Doctor of Physical Therapy

Top-notch training for great patient care

Gain the Clinical and Educational expertise you need

Pursue a D.P.T. degree from one of Iowa’s top programs

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life for people with medical or health-related conditions that limit their abilities in their daily lives. They use evidence-based examination and treatment procedures that are client-specific to improve how the body moves and functions.

Through Des Moines University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program, you will learn from nationally and internationally renowned experts in physical therapy. These thought leaders will help you gain the hands-on skills and practical knowledge to enable people, of all ages, to live healthier lives.

With DMU’s CAPTE-accredited physical therapy doctoral program, you will receive both the clinical and educational expertise you need to be ready for a physical therapy career.


The Future of Health Care Education is Here

Welcome to the new home of Des Moines University.

Quick facts:



graduate employment rate for our most recent doctor of physical therapy degree class


first-time pass rate on licensure exam for D.P.T. degree students (2019–20)


clinical education experience sites located in 48 states


student to faculty ratio

Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program Highlights

DMU’s doctor of physical therapy program offers classroom and clinical instruction that emphasizes problem solving, critical thinking and hands-on skills—helping you provide patient-centered care. While earning a D.P.T. degree from DMU, you will:

  • Gain clinical expertise throughout your graduate studies

    What makes DMU’s doctor of physical therapy degree program stand out is the ability to take part in four clinical education experiences throughout the 29-month program. You can join our health care professionals and help care for our more than 7,000 patients each year in the DMU Physical Therapy Clinic. And, with more than 400 partner clinical sites around the country, you can also apply, practice and perfect the techniques you’re learning in the classroom in a location of your choosing.

    When you graduate with a D.P.T. degree from DMU, you will have the hands-on experience to be successful in whatever physical therapy setting you pursue.

  • Receive career advising that will guide you to success

    DMU assigns you a faculty advisor and a clinical education advisor within the doctor of physical therapy degree program. These experts mentor and support you through your studies as you start your physical therapy career.

  • Pursue advanced learning in high-tech labs

    At DMU, you will advance your clinical, communication and teamwork skills in our state-of-the-art laboratories. The Human Performance Lab combines diagnostics and biotechnology to evaluate and treat human movement deficits and physical conditions. DMU utilizes a virtual anatomy-based experience and has labs that provide advanced movement analysis equipment and combine clinical scenarios with lifelike, high-fidelity mannequins and equipment.

  • Learn from leading minds in physical therapy

    Our faculty are nationally and internationally known and respected physical therapists, which means you will have the opportunity to learn from exceptional teachers and leaders at DMU. Our instructors include experts in movement science, neuroscience, pain science, orthopedics, pediatrics and geriatrics and other innovative therapies.

What can you do with a doctor of physical therapy degree?

Physical therapists are essential to restoring, maintaining and promoting overall health, wellness and fitness. Graduates from DMU’s doctor of physical therapy program work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practice, school systems, general outpatient practices and special practice settings.

Physical Therapy Careers

While a D.P.T. is required by the APTA to practice physical therapy in the United States, you may be surprised to learn that you can pursue a variety of careers with a D.P.T. Here are a few examples.

  • Health care and rehabilitation
  • Education
  • Insurance companies
  • Clinical training, marketing, consulting and technology
  • Medical sales

Meet Your Doctor of Physical Therapy Faculty

You want a graduate education that prepares you for real-world challenges, and our nationally and internationally respected faculty prepare you for success in physical therapy.

Brittney England, Des Moines University Physical Therapy

What DMU doctor of physical therapy graduates are saying

“One of the best parts about being in the DPT program at DMU is the people. All the faculty want to see you succeed, regardless of whether they are from your department or guest lecturing from another. All your classmates are there to support you, too. Everyone wants the same outcome for each other. It’s an extremely welcoming environment.”

Brittney England, D.P.T.'21

Explore D.P.T. degree program courses

DMU’s 29-month doctor of physical therapy degree program focuses on movement science and case-based learning experiences that provide the knowledge and skills needed to practice as a physical therapists. As a result, our D.P.T. degree students have a board pass rate of 99.3% over the last three years and consistently find rewarding careers as physical therapists in a wide variety of settings.

Our students pursue courses such as:

  • Epidemiology and Evidence Based Practice
  • Health Promotion Practicum
  • Research Design and Statistics

Diversity at DMU: Your culture creates ours

Cultural competency 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 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 Greater Des Moines: Your new favorite place

Besides being a great place to live and work, the greater Des Moines metro is a vibrant area 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

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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