Apr 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

5160 Department of Physical Therapy

1228 Urban Life Building

Sujay Galen, Department Chair

Faculty: Chen, Farrell, Galen, Garcia, Gore, Huggins, Lorio, Morelli, Priest, Smelser, Tsai, Warren

The Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is based on the same philosophical principles that guide the educational, clinical, and research activities of the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions and Georgia State University. The curriculum integrates academic and clinical instruction with the scientific bases for clinical practice. In accordance with, and in support of the mission of Georgia State University, the purpose of the Department of Physical Therapy is to prepare doctors of physical therapy who are committed to clinical excellence, professional distinction, and the pursuit of scholarly activities to serve a culturally diverse society.

As a faculty, we believe in:

  • Educating students to serve the physical therapy needs of society to optimize movement by promoting participation and wellness and alleviating and functional limitations  in people of all ages with acute and chronic conditions and promoting wellness in all people.
  • Facilitating an interactive learning environment with a variety of educational methods to enhance critical thinking and clinical decision-making, while utilizing an evidence-based approach that promotes life-long learning. 
  • Utilizing a variety of educational methods (e.g. didactic, case-based, reflective learning, on-line) to enhance critical thinking and clinical decision-making, while utilizing an evidence-based approach that promotes attitudes towards life-long learning.
  • Demonstrating professional behaviors of cultural competence, client-centered care, and interdisciplinary team collaboration
  • Engaging students in scholarly pursuits in clinical, educational and basic science research.Serving the local and global communities through active civic engagement and service learning

Goals of the Program

We prepare culturally-competent physical therapists who:

  1. Are ready to work autonomously in a variety of settings throughout the continuum of healthcare.
    • Provide culturally competent physical therapy services to promote health and wellness to individuals, groups and communities.
    • Respect and act with consideration for clients’ differences, values, preferences and expressed needs in all professional activities.
    • Educate others using culturally-appropriate and effective teaching methods commensurate with the needs of the learner.
  2. Have attained a sufficient level of knowledge in the foundational and clinical sciences while demonstrating commitment to lifelong learning.
    • Recognize limitatinos relating to current knowledge, clinical skills and experience.
    • Deliver and manage a plan of care that is safe, effective and client-centered, incorporating all elements of the physical therapy management model as described in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice of the APTA.
    • Monitor and adjust the plan of care in response to client status and make appropriate referrals as needed.
    • Provide physical therapy interventions to achieve client goals and outcomes based on the available evidence.
    • Evaluate and integrate sources of information related to physical therapy practice, research, and education and apply knowledge from these sources in a scientific manner to appropriate populations.
    • Use sound clinical judgment and reflection to maximize treatment effectiveness and enhance client outcomes.
    • Utilize technology to access information.
  3. Promote interdisciplinary and professional collaboration in the pursuit of clinical and scholarly activities.
    • Collaborate with clients, family members, payers, other professionals, and other individuals to determine a plan of care that is acceptable, realistic, culturally competent, and client centered.
    • Develop and participate in inter-professional collaboration on research and professional development.
    • Facilitate reflective thinking using group discussions to evaluate current and future trends that challenge the status quo of the practice of physical therapy.
    • Disseminate research through conference presentations and scholarly publications.
  4. Engage in professional, community, and clinical service opportunities.
    • Incorporate pro bono services into practice.
    • Participate and lead in community organizations and volunteer service.
    • Advocate for the health and wellness needs of a diverse society.
    • Provide physical therapy consultation to businesses, schools, government agencies and other organizations both locally or globally.
    • Participate in organizations and efforts that support the role of the physical therapist in furthering the health and wellness of society.
  5. Model professionalism consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association’s core values.
    • Adhere to legal practice standards, including all federal, state and institutional regulations related to client care and fiscal management
    • Practice in a manner consistent with the professional code of ethics.
    • Respect client’s needs and place them above the physical therapist’s needs.
    • Exhibit caring, compassion and empathy in providing services to clients.
    • Demonstrate professional behavior and integrity in all interactions with clients, family members, caregivers, other health care providers, students, other consumers and payers.
    • Communicate in a culturally-competent manner with clients, family members, caregivers, practitioners, interdisciplinary team members, consumers, payers and policy makers.
    • Advocate to reduce health disparities and healthcare inequities and engage in legislative and political processes relating to the profession and healthcare delivery.

Clinical Course Requirements

Upon acceptance in to the program students must complete the College of Nursing and Health Professions Health Form and provide evidence of current tuberculosis status, immunization for hepatitis B, current ACLS certification (advanced cardiovascular life support), and review of current CDC guidelines on universal precautions. The health form and review of CDC guidelines on universal precautions must be updated annually. Clinical agencies may require additional evidence of health status. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the ACCE/DCE prior to beginning a clinical assignment. Liability insurance must be purchased annually before the clinical courses begin.

Licensure Eligibility and Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen

It is each student’s responsibility to review the eligibility requirements to sit for the National Physical Therapy licensing exam for his/her intended State of practice.  Students planning to sit for the National Physical Therapy Licensing exam will need their candidacy approved by the faculty and/or chair.  Please be aware that when you apply for licensure the jurisdiction in which you apply may ask you to respond to questions regarding any violations of federal, state or local law. You may be required to provide documentation to the state board of physical therapy explaining any such occurrence. The individual state licensing agencies have exclusive authority to issue a license for physical therapy and could decline to issue such a license based on an applicant’s prior criminal record. Additionally, many of the clinical sites with which we have a clinical agreement require criminal background checks, finger printing and drug screen prior to allowing the student to be placed in the facility. The clinical facility has the right to deny the student a clinical experience in the facility based on the findings of the criminal background check or drug screen.

Program Academic Regulations

To graduate from the Department of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program, the student must:

  • Have a 3.0 Cumulative GPA.
  • Must successfully complete (S) all courses graded by S/U.
  • Have no grades lower than C (2.0)
  • Successfully complete yearly comprehensive exams

Calculation of Cumulative GPA will be as follows:

  • Only courses numbered 6000 and above taken at Georgia State University in the D.P.T. curriculum are used to compute a student’s Cumulative GPA.
  • Courses graded with Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) will not be used in computing GPA.
  • All original grades for courses attempted in the D.P.T. program will be used in computing the Cumulative GPA for purposes of determining academic standing.
  • To continue the following semester, all prior courses in the D.P.T. curriculum must be successfully completed (C or better or “S” for clinical courses) or permission granted by the Department Head under any circumstances of a grade designation of I or IP issued.
  • A grade of “D” or “F” in any one course will result in the student being terminated from the program. A grade of “U” in any clinical experience course will result in the student being terminated from the program.
  • No course in which a grade of B (3.0) or greater has been earned may be repeated for credit.

Academic standing:

  1. “Good academic standing” is defined as having a Cumulative and Semester GPA of 3.0 or better.
  2. If Semester GPA falls below 3.0, regardless of course load, the student is placed on “scholastic warning” for the following academic semester. A letter stating this will be sent from the College Director of Academic Assistance and the Department Head. Upon completion of the next full academic semester of graduate course work, performance of the student on warning is evaluated in one of the following ways:
    1. If Semester GPA is at least 3.0 and Cumulative GPA is at least 3.0, the student returns to “good academic standing”.
    2. If Semester GPA is less than 3.0 and Cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, student is terminated from the program.
    3. If Semester GPA is less than 3.0 but Cumulative GPA is at least 3.0, the student may continue to enroll, but will be placed on a second “scholastic warning”.
    4. If Semester GPA is at least 3.0, but Cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, the student will remain on “scholastic warning”. The student may continue to enroll on “scholastic warning. However, if while on “scholastic warning” the student’s Semester GPA falls below 3.0 before Cumulative GPA is brought back to at least 3.0, the student will be terminated from the program.
  3. A student may only be on warning twice. A third “Scholastic Warning” will result in termination from the program.
  4. A student will be placed on “scholastic warning” for failure of the first or 2nd year comprehensive exam, regardless of GPA.
  5. After termination from the program for academic coursework reasons, the student may reapply for admission through the Department of Physical Therapy. The program may choose not to admit, or to admit with conditions.
  6. If a student is terminated from the program for a second time, he or she may not apply for readmission to the D.P.T. program.