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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. 


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 the course descriptions in the online Academic Catalog

Program Contact Information

For general inquiries regarding the DPT program, contact:

Marjorie King, Ph.D., ATC, PT, FACSM
DPT Program Director
Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology
University of Massachusetts Lowell
113 Wilder Street
Lowell MA 01854
Telephone: 978-934-3125 

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


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

  • See more information in the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog: Admission Requirements
  • Note: GRE requirements have NOT been waived for admission into the DPT Program. However, due to current public health concerns, the DPT Program is temporarily accepting the GRE General Test at home option.)
  • The completed application deadline is November 1 for admission into the subsequent (summer) matriculating class.
  • Applications deemed incomplete at the application deadline will be ineligible for review.

Application Documents

We admit qualified baccalaureate degree recipients directly into the doctoral program: 36% of applicants were accepted for the class of 2023, 35.8% for the class of 2022 and 30% for the class of 2021.

Graduation rates are as follows:

  • Class of 2020: 96.9%
  • Class of 2019: 92.1%
  • Class of 2018: 91.7%

Program Contact Information

For additional information regarding specific admission requirements, contact:

Keith W. Hallbourg, PT, D.P.T., M.S.
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology
University of Massachusetts Lowell
113 Wilder Street
Lowell MA 01854
Telephone: 978-934-4402
Fax: 978-934-3006

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 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 St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: 703-706-3245

Our program has maintained accreditation since 1982.

If you need to contact the program/institution directly, please call 978-934-3125 or email:

Contact CAPTE

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


The Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program is also a member of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy.

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

  • Kyle Coffey
    Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy

    Kyle Coffey credits the strength of the UMass Lowell faculty for preparing him with the critical-thinking skills needed to pass his board exam the first time around.

  • Haley LaFreniere
    Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy

    Motivated to help patients regain strength to live their best possible lives, Haley LaFreniere was inspired early on by her mom to pursue a health-related field.

  • 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.

  • Sean Jordan
    Physical Therapy

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