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PHYSICAL THERAPY

 

Physical therapists play a critical role in the delivery of comprehensive health care in today's society. Upon completion of all curricular requirements, students are awarded a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy (MSPT). The UW-La Crosse Physical Therapy department currently offers two levels of graduate education. The Level I (or entry-level) program prepares students to enter the profession of physical therapy. The Level II program is designed for students who are currently licensed as physical therapists and are seeking advanced training in clinical skills, clinical/academic teaching, or research.

 

The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is committed to educating entry-level Master's degree physical therapists who are prepared to meet the health care needs of western Wisconsin by providing services throughout the continuum of health care. Program graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in the health care delivery system as well as community and professional organizations. Finally, graduates are ready to assume other professional roles: consultation, education, critical inquiry, administration, and direction and supervision of personnel.

 

LEVEL I GRADUATE PROGRAM

 

The Level I program in Physical Therapy is designed to train therapists who can enter the profession as generalists. Program graduates are able to competently evaluate patients/clients, critically analyze new information, solve complex patient problems and have developed the skills to be life-long learners.

 

ADMISSION CRITERIA

The criteria for admission to the Level I program are:

1.                  An earned baccalaureate degree (or will earn a baccalaureate degree by the May following the February 1st application deadline). Pre-professional core courses must be completed by the February 1st application deadline. The required pre-professional core courses are:

 

 

Credits

 

General Biology

4

 

Human Anatomy/Physiology at 300 level or equivalent

8

 

Chemistry

8

 

Physics 

8

 

Algebra/Trigonometry or Calculus

3-5

 

Statistics

3-4

 

Psychology

6

 

2.                  A minimum grade point average of 3.2 for all undergraduate study

3.                  Evidence of two 20-hour periods of clinical experience supervised by a physical therapist

4.                  Complete application for admission to the Level I professional program in physical therapy. Applicants must also apply to UW-La Crosse for graduate admission.

 

Selection Process

A student's Level I program application must be received in the department office by February 1st to be considered for the next year's class of entering professional students. The professional program begins in the summer of each academic year. Students will receive notification of the selection committee's decision by April 15.

 

Admission to the Level I program is competitive. Each year 30 students are selected based on their undergraduate grade point average (which includes the pre-professional core requirements), their clinical experience, a writing sample (which is part of the application form) and their performance in interviews with members of the selection committee.

 

The top 70 Level I applicants, ranked by grade point average, will be invited for interviews by two review teams comprised of physical therapy faculty and practicing clinicians. The review teams will judge the applicants on the basis of the material in their application file and their performance in the interviews. Interview questions will be designed to assess the applicant's understanding of the physical therapy profession, leadership skills, communication skills, and self-perception.

 

Applicants should be aware that admission to the professional program is competitive and not all who apply can be accommodated. Exceptions may be made in order to achieve social and cultural diversity to which the University and UW System are committed.

 

Level I Program Overview

(96 - 104 credits)

The Level I graduate program in physical therapy is eight semesters (30 months) long with clinical experiences dispersed throughout.  These experiences include three 8-week internships; two of the 8-week internships are scheduled during the last semester.

 

Upon completion of the first year of the Level I program, students must declare either a  thesis option or advanced clinical skills option. Students will pursue advanced study in their selected area during the last 18 months of the program. Students electing the thesis option will not enroll in the third 8-week internship (P-T 776) but will remain on campus and continue enrollment in P-T 799 in order to complete the thesis. Students declaring the advanced clinical skills option may pursue course work in either:

            • Clinical biomechanics

            • Neuromuscular rehabilitation

            • Musculoskeletal - spine emphasis

            • Sports physical therapy

 

Students in the program should expect to incur additional expenses for books, lab fees, housing and travel during clinical internships and field trips for course work.

 

Level I MSPT Professional Curriculum:

 

Students declare either a thesis or advanced clinical elective option during the spring semester of their first year in the program. Students in both options take similar course work until the fall semester of their second year.

 

Year I — Summer Session   

Credits

P–T

521

Human Anatomy (10 weeks)

7

P–T

522

Physiology

3

P–T

561

Applied Anatomical Assessment

3

 

 

Total

13

 

Year I — Fall Semester

Credits

P-T

523

Kinesiology and Biomechanics of Normal and Abnormal Movement

3

P–T

524

Physiological Regulation of Exertion and Disease

3

P–T

525

Neuroanatomy

3

P–T

531

Basic Handling in Patient Care

2

P–T

532

Physical Agents I

3

P-T

541

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

1

P-T

549

PT Practice

1

P–T

562

Scientific and Clinical Foundation for Evaluation and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions

2

P–T

646

Professional Ethics

1

 

 

Total

19

 

Year I — J-Term

 

P–T

571

Clinical Fieldwork I(ECF -2 weeks)

1

 

 

Total

1

 

Year I — Spring Semester

Credits

P–T

526

Pathophysiology

2

P–T

527

Life Span Motor Development

3

P–T

533

Cardiopulmonary — Evaluation andTreatment

3

P–T

534

Physical Agents II

3

P-T

644

Psychological & Social Issues of Disability

2

P–T

664

Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Upper Extremity

3

P-T

682

Statistical Methods

2

 

 

Total

18

 

Year II — Summer Session

Credits

P–T

551

Neural Basis of Movement I

3

P–T

672

Clinical Fieldwork II (Rural care - 4 weeks)

2

P–T

681

Research Methods

3

P–T

683

Instrumentation

2

 

 

Total

10

 

Thesis Option

 

Year II — Fall Semester

Credits

P–T

563

Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment:Lower Extremity

3

P–T

642

 Clinical Teaching

1

P–T

652

Neural Basis of Movement II

4

P–T

665

Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Spine

3

P–T

799

Research: Master’s Thesis

2

 

 

Total

13

 

Year II — J-Term

 

P–T

673

Clinical Fieldwork III (Ortho - 4 weeks)

2

 

 

Total

2

 

Year II —Spring Semester

Credits

P-T

643

Health Care Systems

2

P–T

645

Advanced Seminar I

1

P–T

653

Neural Basis of Movement I11

4

P–T

748

Practice Issues

1

P–T

799

Research: Master’s Thesis

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

10

 

 

Year III —Summer Session

Credits

P–T

774

Clinical Fieldwork (Rehab - 8 weeks)

4

Total

 

 

4

 

Year III —Fall Semester

Credits

P–T

775

Clinical Fieldwork V (Acute - 8 weeks)

4

P-T

799

Research: Master’s Thesis

2

 

 

Total

6

 

 

TOTAL CREDITS THESIS OPTION         96

Advanced Clinical Elective Option

 

Year II — Fall Semester

Credits

P–T

563

Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Lower Extremity

3

P-T

642

Clinical Teaching

1

P-T

652

Neural Basis of Movement II

4

P-T

665

Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment: Spine

3

P-T

 

PT Advanced Elective (692, 696 or 697)

2-3

P-T

699

P-T Independent Study (required for neuro, sports, spine options)

1-2

 

 

Total

13-16

 

Year II —J-Term

Credits

P–T

673

Clinical Fieldwork III (Ortho - 4 weeks)

2

 

 

Total

2

 

Year II —Spring Semester

Credits

P-T

643

Health Care Systems

2

P-T

645

Advanced Seminar I

1

P-T

653

Neural Basis of Movement III (12 Weeks)

4

P-T

 

PT Advanced Elective (690, 693, 698)

2-3

P-T

699

PT Independent Study (required for neuro, sports, spine and biomechanics options)

1-3

P-T

748

Practice Issues

1

 

 

Total

10-13

 

Year III —Summer Session

Credits

P–T

774

Clinical Fieldwork (Rehab -8 weeks)

4

 

 

Total

4

 

Year III —Summer Session

Credits

P-T

775

Clinical Fieldwork V (Acute - 8 weeks)

4

P-T

776

Clinical Fieldwork VI (Specialty - 8 weeks)

4

 

 

Total

8

 

 

TOTAL CREDITS ADVANCED CLINICAL ELECTIVE OPTION        98-104

 

98 total credits

(2 cr. P-T 696 in fall and 2 cr. P-T 699 in spring)

 

100 total credits

(2 cr. P-T 699 in fall, 1 cr. P-T 699 and 3 cr. P-T 690 in spring)

 

100 total credits

(1 cr. P-T 699 and 2 cr. P-T 697 in fall, 1 cr. P-T 699 and 2 cr. P-T 698 in spring)

 

104 total credits

(2 cr. P-T 699 and 3 cr. P-T 692 in fall, 2 cr. P-T 699 and 3 cr. P-T 693 in spring)

 

Clinical Internships

The UW-L P-T program has established clinical affiliations and internships in communities throughout Wisconsin and the United States. Students will pay tuition while on clinical internships. The remaining expenses — such as travel, room, and meals  will vary depending on the specific site.

 

Degree

Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy (MSPT) will be awarded after successful completion of the curriculum.

 

Grades below a “C” earned in any required physical therapy course are unsatisfactory and cannot be used toward a major in physical therapy. Students not meeting this requirement will be asked to withdraw from the program. In addition, all students in the professional PT program must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.00 (see page 20 of the graduate catalog).

 

LEVEL II GRADUATE PROGRAM

 

The purpose of the Level II graduate program in Physical Therapy is to provide  advanced training to licensed physical therapists who currently possess an entry-level baccalaureate degree in physical therapy. Students may pursue study in the following areas: advanced clinical skills, clinical/academic teaching, and clinical research.

 

Admission Criteria

The criteria for admission into the Level II program is as follows:

  1. An entry-level degree in physical    therapy.
  2. A license to practice physical therapy and be eligible for licensure in the state of Wisconsin.
  3. Clinical experience as a physical therapist (a minimum of two years is highly recommended for acceptance).

 

Selection Process

Applicants must submit a completed Level II application packet to the UW-L PT admissions committee with a curriculum vita by March 1st. Applicants must also make formal application to the Office of Graduate Studies at UW-La Crosse.

 

The PT admissions committee will select candidates to interview. Interviews will be scheduled around April 1st of each year with three faculty members interviewing each candidate. Potential students will be notified of their acceptance status no later than May 1st.

 

Level II Program Overview

(35 credits)

The Level II graduate program in Physical Therapy is a 35-credit program. The majority of the courses taken by Level II students will be shared with Level I students. Level II students will have additional requirements in these courses.

 

Curriculum Options

Level II graduate students must select one of the following curriculum options:

Option A, Clinical Specialization

Students choosing Option A must complete a graduate project which would demonstrate competencies gained throughout the

35-credit course of study.

 

Option B, Clinical Research

Students choosing Option B must complete a thesis as part of the 35-credit curriculum. .

 

Curriculum Committee

An entering Level II student must select a full-time PT graduate faculty member to serve as his/her major adviser. In addition the student must select two additional PT graduate faculty members who, along with the major adviser, will comprise the student’s curriculum committee. The student’s curriculum committee will guide the student in developing an individualized curriculum plan. The second member of the committee must also be a full-time PT faculty member while the third committee member may be a full- or part-time PT faculty member, or an adjunct faculty member.

 

Individualized Curriculum Plan

The curriculum plan should clearly state the student’s clinical or research focus and should identify the student’s goals related to each course listed in the plan. The curriculum plan should be developed prior to commencing course work. The plan ensures that the student and the advisers are in clear agreement about the student’s program of study. The individualized curriculum plan must meet the following guidelines:

1.      Core of research courses totaling at least 10 credits.

2.      Core of basic science courses totaling at least 3 credits.

3.      Combination of clinical and/or educational courses offered from within or outside the department comprising the remaining credits. The total number of credits in this category will vary depending on the number of credits taken in the first two categories and the student’s selection of Option A or Option B.

4.      Outline the expected competencies and evaluation format for each course.

Summary of Course Work for the Level II Graduate Program in Physical Therapy

All graduate students in the Level II graduate program in physical therapy must select one of the following curriculum options:

 

 

Plan A — Clinical Specialization

Credits

Core Research Courses

9-10

Core Basic Science Courses

3-7

Elective Courses

15-19

Graduate Project

3

 

 

Total

35

 

Plan B — Clinical Research

Credits

Core Research Courses

9-10

Core Basic Science Courses

3-7

Elective Courses

12-16

Master’s Thesis

6

Total

35

 

 

Level II Graduate Curriculum Overview:

 

Basic Research Courses      

 

 

 

Credits

P–T

681

Research Methods

3

P–T

781

Scientific Inquiry

2

P–T

783

Level II Instrumentation

2

MTH

505

Statistical Methods

3

P-T

682

Statistical Methods

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

9-10

 

Basic Science Courses

 

 

 

Credits

BIO

715

Pathophysiology I

3

BIO

717

Pathophysiology II

3

P–T

721

Level II Human Anatomy

7

P–T

723

Level II Biomechanics

3

P–T

725

Level II Neuroanatomy

3

P–T

726

Level II Pathophysiology

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

3-7

 

Clinical Science Electives

Suggested courses to complete this category include:

 

 

 

Credits

P-T

641

Communication and nterpersonal Skills

1

P-T

642

Clinical Teaching

 

 

 

 

 

P-T

645

Advanced Seminar I

1

P-T

646

Professional Ethics

1

P-T

699

Independent Study

1-6

P-T

748

Practice Issues

1

P-T

762

Level II Scientific and Clinical Foundation forEvaluation and Treatment

2

P-T

763

Level II Musculoskeletal valuation and Treatment:  Lower Extremity

3

P-T

764

Level II Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Treatment:  Upper Extremity

3

P-T

765

Level II Musculokeletal  Evaluation and Treatment:  Spine

3

P-T

790

Level II Clinical Skills Orthopedics I

3

P-T

792

Level II Clinical Skills:  Sports Physical Therapy I

3

P-T

793

Level II Clinical Skills:  Sports Physical Therapy II

3

P-T

796

Level II Biomechanics Research Emphasis

2

 

Note:

Other graduate courses from outside the department can be taken with the approval of the student’s curriculum committee. Students electing the clinical specialization option may take a total of 12 credits outside of the department, while students electing the thesis opton may take a total of nine credits outside of the department.

 

Degree

A Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT) will be awarded after successful completion of the Level II academic program.

 

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships will be available for Level II students and will depend upon funding levels; application for a graduate assistantship is a separate process from the Level II application process.


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