University officials announced today plans to develop a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program, proposed to begin in the fall of 2014. The university will seek to develop a program that complies with the requirements of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE); currently there are only 11 CAPTE-accredited programs in the state of Texas.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program would be the second doctoral program to be offered by the university; UMHB has offered the Doctor of Education degree as a course of study since 2007.
The demand for physical therapists across the United States is expected to grow by 39% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Competition for entrance into physical therapy doctoral programs is very intense, due to the limited number of accredited programs, but DPT graduates currently have a national employment rate of 99%.
“We believe that the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree will be a great addition to the degree programs at UMHB,” said Dr. Randy O’Rear. “The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree will serve as a strong corollary to the current Pre-Physical Therapy major in our undergraduate program. It will strengthen our commitment to health-related education in the region, and it will allow us to extend our mission of Christian higher education to a new population of students.”
Early plans for the doctoral program call for it to admit students in a cohort format, with up to 40 students per cohort. At full capacity, the program could house as many at 120 students annually.