Requirements for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Vermont (UVM) is well recognized for preparing DPT graduates as practitioner scholars who successfully translate evidence into contemporary best practice. The D.P.T. program offers a professional entry doctoral degree and requires full-time study over a period of 3 years, including summers.  As a component of study, students participate in faculty mentored scholarship.

Students broaden their professional preparation through 36 weeks of clinical internships interspersed throughout the curriculum. Internships are offered throughout the U.S. in a variety of specialty areas and require student travel to these locations.  Assignments are based on students' educational needs and clinical site availability. Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinical internships.

Comprehensive Examination

The examination takes the form of a small group research project or a systematic review  that culminates in a written paper and an oral dissemination/defense. The written paper and  presentations may take multiple formats and must be satisfactorily completed by the end of the 2nd year of the program and prior to beginning DPT 461 Clinical Education IIA.  Should students not pass the comprehensive examination, they will have one additional opportunity to remediate and provide evidence of achievement of the learning outcomes of the comprehensive examination prior to being able to progress to their clinical rotations.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The UVM DPT program requires successful completion of 102 graduate credits. Students will be recommended for graduation by the DPT faculty if they:

  • Receive no more than 2 passing course grades below a B
  • Obtain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of their didactic course work 
  • Pass their Comprehensive Examination
  • Pass all clinical internships and clinical education coursework expectations during their clinical experiences and receive no more than one U grade in a clinical education course (that was successfully retaken for a S grade)
  • Illustrate evidence of professional behaviors commensurate with professional doctoral practice in physical therapy