Doctor of Physical Therapy Entry Level Program

Program Overview

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program consists of a three and one-half year graduate-level curriculum comprised of two and one-half years of academic and clinical study experiences followed by a year-long, full-time, paid clinical internship.

The 102-credit curriculum is designed to prepare students to serve patients and clients in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, and rehabilitation based on concepts of patient/client-centered care and best practice. The innovative modular curriculum uses case-based, self-directed and collaborative learning to develop graduates with strong clinical reasoning, leadership, and advocacy skills that can meet the demands of the contemporary health care environment.

Students take integrated and sequential 4-week academic courses one at a time, with each course building on the previous classes and experiences. The program’s curricular threads of: (1) Clinical Decision-making, (2) Human Movement System, (3) Evidence-based Practice, (4) Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, and (5) Professionalism are woven throughout the academic courses as well as through the full-time clinical experiences. 

The DPT program is open to individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field and have completed the prerequisite courses required for admission. Students enter the program with a variety of educational, occupational and geographic backgrounds, many pursuing second careers. This diversity of class composition enhances the stimulating and supportive collaborative environment upon which teaching-learning experiences are based.

Integrated Clinical Experiences

Part-time clinical experiences are integrated throughout the program. Simulation activities and half-day experiences in a clinical practice environment take place during academic courses to provide exposure to a variety of patient problems and settings, as well as to allow students to continually apply what students learn in classroom.

Full-time Clinical Experiences and Internship

Students participate in two 10 week full-time clinical experiences at the end of both the first year and second year of study. Upon completion of the academic portion of the program in the third year, students participate in a match process for a full-time 12 month paid clinical internship – the first of its kind in the country. Internship assignments are based on student interviews with participating clinical sites and a collaborative process of placement between the students, the clinical sites and the program’s clinical faculty.

Students begin their Internship in September of their 3rd year, receiving their DPT degree in January. Those who match with a year-long paid Internship placement (~80% of the class) continue at their internship settinge as licensed physical therapists through the following August. Students who match with a traditional unpaid 14 week Internship (~20% of the class) pursue full-time employment upon graduation in January.


The DPT Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Graduates receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and are eligible to apply for licensure in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.