New Agreement Provides a Pathway for GGC Exercise Science Students to Enter PCOM Georgia's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) in Lawrenceville and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Georgia (PCOM Georgia) in Suwanee, located just five miles apart in Gwinnett County, recently inked an agreement that’s a winning combination for local students interested in becoming physical therapists.

“This partnership is significant because it will provide our exercise science students with a guided pathway to matriculate into a physical therapy program, while also providing PCOM Georgia’s physical therapy program with students who are well-prepared for graduate study,” Lauren Tapp, Ph.D., chair of the department of exercise science and physical education at GGC, said. “Through this joint effort, we will be able to work together to produce practitioners who will go on to serve our local community, while also elevating GGC and PCOM Georgia to destination institutions.”

Ruth M. Maher, PT, Ph.D., DPT, professor and chair of the PCOM Georgia’s physical therapy department said, “With a significant national shortage of physical therapists, the affiliation agreement between PCOM Georgia’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program and Georgia Gwinnett College couldn't be timelier.” She added, “The agreement pathway will provide high-quality educational and experiential opportunities for students from both institutions who are interested in pursuing a career as physical therapists. The benefit for PCOM Georgia is that the agreement will enhance our program's ability to meet the needs of our communities, while potentially improving diversity within the healthcare workforce.”

The educational institutions agreed to identify prospective physical therapists by their sophomore year of college so that PCOM Georgia could introduce them to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. PCOM Georgia agreed to admit up to three GGC college students per year into the program. The agreement requires the students to have successfully completed their undergraduate prerequisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and fulfilled the requirements for admission to PCOM Georgia.

Among the eligibility requirements PCOM Georgia’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program are:

  • Completion of undergraduate course requirements and all requirements for a baccalaureate degree

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residence

  • A 3.5 cumulative and science cumulative average

  • A minimum score of 150 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a minimum score of 3.0 on the analytical writing section of the GRE.

PCOM Georgia’s physical therapy program develops practitioners who take a holistic approach to patient care in a field that transforms lives. Physical therapists are evidence-based movement experts who use critical thinking and clinical reasoning to treat their patients across their lifespan. The doctoral program emphasizes a commitment to lifelong learning and growth. Not only are physical therapists in high demand, but research indicates that they achieve a high level of job satisfaction as they work with individuals to improve quality of life.