Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the College of Public Health prepares students to diagnose, evaluate and treat movement-related disorders in a variety of clinical and community settings. Students learn from physical therapy faculty at Temple, many of whom maintain active clinical practices or engage in research endeavors.

Through a collaborative learning environment combining strong faculty mentorship with state-of-the-art resources, graduates of the DPT program gain preparation as entry-level generalists in the field of physical therapy. After graduating, some doctoral students choose to pursue specialty areas in the profession, while others pursue further graduate work in a research environment.

The DPT program synthesizes classroom and clinical learning. You’ll learn material in the classroom while gaining real-world experience through your clinical education experiences. The program’s cohort model ensures that you will form lasting relationships with your classmates and faculty, creating a future professional network.

The demand for licensed physical therapists is rapidly growing to meet the needs of an aging population. As such, this professional doctorate program is rigorous and competitive to enter, with strong professional outcomes for graduates. Attaining the doctorate degree will prepare you to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination; successfully passing this licensure exam will allow you to treat patients anywhere as a licensed physical therapist.

Physical therapy students in clinical practice space

What Sets Temple Apart from Other Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs?

  • The Aramark Student Training and Recreation (STAR) Complex, home to Temple’s Physical Therapy program, features new instructional technology, lecture halls and smart classrooms, in addition to specialized clinical training spaces. These state-of-the-art facilities were designed and built specifically for the College of Public Health’s clinical degree programs. Designed and built specifically for these programs. The building opened in fall 2017. Explore the STAR Complex
  • Temple’s DPT program uses advanced technology to enhance your learning experience:
    • Anatomy Laboratory: Cadaver dissection is paired with classroom instruction.
    • Clinical Simulation Laboratory: Hardwired mannequins allow students to practice physiological monitoring. Classes also use live actors, an uncommon and innovative practice in the field.
  • Our program offers a significant research component: Most faculty have an active research agenda, and students are invited to participate as analysts, assistants, observers and subjects.
  • TheNorth Broad Physical Therapy Center is a student-led, pro bono physical therapy center dedicated to assisting uninsured, underinsured and underserved community members of North Philadelphia. The center offers doctoral students and licensed physical therapists the opportunity to evaluate and treat clients of any age with balance, bone, joint, muscle or neurologic dysfunctions.
  • A Global Health trip to Guatemala is held annually and includes several students, faculty and alumni from various healthcare fields. This trip allows students to become immersed in the global physical therapy community and promote health and well-being to a distinct population.
  • Inter-professional Opportunities include participating in interprofessional education opportunities held on campus with a variety of healthcare practitioners in addition to inter-professional practice opportunities via the North Broad Physical Therapy Center and Guatemala Global Health trip.

3+3 Accelerated Option

High school seniors and freshman undergraduate students can maximize their academic investment and shorten the path to a DPT through this accelerated degree option, which allows them to earn both an undergraduate and DPT degree in six years instead of seven. Learn more about the benefits of the College of Public Health 3+3 Accelerated DPT Admissions Option.

Who Should Apply?

Doctoral students come from all over the country, with various academic backgrounds and degrees. Recently admitted students have traditional backgrounds in exercise science and kinesiology and more nontraditional backgrounds like dance, engineering, English and sociology. The department also welcomes career changers, and some students have been out of school for more than 10 years before entering the doctoral program.

Classes & Curriculum

The DPT program consists of three years of full-time, year-round study beginning in the summer each year. Take classes full time on weekdays (including summer terms), as well a combination of part- and full-time clinical experiences to complete your degree. When not participating in full-time clinical experiences, you’ll take an average of 16 credits per semester, spending approximately 20 hours per week in classrooms or laboratory settings. Classes may be held on Temple’s Main Campus, or at the Health Sciences Center or Temple University Center City campuses in Philadelphia.

Explore the curricular overview (PDF)

Learn more about DPT clinical experiences.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency and more. Learn more about our tuition and fees.

These tuition costs apply to the 2017–2018 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $928.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,276.00 per credit

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Additional Program Information