Physical Therapy (TDPT)

About Program

Given the increasingly complex health care environment and the growing body of knowledge in the physical therapy profession, entry-level education in physical therapy has rapidly shifted towards the clinical doctorate degree. Nova Southeastern University offers the Transition Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (T-DPT) designed for working physical therapists that want to enhance their clinical knowledge and skills to that of the Doctor of Physical Therapy.

This clinical doctorate program focuses on clinical reasoning, differential diagnosis, evidence-based practice, radiology and pharmacology, prevention/wellness, management/consultation and patient/client management related to optimizing movement, function, and health.

NSU's TDPT graduates report that the program has improved their clinical skills and enhanced their personal growth and career opportunities. NSU is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

New features of our program include:

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the TDPT Program will be able to:

  1. Make clinical decisions based on experience and evidence in the research literature by a) posing clear clinical questions, b) selecting appropriate databases to find peer reviewed literature, c) interpreting the evidence.
  2. Engage in clinical reasoning, using deductive reasoning skills and disablement terminology as part of the five steps of patient/client management process evidenced in patient documentation.
  3. Select valid/reliable tests and outcome measures and interventions that are supported by the literature and that are appropriate for the patient, setting, and diagnostic classification.
  4. Plan and implement prevention and wellness programs using the principles of behavior change theory and sound teaching strategies.
  5. Screen all patients for medical disease and distinguish musculoskeletal from medical conditions in order to identify when referral to other practitioners is needed.
  6. Identify key pharmacologic classifications and their relevance to physical therapy.
  7. Interpret radiology/ imaging tests as they relate to clinical anatomy and signs/symptoms of pathology.
  8. Use contemporary principles of motor control and motor learning when teaching a patient a novel skill or retraining a motor task.
  9. Develop an appropriate exercise program for any patient/client based on safe and accurate exercise testing and exercise science principles.
  10. Conduct a systematic needs assessment and organizational analysis of a physical therapy practice in order to effect change when in the role of consultant, administrator, or manager.
  11. Use professional standards and principles of teaching, learning, and communication to develop and implement education programs for patients, communities, and professionals.