Honors PT program provides unique opportunity for high-achieving students

Brittany Oliver and Haley Gordon are health studies honors students on
More people surviving into old age. Athletically inclined “boomers.” A growing number of joint replacement  surgeries. For varied reasons, society’s need for physical therapists is on the rise.

The University of Miami is helping meet that need through an accelerated honors program in physical therapy. Based on test scores and grades, eligible applicants to the freshman class are invited to apply to the program. Those admitted receive early admission to the Miller School of Medicine’s highly regarded Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program after completing specific requirements.

Following their first year in the BSHS pre-physical therapy track, students who have achieved a 3.7 GPA may also apply to the physical therapy scholars program, which allows them accelerated access to the DPT.

“This is a great way to recruit exceptional students because you can offer them an accelerated program and a streamlined process for getting into physical therapy,” says Sherrill Hayes, PhD, PT, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the Miller School.

Students are often drawn to careers as physical therapists because of personal experiences. “Many of  our students are former athletes who received physical therapy for career-ending injuries,” Hayes says. “Then they became interested in PT as a career.”

The program’s location in the School of Nursing and Health Studies “creates a nice atmosphere, and the advising is amazing,” says freshman Haley Gordon,  who looked at several schools before choosing UM.

Freshman Brittany Oliver—a former dancer who became acquainted with PT while receiving therapy for
her own injuries—says the program “is exactly what I wanted, and was a huge factor when deciding whether
to come to UM.

“It’s a great program for students who are sure that they want to have a career in PT to get ahead of  the game.”

Dpt program details