Sep 21, 2023  
2020-2021 ATSU University Catalog 
2020-2021 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Arizona School of Health Sciences

Dear Student,

Welcome to the Arizona School of Health Sciences and A.T. Still University. As a new student you are joining a proud University with a long history of educating healthcare professionals ready to deliver quality, compassionate whole person healthcare. The Arizona School of Health Sciences, now in its 25th year, proudly educates and graduates students who have selected Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, Physician Assistant Studies, Occupational Therapy, and Audiology as their professional careers. The Arizona School of Health Sciences houses 13 degree programs including the spectrum of professional education from entry level masters and doctorate degrees to post professional degrees to residency programs. As a school we are dedicated to your success and strive to create a learning centered environment to support information. 

On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff, I welcome you again and wish you every success in your academic endeavors.  

Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
Dean, Arizona School of Health Sciences


Program Accreditation

The Post-professional Athletic Training program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), 2201 Double Creek Drive, Ste. 5006, Round Rock, TX 78664, phone: 512.733.9700

The entry-level, residential Doctor of Audiology program (AuD) at the Arizona School of Health Sciences, a school of A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech- Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at 2200 Research Boulevard #310, Rockville, MD 20850. Phone: 800-498-2071 or 301-296-5700

The Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220, phone 301-652.2682. ACOTE Website:

The residential Doctor of Physical Therapy program at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703-684-2782; email:; website:

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by A.T. Still University Arizona School of Health Sciences. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2024. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. The address and telephone number of this agency is 12000 Findley Road, Suite 275, Johns Creek, GA, 30097; 770.476.1224, Fax: 770.476.1738.

State Licensing

Please see the State Licensing section under About ATSU for information related to degree-granting authority by The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education and A.T. Still University’s participation in nc-SARA.

Contact ASHS

A.T. Still University - Arizona School of Health Sciences
5850 E. Still Circle
Mesa, AZ 85206
Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
Marlene B. Salas-Provance, PhD, MHA, CCC-SLP
Vice Dean & Professor
Audiology Department
Tabitha Parent Buck, AuD
Professor, Chair, Audiology
Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Department
Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Professor, Chair, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Occupational Therapy Department
Jyothi Gupta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Professor, Chair, Occupational Therapy
Physician Assistant Department
Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA
Professor, Chair, Physician Assistant Studies
Physical Therapy Department
James Farris, PT, PhD
Professor, Chair, Physical Therapy
Mellissa Conrad
Executive Assistant to the Dean



ATSU-ASHS School Policies

The following policies or guidelines apply to all programs at ATSU-ASHS.

General Admission Requirements

The following requirements apply to every program and must be met by every applicant to be considered for admission.

Application Process

The Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) offers many programs in the areas of athletic training, audiology, occupational therapy, physician assistants, and physical therapy. Specific application information is included with each program.

Applicants who wish to be considered for more than one program must submit a separate application and fee, official test scores (if applicable), transcripts, and references for each health sciences program. Acceptance to ATSU-ASHS is to a specific program and is not transferable to other programs. Application materials are not transferable from one application year to another.

English Proficiency

All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T. Still University.

Written and reading proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

  • Option 1 - English is my first language
  • Option 2 – Graduated from a regionally accredited four-year university or college in the United States (minimum B.A. or B.S.)
  • Option 3 – You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Testing Service (IELTS)
    • Acceptable TOEFL minimal scores for ATSU-ASHS applications are:
      • Internet based total score = 80
    • Acceptable IELTS scores are an overall band score of 6.5

NOTE: some programs may require TOEFL sub score minimums. Please refer to the individual program website or catalog page to determine if sub scores are required.

The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, PO Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA (609) 771-7100. Information is available on the Internet at and A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339.

International Student Admission

All programs may accept international students. Prior to application, international applicants should review the program information in this catalog for program-specific requirements and contact the Admissions for current information on the application process.

Applicants who have graduated from a non-US college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree and/or course equivalency. Applicants must have foreign transcripts evaluated by an evaluation service specializing in foreign transcript evaluation. The evaluation must state that the transcript(s) reflect an equivalency of a U.S. degree.

Foreign Evaluation Services

Below is a list of credentialing agencies. Please check with Admissions to verify which agencies are acceptable to the specific program for which you are applying. An official copy of the transcript evaluation must be provided to Admissions.

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
International Education Research Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 66940
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33171
World Evaluation Service Inc.
P.O. Box 745 Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
International Credentialing Associates, Inc.
7245 Bryan Dairy Road
Largo, FL 33777
International Consultants of Delaware
P.O. Box 8629
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629
Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy
124 West Street South, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
University of Texas at Austin Robert Watkins – Graduate and International Admissions Center
2608 Whitis Avenue
Austin, TX 78712
(Credential Reviews for Texas only)

Selection of Applicants

The Admissions Committee for each program seeks those individuals capable of meeting the academic standards of ATSU-ASHS and its programs. Completed applications in compliance with minimum admission requirements are reviewed on the basis of some or all of the following areas: the quality of academic performance, professional exposure, work and life experiences, and recommendations.

The Admissions Committee reserves the right to accept, reject, or defer any application. Applicants are notified following the Committee’s decision on their status. Successful applicants are granted a specified time period to notify the Admissions Department of their intention to enroll. After acceptance, matriculation is subject to the satisfactory completion and verification of all academic and admission requirements.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is accepted on a case-by-case basis and per program requirements.

Advanced Credit

Advanced credit is defined at ATSU-ASHS as credit awarded in professional programs based on a prior learning assessment. Credit will be awarded for specific advanced standing categories or for listed courses in the plan of study. [Transitional] Doctor of Audiology and [Transitional] Doctor of Physical Therapy applicants must submit requests for advanced credit using the Evaluation of Practicing Audiologists (EPAC) or by submitting a physical therapy professional portfolio, respectively.

Petitions for advanced credit in other programs must be submitted in writing to the Admissions Department. All transcripts, admission forms, and supporting documentation must be completed and received by the University before advanced credit will be considered.

Minimal Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion encompass an authentic understanding and appreciation of difference and, at their core, are based upon the value each human being brings to our society and each person’s access and opportunities to contribute to our University’s cultural proficiency.

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is committed to equal access for all qualified applicants and students. Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation (the “Standards”) state expectations of ATSU students. The Standards provide sufficient information to allow the candidate to make an informed decision for application. Minimal Technical Standards for Matriculation are a guide to accommodation of students with disabilities. Academic adjustments can be made for disabilities in some instances, but a student must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner. Applicants and current students who have questions regarding the technical standards, or who believe they may need to request academic adjustment(s) in order to meet the standards, are encouraged to contact Learning and Disability Resources. Procedures to apply for academic adjustments are found at the conclusion of this policy.

The holder of a health sciences professional degree must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for a degree in Athletic Training, Audiology, Human Movement, Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies, must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

A candidate for the doctoral or Master of Science degree at ATSU-ASHS must possess abilities and skills in seven identified categories, including observation; communication; motor; sensory; strength, mobility and endurance; intellectual, (conceptual, integrative, and quantitative); and behavioral and social. These abilities and skills are defined as follows:

  • Observation: Candidates and students must have sufficient uncorrected or corrected visual acuity, depth perception, and color perception to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments, and laboratory exercises in the basic and clinical sciences. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance of 20 feet and up close. Vision must be sufficient to utilize clinical instrumentation; identify dissected nerves and landmarks on anatomical structures such as the tympanic membrane; observe motion; and evaluate posture, locomotion and movement in a clinical setting. Adequate visual capabilities are necessary for proper evaluation and treatment integration, including the assessment of symmetry, range of motion, and tissue texture changes.
  • Communication: Candidates and students must possess formal and conversational speech and language skills in English. The must be able to write, read and comprehend classroom lecture and assessment materials, technical reports, diagnostic and treatment reports and professional correspondence in English. They must be able to speak, hear (with or without the use of amplification and/or other assistive technology), and observe patients in order to elicit information; examine and treat patients; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communication. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. They must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written form with all members of the healthcare team.
  • Motor: Candidates and students must have sufficient motor functions to execute movements required to perform laboratory exercises and provide clinical care. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine motor movements and equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
  • Sensory: Candidates and students must have functional use of sensory skills such as tactile discrimination and proprioception for classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences. Functional use of hearing and vision are also required and are described in sections above.
  • Strength, mobility and endurance: Candidates and students must have sufficient upright posture, balance, flexibility, mobility, strength and cardiovascular endurance for standing, sitting, lifting moderate weight and participating in classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences.
  • Intellectual (conceptual, integrative, and quantitative): Candidates and students must be able to engage in activities of discovery, measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of health professionals, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates and students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  • Behavioral and social: Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all academic requirements and responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. Candidates and students must be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates and students must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, respect for differences, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

Additional Information

Please see the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies  and Physical Therapy (Residential), DPT  sections for program-specific minimal technical standards.

Records and communications regarding disabilities and academic adjustments with the Director of Learning and Disability Resources have no bearing on the application process. You may contact the director at Learning and Disability Resources, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, 800 W. Jefferson Street, Kirksville, MO 63501,, or by phone at 660.626.2774.

Applying for Academic Adjustments

The institution remains open to possibilities of human potential and achievement, providing support for students with disabilities. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the administration of and compliance with the Technical Standards and Academic Adjustments Policy (ATSU Policy #20-110) through the Director of Learning and Disability Resources. Please see the University Student Handbook for information on how to apply for academic adjustments, or email

Immunizations, Immunity, Screening and Certification for ATSU-ASHS Residential Programs

ATSU-ASHS requires all residential students to provide documented proof of completion of all required ATSU-ASHS immunizations, immunity, screenings and certifications prior to matriculation. These requirements also span the duration of enrollment at ATSU-ASHS. Students are responsible for covering the cost for all immunizations, screenings and certifications. Additional immunizations; titers or screenings may be required per individual clinical site specifications as well. 

ATSU-ASHS Student Risk Management requirements are updated annually and therefore subject to change.

CPR - Certification for BLS/Basic Life Support Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification

  • Certification must be the BLS Provider or Healthcare Provider level certification. Individual programs may have additional requirements.
  • Must be Adult & Child AED level certification
  • First Aid Certification does NOT meet this requirement

Hepatitis B

  • Documentation of two (2) dose series of Heplisav-B or three (3) dose series of Engerix-B, Recombivax or Twinrix Hepatitis B vaccine. Series must be started prior to matriculation and completed per prescribed timeline.  
  • OR documentation of a positive blood test (titer) of immunity to Hepatitis B
  • OR Declination statement. Available upon request

MMR - Measles Mumps and Rubella

  • Documentation of two (2) dose series of MMR vaccine. Series must be started prior to matriculation and completed per prescribed timeline.
  • OR documentation of a positive of immunity to each of Measles Mumps and Rubella

Physical Exam

  • Documentation of a physical exam within twelve (12) months of matriculation 
  • This is a pre-matriculation requirement only

Tuberculosis (TB) Testing

  • Documentation of a negative two (2) step PPD skin test or one (1) negative QuantiFERON TB Gold or T-Spot blood test within twelve (12) months of matriculation 
  • OR documentation of a normal/clear chest x-ray AND documentation of the previous positive testing results. 
  • This is an annual testing requirement. 

Tdap - Tetanus Diphtheria and Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

  • Documentation of one (1) adult dose of Tdap vaccine within ten (10) years of matriculation 
  • DPT (infant dose) or Td vaccinations do NOT meet this requirement

Varicella – Chicken Pox

  • Documentation of two (2) dose series of varicella vaccine. Series must be started prior to matriculation and completed per prescribed timeline
  • OR documentation of a positive immunity to Varicella
  • History of this disease does NOT meet this requirement

Influenza – Post-matriculation requirement

  • Documentation of seasonal Influenza vaccination - DUE ANNUALLY BY OCTOBER 1st 
  • This is an annual requirement for the duration of enrollment

Immunization Exemptions

Under certain religious, health circumstances or personal belief, a request for exemption from Risk Management requirements may be granted. However, ATSU cannot guarantee placement in clinical rotations when this exemption is granted. Consequently, students receiving an exemption from Risk Managements requirements may take longer to complete the curriculum and graduate, or the student may not be able to complete the curriculum and graduate.

Minimum Technology Specifications

Residential Programs

Please visit to review the minimum technology specifications for students accepted to ATSU-ASHS programs.

Online Programs

Please visit to review the minimum technology specifications for students accepted to ATSU-ASHS programs.

Auditing a Course

The following information pertains to currently enrolled ATSU-ASHS students.

Requests to audit a course should go to the program director or chair of the department under which the course is offered and to the program director or chair of the student’s department, if different. All requests must be approved in writing.

Students may be allowed to sit in class and may participate only on a space available basis.

Students who audit a course are expected to attend classes on a regular basis. Satisfactory completion of a course for audit will be determined by the instructor and will be recorded on the student’s transcript as an AU (audit) or other appropriate indicator. No letter grade will be awarded for an audited course.

An audited course may not be changed to a course for credit or vice versa.

Questions concerning the audit policy should be directed to the student’s program director or department chair.


ATSU-ASHS programs adhere to the University grading scale .


Those students whose work at the end of a course is incomplete due to illness or other circumstances beyond their control may be given, at the instructor’s discretion, a grade of Incomplete. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor to receive a grade of “I”.

The student’s instructor will complete an Incomplete Agreement Form, which outlines requirements for course completion and completion date. The completion date must be within one year unless special arrangements have been made with the Dean. The instructor must complete this form prior to the end of the semester or quarter before a grade of “I” can be issued.

After the instructor and student have signed the agreement, it must be approved by the appropriate department chair. Upon approval, the department chair will send the original form to Enrollment Services. The instructor may then record the “I” on the final grade sheet for the course.

When the student has completed the course work, the instructor will file a Change of Grade Request Form with the department chair who will forward it to Enrollment Services. If the work is not finished within the period of time specified in the agreement, the grade will become an “F” unless otherwise noted in “section a” of the agreement.

Appealing a Grade

Students who wish to file an academic appeal concerning a course grade should visit the Academic Appeals policy  located within the ATSU Policies section of the Catalog.

Academic Warning

Students demonstrating unacceptable performance in any unit of study during any phase of their program may be notified of such performance by the instructor of the course, program director or department chair as soon as it becomes evident. The student may be notified verbally or in writing that continued poor academic performance could lead to academic probation and dismissal. The instructor will also discuss the resources available to students for academic assistance.

Academic Probation

The quality of an educational program can be measured by the academic performance of its students. With regard to academic performance, standards are set to insure that the integrity of the program and institution are maintained. Consistent with academic norms and in the exercise of professional judgment, each ATSU-ASHS department shall determine and shall provide to students (1) the standards of academic performance and (2) the standards of progression.

A student who fails to meet the department’s standards of academic performance will be placed on academic probation and shall be notified of such, in writing, by the relevant department chair. Such notice shall identify the academic standards which the student has failed to meet and will advise the student that continued failure to meet such standards may result in delay in graduation or dismissal. Copies of any academic probation notice shall be sent to the Dean and Enrollment Services.

Academic Dismissal

Any student who does not meet the department’s standards for progression will receive a written notice of dismissal from the department chair. Decisions regarding dismissal are made on an individual basis consistent with academic norms and in the exercise of professional judgment after considering all pertinent circumstances. The department chair’s decision will be based on a recommendation from the department faculty, the student’s academic record, department standards of progression and information from the student and other individuals as appropriate. The department chair will notify the student and Dean of the decision, which notice shall describe the significant facts and reasons for dismissal. The student has the right to appeal the decision as outlined in the appeal process.

Dismissal Appeal Process

Dismissal by a department may be appealed, in writing, to the Dean no later than seven calendar days following receipt of notification of the department chair’s decision of dismissal. Such notice of appeal from the student shall include a statement of reasons why dismissal is inappropriate. The Dean shall review the notice of dismissal, notice of appeal, significant facts and reasons for dismissal in light of the department’s standards of progression, academic norms and professional judgment. The Dean may meet in person with the student if indicated and shall notify the department chair and student of the decision no later than seven academic days following receipt of the student’s appeal. Such notice shall describe the basis for the decision.

The highest level of appeal within the school is the Dean or Dean’s designee. Students who wish to appeal a Dean’s decision regarding promotion or dismissal should review the Academic Appeals Policy: Promotion and/or Dismissal Decisions .

Degree Completion

Students are expected to complete their degree within the program’s standard plan of study. In circumstances where additional time is needed, and with approval of the appropriate chair, students will have a maximum degree completion timeline of five (5) years for a master’s program and seven (7) years for a doctoral program from the time of initial enrollment. Failure to complete a degree program within the specified period will lead to a loss of some or the entire student’s previously earned course credits, or dismissal from the program.

Required Modules

HIPAA Training

ATSU-ASHS requires that all residential students complete Health Information Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) training. ATSU-ASHS provides a detailed review of HIPAA and focuses on the patient privacy and data security issues that will have the most impact on the practice of healthcare workers. HIPAA education provides a definition and discussion of current and forthcoming HIPAA initiatives regarding patient privacy and data security, a review of reforms that have been identified for implementation and the information to help healthcare workers comply with new guidelines. Training is offered online by ATSU and must be completed prior to any clinical education.

Bloodborne Pathogens Training

Universal precautions and blood borne pathogens training will be provided to ATSU-ASHS students. Universal precautions and blood borne pathogens training must be updated annually and whenever necessary to reflect new or modified tasks and procedures which affect occupational exposure and reflect changes in technology that eliminate or reduce exposure. Universal precautions and blood borne pathogens training must be completed and documented prior to entering any clinical education.


All faculty and students who use the anatomy laboratory will be instructed on the potential hazards and understand the steps to be taken in the event that injury or accidents occur. See Policy Manual for Hazardous Materials and Personal Safety.

Departments and Programs