Academics

Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy Course Descriptions

DSC 610 EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE I – 1 credit
This course is designed to improve the participant’s understanding and use of evidence-based practice and its impact on physical therapy. Participants learn how to ask clinically relevant questions, find and interpret the evidence, and apply this evidence to clinical practice. The goal of this course is to develop consumers and users of clinical research that will improve the quality and impact of the participant’s clinical practice on the patients they serve.

DSC 611 EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE II – 1 credit
This course builds on the foundational content of EBP I and covers key concepts related to research design and statistics. Emphasis is on practical interpretation, understanding, and integration in the clinical reasoning process.

DSC 612 INTRODUCTION TO OMPT AND PROFESSIONAL SOCIALIZATION – 1 credit
This course provides an introduction into what it means to be a manual physical therapy fellow. A variety of professional topics are discussed including the history of manual therapy, professional organization(s), and current and emerging issues.

DSC 613 MECHAMISMS OF MANUAL PHYSICAL THERAPY – 1 credit        
This course provides an update on the biomechanical and neurophysiologic mechanisms of manual therapy. Special attention is directed towards recent research investigating manual therapy’s effect on pain. Students interact with leading researchers in this field.

DSC 621 PAIN SCIENCES &PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPLICATIONS IN MUSCULOSKELETAL CARE – 2 credits
This course provides an in-depth review of the current concepts in pain sciences. The course challenges presuppositions and provides evidence-based insight into the current myths and gross misunderstandings of pain.

DSC 640 WRITING CASE REPORTS & CASE SERIES – 1 credit
This course reviews the steps involved in completing a case report suitable for publication, including examination of foundational material and critique of the initial submission of a published case report. Students complete the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research online training program titled “Protecting Human Research Participants.”

DSC 641 OMPT PATIENT MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK/ADVANCED CLINICAL DECISION MAKING – 6 credits
This course is designed to teach an advanced patient management framework by combining the interpretation of basic science knowledge with an evidence-informed clinical reasoning approach. Students develop dynamic critical thinking skills needed to complete a high-quality differential evaluation, resulting in identification of key interventions to manage patients safely and efficiently. This course highlights important aspects of the examination, such as the use of effective communication strategies, the test/retest approach to evaluate the effectiveness of each intervention, and selection of targeted home exercise and educational interventions.

DSC 642 TA TEACHING PRACTICUM 5 – OMPT PATIENT MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK/ADVANCED CLINICAL DECISION MAKING – 1 credit
The purpose of this course is to provide mentored teaching experience in multiple learning environments. Students develop and apply skills through continued clinical application in a supportive teaching environment.

DSC 650 MANAGEMENT OF LUMBOPELVIC DISORDERS – 4 credits
This course provides an in-depth review of current concepts and published evidence related to the clinical examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and interventions for patients with disorders of the lumbopelvic spine and hip. Evidence-based classification systems, diagnosis, and outcomes tools are addressed.

DSC 651 MANAGEMENT OF LOWER EXTREMITY DISORDERS – 4 credits
This course integrates manual therapy and exercise intervention techniques in the management of individuals with lower extremities musculoskeletal disorders. The course includes discussion of radiology rules for acute lower extremity injuries as well as diagnostic information for systemic and vascular disorders affecting the lower extremities. An intensive laboratory weekend is included.

DSC 652 TA TEACHING PRACTICUM 1 – MANAGEMENT OF LUMBOPELVIC DISORDERS – 1 credit
In this course, students function as teaching assistants for students enrolled in ORPT 6510 Management of Lumbopelvic Disorders. Under faculty oversight, students participate in course oversight, instruction, student evaluation and mentorship.

DSC 653 MANAGEMENT OF CERVICAL AND THORACIC DISORDERS – 4 credits
This course integrates manipulative intervention techniques in the management of individuals with cervical-thoracic spine and ribcage disorders. It includes the application of diagnostic imaging as a component of the diagnostic process. Classification systems and outcomes assessment tools, within the framework of evidence-based practice are included. An intensive laboratory weekend is included.

DSC 654 TA TEACHING PRACTICUM 2 – MANAGEMENT OF LOWER EXTREMITY DISORDERS – 1 credit            
In this course, students function as teaching assistants for students enrolled in ORPT 6520 Management of Lower Extremity Disorders. Under faculty guidance, students participate in course oversight, instruction, student evaluation and mentorship.

DSC 655 MANAGEMENT OF UPPER EXTREMITY DISORDERS – 4 credits
This course integrates manipulative intervention techniques in the management of individuals with upper extremity disorders and dysfunction. Classification systems and outcomes assessment tools, within the framework of evidence-based practice, are included. Diagnostic information for the medical screening of systemic and vascular disorders is discussed. An intensive laboratory weekend is included.

DSC 656 TA TEACHING PRACTICUM 3 – MANAGEMENT OF CERVICAL AND THORACIC DISORDERS – 1 credit
In this course students function as teaching assistants for students enrolled in ORPT 6530 Management of Cervical and Thoracic Disorders. Under faculty guidance, students participate in course oversight, instruction, student evaluation and mentorship.

DSC 658 TA TEACHING PRACTICUM 4 – MANAGEMENT OF UPPER EXTREMITY DISORDERS – 1 credit
In this course, students function as teaching assistants for students enrolled in ORPT 6540 Management of Upper Extremity Disorders. Under faculty guidance, students participate in course oversight, instruction, student evaluation and mentorship.

DSC 660 WI Management of Lumbopelvic Disorders – 1 credit
This weekend intensive lab focuses on the clinical reasoning and hands-on skill development necessary to effectively integrate manual physical therapy examination and intervention techniques into the clinical management. Classification systems, outcomes assessment tools, and the application of diagnostic imaging are discussed as components of the diagnostic process within the framework of evidence-based practice.

DSC 661 WI Management of Lower Extremity Disorders – 1 credit
This weekend intensive lab focuses on the clinical reasoning and hands-on skill development necessary to effectively integrate manual physical therapy examination and intervention techniques into the clinical management. Classification systems, outcomes assessment tools, and the application of diagnostic imaging rules for acute lower extremity injuries are discussed as components of the diagnostic process within the framework of evidence-based practice.

DSC 663 WI Management of Cervical and Thoracic Disorders – 1 credit
This weekend intensive lab focuses on the clinical reasoning and hands-on skill development necessary to effectively integrate manual physical therapy examination and intervention techniques into the clinical management. Classification systems, outcomes assessment tools, and the application of diagnostic imaging are discussed as components of the diagnostic process within the framework of evidence-based practice.

DSC 665 WI Management of Upper Extremity Disorders – 1 credit              
This weekend intensive lab focuses on the clinical reasoning and hands-on skill development to effectively integrate manual physical therapy examination and intervention techniques into clinical management. Classification systems, outcomes assessment tools, and the application of diagnostic imaging are discussed as components of the diagnostic process within the framework of evidence-based practice.

DSC 667 WI Advanced Manual Therapy Technique I – 1 credit      
This weekend intensive lab focuses on the advanced examination/interventions targeting the upper quarter, including mechanical diagnosis and therapy concepts, adverse neural dynamics, mobilization/manipulation techniques, and manual resisted exercise. The class includes discussion on optimizing the patient history, key differentiation testing to use in the physical exam, and strategies to select optimal intervention procedures.

DSC 680 Leadership in Higher Education – 3 credits
This course provides graduates with the skills necessary to be a visionary leader by improving the performance of colleges and universities by using active research to drive continuous improvement, collaborative decision making, and strategic planning. Graduates will address contemporary and future educational issues impacting higher education through the application of effective change theory.

DSC 690 Independent Study I – 1 credit
This course includes the preparation of two up-to-date, well-researched, evidence-focused presentations on pre-approved topics. These presentations must be: 1) recorded for posting in an open access forum, 2) presented live at weekend intensive or other approved post-professional continuing education course, 3) presented to a multi-disciplinary audience, 4) presented to a direct consumer audience, or 5) presented to another pre-approved audience.

DSC 728 FELLOWSHIP SCHOLARLY PROJECT – 1 credit
This course requires the student to complete a patient case report or case series, as well as a poster presentation and oral presentation of the case.

DSC 752 Biostatistics 1 – 3 credits
This course will provide a foundation for understanding biostatistics and basic proficiency with running basic biostatistical models. The course will cover such topics as simple descriptive statistics, basic probability concepts, probability distributions, sampling distributions, t-tests, and confidence intervals.

 DSC 753 Biostatistics 2 – 3 credits
The purpose of this course is to build upon the topics of Biostatistics 1. This course will cover such topics as correlation, analysis of covariance, post-hoc testing, factorial designs, simple linear regression, and reliability analyses. Students will present doctoral research questions, hypotheses, methods, and data analysis plans for critique and discussion.

DSC 767 FELLOWSHIP VIRTUAL ROUNDS – 6 credits
This course focuses on advanced clinical decision-making regarding clinical care in a collaborative virtual environment. Synchronous live virtual case tutorial sessions are typically conducted in the evenings (usually 4 sessions monthly) for approximately 2-3 hours. This course includes one lab intensive weekend for students.

DSC 767 WI Advanced Manual Therapy Technique II – 1 credit
This weekend intensive lab focuses on the advanced examination/interventions targeting the lower quarter, including mechanical diagnosis and therapy concepts, adverse neural dynamics, mobilization/manipulation techniques, and manual resisted exercise. The course includes discussion on optimizing the patient history, key differentiation testing to use in the physical exam, and strategies to select optimal intervention procedures.

DSC 769 FELLOWSHIP MENTORED CLINICAL PRACTICE – 6 credits
This Clinical Practicum is an advanced clinical practice experience in orthopaedic manual physical therapy in which students are mentored in both live 1:1 clinical practice hours and orthopaedic manual physical therapy clinical practice hours based on current American Physical Therapy Association requirements. Emphasis is placed on advanced clinical decision-making, outcomes evaluation and autonomous patient management.

DSC 790 Independent Study II – 1 credit
This independent study course includes the completion of self-paced coursework focused on the foundations of manual physical therapy practice and the standardized manual physical therapy examination. Enrollment in this course starts upon entering the fellowship program and is completed once the student has successfully completed all learning modules included in this course.

DSC 799 Fellowship Program Capstone Examinations – Capstone credit
This capstone course consists of the final examination process. Students complete a final comprehensive written examination that focuses on medical screening, clinical reasoning, decision-making, and the application of manual physical therapy concepts. Students complete 4 regional technique examinations to demonstrate mastery of selected manual physical therapy interventions. Finally, 2 live patient examinations are completed, one with a spinal/axial focus and another with a peripheral/appendicular focus.

DSC 800 Curriculum Development – 3 credits
This course is an examination of the theoretical constructs of curriculum. An understanding of the development and implementation of curriculum will be explored by examining the philosophical and theoretical perspectives. An in-depth analysis of design models will be conducted and applied to the assessment of learner outcomes. Development of curriculum will systemically address technology integration, evidenced-based practices, innovative and collaborative learning experiences, and the impact of social, political, psychological, and economic factors.

DSC 810 Curriculum Assessment and Evaluation – 3 credits
This course is an exploration of principles and methods of effective program evaluation including planning, instrumentation, data collection and analysis, and reporting. Students will develop and evaluate formative and summative assessments of simple and complex student knowledge, beliefs, and/or attitudes aligned with classroom activities associated with a subject-matter domain and a particular target audience. Students will learn how to design assessments that are carefully aligned with educational objectives.

DSC 901 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND DOCTORAL PROJECT I – 2 credits This course will provide a foundation for the principles of evidence-based practice and research design so that the student may immediately integrate scientific knowledge with practice and complete a clinically relevant research proposal. This course is the first phase of the dissertation process and is designed to prepare doctoral students to develop and defend a research project.

DSC 902 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND DOCTORAL PROJECT II – 2 credits
This course will familiarize students with the steps required to successfully complete a systematic review. This process will set the standard for appraising and evaluating scientific literature. Students will also continue to work on their group research project.

DSC 903 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND DOCTORAL PROJECT III – 2 credits
This course is the third phase of the major capstone research and writing project designed to demonstrate program mastery and to make an original contribution to the professional field. Students will complete a systematic review and continue working on their group research project.

DSC 904 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND DOCTORAL PROJECT IV – 2 credits
This course will be largely project-dependent but will include data preparation and cleaning, data analysis, and creation of a manuscript draft. Students will analyze their research data and write the draft of the dissertation.

DSC 905 RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND DOCTORAL PROJECT V – 2 credits
The goal of this course is to finalize the research project, have a finalized draft that can be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and independently defend a presentation of their research before a scientific panel. Students will also learn about methods to disseminate research findings, to include modern forms of press release and social media.

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