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

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

Application Deadline:

Summer I:

  • 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 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.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Bachelor's: 117, excluding any prerequisite coursework

Required Courses:

Year 1
Summer ICredit Hours
PHTH 8101Introduction to Physical Therapy11
PHTH 8102Teaching, Learning, Group Dynamics12
PHTH 8103Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills I12
PHTH 8105Human Anatomy I16
 Term Credit Hours11
PHTH 8107Functional Biomechanics3
PHTH 8109Human Physiology and Pathology I3
PHTH 8111Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills II3
PHTH 8113Evidence Based Practice I2
PHTH 8161Integrated Clinical Experience 11
 Term Credit Hours12
PHTH 8114Neuroscience3
PHTH 8115Human Physiology and Pathology II3
PHTH 8116Motor Control and Learning3
PHTH 8118Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills III3
PHTH 8121Clinical Electrophysiology and Biophysical Agents3
PHTH 8162Integrated Clinical Experience 21
 Term Credit Hours16
PHTH 8123Development Across the Lifespan12
PHTH 8125Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions I14
PHTH 8127Clinical Management of Neuromuscular Conditions I14
PHTH 8163Integrated Clinical Experience 311
 Term Credit Hours11
Year 2
PHTH 8129Psychosocial Aspects2
PHTH 8131Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions II4
PHTH 8133Clinical Management of Neuromuscular Conditions II4
PHTH 8135Clinical Management of Cardiopulmonary Conditions3
PHTH 8136Bioethics2
PHTH 8137Evidence Based Practice II2
PHTH 8164Integrated Clinical Experience 41
 Term Credit Hours18
PHTH 8138Management and Healthcare Systems2
PHTH 8139Medical Diagnostics2
PHTH 8141Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions III4
PHTH 8143Management of the Medically Complex Patient3
PHTH 8145Pharmacotherapeutics2
PHTH 8146Clinical Management of Pediatrics2
PHTH 8165Integrated Clinical Experience 51
 Term Credit Hours16
PHTH 9185Clinical Experience 128
 Term Credit Hours8
Year 3
PHTH 8147Clinical Pain Sciences1
PHTH 8148Assistive Technologies2
PHTH 8151Evidence Based Practice III2
PHTH 8160Special Topics - Integrated Learning Experience1
PHTH 9285Clinical Experience 234
Select two from the following: 
Elective - Special Topics 
Elective - Musculoskeletal 
Elective - Vestibular 
Elective - Clinical Simulation 
Elective - Pediatrics 
Elective - Geriatrics 
 Term Credit Hours13
HRPR 5001Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions40
PHTH 9285Clinical Experience 254
PHTH 9385Clinical Experience 368
 Term Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours: 117

Minimum Grade for All Required Courses: B-

Culminating Events:
Clinical Experiences:
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:

Department Information:

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:

Department Contacts:


CPH Office of Admissions


Program Director:

William Egan, DPT


Interim Chairperson:

Scott Burns, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT