Jun 14, 2024  
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy

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Physical Therapy Program
3077 Human Health Building  (map)
(248) 370-4041 • Fax (248) 364-8660

Kristine A. Thompson
3077 Human Health Building
(248) 370-4041

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

The post-professional Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) degree program is designed for physical therapists who received an entry-level degree in physical therapy and are interested in obtaining an advanced doctorate which includes an individual research project under the guidance of a doctoral committee.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

Current Deadline

Beginning FALL 2017 Semester

  • February 15 (early) April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants   

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Applicants must have earned a BS/MPT, MSPT or DPT degree from a regionally accredited institution or proof of a U.S. equivalent degree for foreign educated applicants.
  • Applicants should have a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0.
  • Professional vitae or resume
  • One-page narrative goal statement outlining academic and professional goals
  • Applicants must be licensed or eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in the U.S. or Canada. Accepted applicants must provide proof of licensure prior to enrollment.
  • International students must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and arrange for their official GRE scores to be submitted to Oakland University. The institution code for Oakland University is 1497.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 with the appropriate academic background and strong letters of recommendation may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a minimum of 8 credits of graduate-level work, with a GPA of 3.0 or above within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Degree requirements

The Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree requires completion of 75 credits beyond a bachelor’s degree. Accepted applicants who have previously earned a qualified master’s degree or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Oakland University or another regionally-accredited university may be permitted to reduce the credits required for the doctoral degree up to 32 credits.

With approval of the program coordinator and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, accepted applicants who have previously earned credits as part of one of the Oakland University post-professional graduate certificates in the School of Health Sciences may apply those credits to the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree. The graduate certificate credits must be earned within the time limit for completing the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy degree. 

Course requirements

Students will be required to take the professional core courses and select a physical therapy concentration (this can include a certificate, an advanced research practicum or an approved set of related coursework for a total of 15-51 credits).

b. Physical Therapy concentration (15-51 credits)

All students must develop an approved concentration that may include a graduate certificate, a research concentration and/or a set of related coursework.

Graduate Certificates

DScPT students who wish to create a concentration that includes a graduate certificate program must apply for and be accepted into the graduate certificate program. A graduate certificate program, completed as part of the concentration, will be awarded concurrently with the DScPT degree.

* Student must complete the appropriate prerequisites.

Research concentration

This would include a combination of research courses and projects worth a total of 15 credits in an area of clinical interest. A plan of study must be approved by the student’s adviser.

Related coursework

May include non-physical therapy related coursework that supports or complements the student’s plan of study. (A plan of study must be approved by the student’s adviser.)

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements:  In order to remain in good standing at the graduate level, students must maintain a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Credit toward the degree will not be given for courses with grades under 2.5.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Research project

All students will complete an individual research project under the direction of a committee chaired by a member of the physical therapy faculty.

DScPT research report submission requirements

In partial fulfillment of degree requirements, students must submit one (1) copy of their approved DScPT research report to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the date published in the Schedule of Classes for the term in which the student expects to graduate. The research report must be graded prior to submission. Submission requirements are provided under “Terminal research project” in the Professional Doctoral Degree  section of this catalog).

Continuous enrollment

The continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students requires continuous registration of graduate students for at least 1 credit each semester in the academic year to maintain an active graduate student status. This includes semesters in which the comprehensive, preliminary or qualifying examination is taken, defense, and each subsequent term (fall and winter) until the degree requirements are met and the dissertation is submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Some agency and graduate assistantship eligibility may have course-load requirements that exceed the minimum registration requirements of the Continuous Enrollment Policy (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization for international students, and federal financial aid programs). Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to register for the appropriate number of credits that are required for funding eligibility and/or compliance as outlined by specific agency regulations under which they are governed.

Time limits

If more than seven years have passed since the student has been admitted to the DScPT program, and all requirements (including an approved research report) have not been completed, the student must petition the program coordinator and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning for an extension. Students who are deemed inactive may be dropped from the program, although they may petition for reinstatement.

Transfer credit

The Oakland University transfer credit policy will be followed.


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