Program Design

For a more detailed description of the curriculum see Program Bulletin 2015-18

The purpose of Columbia’s DPT program is the preparation of competent physical therapists that, by virtue of their graduate education, can enter the health care arena primarily as clinicians, but with beginning skills in research, administration and education. 

Students come into the program with a strong foundation in the sciences as well as in the liberal arts. Columbia's program builds on and refines this knowledge base and helps learners develop skills related to concept formation, analysis, synthesis, problem-solving, and evidence-based practice.

The program is built on a curriculum which grounds the students in the following domains of learning necessary for entry-level practice:

  1. Scientific Foundations
  2. Clinical Sciences
  3. Critical Inquiry
  4. Professional Practice
  5. Health Care Systems and Management
  6. Electives
  7. Clinical Experiences

Upon graduation from the program, students will be able to affirm the following four broad performance outcomes that define a competent entry-level physical therapy clinician in today’s health care system.

  1. Conceptual Competence: Understanding the theoretical foundations of the profession
  2. Technical Competence: Ability to perform skills required by the profession
  3. Integrative Competence: Ability to merge theory and skills in the practice setting
  4. Career Marketability

The learning experiences of the curriculum are organized around the 7 curriculum components as follows:

Conceptual CompetenceTechnical Competence
Scientific Foundations
Clinical Sciences
Critical Exploration
Professional Practice
Health Care Systems & Management
Electives
Clinical Sciences
Electives
Integrated Clinical
Experiences (ICE)
Clinical Education I, II
Integrative CompetenceCareer Marketability
Critical Exploration
Integrated Clinical
Experiences (ICE)
Clinical Education I, II
Clinical Internship
Advanced Topic Courses
Electives
Clinical Internship

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