Academics, Campus wide, College of Health Sciences, Physical Therapy

Doctor of Physical Therapy opens doors

By Jan Joslin | May 13, 2022

After years of planning and preparation, the Charleston Southern University Doctor of Physical Therapy program hosted an Open House this week and welcomed visitors to tour the classrooms and clinical spaces. 

Charleston Southern University’s DPT program opened its doors this week. Photo by Richard Esposito

President Dondi Costin welcomed the guests which included clinical partners, advisory board members, and members of the community. Costin said, “It’s a day to celebrate. Dr. Jacob Thorp and his team have assembled an extraordinary faculty.”

Thorp joined the CSU family in 2019 and serves as the director and a professor with the physical therapy department. Thorp assembled an advisory board which provided feedback and direction.

Clinical partners, advisory board members, and members of the community attended Wednesday’s Physical Therapy open house. Photo by Ty Cornett

Effective April 26, 2022, Charleston Southern University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The first cohort of 48 students begins classes May 31 and will graduate in December 2024.

Thorp said the 2.5 year program is the fastest track to a DPT in the state of South Carolina. He said physical therapists are needed, and new students come into the program excited and ready to work. “In designing the fast-track program, we trusted God would provide the right students for the program.”

Other unique aspects of the program include service-learning opportunities where students will meet needs in the community, the state, and internationally, and South Carolina’s only dual MBA/DPT degree program. Students will have the option to complete a Master of Business Administration in healthcare management as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy simultaneously in under three years.

Martin Watts, chair of the Physical Therapy Advisory Board, said there are parts of the state where it is difficult to find a physical therapist. He said, “CSU’s unique emphasis on service is going to serve the state.”

The DPT degree culminates in a faculty mentored research project that can be presented at a state or national conference.

Candidate for Accreditation is an accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in professional courses. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Initial Accreditation.

Charleston Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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