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Email: dpt@wju.edu
Phone: 304-243-7201

Professional Education Program

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The professional curriculum uses Problem-Based Learning rather than the traditional lecture method of teaching. Students are assigned to small study groups of five to eight students and guided by a faculty tutor toward independent study. Supervised laboratory sessions and assignment to physical therapy clinics are used for the practice of clinical skills. Because of the unique curriculum design, transfer of professional course work is not recommended. Beginning with the class of Fall 2003, the program has offered the professional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT).

Graduates of the program are prepared to take the physical therapy licensure examination, and have consistently attained a higher pass rate than the national average.

Professional study is a full-time endeavor for eight academic terms that span two and half calendar years. Enrollment in additional course work is not possible and employment is not recommended. Clinical education assignments often require travel and housing outside the Wheeling area.

The WJU Graduate Curriculum
Class of 2016
May 19, 2014 through December 9, 2016*

May 19 - June 27, 2014 (6 weeks)
Didactic Coursework (online) - 6 weeks
BREAK - NO CLASSES - June 28 - August 24, 2014
August 25 - December 12, 2014 (16 weeks)
Didactic Coursework - 16 weeks
SL I - September 5 - December 5, 2014
BREAK - NO CLASSES - December 13, 2014 - January 11, 2015
January 12 - May 8, 2015 (17 weeks)
Didactic Coursework - 16 weeks
SL II - January 16 - May 1, 2015
SPRING BREAK - March 2-6, 2015 (no coursework)
BREAK - NO CLASSES - May 9-17, 2015
May 18 - August 14, 2014 (13 weeks)
CE I - May 18 - July 10, 2015 (8 weeks)
SL III - July 13-24, 2015
RTS - July 27 - August 14, 2015
BREAK - NO CLASSES - August 15-23, 2015
August 24 - December 11, 2015 (16 weeks)
Didactic Coursework - 16 weeks
BREAK - NO CLASSES - December 12, 2015 - January 11, 2016
January 11 - May 6, 2016 (17 weeks)
SL IV - January 2- 17, 2016 or May 7-15, 2016
CE II - January 18 - March 11, 2016 (8 weeks)
Didactic Coursework - March 14 - May 6, 2014 (8 weeks)
BREAK - NO CLASSES - May 7-15, 2016
May 16 - July 22, 2016 (10 weeks)
Didactic Coursework - May 16 July 8, 2016 (8 weeks)
Capstone Week - July 11-15, 2016
SL IV - July 18-22, 2016
July 25 - Decmber 16, 2016 (20 weeks)
CE III - July 25 - September 30, 2016 (10 weeks)
CE IV - October 3 - December 9, 2016 (10 weeks)
Online Elective Requirement
Revised 1/21/2014


Completion of program: December 9, 2016.

Term I: There are four courses in this totally on-line, six-week term which serves as an introduction to the DPT program (see yellow handout “Professional Education Program” for course names). This term will concentrate on medical terminology, anatomy, professionalism, and the Problem Based Learning (PBL) model.

Service Learning (SL): The service learning courses provide physical therapy students the opportunity to evaluate and serve the needs of the local community utilizing basic exam and treatment skills under faculty supervision. The students will evaluate their roles as health care professionals and as citizens to promote positive change within their communities during SL I and II. In addition to local service, each student will be required to select either a regional of international experience (SL III or IV). Proposed dates for these experiences are on the program schedule.

Clinical Education (CE): The purpose of the clinical education component of the curriculum is to provide the student with structured interactions with persons of varying degrees of health status and disability. The Clinical Education experiences bridge the knowledge and psychomotor skills learned in the academic setting to the real life clinical setting. The clinical education program, comprised of four phases of supervised clinical experiences, is progressive in the type and range of clinical responsibilities expected of each student, and corresponds to the complexity of the didactic portion of the curriculum. Students are supervised by licensed physical therapists, Clinical Instructors (CI's) in various clinical settings with progressively decreasing supervision in order to complete the students' emergence as competent entry-level practitioners.

Financial Aid: You can begin the discussion about the financial aid process with our Financial Aid Department at (304) 243-2304. Ask for Molly Daniels, Financial Aid Assistant.

  • Hospital/Clinical Tuition Assistance: Some rehabilitation companies and hospitals are willing to sponsor students during their physical therapy training with a commitment to return to that facility to practice. This is especially true in the rural settings. You can check with either your local facilities or choose the area in which you wish to practice and investigate this potential source of assistance.
  • See the green handout, “Financing Graduate Education.” Please note that these are only suggestions. There may be other opportunities that are not listed on this sheet.

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