Monday March 13, 2017

Physical Therapy Success

The University of Dayton is among the best in the nation at preparing undergraduates for doctor of physical therapy programs, according to the latest data from the American Physical Therapy Association’s 2015-16 PTCAS Applicant Data Report.

The University’s acceptance rate ranks third in the nation among schools with at least 20 applicants. The rate was 83 percent — well above the national average of 50 percent — for the students who entered doctoral programs last fall.

“Our curriculum is set up to meet or exceed the requirements of doctor of physical therapy programs,” said Corinne Daprano, chair of the department of health and sport science. “Our students get hands-on experience in research and mentoring from faculty that make them extremely competitive applicants.”

Students also enjoy small class sizes and access to specialized resources available through the University’s doctor of physical therapy program, such as the cadaver lab.

Daprano said more pre-physical therapy students, along with those from majors like biology and pre-medicine, are pursuing doctorate degrees, which pushed the University into the top 25 nationwide for the number of students admitted to physical therapy programs.

Mackenzie Wilson, a 2016 graduate from health and sport science, applied to 10 doctorate programs and was accepted by all. She said she believes her research experience set her apart from other applicants, including her honors thesis, which tested young children’s balance.

“When mentioning these accomplishments in interviews, professors were surprised that I was able to have such research experience and accomplishments while an undergraduate student,” she said.

Wilson said the hands-on experience she gained at UD has helped her be successful in the doctorate program at Indiana University.

Nicole Rotunno, another 2016 graduate of health and sport science, said volunteer and leadership experiences set her apart.

“I felt very prepared when the program started and continue to feel that I have a strong background in much of the material I am learning,” she said. “Having the opportunity to learn anatomy in the cadaver lab was a huge benefit. Being able to walk into any professor's office and feel comfortable asking questions was one of my favorite things about my UD education and something that I looked for in a doctorate program.”

More information on the University’s programs is available online from the Department of Health & Sport Science.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.

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