Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates will demonstrate competence in all 6 of the following domains:

Physical therapists employ effective communication strategies (written, oral, non-verbal) that enable successful patient outcomes and develop professional relationships.

Physical therapists demonstrate professionalism by adhering to the principles, standards, and values outlined in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist, APTA Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy, and the APTA Core Values for the Physical Therapist, respectively.

Per the APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice 3.0, “Physical therapists are health care professionals who help individuals maintain, restore, and improve movement, activity, and functioning, thereby enabling optimal performance and enhancing health, well-being, and quality of life. Their services prevent, minimize, or eliminate impairments of body functions and structures, activity limitations, and participation restrictions for individuals of all ages with conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems or the negative effects attributable to unique personal and environmental factors as they related to human performance. This includes taking the history including a review of systems, conducting a systems review, and performing tests and measures to identify potential and existing problems…”

Physical therapists make clinical decisions using a process of clinical reasoning that includes interpretation of the examination (physical therapy differential diagnosis and medical screening), knowledge of the patient’s goals, values and beliefs, context of the situation, reflection of their own experience and intuition, and analysis of current literature.  The synthesis of these elements leads to clinical decisions which are able to be justified prior to implementation and evaluated and modified based on patient response. 

Physical therapists’ practice in a dynamic healthcare environment which requires them to display effective leadership and management skills in their interactions with other healthcare providers to improve the health and wellbeing of their patients and society as a whole.

Physical therapists demonstrate excellence in scholarship through professional development/life-long learning, the education of others, the evaluation of evidence, and contributions to the body of research in physical therapy

Students in the DPT Program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 as required by the University for all graduate programs. Additional academic and professional standards for successful completion of the program are outlined below. 

Academic Probation

Students falling below an overall GPA of 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and given one semester to raise their GPA. If the student fails to increase one's overall GPA to a 3.0, he/she will be dismissed from the program.

A graduate student on academic probation will be returned to good standing when at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA is achieved. A student cannot be placed on probationary status more than once. That is if a student successfully removes him/her/themself from probationary status and subsequently has a cumulative GPA that falls below a 3.0 on the 4.0 scale, that student will be dismissed from the program.

Academic Dismissal

Dismissal for academic reasons will occur for the following:

  1. A student who fails to improve his/her/their semester GPA following placement on probation (cumulative GPA <3.0).
  2. Any student who fails any DPT degree course (grade below a “C”).
  3. Any student who receives a 4th (fourth) “C” in any DPT degree course.
  4. Any student who fails Hallmark Practical 1 or 2 (original and retake).

Appeal Process/Reinstatement

When a student is dismissed from the DPT Program, he/she/they may not register for classes for the upcoming term. If classes have already been pre-registered, they must be dropped. In cases of appeals, students will be re-registered for classes only after a successful appeal is granted. Appeals and reinstatements will often come with additional requirements, so all reinstated students must meet with their faculty advisor at the start of the new semester for academic counseling.

Appeal Process
The DPT faculty have a responsibility to exercise their professional judgment, guided by the APTA Code of Ethics, in determining a student’s competence to continue in the program. They bear the weight of the public safety as educators of future health care providers. Faculty will consider the student’s demonstrated academic performance and professional behaviors as well as the student’s perspective as outlined in the formal appeal letter. Students may not appeal for reinstatement following dismissal more than once.

  1. Following receipt of a dismissal letter from the Dean of Health Sciences, DPT students may consider whether or not to appeal to the faculty to be re-instated. Students should notify the Chair and their Academic Advisor no later than 5 business days following dismissal of their intent to appeal.
  2. Appeals for reinstatement require a written letter to the Chair which must include the student’s self-assessment of factors that contributed to poor academic performance and a statement indicating what will be or has been done differently to positively alter the situation. Students will be informed of the appeal letter deadline by the Chair following notification of plan to appeal.
  3. Students are encouraged to schedule a meeting to discuss their situation and the appeal letter with their advisor and/or the PT Chairperson.
  4. The DPT faculty will confidentially review the formal appeal letter and discuss the student’s reinstatement at the next scheduled faculty meeting following receipt.  Faculty will vote for reinstatement, requiring a two-thirds majority. The student’s advisor may advocate but will not vote.
  5. Students will be informed of the decision with a written letter from the Chair, copied to the Dean, Advisor and Associate Provost for Student Affairs.

Denial of Appeal
Should the DPT faculty vote to uphold the dismissal, the student may appeal to the Provost.

If the appeal is successful, the reinstatement requirements will be developed by the DPT Faculty.

All re-instated students must meet with their faculty advisor at the start of the new semester for academic counseling.

If a DPT student is reinstated following a failing grade in a DPT course, he/she/they will re-take the course the next time it is offered and will then progress through the remaining curriculum with a new cohort. The student may not be allowed to continue with their original cohort. Students must develop an academic action plan with their advisor to address any additional requirements from the reinstatement letter and to facilitate future academic success.

Professionalism in Physical Therapy

Professional Ethics

A professional is someone who offers a service of significant social value with maximum competence. Being a professional means that one’s actions no longer reflect only self but also the entire profession. Professionals must act according to high standards of technical and ethical competence, especially in a doctoring profession such as physical therapy. Professional codes of ethics provide guidelines for such behavior. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Code of Ethics sets forth ethical principles for the physical therapy profession. The DPT Program uses the APTA Code of Ethics to guide all of the course curriculum as well as interactions between faculty, staff and students. DPT students of Mount St. Joseph University are responsible for acting within the APTA Code of Ethics.

Professional Values and Behaviors 

Physical therapists are also guided by the APTA Core Values. The 7 Core Values (accountability, altruism, compassion/caring, excellence, integrity, professional duty and social responsibility) define the critical elements of professionalism for physical therapists. Physical therapists aspire to and wisely apply the core values in their daily practice. The Core Values are not rules to follow but rather principles to guide professional behaviors. While the Core Values serve as the ideal in professionalism for physical therapists, they are often too broad in scope to serve as measure of professionalism in developing students. The Core Values are guides for practicing clinicians rather than students who are actively learning professional behaviors. They are best used as an assessment once students are in their full- time terminal clinical experiences. While students are in the didactic phase of the curriculum, the DPT Program uses the Generic Abilities to help guide and assess student professional development (APPENDIX N). The Normative Model of Physical Therapist Education (NMPTE), by which all DPT Programs are measured, has adopted the Generic Abilities as a tool to delineate professional behavior development and expectations in students (May et al 1995). DPT students of Mount St. Joseph University are responsible for meeting the expectations for professional behaviors at their level (year 1, year 2), as measured by the Generic Abilities. 

Professional behavior is an essential component of successful practice of physical therapy. Student professional development will be modeled, facilitated, expected and monitored throughout the student’s progression in the DPT Program.

  1. Students may be dismissed from the DPT Program for behaviors that violate the APTA Code of Ethics.
  2. Students may be dismissed from the DPT Program for consistent unprofessional behavior as assessed by faculty using the categories of the Generic Abilities.

Academic Honesty

DPT students are expected to complete all academic work with integrity, following the APTA Code of Ethics and The Mount St. Joseph University Academic Honesty Policy. The policy can be found in the Graduate Catalog at Academic Honesty Policy. Any form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated by School of Health Sciences and may result in dismissal from the DPT program.