Doctor of Physical Therapy

Top-notch training for great patient care

A rewarding career awaits you–at DMU, you'll obtain the finest preparation.

Des Moines University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program offers a distinctive, evidence-based curriculum focused on patient-centered care. Classroom and clinical instruction emphasize problem solving, critical thinking, and strong manual therapy skills. The combination of our faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and an onsite clinic make DMU a powerful place to learn.

Hands-on skills form the foundation of our doctor of physical therapy program, while classroom and clinical instruction emphasize problem-solving and critical thinking that prepare you to be an exceptional and caring health care provider.

Quick facts:



licensure exam first-time pass rate (2019-2020)


patients per year in the DMU Physical Therapy Clinic


clinical internship sites, located in 31 states


graduate employment rate

Program Highlights

The D.P.T. program is 34 months in length. The curriculum is focused on movement science, with case-based learning experiences that provide the knowledge and skills needed for the practice of physical therapy. The results: consistently high student outcomes and rewarding careers for graduates.

  • Early clinical experience

    A hallmark of the DMU D.P.T. program is the opportunity to work in the DMU clinic early on in the program. Four clinical internships, scheduled at more than 400 sites across the country, are spaced throughout the curriculum, which allows you to apply, practice and perfect the techniques you’re learning.
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  • Innovative learning

    At DMU, our innovative approach to learning hones your clinical, communication and teamwork skills. Our Human Performance Lab combines diagnostics and biotechnology to evaluate and treat human movement deficits and physical conditions. The Motor Control Lab contains advanced movement analysis equipment as well as ample open space required for movement studies, and the Iowa Simulation Center combines clinical scenarios with lifelike high-fidelity mannequins and equipment. The anatomy lab allows students to dissect and analyze cadavers at 43 stations, each equipped with technology that offers anatomical images and instruction.
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  • Preparation for licensure

    While licensure requirements vary by state, all states require physical therapists to achieve a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to practice. The D.P.T. program licensure preparation and curriculum have consistently led to board pass rates of 99.3% over the last three years.

  • Learn from the best

    The diverse clinical experiences and practice interests of DMU’s physical therapy faculty mean you will learn from exceptional teachers. They are experts in movement science, neuroscience, pain science, orthopedics, pediatrics and geriatrics, and offer innovative therapies.
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  • Discover new knowledge

    In state-of-the-art laboratories on campus, physical therapy faculty involve students in research on a wide variety of topics. Participating in research exposes students to scientific literature, lets them interact with expert faculty and patients, and in some cases, present and publish their work.
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  • Graduate among the best

    High student outcomes – in job placement, board exam pass rates and career satisfaction – demonstrate how the D.P.T. program at DMU will equip you with the knowledge and skills to treat patients of all ages with diverse needs in different health care settings.
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Meet Your Faculty

We are committed to training competent, passionate professionals. Our expert faculty make DMU a powerful place to learn.

Brittney England, Des Moines University Physical Therapy

“One of the best parts about being in the DPT program at DMU is the people you are surrounded with. All of the faculty want to see you succeed, regardless of whether they are from your department or guest lecturing from another. All of your classmates are there to support you, too, and there’s no competition because everyone wants the same outcome for each other. It’s an extremely welcoming environment.”

Brittney England, D.P.T.'21

Diversity at DMU: Your culture creates ours

Cultural competency and humility is part of the personal and professional development that happens at DMU. Our campus environment is shaped by individuals who bring cultural differences, life experiences and distinct characteristics.

Diversity and Inclusion at Des Moines University
Welcome to Des Moines University

Welcome to campus: See for yourself what we're all about

DMU offers opportunities to get involved in experiences outside the classroom. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our students.

Living in Des Moines: Your new favorite city

Besides being a great place to live and work, Des Moines is a vibrant city with communities from all walks of life. Ethnic grocery stores, restaurants and year-round events ensure that there’s always something for everyone.

Living in Des Moines
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

DMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Des Moines University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call call 515-271-1634 or email

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