Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Achievement; Educational Measurement


The purpose of this study is to evaluate variables/criteria available for the admissions process and identify which prove to be the strongest predictors of academic and clinical success in the University of North Dakota Professional Physical Therapy Program. It is also intended to review the current admission processes being utilized and look for new indicators of success that may be beneficial to this curriculum.

The subjects utilized in this study are physical therapy students (excluding the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education enrolled students) admitted from the years of 1991 - 1995. Data were first extracted from student files by authorized UND-PT faculty and staff, then recorded on a standardized data form and finally analyzed using traditional descriptive and analytical statistical procedures. The resulting data were utilized to describe applicants' educational outcomes and relationships between variables.

The best predictors of academic success in the UND-PT program relative to a specific outcome measure were determined. Two outcome measures were used to describe academic success: (1) junior level professional coursework grades, (2) professional fall year 3 GP A and one outcome measure was used to describe clinical success: (1) PT 552: Clinical Practice II Grade. Statistical significance for prediction was found for many of the independent variables tested. Only the top 8 prediction variables relative to adjusted r values were chosen to be reported. The predictive ability of the variables although significant, proved to be poor with the adjusted r values ranging from .1 07 - .264. The poor predictive ability of these variables most probably is a result of lack of variability between physical therapy students relative to admission profiles and professional program performance.

Based on the statistical results some recommendations for future UND-PT selections could be made. For example, one variable not currently used in the UND-PT selections process, Communications 161, proved to be a significant predictor when used in conjunction with Anatomy 204 or number of times applied. Secondary to its noted significance, it is recommended that UND-PT consider it as a selection tool. The use of several variables currently utilized as selection tools also was noted in this study.