LMU Developing Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in Knoxville

Doctor of Physical Therapy program

Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) is developing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at its LMU-Knoxville location (9737 Cogdill Road). The program will begin taking applications for its inaugural class summer of 2020 for an anticipated May 2021 start date.

Physical therapists (PTs) are movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on manual therapy and patient education. PTs teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition to achieve long-term health benefits. PTs practice in a variety of health care settings including outpatient orthopedics, inpatient acute care, cardiopulmonary, pediatrics, wound care, neurological spinal cord injury, stroke rehabilitation, geriatrics, amateur and professional sports rehabilitation and more.

“The demand for physical therapists in the workforce is at an all-time high and will continue to grow as the population ages and the need for mobility services increases,” said Associate Program Director Dr. Kellee Harper-Hanigan. “LMU holds a deep commitment to meeting the health care needs of communities in Appalachia and beyond, and the new DPT program will help train PTs to meet the growing need.”

There are more than 209,000 licensed physical therapists in the United States today and the number is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22 percent increase in employment opportunities for physical therapists between 2018 and 2028. The physical therapy profession was ranked by U.S. News and World Report, as #10 for Best Health Care Jobs of 2020 and #15 for 100 Best Jobs of 2020.

The LMU-Knoxville DPT program will offer a thoughtfully organized curriculum designed to integrate traditional didactic educational content with contemporary clinical experiences that emphasize the importance of evidence-based and patient-centered care.

“There are few programs that can offer the unique opportunities that LMU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides,” said Harper-Hanigan. “Students have an opportunity for interprofessional education with other LMU health care professional programs, use of state-of-the-art facilities that include a human cadaver laboratory and multiple high-fidelity medical simulation learning spaces, and faculty experienced in PT research and contemporary evidence-based patient care.”

LMU is offering three pathways of entry to the program. Freshmen can enter the “3+3” program, an accelerated academic track that enables students to complete their Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees in six years, as opposed to the traditional seven years. Current LMU students and transfer students from other institutions may also enter the program after completing the prerequisite coursework. For those who have already completed their bachelor’s degree, but want to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy, they can do so without having to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The program is in the pre-candidacy stage of the accreditation process and will be applying for candidacy December 2020 with the application for full initial accreditation submitted Fall of 2023 to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).*

For complete information on admissions and application requirements, visit: www.LMUnet.edu/dpt.

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, with an additional location at LMU-Knoxville. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email dcom@LMUnet.edu, or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu.




LMU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404.679.4500, for questions about the accreditation of Lincoln Memorial University.

LMU plans to offer the DPT program in May of 2021 pending approval of the SACSCOC.

*Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703.706.3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. 

Lincoln Memorial University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2020. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

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