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Students in the doctor of physical therapy program study in a cooperative campus environment. They develop lifelong skills to stay abreast of changes in physical therapy and health care delivery. Instruction throughout the block-format curriculum reflects current thinking in clinical training and technology while emphasizing manual skills.

Evidence-based practice models, clinical cases, laboratory practice and current technology are incorporated throughout the curriculum to enhance learning. Through this integrated approach, students learn to appreciate lifelong learning and the value of service as the basis for your career in physical therapy.

Program of study

  • The 34-month program of study begins in August. See the University’s academic calendar.
  • The curriculum is divided into 8 blocks of varying length: 5 didactic and 3 clinical. View a typical PT student schedule.
  • The program leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree.
  • 38 weeks of clinical instruction are interspersed throughout the program, allowing students to correlate didactic (classroom) experiences with clinical applications.
  • Several breaks are included during the 34 months of study.
  • The curriculum is delivered in sequential learning experiences presented in a block format, each block building on the previous one.
  • Students participate in four clinical internships spaced throughout the curriculum in areas including orthopedics, acute care, neurological rehab and an elective. Internships are scheduled at more than 350 clinical sites throughout the United States.
  • The curriculum uses a variety of delivery methods in an attempt to meet individual student learning styles. Methods include case studies, problem-based learning, lectures, group projects, labs and community-based labs.
  • The curriculum includes extensive laboratory time to ensure competency in manual skills.
  • Students spend an average of 20 hours per week in the classroom. Afternoons are usually open for studying, completing small-group work or collaborating with faculty.

Core courses

Each didactic block of the curriculum focuses on four different core courses:

Professional issues and development

Includes professional behaviors, ethics, educational theory, administration and management.

Foundational sciences

Includes basic and applied sciences and research.

Patient management

Includes the care of patients/clients and skill acquisition in laboratory settings.

Clinical applications

Application of clinical problem solving skills to case presentations.