Physical Therapy DPT
Learn more about the Doctor of Physical Therapy.
About the Program
Physical therapy is a healthcare profession with a purpose to promote human health and function by applying evidence to identify, assess, remediate or prevent human movement dysfunction. Physical therapists are concerned with the physical well-being of their clients and patients. They recognize the need to understand and respond to the sociocultural beliefs of the person and family receiving physical therapy services. And they accept full responsibility for the patients or clients in their care and for the development of their profession.
The mission of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at Temple University is to prepare graduates to be leaders in the profession, healthcare and society. The mission is accomplished by providing contemporary education, research and service to people, persons and populations.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years
Campus Location: Main
Full-Time/Part-Time Status: All required courses in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program are offered weekdays on a full-time basis.
Accreditation: The DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) through 2025.
Job Prospects: Graduates with the DPT degree are poised to meet the demand for physical therapy services for an increasingly diverse population in acute care centers, independent outpatient orthopedic clinics, rehabilitation centers and clinics, skilled care facilities, and sports medicine clinics.
Licensure/Certification: For more information about state licensure, see https://www.fsbpt.org/Free-Resources/Licensing-Authorities-Contact-Information.
Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Only matriculated students may enroll in DPT coursework.
Financing Opportunities: Contact the Doctor of Physical Therapy program for information.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
- July 1 - Application Cycle Opens
- November 1 - Application Cycle Ends
All applicants to the DPT program must apply via the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS). The system can be accessed at https://ptcas.liaisoncas.com/. It is recommended that the PTCAS application be completed by early October so PTCAS has ample time to fully verify the application, which must be done prior to review by Temple University.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2
From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from individuals who can judge the applicant's ability to succeed in a professional graduate program in Physical Therapy. Individuals typically positioned to provide such assessment include university faculty members, physical therapy clinicians, and employers. One reference must be from a physical therapist who can provide perspective on your ability as a student and future physical therapist. The second letter of reference must be from an academic professor who can provide an assessment of your ability to succeed with the academic rigor of a doctoral-level program. Notify the references to expect an online reference form from PTCAS once you begin the application process.
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants must complete 10 prerequisite courses totaling 37 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and no grades below a "C" (2.0). An applicant is permitted to apply with 6 of the 10 required prerequisite courses completed. If outstanding coursework exists, the admitted student must provide proof that sufficient grades were earned in all courses upon completion. Pass/fail for prerequisite courses is not acceptable. Laboratories for science-based courses should not be online, but rather in-person traditional laboratories. Online lecture components are acceptable.
Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree is not required.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must possess a completed baccalaureate degree in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or be designated as matriculating in an internal articulation agreement (i.e., Temple 3+3 applicant) between approved undergraduate departments at Temple University and the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Statement of Goals: Three essay opportunities are presented within the PTCAS application for the applicant to respond to program and profession-specific questions.
Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Required. Scores from the test taken within the last 5 years should be in the 50th percentile on at least two of the three test sections (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). It is recommended that applicants have a GRE score for all three sections that are at or near the averages for admitted students.
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:
- TOEFL iBT: 79
- IELTS Academic: 6.5
- PTE Academic: 53
- Duolingo: 110
Interview: Qualified applicants are invited to interview with faculty and students of the DPT program. Virtual interviews are available when travel costs are prohibitive.
Physical Therapy Observation Hours/Experience: In the interview process, applicants are expected to demonstrate physical therapy professional experience/knowledge either through unpaid volunteerism or a paid clinical position. It is recommended that an applicant seek out service and leadership opportunities and have completed observation/volunteer hours in a variety of physical therapy settings. No minimum number of hours is required, but it is recommended that applicants consider a sufficient number of hours to ensure they have an understanding of that area of the profession.
Laptop: Beginning in Fall 2020, all incoming students in the College of Public Health are required to have a laptop. Academic programs in the college are technology intensive. They incorporate statistical and database analyses; utilize specialized tools for athletic training, kinesiology and physical therapy; stream audio and video for communication sciences; facilitate online interactive counseling for social work; and foster clinical experiences and online assessments. The laptop requirement enables the College of Public Health to improve opportunities for active learning and provide greater access to specialized software and required tools in and out of the classroom, better preparing students for the workforce. Learn more about device specifications and suggested vendors. Students can use excess financial aid (i.e., funds that are reimbursed after all tuition and fees are paid) to meet student needs, including the purchase of a laptop. Scholarships may also provide funding.
Clearances: The Physical Therapy DPT program requires students to complete clinical/field education experiences at facilities both on and off Temple University’s campuses. These placements require criminal background checks, Act 33/34 clearances, and perhaps a drug screen. Placements also require the student to maintain personal health insurance. The results of these requirements may limit and potentially eliminate placement options for the student, thus resulting in their inability to meet graduation requirements. Additionally, conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or felonious or illegal act may prevent the individual from becoming credentialed and/or licensed to practice physical therapy.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Bachelor's: 117, excluding any prerequisite coursework
|Summer I||Credit Hours|
|PHTH 8101||Introduction to Physical Therapy1||1|
|PHTH 8102||Teaching, Learning, Group Dynamics1||2|
|PHTH 8103||Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills I1||2|
|PHTH 8105||Human Anatomy I1||6|
|Term Credit Hours||11|
|PHTH 8107||Functional Biomechanics||3|
|PHTH 8109||Human Physiology and Pathology I||3|
|PHTH 8111||Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills II||3|
|PHTH 8113||Evidence Based Practice I||2|
|PHTH 8161||Integrated Clinical Experience 1||1|
|Term Credit Hours||12|
|PHTH 8115||Human Physiology and Pathology II||3|
|PHTH 8116||Motor Control and Learning||3|
|PHTH 8118||Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills III||3|
|PHTH 8121||Clinical Electrophysiology and Biophysical Agents||3|
|PHTH 8162||Integrated Clinical Experience 2||1|
|Term Credit Hours||16|
|PHTH 8123||Development Across the Lifespan1||2|
|PHTH 8125||Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions I1||4|
|PHTH 8127||Clinical Management of Neuromuscular Conditions I1||4|
|PHTH 8163||Integrated Clinical Experience 31||1|
|Term Credit Hours||11|
|PHTH 8129||Psychosocial Aspects||2|
|PHTH 8131||Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions II||4|
|PHTH 8133||Clinical Management of Neuromuscular Conditions II||4|
|PHTH 8135||Clinical Management of Cardiopulmonary Conditions||3|
|PHTH 8137||Evidence Based Practice II||2|
|PHTH 8164||Integrated Clinical Experience 4||1|
|Term Credit Hours||18|
|PHTH 8138||Management and Healthcare Systems||2|
|PHTH 8139||Medical Diagnostics||2|
|PHTH 8141||Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions III||4|
|PHTH 8143||Management of the Medically Complex Patient||3|
|PHTH 8146||Clinical Management of Pediatrics||2|
|PHTH 8165||Integrated Clinical Experience 5||1|
|Term Credit Hours||16|
|PHTH 9185||Clinical Experience 12||8|
|Term Credit Hours||8|
|PHTH 8147||Clinical Pain Sciences||1|
|PHTH 8148||Assistive Technologies||2|
|PHTH 8151||Evidence Based Practice III||2|
|PHTH 8160||Special Topics - Integrated Learning Experience||1|
|PHTH 9285||Clinical Experience 23||4|
|Select two from the following:|
|Elective - Special Topics|
|Elective - Musculoskeletal|
|Elective - Vestibular|
|Elective - Clinical Simulation|
|Elective - Pediatrics|
|Elective - Geriatrics|
|Term Credit Hours||13|
|HRPR 5001||Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions4||0|
|PHTH 9285||Clinical Experience 25||4|
|PHTH 9385||Clinical Experience 36||8|
|Term Credit Hours||12|
|Total Credit Hours:||117|
Courses are taken for 12 weeks, spanning the Summer I and II terms.
PHTH 9185 is taken for 12 weeks, spanning the Summer I term ending Year 2 and the Summer II term beginning Year 3.
Six weeks of clinical education (PHTH 9285) follows ten weeks of the coursework identified above.
This common College Core course is required of all incoming graduate students in the College of Public Health. It is available completely online and designed such that students can complete the modules at their own pace over the course of their degree program.
Begun in the Fall term of Year 3, PHTH 9285 extends into the Spring term for six additional weeks.
Immediately following conclusion of PHTH 9285 Clinical Experience 2, PHTH 9385 is taken for the remaining 12 weeks of the Spring term.
Minimum Grade for All Required Courses: B-
Three full-time clinical experiences are required over the course of the degree program. Additionally, beginning in the Fall term of Year 1 and throughout Year 2, five part-time clinical experiences allow students to practice and apply current didactic skills with a variety of patient populations.
The full-time clinical experiences include:
PHTH 9185 Clinical Experience 1, taken for 8 credits over 12 weeks in the Summer term between Years 2 and 3.
PHTH 9285 Clinical Experience 2, taken for 8 credits over 12 weeks beginning in the Fall term of Year 3 and extending into the Spring term of that same academic year.
PHTH 9385 Clinical Experience 3, taken for 8 credits over 12 weeks immediately following completion of PHTH 9285 Clinical Experience 2.
Practice Project and Comprehensive Patient Evaluation:
Several didactic and psychomotor assessments are offered throughout the curriculum to ensure student preparedness and clinical readiness. In the Fall term of Year 3, each student participates in a mentored evidence-based practice project and completes a comprehensive practical evaluation.
Program Web Address:
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Ritter Hall Annex, 6th Floor (004-09)
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6005
Submission Address for Application Materials:
CPH Office of Admissions
William Egan, DPT
Scott Burns, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT