Mar 31, 2023  
2019 - 2020 Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Physical Therapy

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FACULTY: Allen, Dockter (Department Chair), Eckert (Director of Clinical Education), Emmel (Director of Clinical Education), Hogan, Lundeen, Parker (Director of Research), Roller, Schulte, Taylor.

Program Overview

All students are required to complete a bachelor’s degree prior to admission into the 8 trimester professional physical therapy program. The curriculum consists of unique experiences provided within a supportive healthcare community including an optional international service-learning experience in Guatemala. An individual or group research project, culminating with a presentation and paper in manuscript form, is required to complete the clinical inquiry portion of the curriculum. Integrated clinical education experiences are offered throughout the program to allow students exposure to a wide variety of practice settings. These are augmented by four full-time clinical education experiences which are completed at a variety of diverse settings throughout the US and are spaced throughout the educational program. Students manage a pro bono clinic and provide physical therapy services under faculty guidance in order to practice their skills and serve the needs of the people in the community. The experienced faculty, representing several specialty areas of practice, are assisted by adjunct faculty, including physical therapists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is awarded upon successful completion of both the academic and clinical portions of the curriculum.

Concentration Option - Business and Physical Therapy

Students in the final year of the University of Mary’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program have the option of completing nine additional credits of coursework that will lead to a concentration in business. Students will complete online courses in an interprofessional format that will improve their business acumen to better meet the demands of modern healthcare practice.

Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum will have the ability to perform as entry-level physical therapists in a variety of roles and practice settings. Specifically, the intended outcomes are:

  • Practice in a safe, legal and ethical manner.
  • Practice autonomously and collaboratively and recognize when a problem or need is outside the scope of physical therapist practice.
  • Effectively communicate in verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic formats with all stakeholders.
  • Competently examine and manage patients/clients in diverse settings
  • Apply knowledge of diversity into practice, service, and scholarship.
  • Educate others using a variety of teaching methods commensurate with learner characteristics.
  • Apply evidence to the clinical decision-making process in the practice of PT that results in effective outcomes for patients and clients.
  • Participate in the administration of the practice setting.
  • Provide prevention and wellness programs appropriate to physical therapy.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professionalism including lifelong learning, advocacy and servant leadership.
  • Demonstrate the ability to discover, integrate, and apply knowledge for the advancement of PT practice.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Mary is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 701-355-8053 or email

Graduate Outcomes

Students in the University of Mary Program in Physical Therapy benefit from small class sizes and personal interaction with faculty.

  • 100% of graduates are employed as physical therapists in a variety of settings across the nation.
  • The acceptance rate (2016-2018) was 32%.
  • The matriculation rate (2016-2018) was 12%.
  • The average graduation rate over the past 3 years (2016-2018) was 95.9%.
  • The overall three-year pass rate on the NPTE (2016-2018) was 100%. The average first-time pass rate over the past three years (2016-2018) was 92%.


Guided by the University of Mary’s Benedictine values of Service, Prayer, Moderation, Respect for Person, Hospitality and Community, our mission is to prepare physical therapists for life.


Our vision is that our graduates will be competent, ethical, compassionate and caring physical therapists who optimize the human experience through the advancement of practice, advocacy, education, and service.

Application and Admission

The University of Mary is a member of the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), available at Students should submit their application to PTCAS and indicate that the University of Mary is one of their choices. PTCAS will send the documentation to the Physical Therapy Admissions Committee for consideration.

After receipt of application through PTCAS, the Admissions Committee selects candidates eligible for the required personal interview. The final class is selected on an objective point system based on prerequisite GPA, GRE scores, and interview score. The deadline for submission of the application to PTCAS is December 15th of the year prior to the September start date. Interviews are conducted throughout the fall and early spring. University of Mary does participate in the PTCAS Early Decision option.

The following are the program prerequisites and minimum criteria for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy professional program:

  • Required Courses: Two courses in biological sciences (Botany, Zoology, Evolution, and Ecology are not acceptable)
    Acceptable Courses: Cell, Embryology, General, Genetics, Histology, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular
    U-Mary Equivalent: BIO 103  and BIO 209  
  • Required Courses: One course in anatomy with lab, one course in physiology with lab, or a two course sequence in anatomy and physiology
    Acceptable Courses: Human Anatomy and Physiology I and Human Anatomy and Physiology II OR Human Anatomy and Human Physiology
    U-Mary Equivalent: BIO 207  and BIO 208  
  • Required Courses: Two courses in general chemistry with lab
    Acceptable Courses: General, Biochemistry, Inorganic, Organic
    U-Mary Equivalent: CHE 109  and CHE 110  or CHE 111  and CHE 112  
  • Required Courses: Two courses in general physics with lab
    Acceptable Courses: Physics I and II
    U-Mary Equivalent: PHY 203  and PHY 304  
  • Required Courses: Developmental or Lifespan Psychology
    Acceptable Courses: Lifespan or Developmental Psychology
    U-Mary Equivalent: PSY 406  
  • Required Courses: Abnormal Psychology
    Acceptable Courses: Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology
    U-Mary Equivalent: PSY 406  
  • Required Courses: Statistics*
    Acceptable Courses: Business Statistics, Math Statistics, Psychology Statistics
    U-Mary Equivalent: MAT 180  
  • Required Courses: Medical Terminology**
    Acceptable Courses: Course not required
    U-Mary Equivalent: HPS 206  suggested

    * Statistics is not included in the prerequisite course GPA calculation.
    ** Students must demonstrate competence in medical terminology by either passing a medical terminology course prior to entering the program OR independently studying and then passing a medical terminology test in the first semester of the PT program.

Recommended Courses

If students plan on participating in the optional fservice-learning experience in Guatemala, they are encouraged to take Spanish language coursework.

Transfer Students

Transfer students are welcome to apply. Advising of transfer students occurs through the Office of Admissions at 701-355-8235 or

Minimum Criteria for Admission

The minimum criteria for admission to the doctoral program in physical therapy include:

  • 7 out of 10 of the prerequisite courses completed prior to application
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 on all undergraduate college work
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on all prerequisite courses and a minimum of a 2.0 on any course
  • A candidate may retake any prerequisite course one time. The higher of the two grades will be used when calculating the prerequisite GPA
  • No more than two (2) retakes in the prerequisites will be considered.
  • Official GRE Scores (The PTCAS GRE code is 7564). The PT program does not have a minimum GRE score
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree by the time of admission into the professional program
  • In addition to the programmatic admission requirements, applicants must meet all of the general university admission requirements for graduate studies found at

Clinical Observation or Work Experience Requirement

The candidate must complete 40 hours of observation, volunteer or paid experience with one or more licensed and practicing physical therapists.

It is highly recommended that the hours occur in more than one area of clinical practice. The clinical experience hours must have taken place within two years of the application deadline. For each clinical experience, the student and the supervising physical therapist complete a Clinical Experience Form. These forms are available on the PTCAS website.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must have two letters of recommendation describing the applicant’s suitability for physical therapy. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a physical therapist.

Early Assurance

A selected group of high school seniors may apply for early assurance into the program. Applicants for early assurance must be outstanding high school students having at least a composite score of 24 on the ACT or a GPA of 3.5. A member of the PT faculty interviews these students prior to their early acceptance. Students accepted for this program sign an agreement detailing specific GPA requirements for their undergraduate coursework.

International Students

Applicants from countries in which English is not the native language are required to prove a minimum level of English proficiency. The University of Mary will accept scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Official TOEFL scores must be submitted by the application deadline on the PTCAS application (Code: 5312). Applicants who are applying to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program are required to achieve a minimum TOEFL score of an 89 on the Internet-based test (iBT®). The Doctor of Physical Therapy also requires a minimum TOEFL iBT® Speaking subscale score of a 26, TOEFL iBT® Writing subscale score of 24, TOEFL iBT® Reading subscale score of a 21, and a TOEFL Listening subscale score of an 18.

All exams are valid for two years.

Foreign Transcripts

The University of Mary Doctor of Physical Therapy does not accept foreign or international coursework, only courses taken within the U.S. will be considered. Coursework completed in Canada should be submitted to PTCAS for evaluation.

Rolling Admissions

The Physical Therapy program does participate in rolling admissions in that qualified applicants may be sent an invitation to interview early in the fall as their application is received and reviewed by the admissions committee through PTCAS. Students must meet all criteria previously outlined and participate in the formal interview process.

Evaluation and Grading

The program uses a variety of teaching methods including lectures and discussion, laboratory activities, service learning, student presentations and integrated clinical experiences. Competency and proficiency are determined by written examinations, practical examinations, class presentations, and projects.

Students must meet the academic requirements of this program in compliance with the policies laid out in the Physical Therapy Student Handbook. The minimum cumulative GPA requirement is a 3.2 for the DPT program.


The Physical Therapy Program values constructive feedback. Faculty and administration strive to respond to complaints and concerns in a timely and appropriate manner. A complaint is considered genuine when the individual voicing the concern submits it in writing with a signature, or speaks directly with the Physical Therapy Program Director or Dean of the School of Health Sciences.

The Physical Therapy Program Director, Dr. Mary Dockter, may be reached at (701) 355-8045 or via email at The Dean of the School of Health Sciences, Dr. Jodi Roller, may be reached at (701) 355-8189 or via email at


    ConcentrationGraduate Major

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