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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Become a leader in the growing field of physical therapy

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 each summer. Matriculation begins the summer immediately subsequent to acceptance. 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.

More information on the program mission, philosophy and objectives (pdf)

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

Delivering Real-World Experiences

  • 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.

  • Tim DiFrancesco

    Physical Therapy

    Tim DiFrancesco '06 landed his dream job as the strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. His doctor of physical therapy degree gave him the edge.

  • Zachary Zuber

    Exercise Physiology

    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.