The School of Physical Therapy prepares physical therapists who are clinical experts in the evaluation and treatment of conditions that affect the human movement system, as well as advocates for healthy living and physical wellness. Our graduates are also prepared to be scholar-practitioners who advance the practice of physical therapy through the application of current evidence. Physical therapists work with people of all ages including older adults recovering from a stroke, children with developmental disabilities, athletes recovering from a sports injury, and many other conditions. They also participate in research, administration, education, and preventive care.
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) requires all physical therapy education programs in the U.S. to award the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. To be eligible for licensure, physical therapists must graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program or its equivalent. The DPT program at Anderson University will be seeking its initial accreditation in 2021.
Why Anderson University?
Anderson University is known for the individualized attention students receive. Students enjoy small class sizes with an emphasis on professional integrity and Christian values. The School of Physical Therapy believes in “serving Him by serving others.” Students have numerous opportunities to put those words into practice through service learning activities.
AU’s 125 credit-hour physical therapy curriculum is organized around five themes:
- Knowing: We synthesize scientific knowledge to better understand human movement.
- Applying: We solve problems of movement dysfunction via diagnosis and treatment.
- Promoting: We seek ways to advance physical therapy practice and optimize societal health.
- Modeling: We strive to reflect professional and Christian values in our daily lives and health care practice.
- Serving: We seize opportunities to enhance the quality of life for all God’s people.
The program includes 32 weeks of full-time clinical opportunities in a variety of settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health, and specialty practices throughout the Southeast and other parts of the country. During these clinical experiences, students gain hands-on experience under the direct supervision of a licensed PT, applying classroom and lab knowledge and skills to patients and clients of all ages and needs. In addition, students participate in several part-time, interprofessional clinical experiences and a week-long service-learning experience of their choice. Each student is also paired with an older adult in our “Spice of Life” program that provides an individual mentoring experience.
State-of-the art facilities
Although a few anatomy labs are taught on the main campus in Anderson during the first semester, the rest of the classes and lab work take place at the University Center of Greenville. The program has access to two dedicated teaching labs, a research lab, locker rooms, and spacious student lounge, office suite, and a shared digital library, auditorium, and breakrooms.
At eight semesters, AU’s program is one to two semesters shorter than other DPT programs in South Carolina, getting graduates into the job market sooner. Tuition is competitive with other programs in South Carolina and among the lowest in private schools located in the Southeast.
The future of physical therapy
The job outlook for physical therapy is projected to continue increasing over the next several years. In addition, physical therapy has consistently been cited as one of the most satisfying professional careers, particularly in healthcare, because it provides good earning potential, flexibility, and opportunities for development. Nationwide, the average salary for a physical therapist is $88,900 per year, while the average salary in South Carolina runs slightly less. You must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination following graduation in order to obtain a license to practice as a physical therapist in any U.S. jurisdiction. This exam is offered through the Federal of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT). In addition, some graduates choose to pursue a residency program and board certification as a clinical specialist in one of nine areas of physical therapy practice.