Jul 16, 2024  
Catalog 2022-2023 
Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy, D.P.T. (CIP 51.2308)

Website: www.lsuhs.edu/pt

The Physical Therapy program offers an entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program for persons interested in becoming a physical therapist. The entry level program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The DPT curriculum consists of nine consecutive semesters of full-time didactic and clinical course work, which begin in the summer term. Upon satisfactory completion of the curriculum, the student may take the licensing examination to practice physical therapy and apply for full membership in the American Physical Therapy Association.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program is competitive and preference is given to Louisiana residents. The following are the minimum admission requirements for application to the program:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university by the first of class in the program.
  2. Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or above (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate science and math courses by the application deadline.
  3. Grade of “C” or better in the required prerequisite courses completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university by the first day of class in the program.
  4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) from within the last five years with a minimum 285 combined quantitative and verbal scores. Scores from the analytical writing portion of the GRE are required.
  5. Minimum 60 hours of practical experience in physical therapy. Practical experience must be under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Earned a minimum of 30 hours from each site.
  6. Selected applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview.
  7. Accepted applicants must be certify that they meet the technical standards established by the program with or without reasonable accommodations.

Prerequisite Courses

  • English Composition (6 hours)

  • Advanced English Composition, Technical Writing, or Exposition (3 hours)

  • Chemistry (8 hours) - Lab based

  • Biology/Zoology (8 hours) - Lab based

  • Advanced Biology (3 hours) - Recommended: Histology or Cell Biology

  • Physics (8 hours) - Lab based

  • Anatomy (3 hours) - Recommended: Human Anatomy

  • Physiology (3 hours) - Recommended: Human Physiology

  • Mathematics (3 hours) - Must complete a math course of at least one level above college algebra. For example, if a person takes algebra 1, they would also need to take a 3 credit trigonometry course, algebra 2, calculus 1, etc. 

  • Psychology (6 hours) - Recommended: Abnormal Psychology, Growth and Development

  • Statistics (3 hours) - Behavioral or Experimental

  • Public Speaking (3 hours)

  • Medical Terminology (1 credit) 


  • Credits in Statistics may be used to meet Math requirements if taught in the Math Department.
  • Credits in Statistics may be used to meet Psychology if taught in the Psychology Department.
  • The Program in Physical Therapy is not obligated to accept challenge credits in lieu of prerequisite courses.

Technical Standards for Physical Therapy

Technical standards are essential abilities and characteristics required for admission, progression, and graduation from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions. The following standards consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that students are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of the academic and clinical curriculum, with or without reasonable accommodations:


  • Independently, the student must be able to observe a patient accurately. Assess gait deviation of patient 10 feet away. 
  • Observe patient’s response, diagnosis, pallor, grimacing.
  • Determine pressure ulcer stage and depth.
  • Read degrees of motion on a goniometer.


  • Safely, reliably, and efficiently perform physical therapy assessments and treatments.
  • Discern breath sounds.
  • Perform tests of vital signs, pain, strength, coordination, cranial and peripheral nerves, balance, movement patterns, posture, sensation, skin integrity, joint motion, wound status, coordination, cognitive/mental status, soft tissue, assistive devices fit/use, reflexes, developmental stages, exertion of torque for manual muscle test grading, push/pull forces. 
  • Move from place to place and position to position. 
  • Perform physical therapy procedures with speed, strength, and endurance for handling self, classmates, and patients. 
  • Simultaneously, physically support activities and observe a patient with a disability.
  • Coordinate verbal, manual, and gross motor skills. 
  • Perform gait assessment on level surfaces, outdoor terrain, curbs, steps, ramps.
  • Assist with bed mobility and transfers from supine to sit, and sit to stand.
  • Administer balance training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, exercise techniques, activities of daily living, coordination training, prosthetic and orthotic training, joint mobilization, wound debridement and dressing, electrotherapy, soft tissue mobilization, thermal agents, neurosensory techniques, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, developmental activities, hydrotherapy, tilt table, massage, relaxation techniques, traction, taping and draping techniques, and dependent patient transfers.


  • Demonstrate understanding of basic English (verbal and written) and writes legibly; uses correct grammar, accurate spelling, and expression.
  • Utilize verbal and nonverbal communication with patients and care givers. Elicit information from patients and care givers for written history.
  • Explain treatment procedures.
  • Demonstrate exercise programs.
  • Document client responses in the medical record. Establish rapport with the patient, caregivers, and colleagues.
  • Apply teaching and learning theories and methods in health care and community environments.
  • Recognize voice quality and avoids vocal distractors; (e.g., song-singing, sighing, uh).
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Summarize verbal or written message clearly and concisely.
  • Present verbal or written messages with logical organization and sequencing, using accurate professional and/or lay terminology.
  • Give feedback constructively.

Emotional/Behavioral/Interpersonal Skills:

Students must be able to relate to patients, families, and colleagues with honesty, integrity, and dedication in a non-discriminatory manner. Students must display appropriate sensitivity and respect for all social or cultural backgrounds. They must be able to identify personal reactions and responses, recognize multiple points of view, and integrate these appropriately into clinical decision making. Students must demonstrate Attitudinal, Behavioral, Interpersonal and Emotional Attributes including but not limited to:

  • Emotional health and maturity.
  • The ability to establish a rapport with patients, families, and colleagues.
  • The ability to nurture mature, sensitive, and effective relationships.
  • Conflict resolution skills, including the ability to negotiate differing attitudes and opinions.
  • Compassion, integrity, strong interpersonal skills, and motivation. 
  • A cooperative, professional manner.
  • Honesty and integrity.
  • The ability to integrate constructive criticism received in both didactic and clinical environments.
  • The ability to correctly judge the limits of one’s own competence and to seek help from an appropriate source when necessary.
  • The ability to seek assistance for health conditions that interfere with scholastic and/or professional performance.
  • Respect for all members of the University community, patients, and families.
  • The ability to refrain from the use of illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages in academic and professional settings.
  • The ability to manage stress effectively through self-care and by relying upon supportive relationships with colleagues, peers, and others.
  • Respect for personal space of patients and others. 
  • The ability to take responsibility for mistakes and apologize.
  • The ability to recognize worth and dignity of each person as demonstrated in the following manner:
    • Exhibit caring, maintains confidentiality; modify response when appropriate; exhibit courtesy by using polite language; listen without interrupting; tone of voice, body language, and verbal expression.
  • The ability to demonstrate flexibility by being cooperative in changing plans to meet the needs of peers, faculty, patients, and the institution.
  • The ability to evidence loyalty by supporting the institution in a positive way to peers, staff, and others.


  • Problem solve rapidly; learn and reason; integrate, analyze, and synthesize data concurrently in a multitask setting. 
  • Comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationship of structures.
  • Participate in scientific inquiry process.
  • Determine the physical therapy needs of any patient with a dysfunction.
  • Demonstrate ability to apply universal precautions.
  • Identify cause and effect relationships.
  • Perform physical therapy differential diagnosis.
  • Interpret patient responses.
  • Make appropriate modifications to evaluations and treatment.
  • Determine realistic short and long term goals for the patient.
  • Recognize the psychological impact of dysfunction and disability.
  • Integrate the needs of the patient and caregiver into the plan of care.
  • Develop hypotheses; perform literature and clinical research; perform statistical analyses, develop discussion and conclusions.


  • Practice in a safe, ethical, and legal manner.
  • Respond to emergencies. 
  • Demonstrate management skills including planning, organizing, supervising, and delegating. 
  • Comply with the American Physical Therapy Association Code of Ethics.
  • Abides by LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport - School of Allied Health Professions Policy & Procedures on Academic Misconduct.
  • Comply with Louisiana State Board of Physical Therapy Examiner Practice Act and Rules and Regulations. Modifies procedures in a manner that is appropriate to the patient’s status and desired goals.

Professional Behavior:

  • Abide by APTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  • Self-evaluate/critique own performance.
  • Follow state practice act.
  • Utilize own resources before asking for help.
  • Abide by institutional policies and procedures.
  • Seek constructive criticism for self-improvement.
  • Project professional image.
  • Attend professional meetings.
  • Utilize feedback to modify behavior and for self-improvement.
  • Accept responsibility for actions and outcomes.
  • Ask pertinent questions.
  • Able to focus on tasks at hand without dwelling on past mistakes.
  • Seek assistance of instructor and/or peers to gain a better understanding of concepts learned.
  • Set up own schedule, set priorities, and meet external deadlines.
  • Identify and utilize resources for learning.
  • Put new information into practice.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Accept that there may be more than one answer to a problem.
  • Coordinate schedule with others.
  • Offer own thought and ideas.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Set personal and professional goals.
  • Keep commitments.


  • Identify and address potential and actual safety hazards.
  • Report unsafe conditions to appropriate personnel.
  • Assess physical and cognitive limitations of self and others and request assistance as necessary. 
  • Determine safety and operational status of equipment. 
  • Select treatment interventions considering safety of patient at all times.
  • Modify evaluation and treatment based on patients’ signs, symptoms, and response to treatment.
  • Does not select treatment interventions in which: patient’s, own, or others’ safety is compromised.
  • Modify when safety of patients, others, or self is compromised; patient’s discomfort exceeds levels necessary for procedure; patient’s assistance is necessary, and he/she is no longer able to assist; equipment becomes faulty; procedure is not yielding results necessary for evaluating patient’s physiologic, neuromuscular, and skeletal problems.

LSUHSC-S seeks to comply with the American with Disabilities Act by providing reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, a temporary disability, or pregnancy complications resulting in difficulties with accessing learning opportunities.

It is the responsibility of a student with a disability (or a student who develops a disability) and who needs accommodations to contact the SAHP Admissions and Records Office to initiate the procedure for requesting accommodations and provide adequate documentation of the general nature and extent of the disability and the functional limitations to be accommodated. All requests are reviewed by school’s ADA Officer to determine what reasonable accommodations, if any, are appropriate for the student.

For further information, please view the LSUHSC-S Student Policy for Requesting Accommodations.

Method of Application

Procedures for applying for admission to the Physical Therapy program are as follows:

  1. The LSUHSC-S Physical Therapy program accepts applications for admission via the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). The Physical Therapy website has further instructions.
  2. Selected applicants will participate in an admissions interview and the action taken by the Admissions Committee will be forwarded in writing to the applicant.
  3. Accepted applicants are expected to complete an acceptance form and submit a non-refundable deposit of $150.00 by the deadline indicated on their acceptance email. The acceptance deposit secures the student’s position in the program and credits their first semester’s tuition.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit earned in another recognized institution will not be accepted by the Physical Therapy program.

Academic Progression Requirements

The following requirements pertain to the status of academic progress for students enrolled in the Physical Therapy program.

  1. Satisfy the scholastic requirements listed in the SAHP general section of this catalog/bulletin.
  2. Students must complete the entire program within four years of the student’s start date.

Grade appeals may be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in the section of this catalog/bulletin entitled “Student Grade Appeals ”.

Clinical Affiliations and Expenses

The Program affiliates with numerous clinical sites throughout the United States. Students in the program are provided with lists and information regarding approved clinical sites prior to clinical assignments.

In addition to tuition and fees, students enrolled in Clinical Procedures courses who study at off campus locations will incur further expenses, which should be anticipated.