College of St. Scholastica

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Updated September 28, 2022
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College of St. Scholastica appears in the ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Physical Therapy Online.

The College of St. Scholastica was originally founded as St. Benedict's Academy in 1892 on Munger Terrace by Mother Scholastica Kent with 28 nuns. By 1912, its current name was adopted for the patron saint of schools and the current 186-acre "Zenith City" campus was started on Lake Superior. Twelve years later, St. Scholastica transformed into the private, four-year Catholic liberal arts school of today. First accredited in 1931, CSS began admitting men in 1969 and adding graduate studies during the 1980s. Dedicated to Proverbs 3:17, the College of St. Scholastica now budgets $111 million yearly to enroll 4,325 Saints, including Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy majors, from 18 nations at eight campuses or online. Linked to 14,772 LinkedIn alumni, CSS has graduated Mary Odile Cahoon, Ellen Pence, Michael Paymar, Emily Larson, and others.

The U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Scholastica the Midwest's 34th best college, 21st best for vets school, and 73rd top value with the 101st best physical therapy education nationally. On Niche, CSS boasts America's 76th best Catholic curricula, 123rd top nursing department, 284th best small community, and 584th hardest academics. Money magazine placed the College of St. Scholastica 158th with median debt of $21,200. Forbes declared CSS the 272nd top private university and 360th best-loved school. College Factual named St. Scholastica the 97th most popular school for health services preparation. In Washington Monthly, CSS has the country's 301st best buck and 307th highest doctoral completion rate. WalletHub also noticed the College of St. Scholastica for the 216th best educational and 205th top career outcomes.

College of St. Scholastica Accreditation Details

In October 2017, the College of St. Scholastica submitted to an interim assurance review by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) to retain current Level V accreditation through 2022 under its 12th president, Dr. Colette McCarrick Geary, who once received the Junius Kellogg Award. Located 470 miles south in Chicago, this 19-state Great Lakes Region accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to assess the effectiveness of CSS's 51 baccalaureate, 17 master's, two doctoral, and 18 certificate programs from Hibbing to Cloquet and online. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) reaffirmed its St. Scholastica approval through June 2020 too.

College of St. Scholastica Application Requirements

Enrolling at the College of St. Scholastica is deemed "moderately difficult" by Peterson's since 2,059 of the 3,232 Fall 2016 applicants were successful for 64 percent acceptance. Post-grad Saints seeking the Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy must already hold a qualifying B.S. or M.S. degree. Prerequisite courses include Chemistry, Physics, Human Anatomy, Medical Terminology, and Kinesiology. Each science course must be graded "C" or better with an overall GPA above 3.0. Taking the GRE is currently optional, but preferred scores of 148 quantitative, 150 verbal, and 4.0 analytical writing can help compete. Online tDPT majors need current physical therapy licensure with one year or 2,080 hours of experience. International practitioners are only considered with TOEFL internet scores over 79 or equivalent.

The College of St. Scholastica has set three Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy deadlines at August 15th for Fall, December 15th for Spring, and May 2nd for Summer starts. Use Firefox, Chrome, or Safari to complete the free Online Application accordingly. Submit hard copies to 1200 Kenwood Avenue in Duluth, MN 55811. Please contact (866) 478-9277 or for further inquiries. When accepted, students must send the decision response form as well as a passport, certification of finances, I-20 form, and $500 deposit if foreign. Admission relies on the attachment of the following:

  •  Certified bachelor's/master's electronic transcripts
  • Verification of a PT degree and unrestricted license
  • Email addresses for two referring health professionals
  • Original 500-word, double-spaced personal essay
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae of PT experience
  • Tests of English as a Foreign Language if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2017-18, the College of St. Scholastica charged average full-time graduate tuition of $11,484 per year. Mandatory add-ons included the $70 technology fee, $125 health services fee, and $104 student services fee. On-campus grads paid $1,084 each term for health insurance premiums. The textbook allowances were $600 per semester. Living at the Duluth campus' housing like Cedar Hall Apartments cost $9,522 for room and board too. Luckily, online education is much cheaper than the traditional annual price of $24,673. The Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy presently bills $744 per credit for an affordable $11,904 total. In comparison, DPT majors pay $849 per credit for $91,692 combined over 33 months.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Department connects 80 percent of full-time CCS Saints to average financial aid offers of $18,754 each for $41.68 million total yearly. Graduate funds include the Kiwanis-Friendly Duluth Scholarship, Fox Rehab Scholarship, Max & Sara Edelstein Health Career Scholarship, St. Luke's Volunteer Memorial Scholarship, Sister Timothy Kirby Alumni Scholarship, St. Mary's Medical Center Auxiliary Scholarship, Dr. John Shenk Scholarship, and Ethel Curry Scholarship. The Clinical Agency Discount gifts 50 percent off tuition for employees of St. Scholastica partners. Yet the Legacy Scholarship only deducts 5 percent for the children, grandchildren, siblings, or spouses of CSS alumni. Minnesotans might claim the Gopher State's Indian Scholarship, Public Safety Officer Survivor Grant, or MN Rehabilitative Services Grant. Filing the FAFSA form with code 002343 could unlock low-interest Direct Unsubsidized and Grad Plus loans. Borrowed money up to $50,000 may be negated via the National Health Services Corps Loan Repayment Program.

Online Degree(s) Available

The College of St. Scholastica utilizes Blackboard for flexible digital access to seven bachelor's, one doctoral, and five master's degrees. Ten certificates, such as Health Informatics, Special Education, Culturally Responsive Practice, and Healthcare Administration, are also online. The 15:1 student-professor ratio and full-feature Zoom video conferencing allow for dynamic virtual courses with 75.9 percent retention. Other benefits include the Alumni Referral Award, VoiceThread Support, IT Help Desk, Center for Equal Access, CSS Library archives, and Health Science Center at BlueStone partnership. One sample St. Scholastica online program is the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy

Responding to the APTA's Vision 2020, St. Scholastica created the Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy to help working clinicians bridge academic gaps between previous degrees and the doctorate. The 16-credit sequence chaired by Dr. John Borstad caps cohorts at 24 for introducing treatment modalities that relieve mobility issues. Six required courses dive into pharmacology, diagnostic imaging, health policy, differential screening, and more over two years of part-time study. Online study culminates with a portfolio presentation and capstone project rather than the typical thesis. Boasting a 93.5 percent first-time licensure rate, the College of St. Scholastica has experienced faculty committed to whole-person patient care.

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