Physical Therapy

Doctor of Physical Therapy

About the DPT Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares individuals for entry into the profession of physical therapy. Physical therapists diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities throughout the continuum of care. They practice autonomously in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, long-term care facilities and nursing homes, community and home health agencies, and corporate sites. Graduates of the physical therapy program are also prepared to provide prevention and wellness services, to conduct basic and clinical research, and to assume a leadership role in health care.

The fully accredited program requires a baccalaureate degree for admission and a three-year full-time commitment, including part of each summer. The curriculum includes 98 credits of coursework and 35 weeks of clinical education experience. It provides a comprehensive foundation in the art and science of physical therapy. Methods of instruction include classroom lecture and discussion, small group/problem-based learning, and skill development during laboratory and clinical experiences. Emphasis is placed on the development of clinical decision-making and critical inquiry skills across the curriculum, culminating in the completion of a Final Research Project (done in small groups) that meets peer review standards for presentation and/or publication.

The clinical education program consists of four extended clinical education experiences (each eight weeks in length) and two shorter experiences (one and two weeks in length) for a total of 35 weeks. Students experience a variety of practice settings, including acute, rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedic settings as well as other more specialized settings, e.g. pediatric, geriatric, sports medicine, home care.

More information on the program mission, philosophy and objectives.

  1. Download the DPT Curriculum (pdf)
  2. View course descriptions in the Online Academic Catalog

Application Deadline

  • The completed application deadline is November 1 for admission into the subsequent (fall) class.
  • Applications deemed incomplete at the application deadline of November 1 will be ineligible for a full department review.

DPT Accreditation

The Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the:
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Telephone: 703-706-3245

Why Choose the UMass Lowell DPT Program

  • Highly qualified and caring faculty.
  • Dedicated students.
  • Affordable state school tuition.
  • Graduates are competent, clinically sought after entry-level practitioners.
  • Preparation to be a future leader in a dynamic profession.

High pass rate of graduates on the National Physical Therapy Examination.

  • Outcomes are based on a three-year average and include 2008, 2009, and 2010 data.

    • 84% of admitted students graduate from the program.
    • 100% of UMass Lowell candidates took the NPTE (licensure exam) and passed.
    • 100% of those program graduates responding to surveys are employed within six months.

Program Contact Information

For further information regarding the program of study and admission requirements, contact:

Keith W. Hallbourg, DPT,  Graduate Coordinator
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Massachusetts Lowell
3 Solomont Way, Suite 5
Lowell MA 01854
Telephone: 978-934-4402
Fax: 978-934-3006

All application documents should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Catalog and application materials are available from Graduate Admissions.