Examine the Curriculum

The success of WesternU's Professional DPT curriculum is evident in the fact that the
DPT 2013 graduates received a 96% overall pass rate on the national licensure exam!

The three-year Professional DPT curriculum is designed around a problem-solving approach to physical therapy clinical practice.

Review the Course Listing in our Catalog For more detail regarding the curriculum, please review the course descriptions (PDF) in our University catalog.

Early Clinical Experience

Early Clinical Experience

Students gain early clinical experiences starting in the second semester. This enables them to immediately apply, in real clinical settings, the knowledge and skills they’re learning in class.

To prepare students for their clinical experiences, they participate in simulated and real patient scenarios early in the curriculum while faculty provide feedback to maximize learning.

High Faculty to Student Ratio

These labs and others like them have a high faculty to student ratio of approximately one faculty member for every 10-12 students, and class size is typically 52 students.

“ I really enjoy the small size of my program and the close relationship I experience with the faculty. I even know that if needed I can call my professors at home and get additional help”
-Jace Allbright, DPT 2010.

Academic Support
DPT Professional students are taught by gifted faculty, many of whom have 15-20 or more years of teaching experience and many are APTA board certified in a variety of clinical specialties.

Not only do students have the support of their faculty and classmates, but they also have the expertise of the Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Office (LEAD). The staff of the LEAD office arrange for individual and group peer tutoring sessions, one-on-one stress relief sessions, as well as workshops on topics such as time management, test-taking skills, learning styles and review courses for licensing/certifying exams.

Our very high retention rate, and the fact that 96% of our 2013 graduates who applied for licensure passed their national licensure exam, is a clear indication that our students are receiving an excellent education and are afforded all the support required to succeed!

48 Hours in a Wheel Chair48 Hours in a Wheelchair
During their first semester in PT 5000 Psychosocial and Ethical Aspects of Health Care, DPT Professional students spend 48 hours in a wheelchair to get a sense of what it’s like to live in a world designed for people without full use of their legs. 

Anna Sladkey (pictured right) said of the experience:
“It’s not often that we have the opportunity to share the same experiences as our patients. This project has allowed me to be a better clinician because I am able to comprehend the physical and emotional challenges that persons in a wheelchair face every day.”

Students also learn which adaptive equipment such as canes, walkers, crutches, etc. are best suited to address the patient’s functional limitations.

Learning the mechanics of such equipment and attempting to view the world through their patient’s eyes helps prepare our graduates to work exceptionally well with the growing number of individuals living with disabilities.

Inter-professional Education

Learn Alongside Students in Other Health Professions
WesternU’s interprofessional curriculum provides a forum for you to collaborate and learn from students in eight other healthcare programs. This curriculum provides an opportunity for early networking with other health professionals and ultimately prepares you to better serve your patients through interprofessional collaboration and referrals.

Our first and second-year students spend most of their classroom time in Cooper Hall and Lecture Hall West where they have access to up-to-date scientific equipment and learning resources.

In addition, students use the Library and Learning Resource Center that provides great hardcopy and electronic resources. The library is both hardwired and wireless for laptop use.

Swift Hall and the Pumerantz Library

Join us for an information session where you can tour the facilities, chat with faculty and students,
and learn more about WesternU's Professional DPT curriculum and admission requirements.