Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Curriculum; Physical Therapy -- education


The purpose of this study is to assess one component of the educational outcomes of the UND-PT curriculum. It is necessary to develop outcome assessment for many reasons. First, schools need to meet the needs of accreditation, such as the Committee on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Second, students need to meet the needs of employers and patients to provide quality care. Finally, physical therapy programs must meet the needs of the graduates, who are entitled to a quality education and must be competent in practicing physical therapy.

Questionnaires were mailed out to the 50 graduate physical therapy students in the class of 1999 prior to graduation in May. The survey consisted of questions regarding physical therapy required and elective courses, along with pre-physical therapy courses. Students were asked to rate the courses from most useful to least useful. Students were also asked to identify strengths and weaknesses of the physical therapy program and rate certain areas such as faculty teaching and classroom facilities. The information from the surveys was compiled and organized into quantitative and qualitative data.

This study compiles the data collected and discusses the results. Thirty-three surveys were returned out of 50 students for a response rate of 66%. It was found that students rated courses which were more applicable in the clinic as most useful, and those courses that were more abstract as least useful. This was consistent among required, elective, and pre-physical therapy courses. Also, students rated a few areas of the physical therapy department significantly lower than in past years. These two areas were Faculty Teaching and Professionalism. Study findings were also compared to other surveys from the past. It was found that some courses were rated significantly lower than in previous years. These courses were Medical Sciences I and II, Public Health, Psychological Aspects of Disability, and Seminar in Physical Therapy. There were some consistencies among comments made about certain courses when compared to previous years. These courses were Medical Sciences I and II and Psychological Aspects of Disability. Otherwise, there were not any other consistencies found between years.

This study, along with other methods such as exit interviews, course evaluations, performance surveys, and NPTE scores, are used for outcome assessment. They will help identify areas of the physical therapy program that may need revision.