Superior manual, hands-on skills form the foundation of our doctor of physical therapy program. Manual therapy includes a variety of specific hands-on techniques used to diagnose and treat a range of dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary systems.

Classroom and clinical instruction emphasize problem-solving and critical thinking that prepare you to be an exceptional healthcare provider and lifelong learner.

Manual therapy

There is a strong emphasis on manual treatment and a patient-centered focus where treatment goals are related to functional improvements.

Integrated learning

Classes incorporate preventive care and promote positive health behaviors. Classroom and clinical instruction emphasize problem solving and critical thinking while preparing students to become lifelong learners.


Our curriculum promotes personal and professional development through integrated, sequential learning experiences presented in a block format.

Hands-on experience

Students practice diagnostics and biotechnology to evaluate and treat movement deficits and physical conditions. They also practice in the Standardized Performance Assessment Lab.


Students may choose to work on a research project or may choose to take elective coursework.

Dual degree

Students can develop their leadership skills, understand health care needs and enhance their careers with a dual degree leading to a Master of Public Health or a Master of Health Care Administration.

Clinical education experiences

Students complete 36 weeks of clinical education experiences at four different sites. DMU maintains more than 350 clinical sites throughout the United States.

Experienced faculty

Our faculty have diverse clinical backgrounds. Faculty members use a variety of teaching methods, including case studies, problem-based learning, lectures, group projects, labs, and community-based labs.

Clinical experience

Students have learning opportunities early in their studies at the Des Moines University Clinic, an on-campus clinic providing health care services to the community. Students will also work through the Des Moines University Clinic Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Center in the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex.

Student outcomes

Read more on the Program Outcomes page.

Anatomy lab

The gross anatomy lab at DMU is state-of-the-art. It includes flat-screen monitors at each dissection station. Students will practice this component virtually.

Small class size

Class size is ideal for knowing your classmates well and at the same time benefitting from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Anatomy lecture is taken with first-year D.O. and D.P.M. students.

Student clubs

There are many opportunities for students to get involved outside the classroom.

Scroll to Top