Physical Therapy Graduate Program
This post-professional graduate program is for physical therapists who want to:
- Take graduate courses on a full-time or part-time basis without quitting their jobs
- Update knowledge of basic and clinical sciences beyond entry level
- Strengthen current expertise in:
- teaching of patients, colleagues, students
- administrative aspects of the practice environment
- direct patient care skills
- clinical research relevant to individual practice situations
- interpreting current physical therapy-related literature
- improving prolem-solving and communication skills
Students select an area of specialized study in physical therapy; concentrations of study are currently available in musculoskeletal sciences and neurological (adult and pediatric) sciences. All students also enroll in a common core of research, education and management courses. Students are encouraged to design learning experiences to meet their individual needs and interests.
The post-professional Graduate Program is designed primarily for students who wish to continue their work in the clinical setting while undertaking an advanced course of study. A typical course, for example, meets on the Memphis campus one time, in a Friday-Sunday or a Thursday-Sunday format. Since classroom time is limited to this single two or three day session, each course requires significant pre-course and post-course study. Pre-course assignments typically include critiques of articles; a patient case-report; a paper. Post-course assignments might include: a post-test (take home or in-class); a paper; a series of short papers; a case-report. Course content and requirements are consistent with expectations of a university-based graduate degree program. The amount of independent study is much greater and the classroom time shorter than traditional collegiate courses.
Some courses are conducted by Distance Learning between the Memphis site and either Knoxville or Chattanooga sites. Other courses are completely web-based. In other courses, the web is used for course enhancement. Students must have the technological capacity to download and print materials, to search the web for resources, to communicate with instructors and send assignments through email.
The minimum credit hour requirement for the M.S. P.T. degree is 36 semester hours. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of the date of initial enrollment. Students have the option of completing either a Thesis or conducting research and submitting a manuscript suitable for publication. The research requirement, as well as a Practicum, must be completed prior to graduation.
The minimum credit hour requirement for the ScDPT degree is 92 hours. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of the date of initial enrollment. Students complete 26 hours in the MSPT curriculum, take 38 hours of doctoral coursework, and complete 28 hours for the residency and project requirement. A suitable research manuscript must be submitted for publication prior to graduation.
Pamela D. Ritzline, Ed.D., P.T.
Director of Graduate Program
Department of Physical Therapy
The University of Tennessee
Health Science Center
930 Madison – Suite 640
Memphis, TN 38163