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Why study physical therapy at Belmont?
The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy has been graduating outstanding, contemporary clinicians for more than 20 years.
You will be well-prepared to succeed on the national physical therapist licensure examination. Our graduates have achieved a steady 100 percent ultimate pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
In the classroom and laboratory, you will learn from a faculty that are outstanding educators, experienced clinicians and recognized experts in their fields. You will also have the opportunity to obtain multiple additional certifications during your time in the Program.
You will continue to grow as a student with clinical education experiences with the more than 700 clinical site placements we offer in the U.S. and around the world.
Upon successful completion of the program, you will be an excellent and highly sought-after candidate for employment. In fact, 100 percent of our graduates secure full-time professional employment in various practice settings within one year after graduation.
What You'll Learn
You will learn to:
- provide excellent, compassionate care through evidence-based, autonomous practice
- practice as a generalist physical therapist
- serve as an autonomous practitioner of choice
- demonstrate life-long learning
- be actively involved in the profession and community
Where are our graduates employed?
Our graduates are employed in a wide variety of settings, including:
- Hospitals/Emergency Departments
- Intercollegiate and Professional Sports
- Outpatient Clinics
- Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Home Health
- Performing Arts
- Women's Health Clinics
What needs do they serve?
They are also serving various patient populations with a wide variety of needs, including:
- Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
- Critical Care
- Hand Therapy
- Pelvic Health
I am beyond grateful to have attended Belmont University School of Physical Therapy-it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The faculty, courses and clinical education challenged and shaped me as a physical therapist and business owner. I truly felt the support and compassion.
Belmont’s prestige drew me in, but the people kept me in. Everyone is really like a family. I have never been surrounded by such an intelligent, supportive and welcoming community. Despite rough moments, there’s always someone to talk to for words of encouragement and prayer.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Belmont is a three-year program following a traditional curricular model. The first year is focused on developing a solid foundation in the basic sciences, basic skills and professional issues. In the second year, you'll begin to apply the foundational knowledge and develop clinical skills in preparation for part-time and full-time clinical education experiences. In the final year, you will develop additional clinical skills and complete three full-time clinical education experiences. Throughout the program, students work in small groups with a faculty mentor to complete a scholarly project.
The DPT curriculum is a traditional model that emphasizes a thorough understanding of how the structure and function of the human body inform the theoretical concepts underlying physical therapist practice. The curriculum is based on a foundation of basic science, basic skills and professional issues. In building on this foundation, learners develop sound clinical reasoning and entry-level clinical skills, such as patient examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, reexamination, education/communication, outcomes and prevention. Outstanding, unique and broad clinical education opportunities allow learners to apply the knowledge, skills and reasoning in the clinic and further develop as clinicians. Across the curriculum, supportive courses facilitate the development of essential skills for life-long professional practice such as critical thinking, inquiry and ethical decision making. The rigorous curriculum is delivered in a learning environment that strives to support the learner and develop master adaptive, self-regulated, lifelong learners who are prepared to become adaptive expert clinicians.
The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy currently has agreements with more than 700 clinical sites in every state and five countries! Our students complete a total of 36 weeks of full-time clinical education experiences in addition to a full semester of part-time, once weekly clinical education experience. The School coordinates clinical education opportunities for students at locations in Tennessee and across the United States within regulatory guidelines established by each state. International opportunities are also available. Belmont University is part of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) which guides placement in most states.
Clinical education at Belmont includes four nine-week, full-time affiliations across inpatient (acute care, rehabilitation or subacute care) and outpatient settings. Each student is expected to complete at least one of these full-time clinical rotations outside of the Middle Tennessee region. However, our location in Nashville, TN, a national health care hub with many major hospitals and medical centers, allows us to give our students excellent, varied part-time clinical education experiences as well.
The Clinical Education team works with each student individually to best meet educational and in some cases, geographic needs.
Student Research Opportunities
A goal for our graduates is for each to be consumers of research, able to identify researchable problems, advocate and participate in research, and incorporate findings from professional literature into clinical practice.
When it comes to research, our faculty also lead by example. Examples of the publications, presentations, projects, and other research activities our faculty and students have participated in are listed below.
Students have opportunities to apply for residency through Belmont's many partnerships in Nashville. Residency and fellowship programs provide post-professional education through one-to-one mentoring, structured curricular experiences, and guided learning designed to increase the quality of patient care and practitioner knowledge in specialty and subspecialty areas through best practices.
Sports Physical Therapy Clinical Residency at Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance
Belmont University School of Physical Therapy in partnership with Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance (TOA) offers a 13-month Sports Physical Therapy clinical residency that is designed to provide each participant with a unique experience that will enhance their ability to become advanced practitioners in the specialty area of sports physical therapy. The mission of the Sports Clinical Residency at Belmont University & Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance is to prepare the physical therapy resident to be an evidenced-based advanced practitioner in sports physical therapy by working collaboratively in an interdisciplinary environment. The resident will demonstrate excellence through evidence-based clinical decision-making across the full spectrum of care from initial diagnosis through treatment, rehabilitation, and education to prevent future injury. In addition, the resident will serve as an educator, clinical researcher, and professional role model for others.
Within the Sports Physical Therapy clinical residency, the resident will split time between the classroom, clinic, and training room. The resident will work closely with therapists who have expertise in a wide variety of sports specialty areas across the continuum of care from acute injury recognition and management through rehabilitation and return to play. In addition, the sports resident will begin and end their residency time working in the Tennessee Titans Football summer camp. At Belmont, the resident extends the clinical work to the classroom by teaching and providing lab instruction to doctoral students in the orthopedic content area.
Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance (TOA) was established in 1926 and continues to set the standard for orthopedic care in Tennessee. TOA’s physicians include nationally and internationally renowned surgeons who provide specialized expertise in sports medicine, joint replacement, spine, hand, wrist and elbow, foot and ankle, shoulder, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and interventional pain management.
Neurologic Clinical Residency at Vanderbilt Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute
Belmont University School of Physical Therapy in partnership with Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute (PBPRI) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center offers a one-year-long Neurologic Clinical Residency Program. The program is designed to prepare the resident to treat patients with neurological conditions using contemporary, evidenced-based treatment approaches and provide the skills and experience needed to sit for the Neurological Clinical Specialist (NCS) certification exam with APTA.
At Belmont, the resident extends clinical work to the classroom by teaching lecture and lab instruction to doctoral students in the School of Physical Therapy in the neurologic content areas. A scholarly project will be completed during the residency. Dr. Cathey Norton is the academic coordinator for the residency. Belmont sponsors and coordinates the resident's participation with the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium.
Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program
The Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency 12-month program at Vanderbilt prepares residents for ABPTS board certification in Pediatric Physical Therapy. Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt mentors the professional development and advanced clinical training of pediatric physical therapists in an inter-professional environment.
Residents prepare to serve as leaders in the field of pediatric physical therapy, demonstrating exceptional clinical skills and reasoning guided by current evidence, social responsibility, and compassion. Residents develop the knowledge and skills to serve as educators, consultants and clinical researchers.
The Pediatric Residency provides diverse didactic education opportunities within the Vanderbilt and Belmont University systems, as well as participation in the Pediatric Residency Consortium and other external continuing education courses, seminars and webinars.
Residents deliver direct clinical care approximately 30-32 hours per week rotating through our outpatient physical therapy clinic, inpatient/critical care, specialty clinics and a developmental preschool. In addition, residents participate in experiences in the school system and inpatient rehabilitation.
Applying for a Residency Program
Recent graduates and experienced clinicians may apply through the Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS). Instructions for applying are available through the RF-PTCAS Applicant Help Center.
Students have the opportunity to obtain additional certifications in the following areas:
- First Responder
- IMPACT Trained Physical Therapist
- Leadership Development
- Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities
- Level I Dry Needling
- Level I Selective Functional Movement Assessment
Students will also receive training in the following areas:
- American Spinal Injury Association
- Diagnostic Ultrasound
- Financial Literacy
As a student in the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy, students have the opportunity to to get to know each other and the faculty in a number of important ways.
We come together to serve others in a variety of locations and ways.
- Sara Walker Run
- Nashville Rescue Mission
- Garrett's Hero Run
Students and faculty from the School of Physical Therapy have served in numerous ways in such places as:
- Dominican Republic
Students and faculty from the School of Physical Therapy enjoy spending time with each other together at such events as:
- Nashville Soccer Club games
- Nashville Sounds games
- PT Prom
- Thanksgiving Lunch
- Christmas Lunch
Formation groups are opportunities for faculty and students from the School of Physical Therapy to gather outside of class and get to know each other. Groups are optional for students and faculty and have involved such formative activities as:
- Bible Study
- Doggie Days
- Pumpkin Carving
Awards Available to Incoming Students
Five academic merit scholarships, each in the annual amount of $12,000, are awarded to selected incoming first year students on a competitive basis. These scholarships are renewable, contingent upon meeting the progression requirements of the PT program. No separate application is necessary for scholarships awarded by the School of Physical Therapy. When you submit an application to the PT program, your application is considered for a scholarship.
Awards Available to Continuing DPT Students
Dr. David Greathouse Scholarship
Awarded to a rising third year student who has demonstrated leadership, scholarship, service and exemplary clinical performance within the program.
Sara Pigg Walker Scholarship
Awarded to a rising third year student who has demonstrated leadership, scholarship, professionalism and exemplary clinical performance within the program.
Gail Bursch Clinical Education Endowed Scholarship
Awarded to a third year student good academic standing who demonstrates professionalism. The scholarship was created to financially support physical therapy students for out of state or international clinical education experiences.
Dr. Michael Voight Emerging Leader in Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Endowed Scholarship
Awarded to a third year student in good academic standing who demonstrates professionalism and promise as a leader in the area of Sports/Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. The scholarship was created to financially support physical therapy students for out of state or international clinical education experiences.
The School of Physical Therapy annually admits 60 students to the professional entry-level Doctorate (DPT), who begin study in August each year.
The School of Physical Therapy receives applications for admission and most applicant credentials exclusively through the Physical Therapist Central Application Service (PTCAS), provided by the American Physical Therapy Association.
The School of Physical Therapy at Belmont University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. CAPTE is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAPTE grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
Our financial fact sheet can be reviewed here.
The School coordinates clinical education opportunities for students at locations in Tennessee and across the United States within regulatory guidelines established by each state. International opportunities are also available. Belmont University is part of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) which guides placement in most states.
Belmont University's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program meets the state educational requirements for licensure as a Physical Therapist in all states of the United States of America, including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands:
Positive Licensure Determinations
Negative Licensure Determinations
No Licensure Determinations
|A list of all states for which the institution has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification||A list of all states for which the institution has determined that its curriculum does not meet the state educational requirements for licensure or certification||A list of all states for which the institution has not made a determination that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification|
Any established criteria regarding the transfer of credit earned at another institution
- The School of Physical Therapy does not accept transfer credits
- The School of Physical Therapy does not accept credit from other institutions or sources
- The School of Physical Therapy has no established articulation agreement.
- The School of Physical Therapy does not award credit for other prior learning experiences.