Doctor of Physical Therapy
The University of Dayton's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program will prepare you to be a knowledgeable, service-oriented, self-assured, adaptable, reflective practitioner. Our faculty and
Money Magazine has named physical therapy one of the "Best
Earn your doctorate in physical therapy!
The American Physical Therapy Association has called on schools to raise the educational standards for practitioners, who will be expected to have
The DPT program offers students the opportunity to
- The program is delivered over three years in eight consecutive semesters.
- Students take 86 weeks of classes, including 38 weeks of four, full-time clinical rotations and a research capstone course leading to a professional presentation and/or publishable manuscript.
- A total of 80 hours of observation is required from at least two distinctly different physical therapy patient care settings. A minimum of 20 observation hours must be in an inpatient setting.
Much of the DPT curriculum is delivered through problem-based learning, which emphasizes professional decision-making and the use of critical analysis in problem solving.
Candidates for the program are required to have a bachelor's degree. Commonly, this degree is in pre-physical therapy or other related fields, such as exercise science, exercise physiology, biology, psychology, dietetics or chemistry.
See what courses you will take, when.
View the course sequence for each year and term below, or download the full curriculum (pdf) >>
Year 1 Sequence
Core Module I: Basic Science (16 weeks)
- DPT 815 Human Gross
- DPT 840 Clinical Science
- DPT 805 Functional Physiology I: Intro to Pathophysiology
- DPT 820 Movement Science
- DPT 810 Professional Seminar I:
Spring Semester (11 weeks)
Core Module I: Basic Science (16 weeks)
- DPT 841 Clinical Science II: Intro to Medical Diagnostics
- DPT 806 Functional Physiology II: Exercise Physiology
- DPT 846 Maturation Science I
- DPT 818 Neuroscience
- DPT 825 Pharmacy Therapeutics
- DPT 811 Professional Seminar II: Clinical Practice
General Medicine I (6 weeks)
- DPT 961 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 971 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 981 Clinical Issues Seminar
- DPT 842 Clinical Science III: Modalities I
- DPT 991 Research I
Summer Term I
General Medicine II (6 weeks)
- DPT 962 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 972 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 982 Clinical Issues Seminar
- DPT 843 Clinical Science IV: Modalities II
- DPT 847 Maturation Science II
Summer Term II
Clinical Module I: General Medicine (6 weeks)
- DPT 951 Clinical Rotation I: General Medicine
Year 2 Sequence
Neurology I (10 weeks)
- DPT 963 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 973 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 983 Clinical Issues Seminar
- DPT 992 Research II
- DPT 964 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 974 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 984 Clinical Issues Seminar
- DPT 992 Research II (continued)
- DPT 952 Clinical Rotation II: Neurology (8 weeks)
Orthopedics (9 weeks)
- DPT 965 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 975 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 985 Clinical Issues
- DPT 993 Research III
Summer Term I
Clinical Module III: Orthopedics (12 weeks)
- DPT 953 Clinical Rotation III: Orthopedics
Summer Term II
Clinical Module III: Orthopedics (12 weeks, continued)
- DPT 953 Clinical Rotation III: Orthopedics (continued)
Year 3 Sequence
Orthopedics II (6 weeks)
- DPT 966 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 976 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 986 Clinical Issues Seminar
- DPT 910 Professional Seminar III: Leadership & Management
- DPT 994 Research IV
- DPT 967 Clinical Pathology
- DPT 977 Clinical Skills Lab
- DPT 987 Clinical Issues Seminar
- DPT 940 Clinical Science V: Current Technology
- DPT 911 Professional Seminar IV: Business & Marketing
Program Comprehensive Exams
Advanced Therapy II (5 weeks)
- DPT 988 Contemporary Clinical Practice Electives
Core Module IV: Contact Clinical (12 weeks)
- DPT 954 Clinical Rotation IV: Contract Clinical
Summation Module (1 week)
- DPT 912 Professional Seminar V: Professional Development
- DPT 995 Research V
Doctor of Physical Therapy Faculty & Staff
Our faculty and staff are committed to excellence in teaching, research and service on behalf of students, institution, professions and communities. Let us know how we can help you today.
Expanding opportunities for students
The University of Dayton Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2010 established a scholarship for a DPT second year student. The recipient is to be in good academic standing and must demonstrate a financial need as determined by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
A University scholarship is endowed when it reaches the $25,000 level. We are steadily working towards our goal and will award $500 to a deserving student with a financial need in the 2013-2014 academic year. We are blessed to have such a giving group of students, alumni, friends and colleagues in the health care field and appreciate your gifts to ensure the successful careers of our graduates.
If you would like to contribute to the “Department of Physical Therapy, Class of 2010 Scholarship” at the University of Dayton, please click the link below.
We have what you need to succeed!
Apply to the DPT Program!
Choosing a university is an important step to your overall academic career. It's important to make sure that the institutions to which you apply have the programs and resources that meet your personal and academic needs.
We believe that the School of Education & Allied Professions offers some of the best academic and student-services programs. Our students are some of the most accomplished and motivated students anywhere. Explore the university for yourself. Use the links below to learn more about what it takes to be a Flyer.
For 2013-2014, the University of Dayton will be using the Physical Therapy Common Application System (PTCAS). To learn more about the PTCAS application process, please visit www.ptcas.org.
- PTCAS Application Opens: July 2, 2013
- Soft Deadline: October 1, 2013
- Firm Deadline: December 2, 2013
- Last Acceptable GRE Test Date: September 18, 2013
Only applicants who apply before the October 1, 2013, deadline will be given priority consideration for the first round of on-campus interviews held in December. Applicants applying after October 1 and prior to December 2, will be considered for the final round of interviews held in February.
Applicants to the DPT program are required to submit the following information through the PTCAS application:
- Official academic records of all previously attended colleges or universities. These records must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities to PTCAS. Hand-carried transcripts, official copies marked Issued to Student, and unofficial copies are not acceptable. Applicants selected for admission will be required to submit all original and final transcripts directly to the program.
- Three letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be from a licensed physical therapist. One letter must be from a professor. The other letter may be from a physical therapist, a physical therapist assistant, a professor, an advisor, or an employer. Evaluators must know applicants in a professional or academic capacity.
- Official GRE results: Submit results directly to PTCAS GRE Code 0294.
- Completion of prerequisite courses: Applicants that have outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application must clearly indicate their plans for completion prior to the start of the program.
- Program-specific questions
- Clinical observation record: Eighty hours of observation under a licensed physical therapist in at least two distinctly different physical therapy patient care settings. A minimum of 20 hours must be completed in an inpatient setting. All hours must be verified by a licensed physical therapist.
- Additional requirements for international students can be found online at http://www.udayton.edu/apply/international.php.
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA across all schools attended
- Minimum 3.0 GPA for all prerequisite science courses
- Minimum 3.0 GPA for all general prerequisite courses
- Grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses. Grades of C- or lower will not be accepted.
- Minimum of 64 semester credits and four or more prerequisite science courses with labs must be completed at the time of application.
- Completion of all prerequisite science courses must be within the past ten years. Science coursework that is older than 10 years will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and online courses may only be used to fulfill general prerequisites. Advanced Placement (AP) Credit will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. CLEP, online, and AP credit must be indicated on a college transcript for consideration.
Prerequisite Course Requirements
You may wish to complete the Advising/Prerequisite Worksheet (pdf) to track your requirements. This worksheet is for your use and should not be submitted as part of the PTCAS application.
All sciences must be general/college-level courses for science or pre-med majors. All sciences must be completed in a traditional classroom/lab format. Online courses are not accepted. All science courses must have been completed within the past 10 years.
- Full sequence of Anatomy and Physiology
- Full sequence of General Biology
- Full sequence of General Chemistry
- Full sequence of General Physics
- Exercise Physiology with lab
- General Psychology: General/Introductory Psychology
- Human Development: A lifespan development course covering physical, social, and psychological development, beginning with conception and ending at death. Applicants may also fulfill this requirement by completing a combination of both: Child/Adolescent Psychology and Adult/Aging Psychology.
- Statistics: A basic statistics course covering statistical analysis up through and including ANOVA.
- Research Methods: An introduction to research methodology. The course should cover topics including design and evaluation of research using human subjects, accessing data banks, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Senior, honors, and independent research project courses will be considered on a case by case basis. Please provide a description of your project including your role/involvement with statistical test selection, data collection/analysis/
interpretation, and project design/methodology, as well as publication/ presentation plans to email@example.com.
- Oral Communication: A communications or speech course in which the primary focus of the course is public speaking.
- Medical Terminology
Prerequisite Retake Policy
Applicants must indicate on the Prerequisite Worksheet when a course has been retaken; failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the applicant. If a course has been retaken, the University of Dayton Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will permit an applicant to substitute the higher grade for a maximum of: one (1) biological science prerequisite, one (1) physical sciences prerequisite and one (1) general prerequisite course or lab. If additional courses have been retaken in the biological sciences, physical sciences or general prerequisite sections, then an average of all attempts will be calculated into the respective GPA.