and Dental Medicine (DMD). In Lebanon, OR, our Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students work with Nursing (ADN), Pharmacy (PharmD), Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Public Health (MPH), Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), Medical Assistant (CMA), and Diagnostic Imaging students from nearby schools.

At the beginning of each case study, you will receive a clinical case scenario. Additional case details such as risk factors and environmental concerns will be divulged as the case unfolds. As a team, you will explore the various biological, psychosocial, and relational aspects of the case that might affect your team’s diagnosis and recommended treatment of the patient. The IPE curriculum is case-based and grows increasingly advanced as you move through the program. Initial cases concentrate on honing your communication and interpersonal skills, analyzing ethical issues, and developing your understanding of the other professions.

Intermediate and advanced level IPE courses focus more on the diagnosis and treatment of standardized patients you’ll see in the simulation lab, or real-life cases you’ll assess in various settings including our Patient Care Center, community health fairs, and volunteer club events. The IPE curriculum continues in your second year, where you will have the opportunity to work with your fellow students across all disciplines in an online setting.

For more information about WesternU’s IPE initiative please visit the Interprofessional Education website.

“Working together on cases enabled me to begin networking with future professionals from many different health professions. It also gave me a stronger knowledge base from which to build professional relationships and ask educated questions of other health professionals.” -DPT Student

Pilot Study

Students in study session.To assist in designing the Interprofessional Education curriculum, we conducted a pilot study with students in six of the programs that participate in IPE. The case they received was that of an obese middle-aged man who presented in the emergency room after a fall.

As the case developed, the pilot study teams learned of other patient risk factors, including hyperglycemia, elevated blood pressure, and unhealthy life styles. They also acquired information about the health of other parties in the patient's life including his daughter and their dog. As the case continued to unfold, they discussed the psychosocial issues exacerbating the underlying health issues.

The pilot study was very successful and provided solid data upon which to design the curriculum. You can expect to see a range of cases in the interprofessional curriculum that can cover diabetes, obesity, stroke, cardiovascular, and cancer.

“A lot of patients are discharged from the hospital and they don’t know why they’re taking certain medications, so a lot of our time is spent talking to patients, doctors and nurses. I think that having a better understanding of each other’s roles will help us communicate better.” -PharmD Student

IPE Curriculum Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation we anticipate that you will:

  • Know about and respect your colleagues in other disciplines.
  • Appreciate the added value of being a member of a diverse health-care team.
  • Have the skills and desire to work collaboratively with health professionals from numerous disciplines to better patient health.
  • Develop lasting networks with future health professionals from 12 other disciplines.

Students outside with patient and pet dog.We believe these skills will enable you to practice more effectively because you will have an extensive professional network to call on as needed. In addition, you will have the wherewithal to confidently and appropriately refer patients. This ultimately benefits your patients because they will receive timely care from the most appropriate health-care providers, thus minimize costs and patient recovery time, and maximize their potential for improvement or full recovery.

As national health-care organizations and employers continue to emphasize the importance of team-based health care, it is likely that your interprofessional training will enhance your employment opportunities. The growing number of elderly with chronic conditions will also make coordinated care even more important over time.

“We're grad students, we can all solve problems in our own spheres. The point, I think, is to create a culture of graduates entering the medical field who are saying, You know what, I have a respect for everyone else and I'm willing to learn how to effectively communicate with them.” -Pilot study participant

Contact Us


For general questions

The Office of University Recruitment will provide general information about the program, the application process, financial aid, and student life. We can also connect you with the appropriate resources at WesternU. We look forward to addressing your questions about the Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

Annie Wang — University Recruiter
(909) 469 – 5246
anniewang@westernu.edu



For questions about your application

The Office of Admissions will assist you during the application process, so please feel free to introduce yourself to us and ask any questions you might have.

All DPT applicants
Karen Hutton-Lopez — Director of Admissions
(909) 469 – 5650
klopez@westernu.edu

Profiles

StudentFacultyAlumni

Chelsea Ngo

DPT, Class of 2017

Why did you choose your WesternU program? In my opinion, it was the best Physical Therapy program in the Southern California region, which is saying a lot considering there are a number of competitive schools in this area. The reason for my decision was a combination between the years of clinical expertise of the faculty, consistency of relationships with clinical sites for internships, and the opportunity to develop my foundation as a new professional in this richly diverse community.



Jaleesa Follens-Jones

DPT, Class of 2017

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? I feel supported by the faculty and staff in the DPTE. I am surrounded by faculty members that go above and beyond for their students. Many faculty members will stay after hours to answer questions and assist with practical examination preparation, answer late night emails, hold extra study sessions, among other things. I also feel very supported by the Dean of the College of Allied Health, Dr. Bowlin, in that she has established the feeling of family and community within the College since the beginning of my time at WesternU. She has addressed matters that were of concern to students quickly and personally, which I greatly appreciate.



Kayla Sakamoto

DPT, Class of 2017

How has your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government association) impacted you and/or the community you serve? I am currently involved in PTAC (Physical Therapy Advocacy Club). This club is the only PT specific club on campus. It has helped me to learn to be a leader and improve my communication skills. It also provides a lot of volunteer opportunities that are PT related. As a member of this club I have been able to serve the community through free health screenings, sports clearances, and assisting in events like the Special Olympics. This gives me the opportunity to give back to the community and it also allows me to practice the skills I have learned in school.



Marcus Pedroza

DPT, Class of 2018

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? All of the faculty at WesternU is truly there to support you through this difficult program. Professors will sacrifice their weekends to help you work through difficult concepts. The department staff is available at all times to answer any questions you may have and last but not least your cohort is there to support you through the entire process.

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? One important point for all prospective students to know is that everyone here wants you to succeed. One day you may end up practicing alongside your professors. They go above and beyond to make sure you become a successful clinician.



Calli Jackson

DPT, Class of 2017

Why did you choose your WesternU program? I chose the WesternU program because immediately, as soon as I set foot on campus, I felt that I was interacting with people who took in an interest in me as an individual and as a clinician. WesternU has continued to build a community in which our health professionals are compassionate, highly educated, and make it a priority to value the patient first. I have been nothing but satisfied with all of the faculty and staff, and the continuous efforts to expose students to the most up and coming research and technology in order to provide the best education possible.



Nduka Unaka

DPT, Class of 2017

How has your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government association) impacted you and/or the community you serve? Working as Vice President for the American Geriatric Society has been awesome. The geriatric patient population needs health care professionals on the front line to help them with a lot of health care conditions. I believe a true servant of the people goes where he or she is needed as opposed to where they prefer. Trying to inspire people to meet this void has been a calling for me.



Nicholas O’Neil

DPT, Class of 2018

Why did you choose your WesternU program? I chose Western University of Health Sciences and the Doctor of Physical Therapy program for many reasons. First, I have a family history of attending WesternU and it’s Doctor of Osteopathic medicine program. I will be a 2nd generation graduate, first with a doctorate in Physical Therapy, and maybe a bit bias. Yet when volunteering in the clinic I always kept an eye out for alumni and often noticed they were different clinicians than the rest. The PT’s who went to WesternU were intelligent and well-rounded, exemplifying unprecedented compassion and humanism. They demonstrated the qualities and upheld the values I believe are of utmost importance. But, what solidified my decision, were my interactions with faculty, staff, and students. Whether it was at one of many Preview Days on campus, or a simple email I exchanged with Admissions. They displayed empathy and respect. They were a family here, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Mary Hudson-McKinney, PT, MS, DPT, NCS

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy Education

Research interests: I am a board-certified neurologic clinical specialist in the PT program. I plan on looking at evaluating the reliability of a balance-assessment tool in community-dwelling elderly individuals. In the future, I plan on evaluating this tool for individuals with Parkinson's disease to determine their risk of falling. Lastly, I plan on completing a study that looks at the use of this tool by physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and physician assistants.

Beyond the classroom: I have attended “club day” and was able to meet and speak with a variety of students that actively participate in a variety of organizations. I also have attended various lunches and fund raisers student groups have offered. In my program, I have supported our PT students and acted as a faculty advisor when students presented at a local Parkinson's Support group on balance training and fall/risk prevention. I hope to do more of these types of things in the future.

I think WesternU is an outstanding University. Our graduates routinely score very high on the state boards and work in varied areas of practice.

Read more about me…


Dayle Armstrong, DPT, MS, PT

Chair/Associate Professor

How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? The IPE curriculum is a valuable part of the student’s education here at WesternU. Students get the experience of interacting and problem solving cases with students in other health care professions. It is a great mechanism to learn collaborative patient care.

Have you taken advantage of the research opportunities offered at WesternU? Please describe your research and it’s importance. My area of specialization is Pediatric Physical Therapy and Prosthetic/Orthotics. I have done research on a standardized pediatric assessment tool and how it measures function in children with sensory and physical disability. I am currently a co-investigator on a research project on sensory processing, gait characteristics, balance and visual skills in children with Sensory Processing Disorder. I am a faculty mentor for a group of students researching agility in patients with using a prosthesis. I love research and these are just a few examples.

I think WesternU is an outstanding University. Our graduates routinely score very high on the state boards and work in varied areas of practice.

Read more about me…


Casey Chaney, PT, PhD. OCS, CSCS

Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy Education

Research Topics: I have participated in research on low back pain in students, the effect of inhibitory taping in normal subjects, the immediate effect of inhibitory taping to the upper trapezius muscle in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome and I am currently working on the long term training effects of exercise with inhibitory taping on patients with shoulder impingement syndrome over an 8-week intervention program.

WesternU Distinctive: A unique aspect of our program is the fact that we have faculty teaching in the areas of their expertise. Many programs assign faculty to teach in areas that may not be their strengths. I think that the ratio of instructors to students in our labs, by using some adjunct clinical instructors, is especially valuable for manual evaluation and treatment skills.

Beyond the Classroom: I have been involved in long distance running for decades and coached adults from novice to Olympic trial caliber. My son, granddaughter and two dogs provide balance in my life.

Best Advice: Maintain some balance in your life.

Read more about me…


Ginny Dunn, PT, DPT, MSHCA

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Physical Therapy

WesternU distinctive: I have been given great autonomy in teaching the DPT program. I am a clinician and a manager so I feel I have a lot to offer to WesternU. I participated in the transitional DPT program as a student and that allowed me to look at the program from a student perspective, which in turn helps me to adapt my teaching.

Best thing about WesternU: One on one, personal approach with excellence and learning in mind.

About thing about the program: Excellent curriculum and instructors that support the concept of the DPT whether you are a new graduate or transitional PT obtaining your DPT. There’s also online and onsite education that supports the forward-thinking goals of the profession.

Sara Wiese

DPT, Class of 2014

Wiese_ SaraWhy did you choose WesternU: When I first visited WesternU, I had the opportunity of meeting a few of the faculty members and they really pulled me into the program. Everyone was so warm and welcoming and I could truly tell how invested they were in the students upon meeting them. I was also very interested in seeing what the IPE program was all about. I felt very privileged to be amongst one of the few schools across the country that had the opportunity of being in this program.


Omid Kajbaf

DPT, Class of 2013

How has your involvement in student clubs impacted you and/or the community you serve? My involvement in student clubs gives me an avenue to become more involved in the community through organized marathons and fundraiser events that support both local and international communities.

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? WesternU is a very tightly-knit community that gives the student a sense of family. During my educational career at WesternU I have had the support from President Pumerantz, the DPT faculty and staff, and my fellow classmates in my involvement with a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mobility to underserved regions around the world by means of wheelchairs.

Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. The DPT program at WesternU does an outstanding job engaging the students with a hands-on approach. I feel the use of standardized patients and professors acting as patients during practicals really prepare the students for their clinical affiliations. Practical examinations are used as an educational tool to give the students simulation of “real life” patient encounters as a physical therapist.


Sara Guiffrida

DPT, Class of 2013

Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable. My best clinical experience so far has been down in San Diego for a two week rotation in an outpatient ortho clinic. My clinical instructor that I worked with was not only informative and a fantastic teacher, but was also fun and easy going. I was amazed at how much I remembered just from the first year and how much I was able to apply in a clinical setting. It was such a good first clinical and I am excited for the longer ones coming up in a year!

What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? WesternU provides patient based, and humanistic education in order to provide the best care to our future patients. WesternU has not only helped me gain knowledge how of to be a PT but also how to be a more compassionate and caring individual. The DPT department at WesternU has amazing staff and my experience thus far has been incredible.


Terri Jemison

DPT, Class of 2013

Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable. My best clinical experience was my first 12-week affiliation in an out-patient orthopedic clinic. My clinical instructor provided me with constant feedback on my performance and documentation. We had discussions about my strengths and weaknesses, ways to improve my skills, and strategies for managing my cases. The clinic functioned on a fast-paced schedule, so I feel prepared for whatever time contraints I may be faced with in the future.

Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? The faculty make themselves available to you when you need it. They provide their cell phone numbers so that you can call them when working on a project or studying for an exam. They notice when you are feeling down or upset, and take you into their office to provide an open ear. A former professor was fond of meditation, and she could turn her office into a peaceful and quiet space for reflection.

How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? My class has become very involved in fundraising for the Free Wheelchair Mission and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. We have bake sales, participate in the races, and volunteer for their events. A few of my classmates have become advocates for these groups, and they want to show the world how amazing these people are and what we can do for them.

Clinical Experiences

Clinical Education Experiences

As a DPT-Entry student at WesternU you'll have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and refine your skills during clinical education experiences in the 2nd, 6th, 8th and 9th semesters of the curriculum.

Semester
Length
Setting
2nd
2 weeks
Clinical setting with which you are least familiar
6th
12 weeks
Out-patient orthopedic or in-patient clinical setting
8th
12 weeks
Out-patient orthopedic or in-patient clinical setting*
9th
12 weeks
Any setting in which you work with neurological diagnoses**
*Setting in the 8th semester will be whichever was not experienced in the 6th semester 
**Settings in the 8th & 9th semesters may be switched with each other

Student working with patient in hospitalThese clinical settings and experiences were selected as they represent the foundational areas of physical therapy practice and will prepare you for the National Physical Therapy Examination and to work in a variety of settings upon graduation.

Our students gain clinical experience at more than 300 facilities across the country, from California to New York, plus Hawaii and Alaska.  At these facilities our students gain clinical experience in a variety of settings including rehabilitation centers, hospitals, private practices, Indian reservations and more!

With the early and lengthy exposure to clinical experience gained as a part of WesternU's DPT program you will be more than prepared to meet the demands of your career in physical therapy!

“I loved the hands on practice with the faculty, classmates, and standardized patients. It not only sharpened my ability to put into practice what I learned, but also strengthened my interpersonal skills.”
-Student, DPT 2010

Competitive Candidate

Competitive Candidate Profile/Class Statistics

Many applicants ask "What qualities do you look for in a student?"  This can be answered with another question:  "What qualities do you look for in a healthcare provider?"  We believe that a great healthcare provider is not only knowledgeable, but experienced, compassionate and a good communicator.

Although there is no formula to ensure admittance to the DPT Professional program, it is in your best interest to demonstrate to the admissions committee whichever of the following key attributes you possess.

We desire that each DPT Professional student:

  • Is academically prepared to succeed in our rigorous professional program
  • Is well rounded with diverse educational and life experiences
  • Has shown interest and involvement in the community
  • Has knowledge of and/or experience in the field in which he/she hopes to practice
  • Has a good understanding of both the profession and WesternU
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal & written communication skills
  • Demonstrates strong interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrates a commitment to compassionate health care 

The following statistics for the class entering August 2016 will give you a sense of where you might fall within the applicant pool. For additional statistics, please visit the Office of Institutional Research Academic Outcomes webpage

Applicant Scores
Number of Applications Received1221
Number of Interviews Granted372
Number of Students Enrolled54
Applicant Scores
Average Prerequisite GPA3.41
Average Overall GPA3.43