Fort Lewis College, Utah school partner for physical therapy doctorate

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 5:30 PM
Fort Lewis College athletic training students learn hands-on skills in the locker room. FLC has signed a partnership with Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions of Provo, Utah, to offer preferred admittance to qualified FLC students to the school’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Fort Lewis College is partnering with a university in Provo, Utah, to offer students a way to earn a doctorate degree in physical therapy.

FLC and Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions have signed a partnership that would offer preferred acceptance for FLC students. Each year, up to three Fort Lewis students who complete the required courses with at least a 3.5 GPA and who score well on the GRE can matriculate into Rocky Mountain’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

This new partnership, along with new FLC programs like the Pre-Health Certificate, will add to the FLC’s health sciences offerings, giving students more options to join the health care field.

FLC was also recently awarded just over $3 million to begin designing a new Health Sciences & Athletics Complex on campus as part of an expansion of Whalen Gymnasium.

“I believe that this partnership with RMUoHP and other institutions provides excellent opportunities for our students,” said Melissa Knight-Maloney, chairwoman of the FLC exercise science program, in a prepared statement. “I am excited about this partnership as this allows our students to set themselves apart from other applicants.

“We provide our students with an excellent knowledge base and hands-on experiences to prepare them for health professions, and this agreement will allow those students another opportunity to be more competitive in the admissions process.”

Dr. Joel Tenbrink, assistant program director at Rocky Mountain, said he is impressed by FLC health and science faculty members.

“We feel that the faculty offer a quality education in preparation for a DPT degree,” he said in a news release issued by FLC. “Additionally, those alumni with which we have had interactions have impressed us in their passion and integrity. We wanted this type of person in our program.”

An FLC alumni, Dr. Michael Skurja, who graduated with a major in biological science in 1967, is a co-founder Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

After earning his degree at FLC and serving more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy, Skurja helped begin the accredited, private university that has awarded master’s and doctorate degrees for 20 years.

Rocky Mountain’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program lists a 98 percent graduation rate, with 99 percent of the graduates going on to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam.

Learn more about FLC’s exercise science program at More information about the FLC Biology Department can be found at

To find out more about Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, visit