Skip to Main Content

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Become a leader in the growing field of physical therapy

Learn to diagnose and treat movement dysfunction to help people live healthier lives.

UMass Lowell has the only physical therapy degree program offered by a public institution of higher education in Massachusetts. Annually, tuition and fees average half the cost of private higher education peers. 100% of DPT graduates are fully employed within six months - based on DPT graduate survey data from 2016-2018.

Our graduates practice in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, long-term care facilities and nursing homes, community and home health agencies and corporate sites. Some of our graduates work in prevention and wellness services, clinical research and leadership positions. 

APPLY ONLINE NOW

National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam Pass Rate

Full Time
Duration: 3 years, including summers

The UMass Lowell Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares students to diagnose and treat movement dysfunction to help people live healthier lives. Supporting the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) core values as demonstrated throughout the curriculum, our program aligns with the vision of the APTA to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience. 

The curriculum includes 95 credits of coursework and 34 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.

The clinical education program consists of three extended clinical education experiences, of 10, 12, and 12 weeks duration respectively, for a total of 34 weeks. Students experience a variety of practice settings, including acute care, sub-acute rehabilitation, outpatient orthopedic, as well as other more specialized settings, e.g. pediatric, geriatric, sports medicine, women's health, and home care.

  1. View the DPT Degree Pathway (curriculum)
  2. View the Program Outcomes
  3. View course descriptions in the Academic Catalog

Program Contact Information

For additional information regarding the program and associated admission requirements, contact:
Erika Lewis, PT, Ed.D., M.S., CHT
Interim DPT Program Director
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Massachusetts Lowell
3 Solomont Way, Suite 5
Lowell MA 01854
Telephone: 978-934-4405
Email: Erika_Lewis@uml.edu

Catalog and application materials are available at the Graduate Admissions website. All application documents should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

APPLY ONLINE NOW

Get ready for an exciting career as a physical therapist. UMass Lowell's fully accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy program requires a baccalaureate degree for admission and a three-year full-time commitment, including each summer. Matriculation begins the summer immediately subsequent to acceptance.

Application Deadline

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

Application Documents

We admit qualified baccalaureate degree recipients directly into the doctoral program: 30% of applicants were accepted for the class of 2021, 28% for the class of 2020 and 33% for the class of 2019.
Graduation rates are as follows: 91.9% in 2018, 91.4% in 2017 and 97.1% in 2016.

Program Contact Information

For additional information regarding the program and associated admission requirements, contact:
Keith W. Hallbourg, PT, D.P.T., M.S.
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
Email: keith_hallbourg@uml.edu

Catalog and application materials are available at the Graduate Admissions website. All application documents should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is an accrediting agency that is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAPTE grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

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
Email: accreditation@apta.org
Website: www.capteonline.org

Our program has maintained accreditation since 1982.

If you need to contact the program/institution directly, please call 978-934-4405 or email: Erika_Lewis@uml.edu.

Filing a Complaint with CAPTE

Please visit the CAPTE website to contact our accrediting body or to file a complaint.

Community involvement is an integral component of the Physical Therapy Department's mission of preparing clinicians to practice in today's complex healthcare environment. The department has community-based outreach relationships with many organizations in the region to facilitate rehabilitation and solutions to prevention and wellness issues in the community. Additionally, the department is committed to providing community access to educational programs that promote clinical expertise among practicing clinicians in the region and the nation.

Department-sponsored yearly events include:

Professional Organizations

The Physical Therapy Department has been, and/or is currently, involved with the following local organizations:

  • Anne Sulllivan Center
  • Chelmsford Senior Center
  • D'Youville Rehabilitation
  • Elder Services of Merrimack Valley, Lawrence
  • Emerson Hospital, Westford
  • HEAD Start Program, Lowell
  • Ironstone Farm
  • Life Links
  • Littleton Council on Aging
  • Lowell Community Health Center
  • Lowell Council on Aging
  • Northeast Rehab
  • UMass Lowell Human Resources Department
  • UMass Lowell Demonstration School
  • UMass Lowell Recreation Center
  • Winchester Hospital/Orthopaedics Plus, Woburn

Service Learning

Service Learning in Physical Therapy is a new capstone course in the Doctoral Physical Therapy Program. This course will include relevant and meaningful service in the community with specific academic learning objectives. The students will use experiential learning to complement and enrich classroom and traditional pedagogies. Students will have opportunities to learn about particular populations and social issues in the community. This course will provide the students with an opportunity to design and implement educational and training programs in an effort to meet the needs in the populations that they are serving in the community. Students will learn about working collaboratively with others from different cultures and other diverse populations. Students will strengthen listening and communication skills that are essential to a practicing physical therapist.

Delivering Real-World Experiences

  • Sean Jordan
    Physical Therapy

    Sean Jordan is living his dream working for the New England Patriots as an assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist.

  • Zachary Zuber
    Exercise Physiology & Physical Therapy

    Even though many of Zack Zuber’s family members attended UMass Lowell, he wasn’t convinced that it was the place for him – that is, until he visited the campus.

  • Terrie Enis
    Physical Therapy

    Terrie Enis’ college experience is quite different from most. She was married with a two-year old daughter when she decided to go back to college full time to earn her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.

  • Sebastien Poirier
    Physical Therapy

    When Sebastien Poirier was a young boy, he dreamt of playing ball in the NBA. As he grew older, he realized he didn't have the skills to compete, but still loved the game enough to pursue his dream in a different way.