Get Started

To receive additional information about this program, please complete the Request Information form.

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 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program offered by a public institution of higher education in Massachusetts and has maintained accreditation since 1981. Annually, tuition and fees average half the cost of private higher education peers. 

Our graduates practice in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, schools, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, community and home health agencies, and corporate sites. Many graduates work also in prevention and wellness services, clinical research, and leadership positions.

Exercise Science to Doctor of Physical Therapy

Transition seamlessly from the B.S. in Exercise Science (ES) to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Students who meet the qualifications as incoming first-year students may be notified in their letter of acceptance to the university from Admissions that they have been admitted into the ES to DPT cohort. Students must be enrolled in the Clinical Option to be eligible for this designation and must complete the BS in Exercise Science program with a cumulative Overall GPA of 3.400 (or higher) and a DPT Pre-Requisite Science GPA of 3.400 (or higher) to continue into the graduate DPT program.

  • 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 Academic Catalog
  • 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. The UMass Lowell DPT program does not offer deferred acceptance.

    Application Deadline

    • See more information in the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog: Admission Requirements
    • The completed application deadline is Nov. 1 for admission into the subsequent (summer) matriculating class.
    • Applications deemed incomplete at the application deadline will be ineligible for review.

    ApplicationDocuments Application Documents

    We admit qualified baccalaureate degree recipients directly into the doctoral program with a 2-Year Average of 49.2% of the applicants admitted into the program (2021-2022).

    Note: The DPT Program at UMass Lowell plans to participate in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS, beginning with the 2024 admissions cycle. Applicants applying to the DPT Program for the November 1st, 2024 deadline will apply online using the PTCAS application beginning in July 2024. Visit the PTCAS website to learn more.

    For additional information regarding DPT admission requirements, please contact:

    Keith Hallbourg, Graduate Admissions Coordinator
    Call 978-934-4402 or email: keith_hallbourg@uml.edu.

  • acapt-logo

    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 mission of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program of preparing clinicians to practice in today's complex healthcare environment. The program has community-based outreach relationships with many organizations in the region to facilitate rehabilitation, disease/injury prevention, wellness enhancement in the community. Additionally, the Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology is committed to providing community access to interprofessional educational programs that promote clinical expertise among practicing clinicians in the region and the nation.

    Department-sponsored annual events include:

    Service Learning

    Service learning is a teaching and learning method that upholds a commitment to appreciating the assets of and serving the needs to a community partner while enhancing student learning and academic rigor through the practice of intentional reflective thinking and responsible civic action. Service Learning in Physical Therapy is a capstone course that facilitates these methods within the DPT Program. This course brings services to the community with special interest in working within underserved communities. Students use experiential learning to complement and enrich traditional didactic classroom activities and pedagogies, and will have opportunities to learn about particular populations and social issues within the community. The courses also provides students with an opportunity to design and implement educational and training programs in an effort to meet the needs of the populations in that community. As such, students work collaboratively with diverse populations to strengthen the listening and communication skills that are essential to a practicing physical therapist.

    Organizations

    The DPT Program has been, and/or is currently, involved with the following local organizations:

    • Anne Sullivan Center
    • Chelmsford Community Center
    • Chelmsford Senior Center
    • D'Youville Rehabilitation
    • Elder Services of Merrimack Valley, Lawrence
    • Emerson Hospital, Westford
    • Hanscom Military and Airforce Base
    • HEAD Start Program, Lowell
    • Ironstone Farm
    • Life Links
    • Littleton Council on Aging
    • Lowell Community Health Center
    • Lowell Council on Aging
    • Lowell Middlesex Charter School
    • Northeast Rehab
    • Newbury Court Parkinsons Rock Steady Program
    • UMass Lowell Recreation Center
    • UMass Lowell Club Sports Teams
    • Winchester Hospital/Orthopaedics Plus, Woburn
    • Women's Health Awareness with Pelvic Floor PTs
    • YMCA of Lowell
    • YMCA of Nashua

Delivering Real-World Experiences

  • 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.

  • Akshay Alamuri
    Exercise Science

    Akshay Alamuri says UMass Lowell fit his family’s budget – and his own goal of becoming a physical therapist.

  • Lou Coiro
    Physical Therapy

    During his long career, Coiro has opened two physical therapy clinics, treated thousands of patients and hired many UMass Lowell students.

  • Alexander Sarazen
    Exercise Science

    Exercise science alum Alex Sarazen ’17 went on to chiropractic school and now treats athletes at his own clinic. He also teaches classes at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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)
3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3085
Telephone: 703-706-3245
Email: accreditation@apta.org
Website: www.capteonline.org

If you need to contact the program/institution directly, please call 978-934-5458 or email: david_cornell@uml.edu.

Request More Information

A student presses down on a patient's arms in a UMass Lowell physical therapy clinic.

Physical Therapy Clinic

DPT students gain experience in UMass Lowell Physical Therapy Clinic.

Program Director Contact Information

David J. Cornell, PT, DPT, PhD, FACSM
Interim Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology
Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Lowell
113 Wilder Street Lowell, MA 01854
Phone: 978-934-5458
Email: david_cornell@uml.edu