Texas State approved for doctoral degree in physical therapy

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 25, 2007


Texas State University-San Marcos has been authorized to offer a doctoral degree in physical therapy (DPT).

Final approval was given by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on July 19, and classes leading to the new degree will begin in the summer of 2008 with the enrollment of an initial class of 40 students.

Barbara Sanders, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Texas State, said requirements in the physical therapy profession are currently calling for practitioners to have completed education through the doctoral level. The new doctoral program at Texas State will produce physical therapy professionals who have completed a rigorous educational program.

“Our excellent faculty have active clinical, research and professional involvement and will continue to partner with the clinical community to provide students with a superior education. We are pleased that the approval of the DPT will allow us an opportunity to provide the education that will enhance the theoretical and clinical skills necessary for our students to meet the future physical therapy needs of Texas,” said Sanders.

Texas States DPT degree will require a minimum of 99 semester credit hours over nine  full-time semesters (three calendar years), and students will be required to complete a scholarly project as part of the curriculum.

Sanders said the new curriculum will augment the typical master’s degree program that had been the entry-level degree to the physical therapy profession in the past. The DPT program will require additional study in the areas of pharmacology, imaging, health care management, clinical decision making and clinical education.

“Our DPT curriculum will provide our students with the breadth and depth required for successful clinical practice,” she said.

Texas State began offering coursework leading to a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1984. With the 1995 entering class, the program began to offer the master of science in physical therapy degree.

“This latest transition to the DPT recognizes the increasing knowledge and practice skills required of entry level applicants,” said Sanders.

The DPT degree will be the seventh doctoral program offered by Texas State. Other Texas State doctoral programs are offered in adult, professional and community education; school improvement; environmental geography; geographic education; geographic information science; and aquatic resources.