Marist to Launch Doctor of Physical Therapy Program; College's First-Ever Doctoral Program to Admit Students for a Spring 2018 Start

Marist College

Marist College’s plan to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT) has taken a major step forward by receiving approval from the New York State Board of Regents. The College’s first-ever doctoral program has also applied for Candidate for Accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and is now accepting applications for the spring 2018 semester.

“This is an important and exciting move for Marist that continues our commitment to educating health professionals,” says President David Yellen.

The 36-month, full-time program has been designed to prepare students for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) administered National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and for successful careers as a physical therapists. Students will learn about and experience healthcare in a variety of settings and across the lifespan. In addition, the program will focus on the ethical responsibilities, service to the community, and behavioral aspects of health expected of physical therapists.  The program is designed to graduate highly trained, ethical, and problem-solving physical therapy practitioners. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for physical therapists is at an all-time high. Employment in the profession is projected to grow 34 percent through 2024—a rate much faster than the average for all occupations. The need for physical therapy services comes from a variety sources: the aging baby boomer population, who are staying active later in life; and the growing numbers of individuals with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

“This program recognizes the high demand for physical therapists (PTs) in the workforce while being consistent with the mission of the College and School of Science,” explains Claudia Fenderson, Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. “It is the intent of the program to graduate highly-skilled specialists prepared to work in a wide variety of healthcare settings: outpatient clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, schools, nursing facilities, sports training facilities, occupational settings, and research centers. This program will instill the importance of providing advocacy and service to the profession, as well as to local and global communities.”  

image of  Master of Science Physician Assistant Program working with a patient walking on the foam blocks

The program has been in the planning stages since mid-2013 and follows Marist’s successful Master of Science Physician Assistant Program, which launched in 2016. “The DPT Program is very much in line with our institutional goals and complements the Physician Assistant Program in Marist’s professional health program offerings,” says Thomas Wermuth, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. The DPT Program will make its home in the College’s newly constructed Science and Allied Health Building.

All elements are in place for the program to begin: a PT lab; a movement/gait research room; and a simulation lab that incorporates both standardized patients and high tech manikins, as well as a gross anatomy lab with full dissection capabilities. Additionally, the Program employs eight faculty members with extensive experience in physical therapy, athletic training, kinesiology, rehabilitation sciences, and health services management.


About the Accreditation Status of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Marist College is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program has submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on June 1, 2017. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation. Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

About Marist

Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy branch campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Though now independent, Marist remains committed to the ideals handed down from its founders, the Marist Brothers: excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.

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