Other Unique Characteristics



Other Unique Characteristics

Get inside information by talking to a current St Catherine University DPT student.

Get to Know Your Classmates

There are a number of strategies used to help students become acquainted with their classmates and new learning environment. In the spring before the start of fall classes, every incoming student is assigned a current first year student as their resource “buddy”. Students doing group work.jpgThis allows new students an opportunity to get tips on what classes are like, how to prepare for PT school, and answer any further questions that they may have. Students get to know their “buddy” and each other at a meet and greet picnic the first week of classes and stay connected with learning tasks all year. A class Facebook page is created to allow students to exchange information on anything from housing opportunities, extracurricular activities, and other information.

Each day, students sit with a different classmate as their “learning partner” for lab practice skills and discussions. Students will have partnered with every classmate before the rotation begins over again. In addition, students are placed in different groups for anatomy lab, self-directed tutorial learning experiences, class presentations, and research projects.


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Educating students to lead and influence is the centerpiece of St. Catherine University’s mission and an important part of the DPT Program. Early in the first semester, students participate in the Marilyn S Woods Leadership Symposium which assists them to identify their leadership strengths and passions. During the symposium, a variety of leaders in physical therapy are invited to share their leadership path and each student develops a personal leadership plan that is supported by their faculty advisor. The leadership journey in the program is capped off with the Ethics and Leadership Summit at the end of the program. This course includes the 2-week service learning immersion experience and an integrative seminar in which students synthesize prior coursework in physical therapy practice, ethics, clinical education and service learning experiences.

Interprofessional and Intraprofessional Education Opportunities

The World Health Organization defines Interprofessional Education (IPE) as occasions when “two or more professions learn with, about, and from each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes”.  These competencies are critical for future health care practitioners. As part of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, DPT students at St. Catherine University have many opportunities to interact with students and faculty in other health professions programs and develop the knowledge and skills necessary for contemporary practice. For example, DPT students interact with physician assistant students in a suture lab, occupational therapy students in a tutorial on stroke, and future nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physician assistants, dieticians, and others at an annual IPE Workshop focused on healthy aging.    

In addition, physical therapy at St. Catherine University is unique because the University offers both a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and a Physical Therapist Assistant Program on the Minneapolis campus. This allows our DPT students to have multiple opportunities to learn from and with physical therapist assistants and physical therapist assistant students. This learning prepares our students to engage in optimal PT/PTA working relationships when they enter clinical practice.