Direct your compassion, determination, and problem-solving abilities toward a rewarding career in physical therapy.
As a student in the St. Ambrose University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, you will learn how to be movement specialists and diagnose and treat individuals of all ages.
Our graduates work in hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, nursing homes, and sports and fitness facilities.
April 18, 2020
High school juniors and seniors and college transfers are invited to an open house with the Physical Therapy Department to learn more about a career in physical therapy. Get more details and register
- Accelerated DPT Degree in 2.5 Years
- Class Size of 36 Students
- 7 Clinical Education Experiences
- Interprofessional Opportunities
The DPT program provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver high-quality physical therapy services. Faculty train students in clinical decision-making and evidence-based practice that equips them with the skills to care for medically complex patients.
January 10-11, 2020, Manual Therapy I: Differentiation and Intervention in Musculoskeletal Practice. April 20, 2020, Evidence Based Practice Symposium. May 15-17, 2020, Manual Therapy II: Manual Therapy for the Upper Quadrant (Occiput-T8).
More Information About the Doctor of Physical Therapy
As one of the leading physical therapy programs in the country, we believe ingenuity, interprofessional education, and intense hands-on training are keys to becoming a successful practitioner.
The DPT program delivers those tenants to students in several unique and inspiring ways. Click on the titles below to learn more!
The DPT Program is a full-time graduate program that culminates in a clinical doctoral degree in 2.5 years.
Students are admitted to the program through three admission tracks. Two tracks have a plan of study with three years of undergraduate study and 2.5 years in the DPT program reducing time and costs.
A maximum class size of 36 students allows our faculty to give you more personal attention and guidance throughout each step of your education experience.
Our open door policy helps faculty and staff to genuinely learn about you and your journey in order to achieve personal and professional goals. Faculty advisors will meet with you regularly to ensure timely progress and provide resources to facilitate your success.
An added benefit is being involved in our active Student Physical Therapy Organization that introduces you to other PT students and enriches your relationship with professors and classmates through professional, social, fundraising, and philanthropic activities. The primary fundraising event is an annual volleyball tournament "Spike for the Health of It."
PT students also are part of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) and serve as representatives or members.
Students participate in a total of 35 weeks of patient care through seven different clinical education experiences. This includes four, 2-3 week clinical experiences integrated into the academic semesters that allow students to practice what they are learning at the time.
Following completion of academic coursework, students achieve entry-level practice in Acute Care, Orthopedic, and Neurologic settings through three 8-10 week clinical education experiences. SAU has established relationships with clinical sites across the U.S., including general and specialized practice settings.
We believe health care must be person-centered and approached in an interprofessional manner. Our College of Health and Human Services is noted for educating health care professionals who can work as a team – in partnership with the patient – to achieve the best outcome.
• TeamSTEPPS training: Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) builds strong healthcare teams, improves quality of care, and decreases medical errors. Four skills embody the TeamSTEPPS program: communication, leadership, mutual support, and situation monitoring. We bring our physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology students together for interactive learning experiences.
• Interprofessional Day: Each semester students in the physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, nursing, physician assistant, speech-language pathology, and early childhood education programs spend an afternoon together working through a patient scenario and addressing every aspect of patient care with a faculty facilitator.
• Interprofessional Health Clinic: Our in-house pro bono clinic provides student-led interprofessional healthcare services to underserved populations with a focus on compassionate care, empowerment of the individual, management of health conditions, and overall wellness.
• St. Ambrose University's Institute for Person-Centered Care (IPCC): A multi-discipline approach to care that is: co-designed, relationship-based, health-focused, accessible, and integrated. Read about our Institute for Person-Centered Care (IPCC) at St. Ambrose University.
Get involved with our Student Physical Therapy Organization (SPTO) which helps PT students to meet and enrich their relationships with classmates and professors through professional, social, fundraising and philanthropic activities.
The primary fundraising event is the annual volleyball tournament, Spike for the Health of It. Our students are also part of the Graduate Student Government Association (GSSA) and serve as representatives or as members take part in other campus wide activities.
PT Department Vision
The St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy Department will be a premier department creating leaders who optimize healthcare.
PT Department Mission
The St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy Department enables students, staff, and faculty to enrich their own lives and the lives of others to positively impact the Physical Therapy Profession and society.
DPT Program Mission
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program prepares highly competent physical therapists who have the broad knowledge and skills required for contemporary physical therapist practice. Graduates of the program will be known for their compassionate care, professionalism, and commitment to lifelong learning.
Orthopaedic Residency Mission
The Orthopaedic Residency Program prepares licensed physical therapists with advanced knowledge and clinical practice skills in the specialty area of orthopaedic physical therapy. Further, the program will enhance clinical reasoning skills, provide experience in teaching and presenting, reinforce use of best evidence in practice, and facilitate life-long learning.
PT Department Core Values
We value clinical experience and practice to enhance the learning and fulfillment of our mission. Our curricula stress clinical reasoning and problem solving skills. Graduates will be known for compassionate care that balances the best evidence, experience of the therapist, and the goals of the patient. We collaborate with other healthcare professions to maximize learning, patient care and outcomes.
Students, staff and faculty will interact appropriately and effectively with all individuals. We exhibit altruism and an empathetic approach during all interactions and respect individual differences. We promote cultural competence and address difficult issues with sensitivity and objectivity. We strive to motivate and empower people to achieve their goals.
Students, staff and faculty will lead lives of professional duty, which emphasize integrity and excellence, and demonstrate accountability, altruism, compassion and social responsibility.
The creation, translation, and application of new knowledge is foundational to optimizing healthcare. Faculty serve as role models by linking theory to practice and fulfilling a scholarly agenda that serves to advance the profession of physical therapy. Students utilize the principles of evidence based practice in the classroom and clinical education experiences.
We build upon our University's Catholic identity to serve others, our profession, the University, and society in the pursuit of social justice and peace. Our service ranges from working with the underserved, membership on committees and task forces, mentoring others, and participation in professional organizations.
Further, we promote service by supporting and fostering service-learning experiences and opportunities. Through our focus and commitment to service we advance the profession of physical therapy and enhance the health of ourselves and our community.
The St. Ambrose University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program sets a One-Price Tuition Plan for all tuition and fees for the full 2.5 years of the DPT Program. The total cost of the program is then divided across seven payments, and the cost will not change over the course of the program. This format ensures that the student knows the total tuition costs and can plan accordingly.
This set price includes all tuition, course fees, liability insurance, technology fees, graduation application fees and a physical therapist tool kit that is used throughout the curriculum.
Additional costs are not included in the One-Price Tuition Plan because they may vary based on the student's prior training, clinical site placement, and decisions on what course supplies to purchase.
These additional costs include:
- All housing and living related expenses
- Books and optional course supplies
- Parking fees
- CPR Certification
- Background checks required for clinical education
- Immunizations for clinical education
- Travel and housing during clinical education
- Graduation regalia (cap and gown)
Cost for Class of 2020
For the cohort of students entering the DPT Program in August 2020 and graduating in December 2022, the total program cost will be $92,777 divided across seven payments coinciding with each semester of the program. Fall and Spring semester payments will be $15,463 and Summer semester payments will be $7,731.
Undergraduate Scholarships and Institutional Aid for Track I and II Students
Track I and II students cannot use undergraduate scholarships and institutional aid awarded from St. Ambrose University toward tuition and fees associated with the first year in the DPT program.
That includes athletic scholarships and funding through the faculty/staff tuition remission and exchange programs.
Other state/federal grants and private scholarships could still be used during the first year in the DPT program. Students accepted into Track I can use scholarships during their first three years at St. Ambrose University.
August 16 – New Student Orientation (for 1st Year students)
August 19 – Term Begins (1st and 2nd Year students)
September 2 – Holiday, Labor Day, No Classes
October 11 – Holiday Midterm Break, No Classes
November 25-29 – Thanksgiving Break, No Classes
December 13 – Term Ends
December 14 – Graduation
January 6 – Term Classes Begin (2nd Year students)
January 20 – Martin Luther King Day, No Classes
January 21 – Term Classes Begin (1st Year students)
March 2-6 – Spring Break (2nd Year students)
March 9-13 – Spring Break (1st Year students)
April 10-13 – Good Friday and Easter Monday, No Classes
May 8 – Term Ends
May 11-15 – Medically Complex Patient (2nd Year students)
May 18 – Summer Session begins (1st Year students)
May 25 – Memorial Day, No Classes
June 26 – Summer Session ends (1st Year students)
August 21 – New Student Orientation (1st Year students)
August 24 – Term Begins (1st and 2nd Year students)
September 7 – Labor Day, No Classes
October 16 – Midterm Break, No Classes
November 23-27 – Thanksgiving Break, No Classes
December 18 – Term Ends
December 19 – Graduation
Priscilla Weaver, Department Director and Assoc. Professor
Bryon Ballantyne, Professor
John Barr, Professor Emeritus
Sandy Cassady, Professor
Nicholas Cooper, Asst. Professor
Dana Dailey, Asst. Professor
Barb Ehrmann, Clinical Professor
Kevin Farrell, Professor, Chair of Orthopaedic Residency
Lynn Frank, Asst. Professor, DCE
Katherine Lampe, Asst. Professor
Kathy Lukavsky, Office Support
Carrie Meador-Bliss, Office Administrator
Karolyn (Lyphout) Miller, Instructor
Michael Puthoff, Professor, Dean of Graduate Studies
Nora Riley, Professor
Kristin Ryan, Clinical Asst. Professor, DCE
Laura Shook, Office Support
Begin Your Journey
Begin your application to the St. Ambrose University Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience '07; Doctor of Physical Therapy,Physical therapist, Genesis Pediatric Therapy Center, Bettendorf, Iowa,Class of 2008
At SAU, Katie completed three, 10-week clinical rotations, which put her education to the test and boosted it, too. Through our DPT program, she discovered her fit and passion, and gained the skills and confidence to land her dream job as a physical therapist at Genesis Pediatric Therapy Center, in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Priscilla Weaver, PT, DPT, PhD, Program Director
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Center for Health Sciences Education
1320 W. Lombard St.
Davenport, IA 52804