Curriculum

Marist DPT Curriculum

DPT Curriculum

THE CURRICULUM AND SCHEDULE
(Subject to change)

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First Year:   Session I (Winter/Spring) – 13 credits

PHTH 600 - Human Gross Anatomy – 6 credits

This course provides detailed knowledge of structures of the human body with emphasis on the head, neck, musculoskeletal, peripheral nervous, and circulatory systems. Also covered are the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities.  In the course, students examine the surface anatomy of the intact human body and develop the palpation skills necessary to locate important bony landmarks, joint spaces, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and vessels. Through cadaver dissection and other resources, the lab portion of the course focuses on the relationship of the skeleton, muscles, and neurological and vascular systems. Internal organs are also explored through dissection.

PHTH 601 - Introduction to Physical Therapy - 2 credits

This course introduces students to physical therapy, its history, accomplishments, and future directions as a doctoring, autonomous profession. APTA's core values, Code of Ethics and Guide for Professional Conduct are discussed. Students are educated about the application of generic skills. Topics of application include communication (verbal, nonverbal, and written), professional behaviors and abilities, and responsibility for professional development. The course also covers basic medical terminology, issues of confidentiality, and an introduction to the patient/client interview and documentation used in health records.

PHTH 602 - Human Physiology – 3 credits

This course provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of physiology and pathophysiology of the nervous, pulmonary, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary system, integumentary system and endocrine systems. Regional autonomic neuronal system components, and regional lymphatic system components are also being reviewed. Embryological aspects associated with system development are covered where appropriate.  The interrelationships of function and dysfunction at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and systemic levels and to the total human body is applied in each of the body systems.

PHTH 603 - Critical Inquiry I – 2 credits  

In this course, students are introduced to the science of clinical reasoning in health care and physical therapy. The integration of clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice is developed. Students learn to access knowledge for clinical practice and research, and learn the methods of scientific inquiry, including research theory, design, methods, and measurement. Students read research literature weekly and participate in a critical appraisal of the selected research methods and the meaningfulness of the findings for clinical decisions. The student develops the ability to formulate answerable clinical questions, to search for and select relevant research literature, and to analyze the clinical applicability and the validity of the results and conclusions of the selected studies   

 

First Year:   Session II (Summer) - 13 credits

PHTH 605 - Movement Science I - 4 credits

This course involves the study of human movement.  Kinesiological and biomechanical principles, and knowledge of muscle and joint function are applied to normal and pathological movement. Concepts of kinetics, kinematics, and functional movement are applied to patient situations. The study of normal and pathological gait using arthrokinematic and osteokinematic analysis is emphasized through lecture and lab activities

PHTH 606 - Exercise Physiology - 2 credits

The course provides an in-depth analysis of the body’s physiological responses to physical activity. Principles of exercise testing and prescription are covered. The courses investigates how the support systems of the body (respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, endocrine, etc.) function, in cooperation with energy production, to ensure that sufficient energy is provided for physical activity.  Lecture and lab activities address normal and abnormal function of these systems with an emphasis on measures of cardiopulmonary fitness, endurance, strength, and physical work capacity across the lifespan.

PHTH 607 - Clinical Neuroscience - 4 credits

This course serves as an introduction to the normal and pathological development and function of the nervous system throughout the lifespan.  It serves to familiarize the student with neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, basic neuroscience and evidence based practice literature. Emphasis is placed on the application of neuroscience in regards to sensation, movement, motor learning, perception and cognition as typically seen in physical therapy practice. Nervous system components including the spinal cord, brainstem, cerebrum and the auditory, visual and vestibular systems are reviewed. In lab activities, an introduction to the neurological assessment is integrated with clinical cases to provide a practical, patient-oriented application of the course material.

PHTH 608 - Clinical Skills I - 3 credits

This course prepares the student for patient care activities including assessment of vital signs, principles of body mechanics, patient positioning and draping, transfers, and communication. The course covers principles of goniometric measurement, manual muscle testing and postural assessment. The measurement and use of assistive devices and wheelchairs is also addressed. Students will develop these proficiencies through lecture and laboratory exposure.   

    

First Year:   Session III (Fall) - 16 credits

PHTH 610 - Critical Inquiry II - 3 credits
This course prepares students to advance in their ability to analyze information focused on a clinical question related to PT assessment, intervention, or outcomes.  Students will develop a research proposal and successfully complete all aspects of an application for the Institutional Review Board. Students will then complete data collection for proposed research projects, a thorough review of the literature, and the initial portions of a written manuscript. Epidemiologic statistics that enhance understanding of diagnostic tests and treatment options are covered in the course, as are analytical components of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Students are introduced to reference management software.
PHTH 611 - Introduction to Clinical Decision Making - 2 credits
This course introduces theories and concepts used in clinical decision-making as they apply to physical therapy assessment and intervention. The use of clinical prediction rules in PT practices is covered. Using information regarding validity, reliability, and best available evidence, students critically appraise the literature to select appropriate tests and measures.  This information is combined with critical thinking and decision-making to determine the most appropriate intervention and outcomes for all patients.
PHTH 612 - Clinical Skills II – 4 credits 
This course provides an overview of the management of pain and dysfunction and scientific rationale for the use of thermal, electrical, and mechanical modalities. Indications, contraindications, physiologic basis, and clinical applications are covered. Additional topics include massage, mechanical compression, spinal traction, biofeedback, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and functional scales.  The course will provide lecture, labs, case studies, and clinical observation to enhance the student’s understanding of the application of content covered in the Clinical Skill I & II course series.
PHTH 613 – Pathology - 3 credits
This course introduces the student to basic pathology, epidemiology, etiology, clinical presentation, signs and symptoms, and management related to diseases/conditions commonly encountered by physical therapists. These include pathological issues encompassing cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, peripheral and central nervous systems, integumentary systems as well implications of multi-system pathology, such as nutritional deficiency and endocrine disorders.  Discussions highlight the implications for evaluation and treatment of patients presenting with these conditions. Student gain information used to determine if referrals to other health professionals are warranted.
PHTH 614 - Movement Science II – 2 credits
This course builds on the information from Movement Science I.  The course focuses on the theory and principles of motor control and motor learning with application for human motor performance across the lifespan. Student analyze current research related to skill acquisition, practice, feedback, transfer of training, modeling, part vs whole training, imagery, implicit and explicit learning and memory systems. A lifespan perspective of mobility will be introduced. This provides the basis for assessment and intervention strategies used to optimize movement.
PHTH 615 - Therapeutic Exercise – 2 credits
This course introduces underlying principles of therapeutic exercise including aspects of training, flexibility, strength, balance, and range of motion.  The use of exercise to improve function, prevent disability and injury, and promote wellness is emphasized. Students are instructed in strategies to safely teach and progress patients in their treatment plans. Students use a variety of exercise equipment such as treadmills, cycles, weights, and elastic bands. The indications and precautions of exercise and lifespan consideration are explored. Laboratory experience and problem solving using patient case studies serve to enhance the student’s understanding relative to direct patient care.

 

Second Year: Session IV (Winter/Spring) - 14 credits

PHTH 616 - Musculoskeletal Management I – 3 credits

This course introduces students to musculoskeletal assessment including examination (history, screening, tests and measures), evaluation, diagnosis, and prognosis for impairments, functional limitations, and disability in clients of all ages with pathologies of a musculoskeletal nature. Students learn subjective and objective assessment measures including mechanism of injury, tissue and joint integrity, posture, soft-tissue evaluation, special tests and pain assessment. Functional capacity evaluations are also covered. Lectures are combined with demonstrations and hands-on laboratory practice, which allows students to master their palpation and examination skills.

PHTH 617 - Neurological Management I -3 credits

This course presents the foundations of evaluation and assessment of individuals with neurologic conditions and disorders. Testing of peripheral, central, and autonomic nervous system function is presented with an emphasis on specificity and sensitivity of the tests. The course prepares students to develop a diagnosis and prognosis for patients of all ages with central nervous system and peripheral nerve dysfunction. Lab activities emphasize neurological screening, balance assessment tools, common outcome measures, and a comprehensive neurologic examination.

PHTH 618 - Diagnostic Imaging - 2 credits

This course covers diagnostic imaging techniques used for musculoskeletal, neurological, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems. An overview of principles, techniques, purpose, process, and interpretation of diagnostic imaging will be offered, as well as indications, contraindications, advantages, and disadvantages of various specific imaging techniques. Diagnostic imaging covered will include plain film radiography, bones scans, DEXA, ultrasound, CT scans, MRI, MRA, PET scans, SPECT, and diffusion tensor imaging, as well as nuclear and interventional medicine. Emphasis will be on the role of diagnostic imaging as it relates to physical therapy, including indications for referral for imaging, and integrating imaging information with significant findings from patient history and patient examination in physical therapy assessment and intervention.

PHTH 620 – Clinical Education I (8weeks/April-May) – 6 credits    

Clinical Education I the first course in a series of four full-time clinical education experiences. It is eight weeks long and is a required course for all DPT students. This course will provide students with the opportunity to integrate and implement didactic knowledge with practical experiences in a physical therapy setting, under the supervision and mentorship of a licensed physical therapist (Clinical Instructor).

Over the course of the four Clinical Education experiences, students will be exposed to inpatient and outpatient practice settings.  As students progress through their four clinical education experiences, it is expected that they will evolve professionally, as demonstrated by their clinical performance. Culminating clinical education experiences are based on the unique needs and professional goals of students, and the availability of clinic sites.

This is the first opportunity for students to perform supervised practice of newly acquired clinical skills in a patient care environment. Critical thinking skills, professional behavior, safety, communication and assuming responsibility are emphasized and expected of the student.  Students will supplement their clinical practice and enhance their learning with journal entries and topical on-line discussions with the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and with their classmates.

                                      

Second Year: Session V (Summer) 11 credits

PHTH 622 - Musculoskeletal Management II - 4 credits

This course introduces students to musculoskeletal interventions for patients across the lifespan with impairments, functional limitations, and disability in clients with pathologies of the spine and extremities. Using evidence-based guidelines and critical thinking, students formulate a PT diagnosis, prognosis and plan of care. Labs address skill development for performing treatment techniques consisting of exercise prescription and movement retraining, joint and soft tissue mobilization, dynamic stabilization, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Additional topics include women’s health, aquatic therapy, and work hardening/conditioning.

PHTH 623 - Neurological Management II – 4 credits

This course covers the management of individuals throughout the lifespan who experience neurologic injury or disorders. Building on previous coursework, students integrate current knowledge of neuroplasticity and recovery from injury, evidence-based practice and critical thinking to develop appropriate treatment strategies, interventions and prognoses.  The role of the PT in prevention of neurologic conditions is also covered.

PHTH 625 – Lifespan Physical Therapy – Pediatrics – 2 credits

This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding, exposure, critical evaluation and integration of current best practice towards pediatric physical therapy clinical practice. The readings, class discussions, and lab-related activities will focus on increasing students' understanding of typical and atypical development, and how factors affect a child's motor performance across all environments. Theoretical principles of motor control and neurological development are applied to enhance understanding of typical motor development (briefly), as well as motor development in children with various diagnoses.

PHTH 626 - Rounds I – 1 credit

Based on information from weekly reflection papers collected during their clinical education experience, this course will provide students with an opportunity to discuss patient scenarios, assessments, and interventions. Actual and simulated patients may provide scenarios for some cases. Students will improve clinical reasoning and decision-making abilities and strengthen the understanding of interdisciplinary roles encountered in a variety of PT settings.

 

Second Year: Session VI (Fall) 15 credits

PHTH 627 - Cardiopulmonary Patient Management – 3 credits

This course involves the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, expected outcomes and criteria for examination of individuals with cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders. Students will gain competence in the interpretation of electrocardiograms, auscultation, pulmonary function tests, and administration of exercise testing protocols. Through lecture and lab activities, cardiac rehabilitation will be covered, as will bronchial drainage, and breathing and chest clearance methods.

PHTH 628 - Integumentary Patient Management - 2 credits

The course focuses on the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention of individuals with integumentary dysfunction. Students learn about the process of normal wound healing and the causes of integumentary disorders including pressure ulcers, ulcers due to venous and arterial insufficiency, diabetic ulcers, and burns. The role of the physical therapist in the management of wounds is stressed.

PHTH 629 - Pharmacology in Physical Therapy – 1 credit

This course introduces the student to the pharmacological background needed for the clinical treatment of patients referred to physical therapy. It includes the fundamentals of the actions of drugs, including mechanisms of therapeutic and adverse effects. Major classes of drugs are discussed, including those used to treat autonomic, cardiovascular, central nervous system, musculoskeletal, and endocrine disorders.

PHTH 630 - The Physical Therapist as an Educator - 2 credits

This course is designed is explore the educational role of physical therapists as learners and educators with a focus on the education of health professionals, clients, families and community members. Emphasis is placed on teaching, learning and motivation theories, learning styles and needs, and their applicability in the clinical, professional and academic environments.  Topics include learning theories, cultural and gender differences, developing behavioral objectives, developing instructional strategies and exploring assessment tools for use in the classroom, community, and clinical facilities. The integration of teaching and learning styles in the clinical setting and how they are utilized in improving client treatment adherence, patient and family education will be addressed.  Students will explore the role of the clinical instructor as a teacher/supervisor in preparation for future participation in clinical education activities.   

PHTH 631 - Health Promotion and Wellness I -1 credit

This course is the first of a two-course series emphasizing the physical therapist’s role in the promotion of health and wellness and prevention of injuries and illness. Students learn the significance of fitness, ergonomics, nutrition and exercise prescription in maintaining health and wellness. The course covers risk factors that can lead to poor health and neuromusculoskeletal injuries.  Lifespan issues related to health and wellness in the life stages from prenatal, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age will be addressed with an emphasis on issues relevant to the practice of physical therapy.

PHTH 632 - Clinical Education II (8 wks/Nov-Dec) – 6 credits

Clinical Education II the second course in a series of four full-time clinical education experiences. It is eight weeks long and is a required course for all DPT students. This course will provide students with the opportunity to integrate and implement didactic knowledge with practical experiences in a physical therapy setting, under the supervision and mentorship of a licensed physical therapist (Clinical Instructor).

Over the course of the four Clinical Education experiences, students will be exposed multiple practice settings.  As students progress through their four clinical education experiences, it is expected that they will evolve professionally, as demonstrated by their clinical performance. Culminating clinical education experiences are based on the unique needs and professional goals of students, and the availability of clinic sites.

This is the second opportunity for students to perform supervised practice of acquired academic study and clinical skills in a patient care environment. Critical thinking skills, professional behavior, safety, communication and assuming responsibility are emphasized and expected of the student.  Students will supplement their clinical practice and enhance their learning with journal entries and topical on-line discussions with the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and with their classmates.

                                           

Third Year:  Session VII (Winter/Spring) 13 credits

PHTH 700 - Differential Diagnosis – 3 credits

This course is designed to assist the physical therapy student with the screening process used as the initial step in making a diagnosis and determining the need for referral to other health professionals.  By becoming proficient in the screening interview, student will collect vital information about the patient including the medical history, risk factors, clinical presentation, associated signs and symptoms and a review of the systems.  Students will gain the skills needed to identify the broad spectrum of conditions and pathologies encountered in physical therapy practice.

PHTH 701 - Advanced Manual Therapy - 2 credits

This course builds upon material covered in Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Musculoskeletal Intervention.  Using an evidence-based and clinical decision-making approach, students learn to effectively use manual therapy strategies to treat patients with musculoskeletal dysfunction. A strong emphasis is placed on laboratory classes to enhance the students’ hands-on skills in evaluation, diagnosis, mobilization and thrust and non-thrust manipulation techniques. The use of dynamic stabilization programs, muscle energy techniques and various manual therapy approaches will also be covered.

PHTH 702 – Lifespan Physical Therapy/Adults-Geriatrics – 2 credits

This course explores the lifespan development of the adult and older person including implications for physical therapist practice.  The student explores developmental norms and changes that occur in motor, sensory, cognitive, and psychosocial realms throughout the adult and older adult periods. Women’s health issues encountered during pregnancy through post-menopause and a variety of variety of gynecological disorders will be discussed. The responses of the individual and family to disability, aging, and death and dying are covered. Topics discussed include cultural and socioeconomic implications on physical therapy intervention as well as the importance of education, prevention of injury and disability, and health promotion.  Domestic violence, elder abuse, and issues involved with death and dying are also covered.  A lab component will include examination and intervention for special populations.

PHTH 703 - Prosthetics and Orthotics -2 credits

This course covers the use of prosthetic and orthotic devices for individuals with congenital, traumatic, and circulatory conditions.   An in-depth coverage of the components of prosthetics and orthotics will include assessing the need and fit of these devices.  Students will analyze the mechanics of gait in users of lower extremity prosthetics or orthotics. The role of the physical therapist in the management of patients/clients requiring these devices is covered with emphasis on the importance of education and prevention.

PHTH 704 - Health Promotion and Wellness II - 1 credit

This course is the second of a two-course series emphasizing the physical therapist’s role in the promotion of health and wellness, including nutrition, and prevention of injuries and illness. In the course, students integrate information from all previous courses and clinical experiences to identify and assess the health needs of individuals, groups and communities.  Students design and execute programs that promote optimal health through the lifespan by providing information or consultation on many aspects of health risks and disability. They will understand the roles of the multidisciplinary team in regards to health promotion and injury prevention.

PHTH 705 - Administration and Leadership – 3 credits

This course introduces concepts that support the business, administration, supervision and financial management principles used in physical therapy practice. Students are introduced to current trends in legislation and regulation, marketing and public relations, and billing and reimbursement strategies used in clinical practice. The importance of ethical decision-making and legislative advocacy is stressed. Students develop, plan, and market a physical therapy practice and take an active role in advocating for legislative changes related to the provision of health care services.

 

Third Year: Session VIII (Summer) 10 credits

PHTH 707 - Clinical Ed III (10 wks. June - early Aug) -7 credits

Clinical Education III the third course in a series of four full-time clinical education experiences. It is ten weeks long and is a required course for all DPT students. This course will provide students with the opportunity to integrate and implement didactic knowledge with practical experiences in a physical therapy setting, under the supervision and mentorship of a licensed physical therapist (Clinical Instructor).

Over the course of the four Clinical Education experiences, students will be exposed multiple practice settings.  As students progress through their four clinical education experiences, it is expected that they will evolve professionally, as demonstrated by their clinical performance. Culminating clinical education experiences are based on the unique needs and professional goals of students, and the availability of clinic sites.

This is the third opportunity for students to perform supervised practice of acquired academic study and clinical skills in a patient care environment. Critical thinking skills, professional behavior, safety, communication and assuming responsibility are emphasized and expected of the student.  Students will supplement their clinical practice and enhance their learning with journal entries and topical on-line discussions with the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and with their classmates.

PHTH 708 - Doctoral Project – Research – 3 credits OR

The DPT degree offered by Marist College is a clinical doctorate. Students are expected to complete a doctoral project that provides an opportunity to explore areas of interest from a broader perspective beyond what is offered in the didactic or clinical education program.  The doctoral project is intended to be an intensive active learning project.  Each student will be mentored by faculty with expertise in the area of the Project.

This course will allow students to explore areas of relevance to physical therapy involving a clinical research question.  Projects involve an extensive and robust review of the literature and may involve the collection and analysis of primary data. The course culminates in completion of a substantial final written report and presentation given in PHTH 714 Capstone  

PHTH 709 – Doctoral Project – Service – 3 credits OR

The DPT degree offered by Marist College is a clinical doctorate. Students are expected to complete a doctoral project that provides an opportunity to explore areas of interest from a broader perspective beyond what is offered in the didactic or clinical education program.  The doctoral project is intended to be an intensive active learning project, requiring significant effort in the planning and implementation. Each student will be mentored by faculty with expertise in the area of the Project.

This course will allow students to explore areas of need and to engage in service in both local and global communities.  Students will complete a needs analysis of the community and design a program to fill unmet needs.  The final reports should include the outcomes of the student’s experience in addressing the service need(s) identified by the student and their mentor. The course culminates in completion of a substantial final written report and presentation given in PHTH 714 Capstone.   Along with the final report, students should submit any product that resulted from the project.

PHTH 710 – Doctoral Project Education – 3 credits

The DPT degree offered by Marist College is a clinical doctorate. Students are expected to complete a doctoral project that provides an opportunity to explore areas of interest from a broader perspective beyond what is offered in the didactic or clinical education program.  The doctoral project is intended to be an intensive active learning project, requiring significant effort in the planning and implementation. Each student will be mentored by faculty with expertise in the area of the Project.

In this course, student will focus on the role of physical therapists as educators with a focus on the education of health professionals, clients, families and community members. Emphasis is placed on teaching, learning and motivation theories, learning styles and needs, and their applicability in the clinical, professional and academic environments. The course culminates in completion of a substantial final written report and presentation given in PHTH 714 Capstone.   Along with the final report, students should submit any product that resulted from the project

 

Third Year: Session IX (Fall) 10 credits

PHTH 712 - Clinical Education IV (Sept -Oct) - 7 credits

Clinical Education IV is the final course in a series of four full-time clinical education experiences. It is ten weeks long and is a required course for all DPT students. This course will provide students with continued opportunity to integrate and implement didactic knowledge with practical experiences in a physical therapy setting, under the supervision and mentorship of a licensed physical therapist (Clinical Instructor).

Over the course of the four Clinical Education experiences, students will be exposed multiple practice settings.  As students progress through their four clinical education experiences, it is expected that they will evolve professionally, as demonstrated by their clinical performance. Culminating clinical education experiences are based on the unique needs and professional goals of students, and the availability of clinic sites.

This is the fourth opportunity for students to perform supervised practice of acquired academic study and clinical skills in a patient care environment. Critical thinking skills, professional behavior, safety, communication and assuming responsibility are continually emphasized and expected of the student.  Students will supplement their clinical practice and enhance their learning with journal entries and topical on-line discussions with the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and with their classmates.

PHTH 713 - Rounds II – 1 credit

This course will require the writing of a case report based on a specific patient seen by the students during one of the clinical education courses. It will require that students combine best practice, clinical judgment, and current evidence to critically answer clinical questions regarding the examination, intervention, diagnosis, and prognosis of patients throughout the lifespan with a variety of diagnoses.  Students will be responsible for obtaining and analyzing literature to support their positions

PHTH 714 – Capstone - 1 credit

This Capstone course is the culmination of doctoral projects in which the students have been engaged.  These projects may include a research, education, or service focus.  In this course, students will be engaged in the presentation of their scholarly project.  The course prepares the students to present their scholarly project work in an oral presentation or poster format. Along with the final report, students should submit any product that resulted from the project, i.e., a video tape, written materials, etc.

PHTH 715 - Cumulative Exam - 1 credit

This course involves a review of the curriculum in preparation for the National Physical Therapy Examination. A licensing examination review seminar will be provided by the professionals in the field of physical therapy educational resources. The seminar will include extensive resources to assist students with assessing their individual strengths and weaknesses and increasing the reasoning skills to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination.  Students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination. This course is used to collect data for curricular assessment.   

Total 115 credits

All course descriptions are subject to change.

Marist
Accreditation Status
Marist College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates that the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Graduation from a PT education program accredited by CAPTE is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Pending receipt of accreditation status, students will be eligible to take the licensure examination in January 2021.
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