BS in Health Studies/Doctor of Physical Therapy

The program in physical therapy leading to the Bachelor of Science in Health Studies and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees is designed to educate graduates as generalists dedicated to the promotion of health and rehabilitation of people disabled by injury or disease. Physical therapists are moving beyond traditional settings and are assuming more responsibility for examination, evaluation, and treatment, as well as for administration, supervision of a variety of health care workers, teaching, consultation, and clinical research. The program reflects these professional needs. The essential components of physical therapy education include the development of a strong foundation in the basic sciences, synthesis of a body of applied scientific knowledge, the adoption of a professional code of ethics, the demonstration of a commitment to professional values, and the ability to communicate effectively, solve problems creatively, and to administer and evaluate treatment effectively and efficiently.

An important component of the educational process is participation in supervised clinical experiences at selected facilities that give the student exposure to a range of physical therapy practices and settings. Affiliated institutions are located in the greater Boston area, in most areas of the U.S., and at international sites. All students complete clinical experiences. Availability of clinical sites for any one clinical experience is determined by the PT program’s academic coordinators of clinical education and the individual clinical site. Students are advised that there will be additional costs associated with housing and transportation needs during each clinical experience.

The educational program in physical therapy is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education and prepares graduates to apply for physical therapy licensure in any state in the United States.

The American Physical Therapy Association recommends that all professional physical therapy education programs lead to a doctor of physical therapy degree. In accordance with this recommendation, the program offers a combined BS/DPT program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Health Studies after the fourth year and the Doctor of Physical Therapy after six years of coursework and supervised clinical practice.

Degree Requirements

Freshmen who enter the physical therapy program are enrolled in an accelerated Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Qualified extra- and intra-University transfer students are admitted on a space-available basis. A minimum of 128 semester credits is required for the awarding of the Bachelor of Science in Health Studies and a cumulative total of 192 credits for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Approximately 42 weeks of supervised clinical experience are required prior to program completion. The physical therapy program requires a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 by the end of the Spring Semester of the sophomore year and by the end of the Spring Semester of the junior year including summer courses. Students who do not meet the GPA requirements at the stipulated times will not be allowed to continue matriculation in the professional physical therapy curriculum.

The following are prerequisite courses in which a minimum grade of C– must be achieved: CAS BI 105; CAS BI 106; CAS BI 211; CAS CH 171; CAS CH 172; CAS PY 105; CAS PY 106; CAS MA 113, 115, 213 or PS 211; SAR HS 342; SAR HP 252; and SAR HP 412. Up to 8 credits of these prerequisite courses may be taken outside of Boston University.

A minimum grade of C is required in SAR HS 369.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 and grades of C or better to include all courses taken in the professional portion of the program. It is assumed that students receiving a BS in health studies will continue on to complete requirements for the DPT degree. BS degree recipients who do not complete all DPT degree requirements are not eligible to apply for physical therapy licensure. For more details, please refer to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Policy & Procedure Manual.

Matriculation into the Professional Portion of the Physical Therapy Program

Continuation in the Physical Therapy Program after the first three years of pre-professional study requires completion of the following:

  1. Biological science laboratory courses—human anatomy 4 cr; basic physiology 4 cr; exercise physiology 4 cr; biology 4 cr
  2. Physical science laboratory courses—chemistry 8 cr; physics 8 cr
  3. Psychology—includes general or abnormal 4 cr
  4. Humanities—includes Composition (CAS WR 100) as well as the Writing and Research Seminar (CAS WR 150) plus electives 8 cr
  5. Social science—4 cr
  6. Math and Statistics—8 cr
  7. General electives—any University offering 8 cr
  8. Specialty electives—4 cr. Complete at least 4 credits from the following list of professional electives:
    • CAS BI 114 Human Infectious Diseases: AIDS to Tuberculosis
    • CAS RN 106 Death and Immortality
    • CAS PH 100 Introduction to Philosophy
    • CAS PH 150 Ethics
    • CAS PH 251 Medical Ethics
    • CAS PS 202 Intro to Cognitive Neuroscience
    • CAS PS 205 Memory and Brain
    • CAS PS 231 Physiological Psychology
    • COM CM 311 Oral Presentation
    • MET LS 110 Spanish for Medical Professionals
    • SED SE 150 Disability, Education, and Public Policy
    • SED CE 500 Introduction to Counseling
    • SED HE 522 Community Health
    • SPH PH 510 Introduction to Public Health
    • SAR HS 201 Nutrition
    • SAR HS 300 Epidemiology
    • SAR HS 375 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology
    • SAR HS 475 Disability, Advocacy, and the Law (junior or senior standing)
  9. PDP activities (or evidence of participation in two semesters of a varsity-level sport)—1.5 cr
  10. SAR HP 565 Biomechanics 4 cr
  11. SAR HP 151 Introduction to Health Professions 2 cr, SAR HP 252 Health and Disability Across the Life Span 4 cr, and SAR HP 353 Organization and Delivery of Health Care in the U.S. 4 cr
  12. By the end of the junior year, students are expected to observe for 30 hours in a clinical setting and submit a paper about the experience. Students register for SAR PT 341 (0 credit, P/F) to complete this requirement.

Curriculum

The following is a typical program for the six years of the Bachelor of Science in Health Studies and Doctor of Physical Therapy. The most current curricular information can be found on our website. All courses are four credits unless otherwise noted.

Freshman Year

First Semester

  • CAS BI 105 Introductory Biology for Health Sciences
  • CAS CH 171 Life Science Chemistry I
  • CAS WR 100 Writing Seminar
  • CAS MA 118 College Algebra and Trigonometry or
    CAS MA 121 Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences
  • SAR HP 150 Freshman Year Experience (0)
  • SAR HP 151 Introduction to Health Professions (2)

Second Semester

  • CAS BI 106 Human Anatomy
  • CAS CH 172 Life Science Chemistry II
  • CAS PS 101 General Psychology
  • CAS WR 150 Writing and Research Seminar
  • PDP activity (½–1)

Sophomore Year

First Semester

  • CAS BI 211 Human Physiology
  • CAS PY 105 Elementary Physics
  • Humanities elective
  • Specialty elective

Second Semester

  • CAS PY 106 Elementary Physics
  • SAR HP 252 Health and Disability Across the Life Span
  • Social sciences elective
  • General elective

Junior Year

First Semester

  • CAS MA 113, MA 115, MA 213 Statistics or
    CAS PS 211 Introduction to Experimental Design in Psychology
  • SAR HP 412 Abnormal Behavior in Health & Rehabilitation
  • SAR HS 342 Exercise Physiology
  • Humanities elective
  • PDP activity (½–1)

Second Semester

  • SAR HS 369 Gross Human Anatomy
  • SAR HP 353 Organization and Delivery of Health Care in the U.S.
  • SAR PT 341 Preclinical Experience (0)
  • SAR HP 565 Biomechanics of Human Movement
  • General elective

Professional Curriculum: DPT

Summer Term II

  • SAR PT 515 Physical Therapy Examination
  • SAR PT 520 Functional Anatomy

First Professional Year (Senior Year)

First Semester

  • SAR HP 531 Clinical Medicine I: Physical Agents
  • SAR PT 511 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems (6)
  • SAR PT 521 Musculoskeletal Systems I (6)
  • SAR HP 561 Evidence-Based Practice I (1)
  • SAR PT 555 Integrated Clinical Experience I (1)

Second Semester

  • SAR PT 512 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems II (2)
  • SAR PT 522 Musculoskeletal Systems II (6)
  • SAR HP 532 Clinical Medicine II
  • SAR PT 551 Neuroscience for the Physical Therapy Student
  • SAR PT 565 Integrated Clinical Experience II (1)

Summer

  • SAR PT 791 Clinical Experience I (0) Fee

Second Professional Year

First Semester

  • SAR PT 550 Scientific Basis of Human Movement (2)
  • SAR HP 662 Evidence-Based Practice II (2)
  • SAR PT 634 Diagnostic Procedures for Rehabilitation Professionals
  • SAR PT 652 Neurological Systems I (6)
  • SAR PT 691 Clinical Education Seminar I (1)

Second Semester

  • SAR PT 623 Musculoskeletal Systems III (6)
  • SAR PT 653 Neurological Systems II (6)
  • SAR HP 725 Foundations of Education and Health Promotion
  • SAR PT 692 Clinical Education Seminar II (1)
  • SAR PT 681 Academic Practicum I (1)

Summer

  • SAR PT 792 Clinical Education Experience II (0) Fee

Third Professional Year

First Semester

  • SAR HP 770 Health Care Management
  • SAR PT 756 Pediatrics (2)
  • SAR PT 773 Comprehensive Clinical Reasoning
  • SAR PT 781 Academic Practicum II (3)
  • SAR PT 794 Clinical Education Seminar III (1)

Second Semester

  • SAR PT 793 Clinical Internship (0) Fee