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Penn State DuBois, Saint Francis unite in physical therapy doctorate program

8/1/2006 —

DuBois – Through a recently signed articulation agreement with Saint Francis University, students at Penn State DuBois can apply credits earned in the Physical Therapy Assistant program toward a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

According to Robert Loeb, Director of Academic Affairs at Penn State DuBois, the agreement with Saint Francis University in Loretto enables students to earn their doctoral degree in as little as seven years, with four years at the DuBois campus.

Students choosing this as an option could earn their Associate in Science in Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) within two years at Penn State DuBois and go on to finish a bachelor's degree, such as in Letters, Arts and Sciences, with certain prerequisites that will be accepted at Saint Francis. Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher to be accepted into the Saint Francis program.

PTA Instructor Stephanie Russell has been working closely with Saint Francis throughout the terms of the articulation agreement negotiation and added that Saint Francis will guarantee acceptance for up to three students from Penn State DuBois each year, provided the students meet the requirements.

"This is important because admission into doctoral programs is highly competitive," Russell said.

Students must also complete required volunteer or employed hours in at least two physical therapy settings, including one inpatient and one outpatient setting, Loeb said. A letter of intent must also be submitted to Saint Francis University during the student's junior year. Upon declaration of intent to pursue the doctoral degree, the student will be co-advised by both Penn State and Saint Francis, he added.

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