Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

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Degree Offered: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Program Leadership:
Amber Fitzsimmons, PT, MS, DPTSc
Associate Professor and Chair, UCSF

Jeannette Q. Lee, PT, PhD, CLT, CSCS
Associate Professor and Chair, SFSU

Theresa Jaramillo, PT, MS, DPT
Vice Chair of Academic Programs, UCSF
DPT Associate Program Director, UCSF

Admissions Inquiries:
Mike Tressel, Admissions and Recruitment Specialist

Program Description

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is a three-year joint program between UC San Francisco and San Francisco State University (SFSU). Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. The UCSF-SFSU program runs for 36 continuous months beginning in June and includes 34 weeks of full-time clinical experiences. The program is designed to prepare scholarly clinicians, educators, collaborative clinical researchers, administrative managers and community leaders.

The curriculum of the DPT program is built on a strong theoretical foundation in basic, medical and applied sciences. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are developed within an integrated program that prepares students to work collaboratively with patients across the lifespan to improve health and wellness, address disability challenges, and optimize function.

Faculty

About 20 faculty members are affiliated with the program at UCSF and SFSU, plus many more volunteer clinical faculty from the UCSF Medical Center, and other Bay Area clinics.

Career Outcomes

Graduates from the entry-level DPT program go on to work as physical therapy professionals who are committed to patient care, education, and the application of research to clinical practice.

The DPT program office is located at the Mission Bay campus. Visit the program website for more information.

The DPT program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Medicine, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF School of Medicine and at San Francisco State University.

Admission Requirements

Applications

Completion of two applications:

  1. Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
  2. UCSF Supplemental Application

Clinical Experience

All applicants must be able to demonstrate understanding of the work and profession of physical therapy by completing a minimum of 100 hours of paid or volunteer experience in a variety of physical therapy settings (e.g. outpatient, inpatient) working under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. However, due to limited opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants for the 2021-2022 application cycle will not be disqualified if they are unable to obtain 100 observation hours.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are required from three individuals who personally know the applicant and his/her abilities. At least one recommendation must be from a licensed physical therapist. However, due to limited opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants for the 2021-2022 application cycle will not be disqualified if they are unable to obtain a letter from a licensed physical therapist.

Required Prerequisite Coursework

  • General Inorganic Chemistry with lab (1 year)
  • General Physics with lab (1 year)
  • Human or Comparative Anatomy with lab
  • Human Physiology with lab
  • General Microbiology or Upper Division Biology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Introduction to Statistics

Transcripts and Degree

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Official transcripts from every U.S. and Canadian college and university attended must be sent directly to PTCAS.

Learning Outcomes

Value 1: Patient Care, Community, Professionalism

Student Goal 1: Students will provide patient-centered care and participate in outreach and service to the community, striving to improve access, equity, and quality of treatment and education, with emphasis on communities of need

Objectives and Outcomes:

  1. Students will provide patient centered care.
    1. 100% of students will incorporate an understanding of cultural differences in patient care.
    2. 100% of students will effectively communicate with patients, family members, caregivers, and health professionals.
  2. Students will participate in IPE learning activities.
    1. 100% of students will participate in at least 3 interprofessional education opportunities during their DPT training.
  3. Students will participate in community engagement activities.
    1. 80% of students will participate in community engagement opportunities.
    2. 90% of students will participate in health care advocacy (e.g., direct service to the individual or family, and activities that promote health and access to health care in communities and the larger public; attending advocacy events; letter/email writing; legislation day; outreach, etc.).
    3. 100% of students will have accessed a community engagement resource site.

Value 2: Education, Courage, Integrity

Student Goal 2: Students will develop their professionalism, clinical skills, and unique abilities

Objectives and Outcomes:

  1. Students will participate in opportunities to provide feedback and be involved in curricular modifications.
    1. As needed, student representatives will participate in the curriculum committee and student success committee during their three years in the program.
    2. 50% of students will participate in at least one feedback session during their DPT training.
  2. Students will take electives or participate in panel discussions that promote their professional development.
    1. At least 95% of students will attend or participate in professional development, such as Spring Symposium and CSM Debrief.
    2. 50% of students will participate in at least one elective course during the DPT program.
  3. Students will complete the program with expected high academic and professional standards.
    1. 100% of students will demonstrate entry level performance prior to graduation:
      1. 100% of students will meet technical standards and demonstrate professional behaviors.
      2. 100% of students will pass all qualifying exams.
      3. 100% of students will graduate with a GPA of at least 3.0 at each campus.
      4. 100% of students will pass the culminating experience of evidence-based presentation and paper.
      5. 100% of students will achieve a passing grade in each of their clinical experiences.

Value 3: Research, Life of Mind, and Excellence

Student Goal 3: Students will develop an appreciation for and engage in research

Objectives and Outcomes:

  1. Students will participate in scientific inquiry and contribute to the body of knowledge in physical therapy.
    1. 25% of students will participate in a research project with faculty.
    2. 100% of students will disseminate research in a public forum at UCSF or SFSU.
    3. 15% of students will disseminate research in a public forum at state or national professional meetings.
    4. 50% of students will attend a state or national scientific/research conference once during their DPT training.

Value 4: Diversity, Equity, Respect

Student Goal 4: Students will benefit from the diversity valued by the program and will experience an inclusive learning environment

Objectives and Outcomes:

  1. Students will participate in opportunities to engage in initiatives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    1. 100% of students will participate in DEI learning activities during the program.
  2. Students will demonstrate professionalism in the area of sensitivity and diversity.
    1. 80% of students will self-assess and 80% of faculty will assess professionalism in the area of sensitivity and diversity as always demonstrated.

Value 5: Public Service and Resilience

Student Goal 5: Students will be advocates for the Physical Therapy Profession and leaders in their communities

Objectives and Outcomes:

  1. Students will participate in local, state, and national advocacy.
    1. 100% of students will participate in CPTA Legislative Day or similar advocacy event or write a letter/email to their representative during their DPT training.
    2. Each cohort will have a student representative at the CPTA Assembly or Student Conclaves.
    3. 25% of students will serve in a leadership role in student government or other professional organization.

Additional Information

Program Faculty