Are you interested in your youngster becoming a physical therapist, now hailed among the nation’s fastest growing professions? Then, it’s time to take a closer look at the new joint physical therapy program offered by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
New Jersey’s two largest public research universities have established an accelerated six-year physical therapy program leading to a BS degree from NJIT and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from UMDNJ. The program includes three years of undergraduate education at NJIT followed by three years of professional education in physical therapy at UMDNJ.
Physical therapy is one of the top ten fastest-growing professions, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand will continue to grow over the next decade. Our nation’s growing population of elderly is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services, and medical breakthroughs are expanding the number of patients who survive and thrive after heart attacks and strokes with the help of rehabilitation.
The senior undergraduate year is also the first year of the doctoral curriculum, so students save time and cost. Students may choose any undergraduate major in NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA), including biology, chemistry, communications, mathematical sciences, physics, or science, technology and society. Engineering science is another possible major.
During the three years at UMDNJ, students will have 42 weeks of clinical experience in a variety of practice settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health care, and school-based practices. The program is affiliated with more than 300 clinical facilities across the country.
CSLA undergraduates have opportunities to gain good research experience and learn about the latest technologies in programs such as the Undergraduate Research Experience, Ronald McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, and capstone programs in many majors. Internships and co-op assignments often include a research component.
Students may apply to the program through either early admission directly through high school simultaneously to NJIT and to the professional portion of the program at UMDNJ. Requirements are SAT-I scores (critical reading and math) of 1250 or better; high school class rank in the top 15 percent.
Students may also apply after completing three years at NJIT. Applicants must have a minimal 3.0 GPA, complete all the science and math prerequisites, and present a letter of recommendation from an NJIT faculty member. Students entering by either route must apply to the UMDNJ Physical Therapy Admissions Committee and complete a successful interview with the director of the physical therapy program.
The NJIT’s Office of Student Financial Aid Services helps to provide NJIT students with every opportunity to obtain funding to support their educational costs. The university encourages all students to apply for financial aid: http://www.njit.edu/financialaid/
Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. Their patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy. For additional information contact the NJIT Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 1-800-925-NJIT or apply on line: http://www.njit.edu/admissions/apply-online.php.