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Doctor of Physical Therapy

The course of study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is an entry-level professional program designed to prepare students to enter the profession of physical therapy.

A Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree is awarded following the successful completion of the program that consists of intense academic and clinical work spread over six semesters and three summers. Students are prepared as generalists, but also have an opportunity to investigate specialized aspects of physical therapy through numerous clinical exposures. The program of study consists of 112 credit hours of graduate course work. These hours are divided among classroom, clinical, and research activities.

Learning Objectives

  • Achieve entry-level competence in all areas of clinical practice as measured by the Clinical Performance Instrument.
  • Competently address all areas of physical therapy patient/client management including Examination, Evaluation, Diagnosis, Prognosis (including plan of care), Intervention, Outcome measurement.
  • Become autonomous primary health care providers within the scope of physical therapy practice to include screening/systems review, differential diagnosis, referral, and teaming as appropriate.
  • Provide care to rural and underserved populations.
  • Engage in evidence-based practice based on sound reasoning processes.
  • Facilitate patient progress toward improved outcomes across all levels of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health including Health conditions, Body structure and function, Activities, and Participation.
  • Engage in physical therapy roles in preventions, and the promotion of health, wellness, and fitness.
  • Assume professional roles including those in the areas of education, critical inquiry, administration, consultation.
  • Be committed to and demonstrate generic abilities as outlined by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
  • Engage in ethical practice of physical therapy reflecting the core values of as outlined by the APTA and other key documents including Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and Guide for Professional Conduct.

Career Possibilities

The enormous popularity in the physical therapy profession the past few years has increased demand for physical therapists considerably. Subsequently, it is expected that the employment market will continue to be strong. Employment for physical therapists in 2016, compared to employment in 2006, is projected to grow 30-40% in Nevada. Future demands will be most affected by population growth, economic growth, and the spread of managed care. Students graduating with this degree will be entry-level physical therapists. Areas of practice include, but are not limited to:

  • Hospitals
  • Private Practice
  • Home health agencies
  • Outpatient rehabilitation centers
  • Offices and clinics of physicians and nursing homes
  • Academia
  • Research