David M. Bazett-Jones Assistant Professor Physical Therapy
Sara M. Deprey Clinical Associate Professor Physical Therapy
Mark R. Erickson Clinical Associate Professor, Director of Physical Therapy
Jane F. Hopp Associate Professor Physical Therapy, Dean
John P. McCarthy Associate Professor Physical Therapy
Amy E. McQuade Clinical Assistant Professor Physical Therapy
Sara E. North Instructional Staff Physical Therapy
Thomas G. Pahnke Clinical Associate Professor Athletic Training and Physical Therapy
Kathleen A. Shields Clinical Assistant Professor Physical Therapy
Jeffery P. Sischo Clinical Assistant Professor Physical Therapy

The  entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Carroll University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation AT apta DOT org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Societal demands and a changing health care environment affect physical therapy practice. The aim of the entry-level Physical Therapy program at Carroll University is to produce clinicians, trained for general practice in an evolving, diverse and interdisciplinary health care environment,  who provide best care, respectful of patient/client values and grounded in evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning, and who contribute to the profession and their community.  To achieve the program’s aim, individuals associated with the program demonstrate effective teaching, scholarship,  clinical practice, and service to the university profession and community.

Graduates of the entry-level Physical Therapy program are reflective, adaptable, accountable and competent  to render independent judgments within a framework of collaborative health care practice. Graduates are prepared to practice in a caring, compassionate manner with moral sensitivity, social responsibility and awareness of individual differences. Pre-professional education is grounded in the liberal arts and the natural,  behavioral, and social and health sciences. Professional preparation  is in the basic sciences, behavioral sciences, applied sciences, health sciences and the science of physical therapy. Graduates are prepared to examine, evaluate, diagnose, make prognoses and provide interventions designed to rehabilitate patients/clients to optimal levels of function, prevent the onset of symptoms, and progression of impairments,  functional limitations and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders or injuries. Understanding  professional practice, patient/client  management and practice management expectations allow graduates to impact health care delivery systems in their communities. Graduates have a life-long commitment to self-directed learning and critical inquiry, recognizing that completion of their professional education is the first phase on a continuum of phases to mastery and competency in physical therapy.

Graduates contribute to the profession and society by seeking and disseminating knowledge gained and providing pro bono services.

The program aim is reflected in its curricular  philosophy.  The curriculum is developed around four tracks, incorporating both traditional and problem-based learning concepts. Each track is composed of courses that find their foundations  in the same basic or professional science. The professional track presents material in a manner that develops content  from general to applied concepts in professional practice, patient/client management, practice management, clinical decision making and evidenced based practice. The neurological, musculoskeletal and general medicine tracks present basic science, applied science in the absence of pathology, and applied science in the presence of pathology within the context of patient care. Across and within the four tracks are common themes that include ethical inquiry and practice, continuous  integration  of theory and practice across the curriculum,  self-management  of the learning process by students,  and self-reinforcement whereby students learn because they value their growing competence. The curriculum includes both didactic and practical experiences. There is collaborative teaching within  and across tracks and courses with planned  redundancy of subject matter. Constant reinforcement of content with clinical experiences occurs through observations of, and exposure to, patients in academic courses, exposure to clients in the program’s Teaching Laboratory Practice, and integrated clinical education.

To meet the program aim, a variety of individuals including, but not limited to, academic and clinical physical therapists; other professionals; basic, behavioral and social scientists; patients  and care givers; and the community  are involved in the program. These individuals facilitate learning and share their content  expertise in their area of specialization. The academic, community and professional collaborations allow the program to link education to the reality of practice, anticipate future developments and keep a global perspective.


  • Curriculum

    The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program begins in the student’s senior year, lasts eight semesters, and is subdivided into two phases, Phase I and Phase II.

    During Phase I, course work in physical therapy begins at the 400 level. The 400-level courses present the basic, behavioral, professional and applied science foundations  for the 500-and 600-level courses in Phase II. Bachelor’s degrees are awarded to those individuals satisfying all relevant Carroll undergraduate requirements at the conclusion of the senior year/Phase I.

    At the conclusion of Phase I, students move into the graduate phase of the program, Phase II, where 500-level (summer, fall and spring terms of year five) and 600- level (summer, fall and spring terms of year six) courses in physical therapy are offered. Knowledge gained in each course is integrated throughout subsequent courses. Physical Therapy Program graduates participate in the University’s Commencement ceremony in May.

  • Admission



    The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program admits qualified students regardless of race, color, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or disability that does not interfere with the performance of professional physical therapy practice as provided by law. Students can enter the physical therapy program in one of three ways:

    1)      Direct admission - Individuals with direct admission status matriculate directly from high school into the pre-professional phase of the program. The pre-professional phase includes the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years at the University. If a student with direct admission status meets all standards after his or her junior year at the University, he or she transitions into the professional phase of the DPT Program. This option allows students to earn an undergraduate bachelor’s degree as well as the Entry - Level DPT degree in a six-year time frame.

    2)      Non-direct admission - Students not selected for direct admission will follow the non-direct admission process. Examples include high school students not selected for direct admission, undergraduate transfer students, Carroll alumni, and direct admission students who did not meet progression standards. Applicants who complete 60 or more undergraduate degree credits and will earn a bachelor's degree from Carroll receive a calculated preference in consideration for the professional phase of the program. Non-direct admission students may apply to the professional phase of the DPT program during their junior year at Carroll.

    3)      Non-traditional admission - An individual who has completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at another institution may apply for admission to the professional phase of the program. Non-traditional applicants are reviewed in a competitive pool consisting of non-traditional and non-direct admission applicants

    Applications and credentials for admission to the physical therapy program must be submitted for processing to the Carroll University Office of Admission. As decisions are made on applications, applicants are notified through the Office of Admission. Applicants must be eligible to return in good standing (be free of academic or disciplinary probation) to all institutions previously attended.

    Applicants must comply and meet the following requirements for admission into the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, which include: 

    1)      Evidence a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or an equivalent institution will be awarded prior to the start of the professional phase for all non-traditional applicants and by the completion of the senior year for all direct and non-direct admission applicants. 

    2)      Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).

    3)      Pre-professional prerequisite GPA of a 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and pre-professional course work grades of “C” or better.

    4)      Successful completion of all prerequisite course work prior to beginning the professional phase of the program, or if a direct admission applicant by the end of spring semester junior year (see prerequisite section).

    5)      Current CPR and First Aid certification. CPR certification must be either American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers or American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer. First Aid certification must be through an organization recognized as a valid issuer of certification such as the American Red Cross.

    6)      Safety and Technical Standards.

    Selection decisions will be based on the submission and evaluation of:

    1)      Graduate Studies Application for the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Professional Phase.

    2)      Application Fee: $25 application fee must be submitted at the time of application by non-traditional applicants.  Make check payable to Carroll University.

    3)      Supplemental Application Admission Materials, which include:

    • Clinical Experience Documentation Form: Participation in a minimum of three clinical observation experiences from three different types of practice environments (e.g. inpatient acute care, outpatient orthopedic or neurological, skilled nursing facility, pediatric, etc.) A minimum of eight hours at each type of the three environments for a total minimum of 24 hours is required.
    • Three Letters of Reference - Form: One from a physical therapist, one from a university professor, and one from a non-family member that attests to the student’s character.  (If you waive your right of access, letters must be submitted with a signature across the seal in individual envelopes).
    • Essay Form
    • Employment, Service, and Academic Honor(s) Form: Participation and documentation of university or community service activities is required.
    • Health Science Statement(s) Form
    • Safety and Technical Standards Form
    • Course Work in Progress Form
    • Application for Graduation Form: Only Carroll students must submit an application for graduation to the Registrar Office prior to the application deadline to show evidence of earning a bachelor’s degree by the end of senior year.

    4)      Official GRE scores:  Carroll’s School Code is 1101 and Department Code is 0619 -  exam date must be within the last 5 years

    5)      Official transcript(s): Submission of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. (Carroll applicants do not need to submit transcripts.)

    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) - reference the prerequisite section for details
    • Pre-Professional GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) - reference the prerequisite section for details

    6)      Submit required application materials prior to the applicant’s designated deadline date, which include:

    • Direct admission application for progression deadline:  December 13, 2013
    • Non-direct application deadline:  January 15, 2014
    • Non-traditional application deadlines:  First priority deadline of January 15, 2014 or Final deadline of February 14, 2014

    7)      Admission and progression standards are subject to change based on regulatory, licensing and /or certification needs.

    Required Prerequisites

    Successful completion of the following prerequisite course work and confirmation of successful completion of all prerequisites in progress at the time of application is required prior to the start of the professional phase of the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Because of the rapid evolution of the basic sciences and the rigor of the program, it is required that applicants complete the pre-professional prerequisite courses within seven years from the time of application to the professional phase of the program with a minimum course grade of “C” or better.  Pre-professional course work is identified with an asterisk below.  Applicants to the Carroll University physical therapy program may not use advanced placement credit or test credit, or online course completion for the biology, chemistry and physics pre-professional prerequisite course work. Please see below for the specific courses that are required under each discipline.

    Prerequisite Course Work Include:


    1)       BIOLOGY: 4 semesters*

    • 2 general biology OR 2 anatomy & physiology with labs (Carroll: BIO 120 & BIO 125 OR BIO 130 & BIO 140)
    • 2 advanced anatomy and physiology  (Carroll: BIO 402 and BIO 403 -  If nontraditional or non-direct admit applicants have not completed previously, then must be completed at Carroll the summer prior to Phase I if accepted into the program.)

     2)       CHEMISTRY: 2 semesters*

    • 2 general chemistry OR college chemistry with labs (Carroll: CHE 101 & CHE 102 OR CHE 109 & CHE 110)

     3)       PHYSICS: 2 semesters*

    • 2 general physics with labs (Carroll: PHY 101 & PHY 102 OR PHY 203 & PHY 204)

     4)       PSYCHOLOGY: Up to 2 semesters*

    • 1 course must be 200 level or above (Carroll: PSY 101 and above)

     5)       MATH: 1 semester

    • 1 statistics (Carroll: CMP112 and CMP114 or equivalent; can be 1 course such as MAT112 or PSY205)

     6)       3 Semesters of Humanities (for Carroll students the Pioneer Core general education courses satisfy this requirement)

    • For example: English, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Women's Studies, Fine Arts, Languages

     7)       3 Semesters of Social Sciences (for Carroll students the Pioneer Core general education courses satisfy this requirement)

    •  For example: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Politics, Cultural Geography, Economics, Communications

     8)      1 Semester of English (Either English Composition or English Literature)


    *Indicates course work included in pre-professional GPA calculation. Minimum of a 3.0 pre-professional GPA is required.

    Carroll University course numbers are provided for reference and course descriptions are provided in the University undergraduate online catalog.



  • Technical Standards for Admission to and Progression in the Physical Therapy Program

    Successful participation in the Carroll University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program requires that a candidate possess the ability to meet the requirements  of the program.  Though  the program may modify certain course  requirements  in order  to provide a person with a handicap1 an equivalent opportunity to achieve results equal to those of a person without a handicap,  there are no substitutes for the following essential skills. The applicant must initially meet the health requirements  and technical standards described below to gain admission to the DPT program, and must also continue  to meet them  throughout participation  in the program.  If a student has a significant change in health status while enrolled in the DPT program, the student is required to inform their program advisor, submit a physician release, and update the technical standards form.

    1  Handicapped as defined by the federal government pursuant  to SS 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

  • Technical Standards for Carroll University Physical Therapy Students

    In preparation  for professional roles physical therapy students are expected to demonstrate the ability to meet the demands encountered in a physical therapy career. Certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe and effective care. An applicant  to the DPT Program must meet and maintain  the following technical standards for progression throughout the program. Students unable to meet these technical standards will not be able to complete the program. Students shall notify the program in a timely manner of any change in their ability to meet technical standards.

    The technical standards include but are not limited to the following:

    General Ability

    The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing and smell so that data received by the senses is integrated, analyzed and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. The student is expected to possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature,  position, vibration and movement in order to effectively evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations.

    Observational Ability

    The student must have the ability to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of clinical/laboratory  activities and patient care experiences. The student  must be able to document  these observations accurately.

    Communication Ability

    The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to obtain information and explain that information  to others. Each student  must have the ability to read, write, hear, comprehend  and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, family members and other members of the health care team. The student must be able to document and maintain accurate records, present information in a professional manner and provide patient instruction  to effectively care for patients and their families.

    Psychomotor Ability

    The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to provide complete safe effective care for patients. The student is expected to have psychomotor skills necessary to safely perform examination  procedures and treatment  interventions,  including CPR if necessary. Examples of examination procedures include, but are not limited to, cognitive assessment, range of motion, manual muscle testing, sensation, balance, functional abilities, pain, cardiopulmonary status, percussion, palpation,  and anthropometrics. Treatment  interventions  include, but are not limited to, patient  education,  manual therapy,  functional training  (transfers, bed mobility, activity of daily living training, etc.), application of therapeutic physical agents such as electrotherapy,  radiation, heat, and cold, and wound care.

    The student must have sufficient levels of neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination  as well as possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing,  moving and physical exertion required for safe patient care. Students must be able to bend, squat, reach, kneel or balance. The DPT curriculum may require students  to carry and lift loads from the floor, from 12 inches from the floor, to shoulder height and overhead. The student must be able to occasionally lift 50 pounds, frequently lift 25 pounds and constantly lift 10 pounds. The student is expected to be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium and have the physical strength and stamina to perform satisfactorily in clinical settings.

    Intellectual/Cognitive Ability

    The student must have the ability to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential to professional physical therapy practice. Problem solving skills include the ability to measure, calculate reason, analyze, synthesize, and judge objective and subjective data, and to make decisions in a timely manner that reflects thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment.  The student must demonstrate  application of these skills and possess the ability to comprehend, retain, retrieve and incorporate prior knowledge with new information from multiple sources including, but not limited to self, peers, instructors  and related literature to formulate sound judgment for competent  patient/client management, practice management, and functions required for clinical scholarship.

    Behavioral and Social Attributes

    The student is expected to have the emotional stability required to exercise sound judgment, complete assessment and intervention activities. Compassion, integrity, motivation and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the DPT program. The student must fully utilize intellectual capacities that facilitate prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationship  with patients and other members of the  healthcare  team. The student  must  have the  ability to establish rapport and maintain respectful interpersonal relationships  with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds. Each student must be able to adapt to changing environments;  display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive  criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; and effectively collaborate with others. Students must continuously  self-assess to improve as a professional.

    Ability to Manage Stressful Situations

    The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively in relation to stressful situations encountered in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations.  Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the DPT program, and must effectively manage these stressors throughout entire workdays. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer and/or program related.


    An applicant/candidate with a handicap shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap, except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined  above, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the program. Carroll University may require that the applicant/student undergo a physical examination and/or an occupational skills evaluation.

    All DPT students must be able to perform the essential functions of a student physical therapist. Reasonable accommodations will be afforded to students with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A student who can no longer perform the essential functions of a student physical therapist must report this to their program advisor. If reasonable accommodations cannot be made, the student will not be able to remain in the DPT program.

    The Physical Therapy program may require that an applicant/student undergo a physical examination.  An applicant/student who is handicapped shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap (except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined above), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the physical therapy program.

    Students in the Physical Therapy program are required to complete the Carroll University Physical Therapy Intern Medical Information Form upon entrance into the program. This form documents information about the student’s health insurance carrier, physician,  medical conditions, vaccination history  and completion  of health  risk training.  A copy of the original documents  remain on file in the program.  Students carry a copy to each full-time clinical internship.  It is the student’s responsibility to update the information on this form on a yearly basis, or more frequently if necessary. Any medical treatment needed by a physical therapy student during academic preparation or clinical education experience is the responsibility of the student.

  • Caregiver Background and Criminal History Check

    On October 1, 1998, the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health and Family Services mandated that all persons who seek to be employed and/or licensed in the caregiver industry must fulfill the Caregiver and Background Check requirements in Section 50.065 of the Wisconsin statute. Entry-level Physical Therapy students are required, by the first day of class of the program, to complete a background and criminal history check.

  • Insurance

    Health: Pre-professional and professional students are required to have medical insurance. Those who are covered by a family or personal policy must provide the insuring company’s name and the policy number on a waiver form that is sent to the student by the University’s  Business Office. For students without their own coverage, a group insurance policy is available through the University. Students are also required to have a personal health history form completed and on file at the University’s health center.
    Clinical facilities may require proof of immunizations or additional procedures (lab studies, radiographs, etc.). The student is responsible for the cost of any related procedures.

    Professional Liability: Professional students are required to purchase on a yearly basis professional liability insurance through a university endorsed company.

  • Academic Progression

    All entry-level  Physical Therapy program requirements must be completed in 33 months unless permission is otherwise granted by the director of the Physical Therapy program. The academic progress of students in the Physical Therapy program is evaluated at the end of each semester. Progression standards are subject to change based on regulatory, licensing, and/or certification needs. Satisfactory progress is contingent upon satisfying the following academic requirements:

          1)   A grade of C or better is required in all physical therapy courses. A letter grade of D, F or U in physical therapy courses requires the student to repeat the course before progressing to subsequent courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite.  When repeating a physical therapy  course, a student  may be required to successfully complete ancillary learning experiences or clinical competencies/practicums that validate theoretical knowledge. If a student is unable to take further courses in the next occurring semester as a result of this policy, the student  is placed on academic suspension and repeats the course during the next appropriate semester. A course may be repeated only one time. A student receiving a D, F or U in the same physical therapy course twice or in two physical therapy courses is dismissed from the program.

          2)   A student must obtain a grade point average of 3.00 or better each semester. If a student earns a semester grade point average between 2.00 to 2.99, he/she is placed on academic probation. To meet academic standards for progression, the student must earn a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the following semester. If a clinical internship  course is scheduled during the next semester, the student must earn a satisfactory (S) grade in the clinical internship  course and a semester grade point average of 3.00 or better in the semester following the clinical internship  to be removed from academic probation. If a student is on academic probation the last semester of the program, the student must earn a grade of S in the clinical internship  and PTH 612: Clinical Research II to graduate. If a student does not meet progression standards a second time during his or her tenure in the program, he or she will be dismissed from the program. If a student earns a semester grade point average of 1.99 or less, he/she will be dismissed from the program.

  • Policy on Reapplication to the Program


    The policy on reapplication defines the process by which students may seek readmission to the program following dismissal of the student from the program for failing to maintain good academic standing. Readmission candidates may apply for readmission to the program no sooner than one year and no later than three years from the date of dismissal. Readmission candidates may exercise their reapplication option only once. Readmission candidates applying to the program must submit the materials required of all applicants for admission. In addition, they must provide transcripts relating to any education experiences completed since leaving the program.  A letter indicating why the readmission candidate believes s/he will succeed academically and technically in the program must accompany the application materials. Upon review of the materials, the program’s admissions selection committee may render the following decisions: 1) Approval of the request for readmission to the program with academic conditions, or 2) denial of the request for readmission to the program.

  • Clinical Education

    Clinical education in the physical therapy program consists of integrated Teaching Laboratory Practicum courses and 33 weeks of full-time supervised clinical internship courses. Clinical education internships occur off campus, and thus a student must secure appropriate  transportation.

    Learning experiences involving clients begin in the classroom through course experiences both at the University and at clinical practice settings where students observe and have planned practical experiences. The classroom experiences are expanded into a series of three integrated teaching laboratory practice courses where students participate in campus-community service learning wellness and prevention initiatives with healthy individuals  and individuals with pathology and disability across the life span. In addition, students participate in four full-time (40 hours/week) internships with patients/clients  in a variety of environments  that include rural, inpatient, outpatient, and specialty facilities and that are representative of contemporary physical therapy practice and patient/client differences.

  • Fees and Financial Aid

    During the Professional Phase I of the Physical Therapy Program, tuition and other fees apply to all students.  A professional program fee for 2013-14 of $300 per semester is assessed for course related supplies and equipment,  liability insurance, and assistance with membership dues in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Carroll University students in their senior year are eligible for undergraduate financial aid. Students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree are eligible for undergraduate Federal Subsidized Stafford/Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

    Graduate (Phase II) tuition for 2013-14 is $694 per credit, and students enrolled in Phase II are not eligible for Carroll University financial aid grants. Students in Phase II are eligible for graduate Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

    Information regarding any clinical facility scholarships and how to make applications for them is available.

  • Licensure

    Students are responsible for determining the requirements of and securing the application from the state in which they expect to be licensed.

  • Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Curriculum: 122 Credits
  • Graduate Courses

    The following courses are offered through our Graduate Program.

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