UConnʼs Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program has achieved national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. This is the first review of the DPT program, which has been part of the Neag School of Education since its inception in 2007. The accreditation is good for 10 years.
The accreditation commission said, “The program is meeting its mission, as evidenced by the programʼs high licensure pass rate on the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy licensure exam and the reputation of its graduates as being well-prepared for autonomous, evidence-based practice.”
Accomplishments of students in the DPT program include:
- A 100 percent first-time licensure exam pass rate, compared to the national average of 89.5 percent.
- An employment rate for graduated students of 100 percent.
“This accreditation is a testament to the hard work of many faculty and staff members, along with our students and alumni,” said Dean Dr. Thomas C. DeFranco. “The program has a very rich history and, through the efforts of many, has the potential to be a nationally ranked program.”
In 1952, the University of Connecticut became the first public university in the nation to establish a physical therapy degree program. The program evolved from an undergraduate program, then became a masterʼs, and in 2007 progressed to a doctorate program. Now based within the nationally ranked Neag School of Education, the DPT degree program is offered through the Department of Kinesiology.
“The physical therapy program at UConn has always been highly regarded,” said Dr. Craig Denegar, director of the DPT program. He said the program is now “poised to become a leader in the advancement of evidence-based care.”
“We are so proud of our accreditation and the faculty, students, and staff who continue to work hard to make the DPT an excellent program,” he added. “We have excellent students and faculty working together to prepare excellent clinicians, advance practice through research, and serve our communities.” There are currently 60 students in three cohorts. The first DPT class graduated in 2010.
As a professional doctoral program, the curriculum is designed to ensure physical therapists receive the skills and expertise needed to practice and stay abreast of advances in physical therapy and health care which, in turn, ensures patients receive top-quality care. Through strong didactic and clinical education experiences, the DPT program also fosters each studentʼs individual talents through collaborative research with a team of faculty mentors.
The DPT is a three-year, post-bachelorʼs program. Applicants may earn a bachelorʼs degree in a number of different areas, but all complete the same pre-requisite coursework.
Clinical education is at the heart of the DPT program. The students participate in full-time learning experiences at healthcare facilities across the country. The Nayden Rehabilitation Clinic, operated by the Department of Kinesiology, also serves as a local training site for students, while providing care to the University and nearby communities.