​Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT): FAQs


DPT Program

 When will the ​DPT program be opening at UW-Stevens Point?

The program start date is associated with our accreditation timeline established by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The DPT program will be planning for a Candidacy visit and decision in the spring 2022 and enrollment of our first class of students in May 2022. We will begin accepting applications for the first class of students in June 2021, but due to CAPTE requirements we will not be able to formally enroll students into the program until the a Candidacy decision is received.

 When will the program be accredited and how does this impact my ability to take the licensing exam?

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will make an initial accreditation decision on the UWSP DPT program in its meeting in fall 2024 prior to the student’s graduation in December 2024. UWSP will validate the student’s graduation and you will be able to register for your examination after being validated by UWSP. Students in the first graduating class will not be able to register for the examination prior to graduation. Registration for the examination occurs on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website.

 What is the application process?

The DPT program at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point plans to participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) in the 2021-22 admissions cycle. Applicants applying to UWSP physical therapist education program for the 2022 entering class will apply online using the PTCAS application beginning in June 2021.

 What prerequisite courses are needed?

For a list of the prerequisite coursework required for admissions, please visit our Admissions Requirements page.

 What semester does the DPT program begin and how long will it take to complete?

The DPT program will begin in summer. Students will be enrolled year-round (including winterim sessions) for a total of 8 academic semesters. Students will graduate in December, approximately 2.5 years after starting the program. The UWSP academic calendar can help you plan your personal schedules during your time in the program.

 What factors can one use in deciding on a school?

Choosing a school to complete your DPT degree is an important decision. In choosing a program you want to consider:
  • The culture of the program and university – this will help drive the curriculum both in how the curriculum is delivered and the content. To better understand what the culture is like ask yourself:
    • Do I learn better in large or small programs? Many programs have large class sizes but small individual classes. Understand that large universities and smaller universities have a different culture; no culture is 'right' for PT education – it can only be 'right' for how you learn and live.
    • Is instruction face-to-face, online or hybrid? Again, there is no one 'right' way to deliver a curriculum. How do you learn best and what is the structure in place to help you with that learning?
  • The philosophy, mission and vision of the DPT Program – this will help you understand what the program values, and these values will guide how their curriculum is structured.
    • At UWSP, the DPT program values a curriculum characterized by 'practice based learning.' The program will have students in clinic from the first semester in the program, and every semester until students complete their terminal clinical experiences. Our vision is that our clinic will not only serve our students but make a real and tangible difference in our community.
  • The community in which the university is located.
    • UWSP is in Stevens Point, Wis., a community of about 25,000 located on the Wisconsin River. It is one of the very first green communities in the nation, and values the relationship of its people to the out of doors. The city is known for its recreational trails and outdoor sporting opportunities.
    • UWSP is the largest university serving Central and Northern Wisconsin. It has a mission and vision to be engaged with the surrounding community to make a difference in the lives of the people of this region.
    • UWSP is known for its pioneering work in health and wellness, choosing a focus on prevention over treatment before prevention was an emphasis.
  • The cost of your degree program – explore not only the cost of tuition, but also consider fees, travel and potentially housing for clinical education placements, books, and other necessary expenses such as health insurance and liability insurance.

 Are the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program accredited?

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditor of universities. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. On November 22, 2021, the program submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation. (1)

 

(1) CAPTE Rules of Practice and Procedure 7.8 (f) Page 51 December 2018

 How much does it cost to complete the program?

We understand that price is an important factor when choosing a program. At UW-Stevens Point, we want you to make the best decision possible. To do so, we have created a chart that includes pricing to live and learn here. Learn more about our pricing and UWSP financial aid and scholarships.

 Do I need a specific degree in order to apply to the DPT program?

Students can apply to the DPT program with any undergraduate degree. The most common degree earned by UWSP students applying to physical therapy programs nationwide is the undergraduate degree in health science.

 Can I attend the program part-time?

At the moment, the program is only available for students to enroll in a full-time basis.

 What sets your program apart from other DPT programs?

Our program places a high value community and physical therapy's role in making our communities a better place. There is a common thread throughout the curriculum of practical and purposeful experiential learning opportunities in the community. The program also has a strong commitment and curricular focus on the needs of small rural communities and underserved populations like those found in Central and Northern Wisconsin. Our program understands that academic excellence is an important factor in preparation for the rigors of physical therapy school, but we will equally value life experience, community involvement, and service when making wholistic admission decisions. Visit our Vision, Values, Goals for more information.

 How can I talk to someone about the program?

We will be holding open forum events several times per month, that will be open to anyone with interest in the DPT program at UWSP. Students with specific questions or advising needs can contact the program directly at dpt@uwsp.edu.

 Where can I find financial aid information?

Graduate students may qualify for financial aid in the form of work-study or direct loans. Visit the Financial Aid for Graduate Students page for more information.

 Is the DPT program offered in a hybrid or online format?

While our program will have some asynchronous learning, students will have in-person learning experiences scheduled 4-5 days per week throughout the educational experience. Students will have scheduled classroom learning, lab time, and in-clinic lab time each week of the program.

 What if I retake my GRE after I have already submitted my PTCAS application?

You are able to retake your GRE, even if you have already submitted your PTCAS application. We encourage students to send their GRE scores to our program-specific PTCAS code 2955, which will automatically update your score within your application. Please note this process make take up to a week. We advise you to contact dpt@uwsp.edu upon completion of this process, as we do not receive updates from PTCAS.

 How do I file a complaint about the program?

If you have a complaint or concern with the Doctor of Physical Therapy program you may submit a complaint directly to the Program Director Kathryn Zalewski or to the Dean of Students. If you have a compliant that falls outside of Due Process, you may submit that compliant to the University of Wisconsin System. You will be prompted to select the UW System University and can state that this is the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. If you would like to register a complaint directly with CAPTE, their contact information is listed below.

* Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
 
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2021. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the [professional/technical] phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in [professional/technical] courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.(1)


(1) CAPTE Rules of Practice and Procedure 7.8 (f) Page 51 December 2018


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