About & FAQs

What are the mission and philosophy of the USM DPT program?

USM trains competent practicing physical therapists by developing students' God-given potential while inspiring them to serve the needs of others. In keeping with the spirit of our founders, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, we recognize society's ever-growing need for more and better-trained health care professionals—and we work to meet that need through dynamic, hands-on programs designed to help our students excel.

The USM DPT program is value-driven. These values will ultimately shape our students professional lives as practitioners in the physical therapy realm, helping them meet the needs of their patients in the fullest way possible.


What are the pre-requisites and admissions requirements?

For applicants: Please download and fill out the DPT application packet. In addition, follow the directions on our graduate admissions site.


How are the program and curriculum organized?

The USM DPT program runs for nine semesters over 120 weeks, incorporating 117 credits and 32 weeks of clinical internship.

The USM DPT curriculum is designed sequentially so that all courses must be taken in the order and at the time scheduled for each admitted class (cohort group). Hence, we do not drop or add courses. Any exceptions to the cohort progression requirement must stem from unavoidable and extreme personal circumstances, and must be approved by the program director.

Currently, the earliest proposed start date is June of 2012, ending in May of 2015. Competency exams come at the conclusion of each year's work; comprehensive competency exam during the last semester. There will also be an oral presentation and defense of research projects occurs during the last semester.

For more information, read about our DPT curriculum tab.


How much does the USM DPT program cost?

Tuition and Expenses

Tuition and expenses listed below are currently estimates. Please note that tuition for each entering class is announced yearly.  Current tuition is $620 per credit hour.  Other estimates include:

  • $2,500 per clinical education segment (there are 4 segments)

  • $15,000 estimated per year for apartment, utilities, food, laundry, personal, etc.

  • Computer purchase: $1500

  • Books per semester: ~$500 - $800

  • Lab attire and equipment: ~$400

Click here for a detailed list of course fees, or USM's tuition and fees payment policy.

Financial aid is available to students through application with the USM financial aid office. Subsidized Stafford Loans are available at $8,500 a year. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are obtainable at the level of $12,000 a year.

Students are also encouraged to seek outside sources of financial support. Some outside resources can be found at http://www.fastweb.com and through the American Physical Therapy Association.


What scholarships are available to participants of the USM DPT?

Visit http://www.apta.org/CurrentStudents/ScholarshipsAwards/ for more information.

APTA Awards


Section Awards

Additional Resources



What is the job outlook for physical therapists?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for physical therapists is strong.

The BLS reports: “Employment is expected to grow much faster than average. Job opportunities should be good… Employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. Changes to restrictions on reimbursement for physical therapy services by third-party payers will increase patient access to services and, thus, increase demand. The increasing elderly population will drive growth in the demand for physical therapy services. …In addition, growth may result from advances in medical technology and the use of evidence-base practices, which could permit the treatment of an increasing number of disabling conditions that were untreatable in the past."


Who should I contact with questions about the USM DPT program?

Don't hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

By phone:
913-758-4398 (Departmental Administrative Assistant)
913-758-6124 (Department Chair and Program Director)

By email:
Dr. Mark Horacek, program director, Horacek03@stmary.edu
Christi Sumpter, administrative assistant, Sumpter90@stmary.edu

By mail:
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Saint Mary
4100 S. 4th Street
Leavenworth, KS 66048

Email USM admissions for more info on enrolling
Or call


What is the USM DPT's accreditation status?

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Saint Mary is seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org). The program has submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional/technical phase of the physical therapy program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional or technical courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Accreditation.

Effective May 2, 2012, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Saint Mary has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org). Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.
USM DPT Program Student Outcomes 
(As of May 2012)
1.      Graduation Rate: The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012.  We will not be able to post a graduation rate until May of 2015, when we anticipate graduating our first class of students.
2.      Licensure Examination Pass Rate:  The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012. We will not be able to post a licensure examination pass rate until 2015, when we anticipate receiving that information from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
3.      Employment Rate:  The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012. We will not be able to post an employment rate until late in 2015, approximately 6 months after graduation.