Physical Therapy




Faculty:  Professor Konin, Chair. Professors Blanpied and Roush; Associate Professor Agostinucci; Assistant Professor Audette, Clinical Associate Professor Hulme, Clinical Assistant Professors, Dupre, McLinden, and Petrie.

URI’s Physical Therapy Program is an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program that prepares students for the professional licensure examination.  There is an emphasis on the development of clinical skill and research capability through the three-year graduate study plan.

The physical Therapy Program is located in the Independence Square II facility and has a clinical service and research unit that includes a computerized anatomical study center, BIODEX and KINCOM muscle performance dynamometry, postural analysis, electromyography, Gait Rite computerized gait analysis system and kinetic and kinematic analysis systems.   Research is currently conducted in the treatment and prevention of spine problems, muscular stiffness, neuromuscular control mechanisms, international physical therapy practice, professional issues, body composition analysis, neuromotor treatment, and concussion education.


Research activities are focused on biomechanics, neuromuscular control, muscle performance, neuromuscular rehabilitation, disability, musculoskeletal injury prevention, and patient satisfaction.  Clinical specialty skills are enhanced through faculty clinical practice and internships.


Admission requirements:  GRE (aptitude test scores at the 50th percentile or above are desired) and a bachelor’s degree with 12 credits of biological sciences (including a minimum of eight credits of human anatomy and human physiology courses, which must include a lab); physical sciences (16 credits, eight in chemistry and eight in physics, both of which must include a lab); six credits of social science, including general psychology and a second level content psychology course, e.g. development, child adolescent, abnormal, etc.; three credits in mathematics (precalculus or higher); three credits in communications (preferably writing or speech).  An introductory statistics course is required, preferably through ANOVA.  At URI, this means PSY 300 or STA 308.  Courses in abnormal psychology, computer science, exercise physiology, and research design are strongly recommended but not required.

A clinical experience with a physical therapist is required.  The experience should include observing and aiding a physical therapist in treatment or evaluation procedures.  The minimum number of hours recommended for the clinical experience is 30 hours of voluntary or paid time.  Most successful applicants demonstrate a diversity of clinical experience and a number of hours exceeding the minimum required in physical therapy setting.  The experience may be part of fieldwork study for credit in a health-related discipline.  Evidence of such experience should be documented by a recommendation from the physical therapist addressing the nature and duration of the experience, which should be submitted as part of the application process.  Baccalaureate requirements must be completed prior to final acceptance into the D.P.T. program.  The completed application package must be received by the October 1st of each year for a May matriculation.

Program requirements:  a minimum of 109 credits of specified physical therapy course work, including 12 credits of internship.  This program is a three-year plan of required course work, with semesters at the 500 and 600 levels including internships at affiliated institutions.  For internships, the student may have to pay travel and living expenses.  A criminal background check and immunizations are required.

Though this is essentially a nonthesis program, a substantial paper involving significant independent research is required.  All courses involving clinical skill development require skill competency testing via practical examination.  All clinical competencies determined necessary by the faculty of the respective course must be demonstrated as adequately learned by the student in these courses for achievement of an adequate scholastic course grade.  (See “Scholastic Standing” in Graduate School Requirements and Policies.)  A comprehensive examination is required. In addition to academic requirements, all students must meet professional behavior indicators described in the PT Student Handbook.


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