Doctoral Entry-Level Program (D.P.T.)
Program Director: LTC Carrie W. Hoppes
Through an affiliation with Baylor University, students enrolled in the U.S. Army-Baylor University D.P.T. Program at the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence may qualify for a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The program is located at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas and is 30 months in length and includes 18 months of didactic coursework, a clinical affiliation during Semester II, and 12 months of clinical internship. Students are commissioned officers in one of the three uniformed services: Army, Navy, or Air Force. Due to the students’ active duty obligations and association with the uniformed services, certain policies and procedures governing students are unique to this program and may be found in the current DPT Program Manual or the Individual Student Assessment Plan (ISAP) published by this graduate program. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Graduates of this program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination offered by The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
To produce active duty, commissioned physical therapists who are clinician scientists and leaders prepared for worldwide military health system practice.
Uniformed service physical therapists are generalist practitioners who might be assigned across the continuum of care in a variety of practice settings, including the deployed environment. However, the majority of physical therapists are working in a primary care role with an emphasis in prevention, examination, diagnosis, and intervention for patients with neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Our program focuses on academic, clinical, and research excellence to provide students with the knowledge, skills, evidence, problem solving ability, duties, responsibilities, and ethics to deliver high quality physical therapy patient care. Our program educates and develops physical therapy officers by providing those concepts, principles, methods, and role models which will inspire continuous personal and professional growth and service.
Applicants for admission to the program must hold a baccalaureate degree in either the arts or sciences from a college or university acceptable to Baylor University and the applicant must submit an application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Applicants must present a grade point average and scores on the Graduate Record Examination that are predictive of success in this program. Prerequisite laboratory components must be taken in person. Hybrid formats that deliver didactics online and labs in person are acceptable. Prerequisite courses are listed in semester hour requirements. Course credits awarded in different formats must be equivalent to the semester hour requirement.
Required prerequisites include:
- Human Anatomy with Lab: 4 semester hours
- Human Physiology: 3 semester hours
Substitution for 1 and 2: Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2 series with labs - 8 total semester hours.
- General Biology with Lab or Exercise Physiology with Lab: 4 semester hours or equivalent
- Additional Biology: 3 semester hours
Note: If Exercise Physiology with lab is taken, then General Biology can be used for Additional Biology. Exercise Physiology "without lab" cannot substitute for the Additional Biology prerequisite.
- Chemistry 1 with lab: 4 semester hours
- Chemistry 2 with lab: 4 semester hours
- Physics 1 with lab: 4 semester hours
- Physics 2 with lab: 4 semester hours
- General Psychology: 3 semester hours
- Additional Psychology: 3 semester hours
- Statistics: 3 semester hours
Specific courses which are accepted to meet the prerequisite course requirements are listed on the program website at www.baylor.edu/graduate/pt.
Candidates must meet the entrance requirements of the Graduate School of Baylor University. In addition, they should be less than 42 years of age, be a U.S. citizen, and meet the medical fitness standards as prescribed by the Departments of the Army, Air Force, and the Navy. They must demonstrate a capacity for graduate study as well as the interest necessary to ensure productive scholarship. This program does not have a foreign language requirement.
Matriculated students must achieve a grade of “C” or better in each course and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above. Students must complete a clinical affiliation at the end of Semester II and pass a comprehensive oral examination following the 18-month didactic portion of the course in order to transition to the 12-month clinical internship. Students must achieve entry level competence as a physical therapist, as demonstrated on the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI.) Students must also exhibit professional behaviors consistent with clinical practice as described by the Army Values and APTA Values within the D.P.T. Program Manual.
The four-semester curriculum includes outlined academic courses and clinical experience, a research project, and a comprehensive oral examination.
|Evidence Based Practice I
|Diagnostic Imaging and Procedures
|Primary Care Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy
|Clinical Medicine I
|Orthotic and Prosthetic Interventions
|Research Methods I
|Physical Therapy Fundamentals
|Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I - Lower Member
|Evidence Based Practice II
|Pharmacology for Physical Therapists
|Clinical Medicine II
|Research Methods II
|Physical Agent Interventions
|Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II - Spine
|Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy III - Upper Member
|Physical Therapy Practice I
|Emerging Topics in Physical Therapy
|Clinical Medicine III
|Research Methods III
|Executive Leadership and Management
|Physical Therapy in Deployed Environments
|Injury Control and Prevention
|Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
|Lifespan Physical Therapy
|Clinical Exercise Physiology
|Advanced Therapeutic Interventions
|Neuromuscular Physical Therapy
|Physical Therapy Internship
Physical Therapy (PT)
The purpose of this course is to provide the students with lectures and interaction with a distinguished visiting professor. The topics and scholars are chosen annually by the faculty. Typically two visiting scholars provide a daylong interaction with the students. Topics include current issues in the practice and profession of physical therapy.
The purpose of this course is to prepare and equip uniformed services physical therapists with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to practice evidence-based physical therapy throughout their career. This is the first of a two-part course that develops the elements that serve as the foundation of evidence-based practice. EBP I focuses on the concepts of evidence-based practice with particular emphasis on literature search strategies and forming answerable clinical questions. In addition, the critical appraisal of literature is fostered in conjunction with the material presented in Research Methods I.
This course builds upon the foundation established in EBP I. EBP II focuses on the concepts of evidence-based practice with particular emphasis on critical appraisal of the literature. The evaluative approach to diagnostic tests and screening tools prepares the students to judge the evidence on the accuracy and validity of diagnostic tests and the application of important diagnostic tests in the care of a specific patient. The evaluative approach to studies of treatment and intervention prepares the student to judge the evidence on clinical trials and systematic reviews. In addition, discussions on how the clinician proceeds in the absence of evidence occur. The focus of this course is on the tests and intervention used in patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
This course presents the fundamental concepts involved in the pathophysiological processes of injury and disease. Specifically discussed are the causes, mechanisms, clinical manifestations, diagnostic techniques, and clinical management of these various injury and disease processes.
The information presented in this course reinforces previous neurologic and pediatric education and assists student understanding and application of evidence-based examination, evaluation, assessment, treatment, and referral of adult and pediatric patients with various neurological disorders. This course presents a variety of clinical medicine topics to include adult neurology, pediatric neurology, management of cognitive disorders, and the mechanisms of speech and language disorders.
The purpose of this course is to prepare uniformed services physical therapists for their role as physician extenders by providing instruction in general pharmacologic principles, drugs prescribed by physical therapists, drugs with significant impact on physical therapy practice and issues related to drug prescription.
Specific goals include: the completion of data collection and analysis, development of poster and platform presentations, oral research presentations, and individual research defense.
This course presents an eclectic collection of topics related to issues in radiology and nuclear medicine. The emphasis is placed on musculoskeletal imaging with plain films, CT scans, and MRI, and an introduction to musculoskeletal ultrasound. In addition, instruction in medical laboratory diagnostic tests for physical therapists is provided. Lecture and laboratory work in electrophysiologic testing (EMG & NCV) is conducted.
This course provides lectures, labs, and case-based learning experiences in differential diagnosis and medical screening in clinical settings. This course is taught in two sections and spans the duration of three academic semesters and the student's clinical internship year. During the first and second semester a regional approach to primary care is covered in one-hour instructional blocks for each of the seven regions. The third semester pulls from the regional course information and shifts the focus onto the various medical systems of the body and teaches the physical therapy student how to conduct a review of systems. The student will integrate this knowledge during their internship clinical experience (fourth semester) and apply it to a real patient case.
Introduction to the Pain and Temperature, Discriminatory Touch and Conscious Proprioception, and Pyramidal Motor Pathways. In depth study of the microscopic structures of the central nervous system. A problem solving approach to fundamental neuroanatomical pathologies.
This course will consist of a study of normal neuromuscular physiology. The emphasis will be on the cellular functions of neurons and muscle fibers. The goals of the course are to provide foundational knowledge about human function, enhance the student's ability to make quantitative and qualitative observations, and facilitate understanding of the clinical sciences.
This class consists of topics in pathology, medicine, and surgery with emphasis on signs and symptoms resulting from abnormalities, disease, or trauma that produce disorders of movement. Substance abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and cultural variations are presented with an emphasis on how these conditions impact the physical therapy management of patients. This is a lecture-based course taught primarily by guest speakers (subject matter experts) including physicians, physician assistants, medical social workers, dieticians and occupational therapists. Program faculty members present the lectures on arthritis. Group discussion of case scenarios is part of the instructional hours on arthritis.
This course is comprised of a wide spectrum of introductory material regarding therapeutic interventions and provides a foundation for the prescription and application of these interventions in patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders. This course will include topics on planning treatment programs, clinical teaching and patient education, therapeutic exercise, introduction to joint and soft tissue mobilization and manipulations, bandaging, basic ambulation, and wheelchairs. This course consists of lecture and lab periods.
Functional and surgical anatomy of upper and lower member amputations and conditions requiring upper/lower member and spinal orthotic intervention are presented. Physiology/pathophysiology of upper and lower member amputations to include predisposing and complicating factors of traumatic and surgical amputations as well as etiology and response to treatment are covered. The physiologic effects of and response to upper/lower member and spinal orthotic intervention are discussed. Conditions requiring amputation intervention and orthotic use are presented and the biomechanical principles of prosthetic and orthotic fabrication are outlined as are the indications for their selection and use. All phases of upper/lower amputee management are covered in depth and include: preoperative phase, early postoperative phase, rehabilitative phase, and prosthetic fitting phase. Psychomotor tasks related to the upper/lower amputee and the upper/lower member and spinal orthotic patient care are practiced. Discharge planning and self-care/prevention techniques for the amputee and orthotic patient are discussed.
The first of a three-part series, this course is an in-depth analysis of research design, statistics, and critical appraisal of research literature. This course introduces students to the basic and advanced concepts, techniques, and technologies used in the scientific inquiry of applied clinical research. Topics to be investigated include the research process and the scientific method, measurement theory, indices of validity and reliability, hypothesis construction and testing, constructing a clinical question, sampling, data collection and coding schemes, experimental design, a hierarchy of evidence, survey research, and guides for critical appraisal of research. During Research Methods I, students begin work on a clinically relevant research project under the direction and supervision of a Faculty Research Advisory Committee.
Specific goals during this course include the completion of a literature review and the beginning of pilot testing and data collection. Also included is Statistics II, which develops the student's use of advanced statistical analysis techniques, including the use of SPSS analytic software.
This course is designed to help junior officer physical therapists develop their executive skills for future clinic leadership/management and for their future leadership positions. The course is the study of management leadership theory and concepts drawn from the behavioral and social sciences and applied to leadership and management in the diagnosis, prediction and analysis of human behavior in organizations. In addition to helping students understand and address change in their own leadership styles, the course addresses change theory, strategic planning, and consulting. The course also includes elements of clinic design and management, continuous quality improvement, legal and legislative issues in physical therapy, and consulting/health promotion. This course is specific to graduates' needs as new Army/Air Force/Navy/Public Health physical therapists. The course has been tailored to the work of a physical therapy professional, where a large part of the position is dealing with people, including patients, personnel, supervisors, third party payers and other professionals. These same skills developed, as a junior officer, will serve the officer well in various future assignments with increased levels of responsibilities. This Executive Skills course is also closely aligned with the LAMP (leadership, administration, management preparation) skills identified by the APTA Section on Administration.
This course is designed to prepare uniformed service physical therapy students for their roles and responsibilities while deployed for combat operations and support/sustainment operations. The purpose of this course is derived from the principle of “Sports Medicine on the Battlefield - operational readiness through injury prevention and early intervention” developed at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. The concepts for managing injured elite athletes and returning them to the playing field as quickly and safely as possible share the goal of returning injured soldiers to their units in garrison or combat. This course provides students an opportunity to develop core-advanced competencies in orthopaedic triage and management of acute musculoskeletal and neurological injuries while deployed. These same evidence-based competencies are used to return injured soldiers - “tactical athletes” - to a high level of military technical and tactical readiness. This course also brings students to an advanced level of understanding in general medicine topics (triage, differential diagnosis, and orthopaedics) and methods of tracking procedures and patient outcomes.
This course provides an overview of methods to control/prevent musculoskeletal injuries in physical training environments to include special populations training. It introduces the student to the epidemiology of musculoskeletal physical training injuries, explores intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for injury as identified in the literature, and teaches the student how to develop an injury control program utilizing the five basic steps of surveillance, research, intervention, outcomes measurement/program monitoring, and program modification. The course is completed with a brief overview of the descriptive and analytical aspects of epidemiologic research as well as a review of specific study designs as applied to injury control research.
This course is comprised of a wide spectrum of introductory material including biomechanics and kinesiology, the basic physical examination, joint motion assessment and measurement, muscle strength and flexibility testing, neuromuscular screening, vital signs, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, patient management issues, handling and positioning of patients, written and oral communication, medical records, professional organizations and responsibilities, and professional ethics.
The purpose of this module is to prepare physical therapists to consider the cardiovascular system as an integral component of all patients, not solely those patients who have manifest cardiovascular disease. The primary emphasis is how therapeutic exercise can be used in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, including the effects of exercise on other established risk factors. The student will receive instruction in principles of cardiopulmonary exercise physiology and how these principles can help guide them as they prescribe exercise in a variety of patients. Physical Therapy assessment of patients with cardiovascular disease is addressed, as are the diagnostic imaging and the medical (including pharmacological) and surgical management of patients. Recommended staffing and operation of a cardiac rehabilitation service is presented, and techniques to maximize patient compliance with the Physical Therapy prescription are reviewed.
The purpose of this course is to prepare physical therapy students to conduct a clinical examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention in pediatric and geriatric clients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders. A framework of normal development and aging will be presented and serve as a course foundation.
Neuroscience is a formidably comprehensive discipline that combines neurobiology, molecular science, psychology, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology. This course fosters an understanding of human perception and movement from a basic science level. It complements Neuroanatomy instruction and emphasizes the functional aspects of various neural systems. Normal peripheral and central nervous system function and the pathophysiology of various neurological disorders is discussed. Both a conceptual understanding of the principles of CNS organization and some memorization of specific nuclei and pathways is required. The primary end state of this course is a solid understanding of nervous system structure and function and a foundation that allows students to master future concepts that will be presented in the Neuromuscular Physical Therapy and the Lifespan Physical Therapy courses.
This course begins with an overview of cardiopulmonary physiology during rest and exercise in the well individual. Students are then introduced to the principles of exercise prescription for the well individual, American College of Sports Medicine exercise guidelines, exercise and nutritional approaches to weight loss, and screening for risk factors for physical activity. Practical exercises include field and laboratory exercise testing of strength, power, and aerobic capacity.
This course discusses the roles and mechanisms of various physical agents used in physical therapy and rehabilitation to reduce pain, enhance healing, improve motion, and assist in the recruitment of muscle activity. It is important for the therapist to have a solid understanding of the normal physiology of the cardiovascular and neuromuscular system prior to using an agent that can alter the function of these tissues. A background in the physiology of healing and of modulation of pain serves as a basis for the rationale for using any physical agent. This course provides the foundation needed in clinical decision-making regarding patient care options and physical agents.
The purpose of this course is to prepare and equip physical therapists with advanced intervention skills to be used in the management of the musculoskeletal system. An emphasis will be placed on skill advancement for clinical decision-making, developing and progressing integrated treatment plans, and honing the motor skills necessary for the effective application of spinal and extremity manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization, trigger point dry needling, and therapeutic exercise. Skill laboratories will include a core set of manual therapy procedures (mobilization and manipulation), soft tissue mobilizations, dry needling procedures, therapeutic taping procedures, and therapeutic exercise as they relate to clinical case scenarios. Students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in designing and demonstrating a complete treatment plan using sound clinical and evidence-based reasoning.
The course emphasizes applying evidence-based practice in all areas of spinal management, including the use of treatment-based classification systems to guide the evaluation and treatment of patients with mechanical neck and back pain. Where little evidence exists, a pragmatic, impairment-based approach integrating basic principles of biomechanics and pathokinesiology is used. A large portion of the course is devoted to carefully monitored laboratory palpation, examination, and intervention sessions. Evidence-based interventions such as patient education, therapeutic exercise, and manual therapy (muscle energy techniques, mobilization, and thrust manipulation) build upon the models previously presented in lower extremity courses.
This course presents the physical therapy examination, evaluation, and intervention of clients with neurological conditions, including, but not limited to: polyneuropathy, spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. Therapeutic interventions for clients with neurological impairments and activity limitations to be discussed include, but are not limited to: activities of daily living and functional training, assistive/adaptive devices, electrical stimulation, biofeedback, therapeutic exercise including PNF, facilitation/inhibition procedures, gait and balance training, orthoses, hydrotherapy, and patient and family education.
This course presents a discussion of the normal anatomy of epithelial, connective, muscle, and nervous tissues including osteology and arthrology. Also discussed are the peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. This course also consists of an in-depth study of the gluteal, thigh, knee, leg and foot regions including extensive dissection and prosection study of each region.
This course includes the biomechanics, kinesiology, and clinical disorders of the upper member. This course, coupled with the anatomy of the upper member, prepares students to competently examine a patient with upper extremity dysfunction, evaluate the information and establish a clinical diagnosis, and develop a physical therapy intervention plan. A large portion of the time is spent in the laboratory setting practicing palpation skills, the performance of clinical tests, and application of therapeutic treatment techniques that include therapeutic exercise, manual therapy (muscle energy techniques, mobilization, and manipulation), and patient education.
Also discussed are the anatomy of the face and temporomandibular joint.
This course includes the biomechanics, kinesiology, and clinical disorders of the lower member. This course, coupled with PT 6410 (Anatomy I), is designed to prepare students to competently examine a patient with lower extremity dysfunction, evaluate the information and establish a clinical diagnosis, and develop a physical therapy intervention plan. A large portion of the time will be spent in the laboratory setting practicing palpation skills, the performance of clinical tests, and application of therapeutic treatment techniques that include therapeutic exercise, manual therapy (muscle energy techniques, mobilization, and manipulation), and patient education.
This course occurs at the conclusion of the second semester and consists of a full-time clinical experience at carefully selected medical treatment facilities. The emphasis of the experience is the management of patients in musculoskeletal, acute care, or in-patient orthopedic rehabilitation environments. A heavy emphasis of this clinical experience is student integration of fundamental physical therapy skills and management of the musculoskeletal system.
This year-long internship is a directed clinical experience in various physical therapy settings. The internship experience is designed to broaden and increase the depth of clinical practice to bring the student to the level of an independently practicing doctor of physical therapy. In order to achieve this level of experience, the internship will require both focused and non-focused experiences in a wide range of clinical practice environments.