Physical Therapy students must receive a passing grade in every course to be recommended for continued matriculation, promotion and graduation. Any student with a deficient grade who is granted approval by the Academic Performance Review Sub-Committee (APRSC, see also Section 8 of this document) to remediate the deficiency must complete the required remedial coursework with a passing grade. Remediation requirements will be determined by the appropriate Course Director and approved by the chairperson of the respective department and the APRSC. Remediation must be completed prior to progression to the next academic year, unless the plan for remediation, submitted by the Course Director and approved by the APRSC, allows continuation into the first months of the next academic year. Any incomplete coursework must be completed within a prescribed period or the grade will be converted to an F.
Withdrawal from the DPT Program
A student wishing to withdraw from the program voluntarily must prepare a letter stating the intent to withdraw and then confer with the School Director, the Coordinator of Professional Education, and/or faculty advisor. Upon receipt of the letter of withdrawal (and working in concert with the COM Office of Student Affairs), the School Director will schedules a series of brief exit interviews with the College registrar, financial aid office and Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
Requirements for Graduation
For a physical therapy student to be recommended for graduation, he or she must have satisfied the COM and SPTRS faculty members’ expectations with regard to ability and professional behavior by obtaining a passing grade in all didactic and clinical education courses of the established curricula leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
For graduation, the physical therapy student must have successfully completed and passed all didactic and clinical education coursework, including Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) and must have made appropriate arrangements to discharge all financial obligations to the university. The only exception is the repayment of loans that have a specified maturity date.
The faculty and director of each course will define the criteria for acceptable academic performance in that course. Evaluation of academic performance may include (but is not necessarily limited to):
- measuring the student’s knowledge,
- measuring how the student applies such knowledge to specific problems,
- evaluating the judgment a student employs in solving problems,
- assessing the quality of the student’s psychomotor skills, and
- assessing the student’s professional conduct, ethical behavior and interpersonal relationships with physical therapy colleagues, patients and patients' families.
Students’ performance in academic course work will be evaluated by the assignment of grades of Honors (H), Pass with Commendation (PC), Pass (P), Fail (F) or Incomplete (I).
Passing grades are H, PC, and P, in descending order of excellence. Alternatively, the Committee on Curriculum may assign a particular course to be graded Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) only, in which case no assignment of a numerical score will apply to determination of class rank.
Deficient grades are defined as F, U or I. The F, U or I grade may be given to a student who fails to complete course requirements, who fails to demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors, or who fails to attend or participate in required course activities.
The generally accepted standards for grade levels are:
H = 90% or above
PC = 80%-89%
P = 70%-79%
F = 69% or lower
I = not all course requirements have been completed successfully
Any alteration to this policy will be listed in a course syllabus, available to students no later than the first day of class.
A physical therapy student who has unsatisfactory academic performance (one or more deficient grades) will be reviewed by the Academic Performance Review Sub-Committee. Please refer to Academic Performance Review Sub-Committee, Section 8 of the DPT Student Handbook.
Academic Honesty Guidelines
Students attending the USF COM are awarded academic degrees in recognition of successful completion of coursework in the study of physical therapy. Each individual is expected to earn his or her degree on the basis of personal effort. Consequently, any form of cheating on examinations or plagiarism on assigned papers constitutes unacceptable deceit and dishonesty. Disruption of the classroom or teaching environment is also unacceptable. Unprofessional behaviors cannot be tolerated in the University community and will be punishable, according to the seriousness of the offense, in conformity with established rules and procedures.
All students are required to abide by the USF Academic Dishonesty and Disruption of Academic Process Guidelines that have been accepted by the university and are displayed in detail in the USF Student Handbook. Violations of the Academic Honesty Guidelines include, but are not limited to, the items listed below:
Plagiarism is defined as literary theft and consists of the unattributed quotation of the exact words of a published text, or the unattributed borrowing of original ideas by paraphrase from a published text. Plagiarism also consists of passing off as one’s own, segments or the total of another person's work. A more comprehensive definition is in the USF Student Handbook.
Cheating is defined as follows: (a) the unauthorized granting or receiving of aid during the prescribed period of a course-graded exercise: students may not consult written materials such as notes or books, may not look at the paper of another student, nor consult orally with any other student taking the same test; (b) asking another person to take an examination in his/her place; (c) taking an examination for or in place of another student; (d) stealing visual concepts, such as drawings, sketches, diagrams, musical programs and scores, graphs, maps, etc., and presenting them as one's own; (e) stealing, borrowing, buying, or disseminating tests, answer keys or other examination material (except as officially authorized), research papers, creative papers, speeches, etc. (f) Stealing or copying of computer programs and presenting them as one's own. Such stealing includes the use of another student's program, as obtained from the magnetic media or interactive terminals or from cards, print-out paper, etc.
Disruption of Academic Process is defined as the act or words of a student in a classroom or teaching environment which, in the reasonable estimation of a faculty member: (a) directs attention from the academic matters at hand, such as noisy distractions; persistent, disrespectful or abusive interruptions of lecture, exam or academic discussions, or (b) presents a danger to the health, safety or well being of the faculty member or students.
Specific, detailed guidelines for procedure are contained in the USF Student Handbook and will be followed when alleged violations of academic honesty guidelines by students of the COM are reported by staff or faculty. When allegation of student violations of academic honesty guidelines are made by other students they shall be handled in accordance with the Honor Code (Section V. of this document).
Alleged violations of academic honesty guidelines will be handled initially by the instructor, who will discuss the incident with the student. It must be noted that the Faculty of the College considers the traditional relationship between student and faculty member as the primary means of settling disputes that may arise. If the faculty member and the student are unable to reach a mutual agreement as to the solution of the problem, a meeting consisting of the instructor, the student and the chairperson of the appropriate department/School director shall be arranged. If this meeting fails to bring about a satisfactory solution, the student shall ask for a meeting with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, with the instructor present. If no solution is reached, then the Dean, COM shall appoint a student/faculty committee consisting of an equal number of students and faculty to hear the two sides of the incident and to advise the Dean regarding the disposition of the case.
Punishment for the violation of any of the academic honesty guidelines will depend on the seriousness of the disruption and will range from a private verbal reprimand to dismissal from the COM.
Students have the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the appropriate committee through the COM Office of Student Affairs. Such appeals must be submitted in writing within two weeks (10 working days) of notification of the decision.
Enrollment Restrictions and Outside Employment
For most students, full-time professional education is a new experience, and one that will pose a significant challenge. Professional education has the following characteristics:
- The time needed to devote to study is very high because of the depth and breadth of course content. Students can expect many hours of independent and group study, on and off campus.
- The hours spent in the classroom are high because of the professional attitudes to be developed and the professional skills to be mastered.
- The schedule of class time and assignments is unpredictable. Students may be required to attend special sessions, open labs, professional meetings, etc. Other unexpected learning opportunities may be assigned as they occur.
- Attendance is required. Unexcused absences may jeopardize successful completion of the program.
Because the pressures and demands are very different from other college experiences, an extremely high level of commitment is necessary for success. Students must give careful consideration to activities that may interfere with the time needed for successful completion of assignments and degree requirements, as well as the time needed for study groups and other program-related activities. Students need to identify the inherent risks in activities such as:
- Employment—even part-time—while enrolled as a full-time student,
- Enrollment in other formal or informal courses or programs,
- Participation on athletic teams and other campus organizations,
- Commitments to family and friends for scheduled events such as weddings, reunions, etc., and
- Other major personal life changes.
In order to ensure that extracurricular activities will not interfere with academic performance, DPT students are prohibited from outside employment of any kind, and from enrollment in any other department of the University or any other learning institution. Exceptions are made only under extreme and compelling circumstances, and require the prior written consent of the School Director.
Health Policies and Requirements
Student health is ultimately the responsibility of the individual student. The Student Health Committee of the COM facilitates student health by providing programs to assist students in meeting their physical and mental health needs. Specifically, the committee sets guidelines and monitors student medical data at matriculation and during the years of enrollment. The committee formulates and reviews policies and programs and assesses implementation and compliance with institutional and State of Florida requirements and guidelines.
The College of Medicine has the following health related requirements that must be met prior to matriculation:
- Students must have health insurance in effect at all times during enrollment at USF COM. During orientation you will be required to sign a statement certifying you have health insurance coverage. Annual re-certification is required throughout your enrollment. Information on basic health insurance policies will be available at orientation for students who do not have current health insurance.
- Students must provide documented evidence of receipt of the immunization and/or tests listed below by completing the online Immunization Certification form https://hsccf.hsc.usf.edu/immunizations/md/ and submitting copies of health records to the Office of Student Affairs to verify receipt of each. A list of acceptable documentation can be found on the Immunization Certification site. You must have your USF ID Number to access this Immunization Certification site.
A Tuberculin Skin test (TST/PPD) must be done no earlier than 6 months prior to starting school. If your test is positive, or if you have a history of positive test results, you must have a current chest x-ray completed and provide us with a copy of the radiology report. If you ever received the BCG vaccine, or have been administered INH, this information must be reported on the Immunization Certification. Annual TST/PPD will be required throughout your enrollment at the USF College of Medicine. Individuals with negative skin tests on admission will be offered the annual TST at no cost through the Medical Health Administration office. Individuals with a history of a positive skin test must complete a screening questionnaire annually in lieu of the skin testing.
Rubella (German Measles)
Proof of immunity against Rubella is required in the form of one of the following:
- date of receipt of one immunization with live Rubella or MMR vaccine after 1/1/80, OR
- dates of receipt of two immunizations with live Rubella or MMR vaccine after 12 months of age,
- if immunization dates are unavailable, serologic documentation of a positive Rubella immune titer (IgG blood test) is required.
Rubeola (Ten-Day Measles)
Proof of immunity against RUBEOLA is required in the form of one of the following:
- dates of receipt of two immunization with live Rubeola or MMR vaccine after 12 months of age, OR
- if immunization dates are not available, serologic documentation of a positive Rubeola immune titer (IgG) blood test) is required.
Proof of immunity against Mumps is required in the form of one of the following:
- date of receipt of one immunization with live Mumps or MMR vaccine after 12 months of age, OR
- if immunization dates are not available, serologic documentation of a positive Mumps immune titer (IgG blood test) is required.
Varicella (Chicken Pox)
If you have had chicken pox in the past, you must provide serologic documentation of a positive varicella titer (IgG blood test). If the titer is negative, or you know you have never had chicken pox, you must receive two varicella vaccine immunizations given 4 to 8 weeks apart and provide documentation of receipt.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Accellular Pertussis (Tdap)
Documentation of a tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis booster is required. A 2-year interval between Td (tetanus/diphtheria) booster and Tdap is suggested to reduce the risk of reactions following vaccination. If you have received a Td booster within the past 2 years, you must provide documentation of that Td booster at this time and at the end of the 2 year period, obtain a Tdap booster and provide documentation upon completion.
Proof of immunity against Hepatitis B is required in the form of both of the following:
- dates of receipt of the vaccination series of three injections and
- serologic documentation of a positive Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Titer following completion of the Hepatitis B vaccination series of three injections.
An annual flu vaccination is required. This vaccine will be provided for you at no cost beginning in October of each year through the USF Medical Clinic/Medical Health Administration office. Students will be notified each fall when vaccinations are being administered. It is the student's responsibility to post this information to the Immunization Certification site each year.
Students at all levels of their education and training are expected to maintain a proper professional image in their behavior and personal appearance at all times. During the pre-clinical years students are expected to wear clean, appropriate apparel (shirts, pants, nice shorts, dresses, skirts, etc.) and shoes to all academic functions and on campus. Shorts are prohibited during patient care and clinical education activities, and at any time students have contact with patients or are in the patient care areas. In these instances, men should wear shirts and ties and women should wear dresses or appropriate slacks/blouses. White lab coats with ID cards should be worn by all students during patient care activities, unless otherwise directed by the host facility.
Computers and Other Technology
Computing facilities on the University and USF Health networks are a vital component of the academic environment. Each person using computers on these networks must be considerate of other users. The purpose of these facilities is the support of teaching and research by its authorized users.
In order to promote a classroom environment that is conducive to learning, PDAs and/or cell phones are to be turned off during class time. Students who require cell-phone access for emergency situations or to care for sick children, family members, or significant others may keep their cell phones turned on in the muted mode with permission of the instructor.
Personal computers are a resource required for matriculation in our program. However, their use during class time for course-related work is a privilege allowed or disallowed at the instructor’s discretion. (Course-related work includes taking notes, following the instructor on PowerPoint or Blackboard, and working on in-class assignments.) Computers are not permitted to be used during class time for e-mail, instant messaging, Internet surfing, playing games, doing homework, etc.
Inappropriate use of electronic devices will result in the loss of privileges. Repeated infractions of this rule may affect the professionalism portion of the student’s final grade in this course or result in other disciplinary action, such as referral to the APRSC.
Activities that damage or impede the work of other users are of particular concern. Such activities are discourteous and illegal. The State of Florida has laws which hold that unauthorized use (including accessing another user's account) leading to offenses against intellectual property and/or computer users, is a felony. Besides civil penalties that can include imprisonment of up to fifteen years and fines, the college and/or university may impose administrative penalties and sanctions against those found to have violated the law. USF wishes to provide open access to students and faculty with as few restrictions as possible. Courteous and thoughtful computing will minimize the need for regulations and annoying security procedures.
University policies are explicit (Student Code of Conduct I. Offenses (2) a.); any violation of these policies, including sending hate mail, is unacceptable and will be dealt with severely.
Students who feel they have been the victim of abuse should contact the Office of Student Affairs. If you experience difficulties in this area, please see the Associate Dean or Director of Student Affairs for confidential assistance.
Sexual Harassment Policy
Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Florida Educational Equity Act, and in conformance with our policy of equal opportunity, it is the goal of the USF COM to create and maintain a work and study environment that is positive and free of discrimination. In order to help provide such an environment, faculty, staff and students must be aware that sexual harassment is sex discrimination, and is unacceptable conduct that will not be tolerated at the university. Sexual harassment is defined as conduct of a sexual nature or with sexual implications, which interferes with an employee's or student's status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. This conduct may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- inappropriate touching
- the display of sexually explicit or suggestive materials
- use of sexually explicit or suggestive language or gestures
- subtle pressure for sexual activity, as well as demands for sexual favors or physical assault.
Sexual harassment is a serious form of abuse. In response to concern about incidents of sexual harassment, the Office of Student Affairs is available to students who have complaints about sexually offensive behavior by faculty members or other students. After discussion of the incident with the student, if it is deemed appropriate, the staff member in the Office of Student Affairs will attempt to resolve complaints on an informal basis. In all cases every possible effort will be made to insure confidentiality and to protect the rights of both students and faculty members. If resolution of a complaint cannot be reached informally, the student will be advised about formal grievance procedures.
Sexual Battery Policy
Sexual battery is a felony under the criminal laws of the State of Florida and will not be tolerated at the USF COM. As an integral part of academic performance, students are expected to maintain the high standards of professional and personal conduct traditionally associated with the practice of medicine and physical therapy. Any act such as sexual battery is a violation of university policy which, in the case of medical or physical therapy students, is viewed as professional misconduct and is a violation of academic standards. As such, any professional misconduct is subject to disciplinary action under the Student Advancement Policies, Procedures and Due Process.
COM students who are victims of actual or threatened violence can obtain assistance from the HELPS Program. Additionally, students should refer to the USF policy concerning Sexual Battery. All rights and services specified in this policy, including the Victims' Advocacy Program as explained below, are available to COM students. The policy is contained in the USF Student Handbook under Administrative Policies.
Victims' Advocacy Program
The Victims' Advocacy Program is available to assist all USF students or employees who are victims of actual or threatened violence, including but not limited to battery, assault, sexual battery (date rape, acquaintance rape, stranger rape) and attempted sexual battery.
Police reports are strongly encouraged; however, reports are not required for information and referral assistance.
The USF Victims' Advocate will assist by providing information, support and guidance in the following ways:
1. Crisis Intervention
2. Emergency shelter, medical help and counseling referrals
3. Assistance as needed
4. Services available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week
HIV/AIDS Policy and Other Infectious Diseases
When an HIV-infected individual comes to the attention of the University, whether student, faculty or staff member, confidentiality of the individual as well as the individual's welfare and that of the University community must be respected. Other infectious diseases will be handled appropriately and reported according to State requirements.
Religious Holy Days
All students, faculty, and staff at the USF have a right to expect that the University will reasonably accommodate their religious observances, practices and beliefs.
Students are expected to attend classes and take examinations as determined by the University. The University will, at the beginning of each academic term, provide written notice of the class schedule and formal examination periods. The University, through its faculty, will make every attempt to schedule required classes and examinations in view of customarily observed religious holidays of those religious groups or communities comprising the University's constituency. No student shall be compelled to attend class or sit for an examination at a day or time prohibited by his or her religious belief.
Students are expected to notify their instructors if they intend to be absent from a class or announced examination, in accordance with this policy, prior to the scheduled meeting. Students absent for religious reasons will be given reasonable opportunity to make up any work missed. In the event that a student is absent for religious reasons on a day when the instructor collects work for purposes of grading (homework, pop quiz, etc.), the student shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make up such work or shall not have that work averaged into the student's grade, at the discretion of the instructor.
Any student who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly in this regard should contact the Office of Student Affairs.
Student Confidentiality Policy
Pursuant to requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the following types of information, designated by law as “directory information,” may be released via official media of USF (according to USF policy):
Student name, local and permanent addresses, telephone listing, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, full- and part-time status, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, and other similar information.
The University Directory, published annually by the University, contains only the following information: student name, local and permanent address, telephone listings, classification and major field of study. The Directory and other listings of "directory information” are circulated in the course of University business and therefore, are accessible to the public, as well as to students, faculty, and staff.
Students must inform the USF Office of the Registrar in writing (forms available for that purpose), if they wish directory information to be withheld. Such requests must be received within the first two (2) weeks of the semester and will remain in effect until the student has not been enrolled at USF for three (3) consecutive terms. Notification to the University of refusal to permit release of directory information via the University Directory must be received no later than the end of the first week of classes in the Fall Semester.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in July of 1990, with its provisions becoming effective at various dates thereafter. The ADA expands the rights of the disabled and augments existing anti-discrimination laws. Title III of the Act relates to anti-discrimination by entities engaged in public services and applies to the relationship between students and colleges and universities. The USF COM complies with provisions specified in the ADA.
tudents with learning disabilities that are documented by reports of examination and testing by appropriately certified and credentialed MD or PhD counselors may receive increased time to complete institutional and NBME or NPTE Examinations. The approval must be coordinated by the Student Affairs Office based upon MD or PhD counselor reports reflecting the diagnosis and certifying that the student requires additional time to complete examination processes.
The student must formally request additional time in a memorandum to the Office of Student Affairs. Reports from counselors making the diagnosis must be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Reports will be referred to the Chairperson of the Student Affairs Committee for consultation and recommendation.
Operating Procedure for Applicants with Disabilities
On occasion, an applicant identifies a disability that may impact on his/her ability to meet the Technical Standards for Admission, Progression and Graduation. When this occurs the following procedure will be adhered to:
- Upon learning of an applicant with a disability, the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences Admissions Recruiter/Advisor will bring the applicant to the attention of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. The Coordinator of Admissions will also inform the Director of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will ensure that the applicant receives reasonable accommodation. Technical Standards apply to all applicants, and competitiveness of applicants with disabilities will be judged on the same basis as other applicants.
- Once an offer of acceptance is made and the scope of accommodation requirements has been determined, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, in consultation with appropriate professional personnel will determine a reasonable course of action. For example, a student with dyslexia may require extra time for exams, enlarged print on exams and on occasion readers. These are reasonable accommodations and will be provided for the student. Each individual's impairment is different, each disability is different and accommodation needs will vary from case to case.
- The Associate Dean for Student Affairs in consultation with the Associate Dean/Director of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences may compose a committee to review the student’s disability and recommend accommodations. The Committee may interview the student to explore reasonable accommodations to provide the student with the best opportunity for success. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide appropriate professional documentation showing the nature of their disability and request accommodations. Students with known disabilities must meet the same standards of academic performance as other students being considered for admission. Accepted students who have disabilities will be expected to achieve a comparable level of competency to that required of other students for progression and graduation.
- Upon request, the Office of Student Affairs will provide recommendations to applicants concerning professionals who are skilled in conducting evaluations for individuals who believe they may have a disability.