Time flies—it’s almost hard to believe that this time last year, I first started my academic journey here at The Universities at Shady Grove. Now, I am currently a senior, working towards the last stages of my undergraduate program. After graduating from Montgomery College with my Associate’s Degree in Health Fitness, I transferred to the Exercise Science program at Salisbury University here at USG.
Over the past year at USG, I have further enhanced my understanding of exercise physiology, musculoskeletal anatomy, and kinesiology through my recent coursework. This semester, I am currently enrolled in a Special Topics course, designed to help prepare students to obtain a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS®) certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, or NSCA.
I am also pursuing a minor in Health, and our coursework has given us the opportunity to perform real-life studies within our local community. This semester, my Community Health course is helping to expand my understanding of the field. This course also aims to prepare students to take the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) exam, given by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
Next semester, the final stage of my program comprises of an internship experience of 375 hours. Looking ahead, there are numerous of post-graduation options available, including a variety of fitness, health, clinical, strength & conditioning, or corporate wellness settings. Part of what makes our program at USG unique is how it prepares students to graduate with a strong skill set, and in turn, allows for different career possibilities. Previous alumni have worked towards a career in occupational therapy or physical therapy, in corporate wellness environments, or as a professional strength and conditioning coach.
The possibilities are vast with a major in Exercise Science, and one of my long-term goals is to pursue a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. This summer, I was able to visit two schools located in New York—NYU and LIU Brooklyn. I decided to share a little bit about my experience, along with some highlights and things to note about each Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
New York University
Originally founded in 1927, the physical therapy education program at New York University has been renowned for decades. Located in the area of Gramercy Park, I visited the physical therapy program at 22nd Street and Second Avenue. During the tour, I was able to ask specific questions regarding prerequisite coursework, program requirements. The entire program is 39 months, including 133 credits, and a substantial amount of clinical practice is built into the DPT curriculum. Offering small class sizes, the program at NYU has a faculty to student-ratio of 10.5, and is located near the city’s leading rehabilitation centers in Manhattan.
Offering over 350 different clinical sites around the nation, NYU students are able to gain a variety of experiences during the program. If you’re planning to visit, I was able to find street parking about one block away from the main building. Also, the campus is only a short walk from the 14th St – Union Square or the 23 Street subway stations. Depending on the time of your tour, be sure to allow for ample time for parking, traffic, and possible train delays.
Located near the bustling Atlantic Avenue and Barclays Center area, the LIU Brooklyn campus is steps away from the DeKalb Avenue subway station. I learned that “LIU” stands for Long Island University, and the Brooklyn campus is one of the first main campuses within the system.
Compared to the fast-paced energy of the surrounding area, walking through the campus gates felt like stumbling upon a hidden oasis. There is an open courtyard area with flowers, natural blooms, and seating which created a relaxing environment.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program tour started at the Zeckendorf Health Science Center, and I was given a look at some of the classrooms used for manual practice. The three year DPT program includes 35 weeks of clinical experience, and LIU Brooklyn is connected with over 400 clinical sites across the nation.
According to my tour and the website, graduates from the LIU Brooklyn program have over a 97% first-time pass rate for the NPTE, and an employment rate of 100% after 6 months post-graduation. During the tour, I was able to ask questions about the application process, including prerequisites, GRE requirements, and more.
With thoughts of the future on the horizon, it’s an exciting time to explore different possibilities for graduate school education. I look forward to completing my studies here at USG, and I can’t possibly express how grateful I am for the opportunity to share a portion of my journey with you all. Thank you for your time!
Written by Jade Esmeralda