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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapist with PatientThe 118-credit Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is a professional entry-level degree program for students seeking a career as a physical therapist. The DPT program has been designed to prepare highly competent professionals to act as autonomous practitioners in health care settings that include direct access by the public to physical therapy services. Graduates will be prepared to provide a full range of physical therapy services including screening and referral, evaluation, diagnosis, intervention, consultation and education.

The DPT program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and is registered with the New York State Education Department. It is a 3-year, full-time program that spans over 11 academic terms and includes 35 weeks of clinical education. The program is a clinical doctorate that requires candidates to possess a baccalaureate degree upon entrance. The 1st year of the program begins in July.

The DPT program enables the graduate to:

  • Value individual diversity and respect the human dignity of patients, family members and professional associates
  • Provide physical therapy services as an autonomous practitioner, who is able to competently serve as a point of entry to, and collaborate within, the health care environment
  • Integrate theory, academic knowledge and clinical skills to practice physical therapy within the complexities of the current health care environment
  • Assess the physical therapy or health care needs of a patient; establish optimum patient outcomes based on examination, evaluation, diagnosis and prognosis; and plan and implement interventions to address the identified needs
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with patients, families, colleagues, policy makers, reimbursement representatives and community members
  • Apply critical thinking strategies and self-directed learning to the role of physical therapist
  • Pursue and apply knowledge of the underlying science on which physical therapy practice is based
  • Understand the contributing economic, medical, cultural and psychosocial issues that impact delivery of health care services