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Mailing Address:
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Campbell Bldg, Rm 309
500 W University Ave
El Paso, Texas 79968

Physical Address:
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
UTEP College of Health Sciences
1101 North Campbell Street
El Paso, Texas 79902-0581
915.747.8207
pt@utep.edu

Physical Therapy is a healthcare profession with the primary purpose of promoting optimal physical function and healthy living.  Physical therapists apply evidence-based practice with scientific principles to improve mobility by developing individualized treatment plans.  The goals are to prevent, improve, and/or maintain functional mobility at all levels of activity.  Physical therapy encompasses areas of specialization and includes the development of new approaches to more effectively meet existing and emerging health care needs.  Other professional activities that physical therapists participate in include research, education, community health promotion, and administration.  To learn more about physical therapy, visit the American Physical Therapy Association website at http://www.apta.org

UTEP offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.  The application process is very competitive with specific minimum requirements listed below.  The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.  Graduates of the DPT Program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).  After successful completion of this examination, graduates apply for state licensure usually based on the results of the NPTE scores.  

A felony conviction may affect eligibility for Physical Therapy licensure in the State of Texas (or other states). Questions concerning Texas licensure may be answered by contacting the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, 333 Guadalupe Ste 2-510 Austin, TX 78701.

Program Mission

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will graduate highly qualified doctors of physical therapy prepared to provide culturally proficient and linguistically competent care in our border region and beyond. We endeavor to develop leaders who are committed to patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, our community’s health, life-long learning, and the advancement of the physical therapy profession.

Physical Therapy Curriculum 

The DPT curriculum is a lockstep curriculum where all didactic courses are offered only once following a lockstep sequence. During the first year, students complete courses in foundational and clinical sciences as well as general physical therapy examination and intervention procedures.  Clinical courses begin in the third semester including Cardiopulmonary Patient Management. 

During the second year, students continue with clinical courses focusing on patient examination and treatment with emphasis on integument, orthopedic, and neurological impairments. In addition, students study impairments specific and unique to pediatric patients. Most of the third year is devoted to clinical education.

The final didactic course addresses emerging trends in physical therapy.  Students also complete a final capstone project.

The full-time clinical experiences during the third year of the program occur at facilities located in various parts of Texas and the surrounding states.  The expense of relocating and working at these sites is the student's responsibility. 

Admission Requirements

A Bachelor's degree is required prior to admission.  The Required Prerequisites Course List is listed below.  Note that a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on four point scale is required to apply to the program.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required, and while there is no minimum score required, the score will be considered in the competitive admissions process.  International students must take the TOEFL examination unless exempt (eg Bachelor degree obtained in the US).  In addition, 50 clock hours of volunteer or paid experience in a physical therapy setting is required, and must be supervised by a licensed physical therapist.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution
  2. Completed Physical Therapy application available at http://www.ptcas.org/home.aspx by set deadline
  3. Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended must be sent to PTCAS by set deadline
  4. GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Official Scores must be reported to PTCAS and to UTEP through ETS by set deadline
  5. Completion of  38 hours of required prerequisite courses
  6. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum prerequisite coursework GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  7. Fifty (50) clock hours of documented volunteer or paid work experience in a physical therapy setting under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist reported to PTCAS by set deadline
  8. One recommendation from a physical therapist who supervised the applicant's work or volunteer experience sent to PTCAS by set deadline
  9. Two recommendations from individuals concerning the attributes which qualify the applicant for this program sent to PTCAS by set deadline (See www.ptcas.org for qualifying recommenders)
  10. Completion of TOEFL sent to PTCAS by set deadline (Required of International Students, minimum score determined by the Graduate School)

NOTE: To engage in clinical rotations, which are a crucial element in the curriculum, all students in the Physical Therapy Program must undergo and pass a background check and drug screen prior to matriculation. Applicants will be responsible for the costs of obtaining a background check report and drug screen. In addition, students are required to obtain immunization required by the state of Texas and clinical affiliates.  Information is available at the College of Health Sciences compliance Web site. .

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants for the program should have completed the following prerequisite courses (38 semester credit hours):

  •  8 semester credit hours in biological sciences with labs (not botany) 8 semester credit hours in general chemistry with labs 8 semester credit hours in general physics with labs 4 semester credit hours in anatomy with labs AND
  • 4 semester credit hours in physiology with labs OR(a two course sequence in anatomy and physiology with labs totaling 8 credit hours 3 semester credit hours in psychology 3 semester credit hours in statistics

Recommended courses (not required for admission, but may contribute to success in physical therapy education):  Exercise Physiology, Medical Terminology, Public Speaking course (or participation in Toastmasters)

Selection Criteria

Completion of the above requirements makes a student eligible for selection, but does not guarantee admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  The final selection is competitive.

Admissions Process

The deadline for application changes from year to year and is available on the UTEP DPT website at http://www.utep.edu/chs/pt/ and http://www.ptcas.org/home.aspx.  Applicants will be informed of admissions decisions after all applications have been reviewed.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 99

Doctor of Physical Therapy (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
DRSC 5301Normal Physiology/Embryology3
DRSC 5388Pathophysiology for Health Sci3
DRSC 5390Neuroscience for Hlth Sciences3
DRSC 5495Anatomy for Health Sciences4
PT 5102Surface Anatomy1
PT 5103Patient Care Skills1
PT 5104Spanish Medical Terminology1
PT 5105Integrated Clinical Education1
PT 5204Test and Measures2
PT 5216Research Methods for PT2
PT 5233Behavioral Science Topics2
PT 5311Modalities in PT Practice3
PT 5340Management and Finance in PT3
PT 5407Med Kines and Motion Analysis4
PT 5413Clinical Education in PT I4
PT 5425Clinical Education in PT II4
PT 5443Clinical Education in PT III4
PT 6108Integument Patient Management1
PT 6109Imaging1
PT 6110Integrative Seminar I1
PT 6111Integrative Seminar II1
PT 6116PT Capstone Project I1
PT 6117PT Capstone Project II1
PT 6201Law and Ethics in PT Practice2
PT 6202Professional Practice in PT2
PT 6203Differential Diagnosis2
PT 6205Pharmacology in PT2
PT 6207Motor Control & Motor Learning2
PT 6210Clinical Exercise Physiology2
PT 6211Emerging Trends in PT2
PT 6302PT Exercise Prescription3
PT 6304Evidence-Based Practice in PT3
PT 6307Cardiopulmonary Patient Mgmt3
PT 6311Musculoskeletal I3
PT 6312Musculoskeletal II3
PT 6313Musculoskeletal III3
PT 6314Neuromuscular Rehabilitation I3
PT 6315Pediatrics3
PT 6414Neuromuscular Rehab II4
PT 6606Clinical Education in PT IV6
Total Hours99

Program Director: Dr.Alvaro Gurovich

Associate Professor

Celia Pechak
Contact Information: cmpechak@utep.edu  915-747-7289
Education: BS, Marquette University; MPH, University of Hawaii; PhD, Texas Woman's University 

Clinical Associate Professor

Loretta S. Dillon 
Contact Information: ldillon@utep.edu  915-747-8215
Education: BS, University of Texas Southwestern; MA, University of Texas at El Paso; DPT, A.T. Still University

Assistant Professor

Kevin Browne 
Contact Information: klbrowne@utep.edu  915-747-6122  
Education: BS, Andrews University; MS, Andrews University; ScD, Texas Tech University

Jason Boyle
Contact Information:  jbboyle@utep.edu  915-747-7329
Education: BS, Texas A&M University; MA, Texas A&M University; PhD, Texas A&M University

Clinical Assistant Professor

Michelle L. Gutierrez 
Contact Information: mgutierrez28@utep.edu  915-747-8148
Education: BS, University of Texas Medical Branch; MA, University of Texas Medical Branch; DSc, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mark Caulkins 
Contact Information: rcaulkins@utep.edu  915-747-7260
Education: BA, Dartmouth College; MD, Albany Medical College; DPT, Franklin Pierce University

Bryan Boyea
Contact Information:  blboyea@utep.edu  915-747-8219
Education:  BS, Johnson State College; MPT, US Army-Baylor University; DPT, A.T. Still University 

Rhonda Manning
Contact Information:  rajeske@utep.edu  915-747-7248
Education:  BS, University of Texas Medical Branch; MPT, University of Texas at El Paso; DPT, University of Texas Medical Branch