Physical Therapy D.P.T.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program at the University of Vermont (UVM) consists of 102 graduate credits offered in a 2.5-year full-time program format, over  8 semesters  inclusive of summers, that leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The program is well recognized for preparing D.P.T graduates as  primary care movement system experts who translate evidence into contemporary best practice. Graduates advocate to improve health outcomes and well-being at the individual and community level.

The movement system is the foundation of the curriculum design. Organized in a systems-based model, the curriculum integrates the basic and clinical sciences across the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular/pulmonary, integumentary and endocrine systems to facilitate student ability to develop as movement system experts. Additionally, the study of evidenced based practice, leadership and professional formation, health policy, business management, and social responsibility shape the students’ professional role and identity as a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Students engage in an array of active learning experiences with multiple opportunities for interprofessional education and community engagement. Integrated clinical experiences and 32 weeks of full time clinical internships broaden student professional preparation.  Internships are offered throughout the U.S. in a variety of specialty areas and settings and assignments are based on students' educational needs and clinical site availability. Students are responsible for all costs associated with clinical internships.

Exceptional faculty role model clinical and research expertise across each of the specialty areas of physical therapist practice to facilitate student development as movement system experts.  

Program Mission and Vision

The UVM DPT program mission is to prepare D.P.T. graduates to lead and collaborate in the quest of promoting the health of individuals, communities and society through movement and exercise in order to optimize function, activity, and participation across environments. UVM graduates are movement system experts who provide ethical, evidence- based, client-centered services in a culturally sensitive manner as they serve society to enhance quality of life. Graduates are decision makers in the primary care team who have a clear understanding of the importance of lifelong learning that will support their client, patient and professional needs. The program's vision is to be recognized for leadership in its contribution to the creation, advancement, and dissemination of translational research while striving toward excellence to educate D.P.T. scholars who collaborate to "transform society by optimizing movement," and promote individual and population health of our communities and society.

Professional Licensure

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national licensure examination administered through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.  


The DPT  program at UVM  is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy

Applicants must complete the prerequisite course requirements and a baccalaureate degree in any major from UVM or any accredited institution. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from institutions outside the U.S. will also be considered.

Applicants to the D.P.T. program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher  in their undergraduate studies.  All  applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher prior to entry into the DPT program:

  • 2 semesters of anatomy/physiology
  • 2 semesters of college chemistry with labs
  • 2 semesters of physics with labs
  • 2 semesters of biology (not botany or zoology)
  • 1 semester of psychology
  • 1 semester of statistics

Application Process

All Applicants must complete the  Common Application through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), a division of the American Physical Therapy Association. Follow all instructions on the site. Application materials should be submitted directly to PTCAS and must include:

  • 3 letters of recommendation, one of which must come from an academic faculty member
  • Official Transcript(s) from all U.S. and Canadian schools attended. PTCAS and the UVM D.P.T. program accept prerequisite credits from accredited institutions only. For international applicants, transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an official service and sent to the CNHS Office of Student Services

Complete the supplemental UVM Graduate College Application form. Include the following information:

  • Upload a document that reads: "See essay on the PTCAS application."
  • Application Fee
  • Note: No transcripts, letters of recommendation or other materials submitted in the PTCAS application need to be submitted to the University of Vermont.
  • If applying to the combined DPT/PhD in Neuroscience program select the DPT/NGP option on the supplemental application. See website for details.

Complete the D.P.T. Prerequisite Course Completion form.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The UVM D.P.T. program requires successful completion of 102 graduate credits.

Curriculum for Class of 2022, 2023 and 2024:

ANNB 6000Human Gross Anatomy6
DPT 7010Health Systems I - Policy2
DPT 7500Professional Form/Leadershp I1
DPT 7050Clinical Medicine4
DPT 7060Exercise Science3
DPT 7100Fundamentals of Clinical Pract3
DPT 7110Movement System I3
DPT 7140Clinical Reasoning2
DPT 7150Psychsoc Aspcts Hlth Wellbeing3
NSCI 6020Neuroscience3
DPT 7070Pharmacology and Nutrition2
DPT 7080Fundamentals Critical Inquiry3
DPT 7120Movement System II3
DPT 7200Musculoskeletal Management I4
DPT 7510Prof Formation/Leadrshp II-ICE2
DPT 7210Musculoskeletal Management II4
DPT 7230Neurological Management I3
DPT 7260Cardiovasc and Pulmonary Mgt4
DPT 7520Prof Formatn/Leadrshp III-ICE2
DPT 7930Doctoral Research Project I2
DPT 7020Health Sys II-Quality Improvmt2
DPT 7220Musculoskeletal Management III4
DPT 7240Neurological Management II3
DPT 7270Integmnt, Endocrine, Multi Sys3
DPT 7600Clinical Edu Experience I2
DPT 7930Doctoral Research Project I2
DPT 7030Health Sys III-Business Mgt2
DPT 7040Health Sys IV-Health Promotion3
DPT 7160Rehabilitation Technology3
DPT 7250Neurological Management III4
DPT 7530Prof Form/Leadrshp IV-ICE/IPE2
DPT 7130Movement System III4
DPT 7610Clinical Edu Experience IIA2
DPT 7990Special Topics2
Comprehensive Exam
DPT 7620Clinical Edu Experience IIB2
DPT 7630Clinical Edu Experience III4

Students must also: 

  • Pass all clinical internships and clinical education coursework expectations during their clinical experience 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

Limited Waiver Option

The DPT program faculty, under special circumstances, may allow a waiver of up to 6 credits based on prior knowledge. A course waiver form inclusive of prior knowledge supporting documentation must be submitted to the Chair of the DPT Curriculum Committee and Program Director (PD) at least 2 weeks prior to the semester where the potentially waived course is offered. The DPT Curriculum Committee will review all requests for recommendation to the PD.  Students will receive notification of decision in writing and the Graduate College will be notified when a waiver has been approved.. The student assumes responsibility for all content of any approved course waiver.

Comprehensive Examination

The examination takes the form of an individual student written portfolio. Should students not pass the comprehensive examination, they will have 1 additional opportunity to remediate and provide evidence of achievement of the learning outcomes of the comprehensive examination prior to being able to graduate from the program.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy

Successful completion of  all graded graduate credits with a 3.00 GPA or better, received no more than 2 passing course grades below a B, and passed the comprehensive examination.