Program of Study
The Physical Therapy program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is a three-year (12 terms, four terms each year) program that leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree. The 140-credit-hour curriculum is built around five content areas: basic/foundational sciences, clinical/physical therapy sciences, evidence-based practice, professional engagement, and clinical experience. The three years of learning includes 36 weeks of full-time clinical experience (integrated and terminal).
The program, offered at PCOM’s Georgia campus, is designed to prepare individuals who demonstrate excellence in the practice of physical therapy, emphasize a “whole person” approach to patient management, commitment to the advancement of knowledge and intellectual growth, and engage in the well-being of the community.
PCOM’s physical therapy program focuses on the clinical perspective and takes a wellness orientation approach. Students receive experiential training all three years, with multiple opportunities to practice and serve the community in real-world settings. PCOM has a 12,000-square-foot dedicated facility with clinical learning and assessment laboratories designed for education and research. Physical therapy students have access to a clinical learning and assessment laboratory (Simulation Center); they practice skills using standardized patients and they learn applied anatomy in a cadaver lab.
Effective May 2, 2018, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee, Georgia has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The program/institution can be contacted directly at 770-682-2306 or e-mail email@example.com.
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 professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.
PCOM’s libraries feature both a well-developed collection of medical journals and texts and new capabilities for access to online medical references and Internet searching in a facility that provides individual student stations, Internet terminals, advanced audiovisual resources, and a large student computer lab.
The Financial Aid Office at PCOM offers financial assistance to students through the Federal Direct Loan program, institutional grants, and various alternative private loan programs.
Cost of Study
In 2018–19, the tuition and fees for the first year of the PCOM Physical Therapy program is $29,075.
Living and Housing Costs
Students live off campus within the Suwanee, Georgia metropolitan and suburban areas; there is no on-campus housing. Room and board costs vary by each student’s individual preferences.
Admission to the Physical Therapy program is competitive and selective. The Faculty Committee on Admissions looks for academically and socially well-rounded individuals who are committed to caring for patients. The class of 2021 is comprised of 39 students (24 women and 15 men) ranging in age from 21 to 51. Thirty-five percent of the class reports their ethnicity to be Asian and Black/African American. Thirty-four incoming students were residents of Georgia. The average GPA of the entering class was 3.4.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of the largest of thirty-four osteopathic colleges in the United States, with campuses located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Suwanee, Georgia; and Moultrie, Georgia. The Physical Therapy Studies program is offered at the Suwanee, Georgia campus. PCOM’s facilities include large lecture halls, small classrooms; labs for teaching, clinical skills, robotic and human actor simulation, and research; a state-of-the-art library; and scenic landscaping, all in a suburban setting.
PCOM, chartered in 1899, enrolls approximately 2,800 students in its various programs across three campuses, and is committed to educating community-responsive, primary care–oriented physicians and physical therapists to practice medicine in the twenty-first century. Supported by the latest in medical and educational technology, PCOM emphasizes treating the whole person, not merely the symptoms. Students have a committed, professional, humanistic faculty who are leaders in the osteopathic and physical therapy national health-care community.
Selection for the Physical Therapy program is very competitive. Applicants must complete a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited college or university: Prior to matriculation, an applicant must have successfully completed the following courses:
- General/introductory biology: two-course sequence for science majors (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs; or two-course sequence in anatomy and physiology (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs
- Anatomy, physiology, or biology course (4 semester-hour credits) must include labs
- General/introductory physics: two-course sequence for science majors (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs (sequence should include content related to mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and light)
- General/introductory chemistry: two-course sequence for science majors (8 semester-hours credit), must include labs
- Statistics or biostatistics: one course (3 semester-credit hours)
- Psychology: one course (3 semester-credit hours)
- Sociology/anthropology: one course (3 semester-credit hours)
If all prerequisite courses identified above and all coursework required for the baccalaureate degree have not been completed, a document specifying when these requirements will be met must be supplied. The document should provide specific information as to when the courses will be completed. Note that the requirements for the baccalaureate and all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation. At least six of the ten required prerequisite courses must be completed before an application will be considered.
A complete list of application requirements and deadline information is available online at https://www.pcom.edu/admissions/apply/physical-therapy.html.