Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy

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Total Semester Credit Hours Required

A minimum of 60 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree, including six semester credit hours for dissertation.


25 semester credit hours, including 3 semester credit hours of practicum.

Research Tools

All doctoral candidates are required to complete two research tools.

Tool 1

The student must take PT 6043 and PT 6243 or their equivalent as determined by the student’s advisory committee.

Tool 2: Computer Science

The student must take PT 6213, and PT 6083 or a 3-credit hour qualitative research methods/analysis course in any department at the graduate level.

Other Coursework

A minimum of 12 to 23 semester credit hours based on individual student needs, consisting of concentration area courses, individual studies, field research, supervised teaching, seminars, and/or practica.

Residency Requirement

It is expected that students complete two semesters of residency, defined as a minimum load of six semester credit hours for each of the two semesters.

Qualifying Examination

A comprehensive examination will be developed and administered by the student’s advisory committee in the year following completion of research tools and the majority of core courses. The examination is composed of the following two parts individualized for each student: 1) a written component in the student’s area of research interests and 2) an oral examination taken within one month after notification that the written examination has been passed. The examination committee will provide a consensus pass/fail grade for each student for each examination. The student’s advisory committee will participate in the oral examination, and the questions may deal with the areas of research specialization, research design, and statistics. A student will be allowed two attempts to pass each of the examinations. The second attempt may not be made sooner than three months after the first attempt.

A student not able to pass an examination in two attempts will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Final Examination

Oral examination is open to all faculty and the public, followed by a closed session with the committee. The oral examination will be initially limited to the content of the dissertation, but may include any topic suggested by the candidate’s answer. May be repeated only once.

Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy Program of Study (60 semester credit hours)

Research Tools
Required for Tool 1
PT 6043Statistical Methods I for the Health Care Professional (Pending THECB approval)3
PT 6243Statistical Methods II for the Health Care Professional3
Required for Tool 2
Select the following courses or equivalent:
PT 6213Computer Applications in Physical Therapy Research3
PT 6083Advanced Instrumentation in Physical Therapy (or 3 semester credit hour qualitative research methods course)3
Required Courses
PT 6533Academic Issues in Physical Therapist Education3
PT 6523Teaching and Learning in Physical Therapy3
PT 6193Psychometric Properties of Rehabilitatio3
PT 6023Research for Clinical Scientists in Physical Therapy3
PT 6103Advanced Practicum in Physical Therapy (May be completed in E/L program - not waived)3
PT 6191Applied Statistical Methods for the Health Care Professional1
PT 6503Introduction to Grantsmanship in Physical Therapy3
PT 6983Dissertation (I)3
PT 6993Dissertation (II)3
Electives to complete needed semester credit hours23
Total Semester Credit Hours60