Both admission criteria and procedures described in the “Admission” section of this catalog apply to all students interested in the professional physical therapy curriculum. Admission is based on many factors, including the GPA in the prerequisite courses, the overall GPA, number of hours taken at NIU, references, and an essay. The faculty may require an interview as part of the application process. No transfer credit for courses within the professional program is allowed. Students must complete general education requirements and program prerequisite courses prior to matriculation into the professional curriculum.
Students must successfully complete both the undergraduate and graduate components of the professional physical therapy curriculum in order to be eligible to sit for the professional licensing examination. Students must make satisfactory progress to be allowed to continue in the program and can be dismissed from the program for academic reasons or for unprofessional behavior or actions that threaten the health and safety of others. It is the responsibility of students to secure a copy of the Physical Therapy Student Handbook which describes the policies of the program.
The faculty of the Physical Therapy Program has determined that for students to successfully complete the professional physical therapy program, they must have abilities and skills in observation, communication, motor function, intellectual performance, and professional behavior. A student must, with or without reasonable accommodation, possess these technical skills upon admission to the Physical Therapy Program. A copy of these Technical Standards for the Physical Therapy Program can be obtained from the Physical Therapy Program Office.
In addition to the usual costs for a university student, health sciences majors are responsible for the costs involved in
- uniforms to be worn during all clinical experiences,
- transportation to, and room and board at, clinical facilities,
- completion of a 3-dose Hepatitis B immunization,
- proof of varicella immunity,
- student professional liability insurance, and
- professional textbooks.
Full-time and part-time clinical experiences are an integral part of the curriculum, providing the student opportunities to apply academic knowledge under the supervision of skilled physical therapists. Clinical experiences are offered throughout the central United States and are scheduled by the NIU physical therapy faculty. Students are expected to be involved in both part-time and full-time clinical experiences during the professional curriculum. The timing of these clinical experiences is dependent on available clinical sites.