Campbell announces new doctor of physical therapy program

BUIES CREEK – In another step to provide health care education, Campbell University has announced the addition of a doctor of physical therapy degree.

Set to launch the proposed School of Osteopathic Medicine in fall 2013, the University’s expansion to include physical therapy is another effort to train qualified practitioners to meet anticipated shortages in the health care industry.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, or APTA, patients will have direct access to physical therapists by 2020 for management, prevention and wellness services. With the increased access to patients, APTA forecasts the need to train more physical therapists.  APTA also bases the growing projection for physical therapists on the demands of the aging population. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30 percent increase in physical therapist positions from 2008-2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.

“The new physical therapy degree, which has been in the planning stages for several years, is another landmark event that signifies the dramatic growth of health education at Campbell University,” said Campbell University President Jerry Wallace. “This program will help meet the preventative health care needs in our community and throughout the state.”

The University will offer the three-year program through its College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (CPHS) and plans to enroll 24 students the first year and 32 students subsequently after. The College will seek accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The program may start as soon as fall 2013, depending on the accreditation process, with a definite start date by fall 2014.

“Campbell will fill a unique niche in physical therapy education by offering the first DPT program at a Christian university in North Carolina,” said Ronald Maddox, PharmD, vice president for health programs and dean of CPHS.  “Our Christian tradition will emphasize to our students the importance of providing compassionate and dedicated care to patients.”

Campbell will be the fourth DPT program offered in North Carolina. Additionally, two universities offer a master’s degree in physical therapy or MPT, and one offers a MPT and transitional DPT program. According to APTA, physical therapy programs will transition to only offer the DPT degree by 2020. 


Photo: College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Dean Ronald Maddox and Campbell President Jerry Wallace