This executive order is issued in conformity with Sections 66042 through 66042.3, 66600, 89030, 89030.1, and 89035 of the California Education Code and Sections 40050.3, 40515, 40516, 41022, and 41300 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. This executive order establishes minimum requirements, policies, and procedures that shall apply to all Doctor of Physical Therapy degree programs offered solely by the California State University (CSU). This executive order does not address requirements of Doctor of Physical Therapy programs offered jointly with other institutions. Campuses may establish policies in addition to those stated herein.
Article 1.† Authorization
In accordance with Education Code Section 66042 and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations Section 40050.3, the California State University is authorized to award the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree independently of any other institution of higher education, provided that the program leading to the degree satisfies the criteria in Section 40515. The degree shall be offered only in the discipline of physical therapy and shall provide curriculum grounded in evidence-based practice, prepare graduates to enter the field of physical therapy practice, and shall be consistent with the requirements of the professional accreditation organization.
Article 2.† Admission
accordance with Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 41022, each campus offering a program leading to a DPT degree shall establish requirements for admission to the program. Admission shall be granted on a competitive basis; meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for, but does not guarantee admission to the program.
2.1.1. An applicant may be admitted with classified graduate standing to a program leading to a DPT degree established pursuant to Section 40515 if the applicant satisfies the requirements of each of the following subdivisions:
a. The applicant holds an acceptable baccalaureate
degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting
association, or the applicant has completed equivalent academic preparation as
determined by the appropriate campus authority.
b. The applicant has completed all required
prerequisite coursework for the campus program(s) to which s/he has applied with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
c.†The applicant must have been in good academic, professional, and clinical standing at the last institution and if applicable in the last entry-level physical therapist educational program attended.
d. The applicant has met any additional requirements established by the chancellor in consultation with the faculty and any additional requirements prescribed by the appropriate campus authority.
2.1.2. Only those students who continue to demonstrate a satisfactory level of scholastic, professional, and clinical competence shall be eligible to continue in DPT
2.2 Requirements for admission shall apply to all DPT applicants and shall include, at a minimum:
a.† The applicant holds an acceptable baccalaureate degree earned at a regionally accredited institution, or the applicant has completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authority.††††††
b.†The applicant must not have been on probation at the time they left the institution, or dismissed from another entry-level physical therapist educational program for academic, professional or
c.†The applicant has demonstrated sufficient
preparation, potential for professional education, and ability to perform the essential functions needed to practice as a physical therapist. Evidence considered in the admission process shall include but not be limited to:
i. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from the three sections of the General Test taken within 5 years of application.†
ii. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the potential for success as a physical therapist and/or the scholarly potential of the applicant; at least one letter must be from a physical therapist with whom the applicant had a professional association and one from a professor for a course which the applicant completed.†
iii. A written statement of purpose reflecting the applicantís commitment to physical therapy.†
iv.†Knowledge of physical therapy through a
minimum of 100 documented hours of paid or volunteer experience under the
direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
d.†Pursuant to EO 665, evidence of writing ability as demonstrated in written coursework, essay examinations, or other measures of student writing competence such as the analytical section of the GRE.
e.† The applicant shall meet any additional
requirements prescribed by the appropriate campus authority and/or program.
Applicants who have met all admission criteria and who have been recommended by the
for admission shall be placed in classified graduate standing.
2.4†††††Admission by Special Action
An applicant who does not qualify
for admission under the provisions of Article 2.1 may be admitted with
classified graduate standing by special action if on the basis of acceptable
evidence the applicant is judged by the appropriate campus authority to possess
sufficient academic and professional potential pertinent to physical therapist
education and the applicant is recommended by the program for admission.† The number of applicants admitted by special
action shall not exceed fifteen percent of the applicants regularly admitted to
the program in any one academic year.†
2.5†††††Admission with Conditionally
Classified Graduate Standing
who is ineligible under the provisions in Article 2.1 because of deficiencies
in prerequisite preparation that in the opinion of the program faculty can be
rectified within the first term of the program, by specified action, including
examinations, may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate standing. The student shall be granted classified graduate standing upon rectification of the deficiencies within one term of beginning the program.†
Article 3.† Curricula
3.1 CSU DPT degree programs shall require a minimum of 90 semester units (135 quarter units) earned in graduate standing and shall be offered in year-round cohort structure that includes fall, spring, and summer term instruction.
DPT program curricula shall balance research, theory, and practice, including clinical education.
3.3††† †All DPT programs shall include a CSU DPT core curriculum providing professional preparation
for clinical practice, including but not limited to foundational science, clinical, behavioral sciences, professional practice, patient/client
management, and management. The core curriculum shall incorporate evidence-based practice and critical thinking and decision making concepts. The DPT core curricular concepts appear in Appendix A.
Article 4.† Degree Requirements
4.1†††††† Program of Study
To be eligible for the Doctor of
Physical Therapy degree, the candidate shall have completed a program of study
that includes both a qualifying examination or other doctoral qualifying
assessment and a doctoral project that is consistent with the requirements
specified in Title 5 Section 40515, within this executive order, and approved
by the appropriate campus authority. Doctoral project requirements are
specified in Article 5. Each campus shall establish policies and
procedures for creating and amending a studentís plan of study and shall
disseminate them in its DPT program student handbook or manual, pursuant to Article
4.1.1††† Grade Point Average
An overall grade point average of
3.00 (grade of B on a 4.00 scale) or
better shall have been earned in the courses taken to satisfy the requirements
for the degree, except that a course for which no letter grade is assigned
shall not be used in computing the grade point average.
4.1.2 †† Unit Requirements
At least 72 semester units (108 quarter units) required for the degree shall be in courses
organized primarily for doctoral students, and the remaining units required for the degree shall be in courses organized primarily for doctoral students or courses organized primarily for masterís and doctoral students. The appropriate campus authority may authorize the substitution of credit earned by alternate means.
4.2††††††Academic Residence †††††††††††
No fewer than 60 semester (90
quarter) units shall be completed in residence at the campus awarding the
degree. Campus-established residency requirements shall be specified in the graduate student handbook. At the discretion of the appropriate campus authority, courses required for California State University Doctor of Physical Therapy programs that are completed at another CSU campus may apply toward the residency requirement at the CSU campus that awards the degree.
The campus may establish a transfer
policy allowing application to degree requirements of relevant graduate-level
credits completed at another appropriately accredited institution.
4.4†††††† Petitions for Variance in Academic Requirements
Each DPT degree program shall
establish and implement policies regarding student petitions for variance in
academic requirements. Student handbooks or manuals shall specify
policies and procedures by which a student may petition for a variance in
DPT programs may use a comprehensive examination.† The comprehensive examination shall be structured to assess the full spectrum of physical therapist practice. The content shall be consistent with the Normative Model of Physical Therapist Education and structured with sufficient rigor to assess the studentís ability to practice physical therapy in a contemporary health care setting and to demonstrate critical and independent thinking and the ability to interpret the literature.
Article 5.† Doctoral Project
pattern of study shall include successful completion of a doctoral project that
is expected to contribute to an improvement in physical therapy practice,
policy, or client outcomes.
5.2†††††The doctoral project shall demonstrate the studentís doctoral-level mastery of current evidence-based practice. It shall demonstrate critical and independent thinking and a command of the research literature.
5.3†††††The written component of the doctoral project shall demonstrate originality, evidencing critical and independent thinking. It shall be organized in an appropriate form and shall identify the
research problem and question(s), state the major theoretical perspectives, explain the significance of the undertaking, relate it to the relevant scholarly and professional literature, identify the methods of gathering and analyzing the data, and offer a conclusion or recommendation.
5.4†††††An oral defense of the doctoral project shall be required.
5.5†††††Opportunities for students to complete work in support of the doctoral project shall be embedded throughout the DPT curriculum.
5.6†††††No more than 8 semester units (12 quarter
units) shall be allowed for the doctoral project.
5.7†††††Doctoral Project Options
5.7.1††† A doctoral project proposal must be
approved by program faculty. Approved proposals may be undertaken as projects that are developed under the guidance of faculty and approved doctoral project committee as defined in section 5.7.3. Project options include one or more of the following:
Evidence-based projects shall demonstrate a thorough synthesis of evidence related to a defined clinical question pertinent to the profession of physical therapy. Through both oral and written presentation, students shall produce a critical analysis of the literature, addressing the strength of evidence, synthesizing the findings of individual studies, interpreting the results, and applying the evidence to physical therapy practice. Each presentation will be reviewed according to a set of defined criteria.
DPT programs may use a clinical
research project significant to the field of physical therapy. The project may be in the form of a meta-analysis, systematic review, clinical research project, or single case research design project.
c. Case Report
A comprehensive case analysis may be required. The analysis will be of a single actual patient case in which the student provided care under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The case report will be presented both orally and as a manuscript. Reports and presentations shall demonstrate the integration of evidence derived from scientific literature and
from data collected during the patient management encounters.†
5.7.2.†† Doctoral Project Proposal
A student shall submit a doctoral project proposal for approval, following the procedures and format established by the DPT program faculty and the campus.†
184.108.40.206 † Decision Regarding the Doctoral Project
The DPT program faculty shall assign the student project to a doctoral project committee. The committee shall communicate the decision in writing to the student, indicating approval, approval with modifications, or lack of approval. The doctoral project committee shall ensure that written Institutional Review Board requirements have been met.
220.127.116.11 † Resubmission of a Doctoral Project Proposal
If the doctoral project
committee decision is approval with modifications or lack of approval, the committee shall communicate to the student in writing the process and
expectations for resubmission. The committee shall review the revised and
resubmitted proposal and communicate to the student in writing the committeeís decision.
5.7.3.†† Doctoral Project Committee
18.104.22.168.† Function of the Doctoral Project Committee
The doctoral project committee shall provide guidance and supervision for the development, completion, and approval of the studentís work.
22.214.171.124.† Membership of the Doctoral Project Committee
The doctoral project committee shall have a membership as determined by the campus program. All committee members shall have appropriate expertise in physical therapy science and practice. The committee shall include at least two faculty members who are core faculty and at least one of the two shall be tenured or tenure-track. The campus program director may approve an exception to the membership criteria stated above, pursuant to Articles 10.2.1.1 or 10.3 through 10.4, if the member has expertise relevant to the candidateís doctoral project.
5.7.4††† Doctoral Project Committee Chair
The chair shall be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member on the campus administering the DPT program and in most cases shall be a member of the core doctoral faculty as defined in Article 10.1. The exception noted in 126.96.36.199 does not apply to this provision. The doctoral project committee chair shall provide primary supervision for the studentís project.
188.8.131.52.† Appointment of Doctoral Project Committee
The appointment of the committee chair and member(s) will be made by the department core faculty. The DPT program director may allow the replacement of a committee member(s), based on the evaluation of rationale provided by the student(s) or committee member making the request.
184.108.40.206.† Adherence to Federal Regulations and Appropriate Approvals
Appropriate Institutional Review
Board (IRB) approvals shall be obtained prior to conducting any research
involving human subjects. All doctoral projects must also adhere to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements involving human subjects. Failure to obtain required IRB approval prior to collection of data on human subjects may disqualify a student from further use of those data.†
Article 6.† Satisfactory Progress
6.1†††††† Requirement for Satisfactory
Each DPT student shall be required to maintain satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Consistent with the cohort structure of the program, the student shall be expected to complete satisfactorily all courses and examinations and shall complete the doctoral project within the time frame specified by the DPT program faculty.
6.2†††††† Criteria for Satisfactory Progress
The DPT program faculty shall
establish criteria for satisfactory progress in the program. †The criteria shall include, at a minimum, the
a.†The student shall maintain at least a 3.00
cumulative grade point average in the program.
b.†The student shall not have earned a grade
point average below 3.00 in any two successive terms.
c.†The student must earn a grade of C or better,
or earn credit in a credit/no credit course, in all courses required for
completion of the degree.†
6.3†††††† Credit/No Credit
The DPT program may accept
credit/no credit in graduate work conducted toward satisfaction of degree
requirements. Each campus program shall establish a policy
regarding credit/no credit courses.
6.4.1†††Students who fall below a 3.00 cumulative grade point average shall be placed on academic probation and notified of this placement in writing.
6.4.2†††Students who fail to comply with an academic requirement or regulation that is routine for all students or for a defined group of students shall be placed on academic probation and notified of this placement in writing.
shall raise the cumulative GPA to a minimum of 3.00 in the following academic
term in order to be removed from academic probation.†
A student who fails to make
satisfactory progress may be disqualified officially from the program, based on
the recommendation of the DPT program faculty, in accordance with policies and
procedures established by the campus.
6.5.1†††A student may be disqualified only after a thorough review of the case, including appropriate consultation and submission of a written recommendation by the DPT program faculty. The student shall be notified in writing of the disqualification. The student shall have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
6.5.2†††A student who has been disqualified from the DPT program shall not be allowed to enroll in doctoral-level courses in the program or otherwise continue in the DPT program.
Article 7.† Advancement to Candidacy
For advancement to candidacy for the DPT degree, the student shall have achieved classified graduate standing, and met such particular requirements as the appropriate campus authority may prescribe. The requirements shall
include a qualifying examination or other qualifying doctoral assessment. The total time from achievement of classified standing to advancement to candidacy shall not exceed a campus-specified time unless there are serious and compelling circumstances and unless the program faculty members have approved the extension. An extension shall not exceed one year.
Article 8.† Time to Degree
8.1††††††While the DPT program shall be
designed to allow completion of all requirements within three years, the
student shall have completed all requirements for the degree within five years
of achieving classified standing in the doctoral program. The appropriate
campus authority, consistent with campus policy, may extend by up to two years
the time allowed for completion of the requirements under the following
a.†† the student is in good standing,
b.†† the extension is warranted by compelling individual circumstances, and
c.†† the student
demonstrates current knowledge of research and practice in physical therapy, as required by the campus.
8.2 †††††DPT program faculty shall establish, in conformity with campus policy, criteria for granting further extension, which may be granted under special circumstances. The criteria shall include, at a minimum, the conditions (8.1.a, 8.1.b, and 8.1.c) in the paragraph above.
8.3†††††† During a period of extension the DPT
program faculty shall determine at the conclusion of each term in which a
student is enrolled whether the student has made satisfactory progress.
Article 9. †Doctoral Advising and Mentoring
Objectives appear below for
advising, which is primarily an academic activity, and mentoring, for which the focus is on professional development.
9.1.1†††DPT Advising shall be arranged by the DPT program and conducted by campus faculty members to address:
well-planned and efficient DPT course of study that can be completed within three years; and
doctoral culture typified by:
i†††† scholarly discussion and dialogue that fosters critical inquiry,
ii.†† expert supervision
of DPT candidates in the conduct of a doctoral project,
iii.† guidance and
information that foster professional development, and
iv.† advising students in
their academic development.
9.1.2 † DPT Mentoring shall be arranged by the DPT program to:
a.†† support and
enhance professional experiences that foster clinical knowledge and skills;
b.†††provide guidance and model professionalism
to assist students as they apply what is learned in coursework toward physical
therapy practice, policy, and client outcomes;
c.†† foster informal assessment and feedback
designed to enhance student reflection on their own physical therapist practice
to become an entry level practitioner; and
d.†† develop policies
that shall address the objectives of advising, roles of faculty advisors,
assignment of faculty advisors (including the student role in assigning faculty
advisors), and advising responsibilities of doctoral project committee chairs.
9.2††††††Each program shall make available to enrolled students a graduate student handbook. In addition to information and policies specific to the program, the handbook shall expressly advise program participants that they are also governed by the campus catalog, which includes policies and other information applicable to all CSU students.
Article 10.† Doctoral Program Faculty
Doctoral Faculty Definition and Roles
The term core doctoral faculty refers only to those physical therapists and other campus faculty members who have disciplinary expertise and a scholarly record relevant to physical therapy. Members are eligible to serve in all DPT
faculty roles: as primary doctoral course instructors, members of final project committees, advisors and mentors to doctoral students, and members of Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program governance groups.
Core faculty include the program administrator (chair or director), the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and other teaching faculty who report to the program administrator. The core faculty has the
responsibility and authority to establish academic regulations and to design, implement, and evaluate the curriculum. Members of the core faculty typically have full-time appointments. The core faculty includes doctorate-prepared physical therapists (e.g. Ph.D.; Ed.D.; D.Sc.; DPT), other individuals with doctoral preparation in other disciplines, and may include other physical therapists with clinical specialization and/or expertise to meet specific curricular needs.†
10.1.1† Program Administrator
The program administrator (chair or director) shall be a doctorate-prepared physical therapist employed full-time (12 months) by the institution, as a member of the core faculty, to serve as the professional physical therapist education programís primary academic administrator. The qualifications, appointment, and removal procedures for this position shall be determined by the institution and the program and shall be fully consistent with requirements of the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Despite the individualís administrative responsibilities, the individual is identified as a faculty member and retains all the rights and responsibilities of a faculty member.
10.1.2† Director of Clinical Education (DCE)
The DCE shall be a physical
therapist employed by the institution as the core faculty member responsible for the planning, coordinating, facilitating, administering, monitoring, and assessing of clinical education components of the curriculum. The DCE is typically the primary faculty member of record for the clinical education courses.
10.1.3† Core Faculty
Core faculty shall include those individuals (primarily physical therapists) who have the primary classroom and/or laboratory teaching responsibilities in the curriculum. In addition, core faculty members are expected to engage in service and scholarship consistent with their assignment. The core faculty has the responsibility and authority to establish academic regulations and to design, implement, and evaluate the curriculum. Core faculty include
physical therapists and may include individuals with full-time (9 or 12 month) tenured, tenure-track, or lecturer appointments in the unit in which the professional program resides.
Core doctoral faculty members shall be appointed in accordance with a programís appointment, retention, tenure, and promotion policies and procedures and/or collective bargaining agreement. The procedures shall include
specific relevant academic and professional qualifications for the positions in question. The submission and review of academic and professional qualifications are a condition of reappointment to
the doctoral core faculty. Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede
the terms of any collective bargaining agreement.
Appointment and renewal of
appointment as a core doctoral faculty member is dependent upon demonstrated currency in the area(s) of expertise consistent with the assignment related to teaching, scholarship, and service in the program. To be appointed to the core doctoral faculty, a faculty member shall in most cases meet the following criteria:
a.††be a licensed or licensed eligible in California physical therapist, although there may be some teaching responsibilities that do not require a license (e.g. a faculty member with expertise in biomechanics or anatomy);
b.††have expertise in foundational and/or clinical sciences, theory, research, policy, or practice related to physical therapy;
c.††exhibit a strong professional record of scholarly productivity pertinent to the area(s) of teaching and/or physical therapy practice or education;
d.††either have earned a doctoral degree in an appropriate discipline from an accredited institution of higher education, or have a physical therapy degree with specific specialization or credentials in an area of clinical practice (orthopedics, sports, neurology, pediatrics, geriatrics, electrophysiology, wound care, womenís health, etc.) consistent with roles and responsibilities;
e.††have a tenured, tenure-track, or lecturer appointment; and
f.††have appropriate teaching experience.
10.1.3.3† Term of Appointment
Appointment as a core doctoral faculty member in the DPT program shall be for a term that conforms to appointment and reappointment procedures for tenured, tenure-track and lecturer faculty at the campus. The program appointment, retention, tenure, and promotion policies and procedures and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement shall specify procedures and
criteria for renewing appointments to the core doctoral faculty. Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede the terms of any collective bargaining agreement.
10.1.3.4† Faculty Evaluation
All core faculty will be evaluated by program administration on a regular basis, according to each university and departmentís policies and procedures to meet the programís needs.
10.2.1† Definition and Roles
The term affiliated faculty refers to additional faculty members who have disciplinary expertise or significant experience related to physical therapy education. The affiliated faculty is comprised of:
10.2.1.1† Clinical Education Faculty
Clinical Education faculty are the professionals engaged in providing the clinical education components of the curriculum, generally referred to as either Center Coordinators of Clinical Education (CCCEs) or Clinical Instructors (CIs). These professionals provide on-site mentoring and supervision at clinical sites for students while they are in the practicum/internship phase of their curriculum. They are employed by the clinical site, and the clinical site contracts with the university for the clinical education experiences. Clinical Education faculty agree to certain standards of behavior through this contractual arrangement for their services. The primary CI for physical therapist students must be a licensed physical therapist; however, this does not preclude a physical therapist student from engaging in short-term specialized experiences (e.g., cardiac rehabilitation, sports medicine, wound care) under the supervision of other professionals, as permitted by law. Clinical Education affiliated faculty members, if otherwise may teach or
co-teach in the doctoral program and serve as mentors and members of student examination and final project committees. Service as members of DPT examination or final project committees shall require special approval as specified in the program appointment, retention, tenure, and promotion policies and procedures.
10.2.1.2† Other Faculty Members
Affiliated faculty may not have
expectations for service or scholarship, dependent on their assignment.
Affiliated faculty members shall
be appointed in accordance with procedures specified in the programís
appointment, retention, tenure, and promotion policies and procedures and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement. The procedures shall include submission and review of qualifications. Appointment and renewal of appointment as an affiliated doctoral faculty member is dependent upon demonstrated currency in related areas of expertise and experience. Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede the terms of any
collective bargaining agreement.
To be appointed to the affiliated faculty, a faculty member shall in all but exceptional cases meet the following minimum criteria:
a.†† be a licensed
physical therapist, or
b.†† have expertise or specialization
pertinent to the program role and assignment, or
c.†† have earned a
relevant doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
10.2.4† Term of Appointment
Appointment as an affiliated
faculty member in the DPT program shall be for a term that conforms with
appointment and reappointment procedures for lecturers. A term of appointment shall not exceed three years; however, an individual who demonstrates continued currency is eligible for reappointment. The program shall specify procedures for renewing appointments to the affiliated doctoral faculty. Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede the terms of any collective bargaining agreement.
10.3.1† Other Faculty from the Campus Offering the Program
Faculty members who are not core or affiliated faculty but who hold tenured, tenure-track or lecturer
appointments on the campus may teach or co-teach DPT courses or may serve as members of DPT doctoral project committees. Such individuals shall have earned a relevant doctoral degree or have pertinent expertise. Service as a member of a DPT doctoral project committee shall be recommended by the DPT core doctoral faculty and shall be approved in accordance with campus policy and procedures and/or applicable collective bargaining agreement governing graduate study. Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede the terms of any collective bargaining agreement.
10.3.2† Faculty from Other California State University Campuses
Faculty members affiliated
primarily with other California State University campuses may teach or
otherwise serve in the program, subject to rules and regulations governing such activity. These faculty members may serve as members of DPT examination or doctoral project committees under the following conditions:
a.†† the faculty member meets the criteria for committee membership and is approved in accordance with campus policy and procedures governing graduate study; and
b.†† the faculty
memberís participation has been requested by the candidate and the candidateís advisor, or the faculty member has been recommended by the DPT program faculty.
10.3.3† Researchers and Faculty from Other Institutions
Researchers who are affiliated with centers or institutes and who have particular expertise in science related to physical therapy, and faculty members affiliated primarily with the University of California or independent universities may be invited to teach or otherwise serve in the DPT program. Those individuals who meet the criteria for committee membership may serve on DPT examination or doctoral project committees if recommended by the program faculty and approved in accordance with campus policy and procedures governing graduate study.
10.4†††† Procedures to Allow for Additional Faculty Roles under Special Circumstances
There may be special circumstances in which the DPT program faculty determines that it would benefit the program for an exceptionally qualified individual to undertake a role for which the foregoing articles do not provide. The DPT program appointment, retention, tenure, and promotion policies and procedures shall specify conditions under which such appointments may be made, the procedures for making such appointments, and the formal approval mechanisms that shall govern them.