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Physical Therapy (DPT) - Curriculum & Duration

Physical therapists are movement specialists. Our curriculum, clinical experiences, and research opportunities reflect this premise. You’ll investigate how the body’s many systems work together to support healthy movement. We are among the first schools to adopt the movement system model endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

We structured our DPT curriculum so you can finish your education sooner than other programs—5.5 years for incoming freshmen—without sacrificing quality. Graduating earlier than a typical May date allows you to go directly from the clinic to employment and get a jump on board exams, additional certifications, and advanced training opportunities. 

Our curriculum offers continuous learning with thoughtful breaks interspersed to keep you fresh. Coursework during your first three undergraduate years covers the natural and physical sciences, humanities, and social sciences—giving you a solid foundation in clinical reasoning, communications, and writing. Your professional years include three 12-week clinical experiences--an ideal timeframe to grasp essential skills or master new ones. With these long engagements, you’ll delve deeper into therapy practice, specialty areas, and considerations for practitioners.  

We’ve included a sample curriculum below. This may change, since USciences adjusts the curriculum every year to reflect the latest advances in the field. 

Sample Curriculum

USciences enhances the DPT program yearly to reflect changes in the science of physical therapy. Therefore this is only a sample curriculum which may change when you enroll in our program. This sample is for direct-entry and transfer undergraduate students entering USciences in Fall 2021, and for graduate professional students entering USciences in Summer 2022. 

Please also refer to this detailed, printable checklist of the undergraduate and graduate DPT curriculum.

First Undergraduate Year

BSHS/DPT option

General Chemistry I, II with Labs
Seminar for Health Science
Pre-calculus
Trigonometry
Introduction to Sociology or Anthropology
Writing and Rhetoric I, II
General Education Humanities Discipline Requirement

Second Undergraduate Year

BSHS/DPT option

General Biology I, II with Labs
Introductory Physics I, II with Labs
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Communication or Public Speaking
Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirements
General Education Humanities Discipline Requirements
General Education Elective

Third Undergraduate Year

BSHS/DPT option

Anatomy and Physiology I, II
Human Structure and Function Lab I, II
Psychology of Human Development
Cognitive Psychology
Medical Terminology for Physical Therapy I, II
Introduction to Biostatistics
Scientific Writing
Basic Nutrition or Sports Nutrition

Graduate Program

The 31-month professional phase of the program begins in the summer.  The class is composed of direct-entry students, transfer students, and post-baccalaureate graduate professional students. Students will follow this new 31-month graduate curriculum beginning in Summer 2022.

First Professional Year

(Summer, Fall, Spring semesters)

Human Anatomy I, II
Biomechanics/Kinesiology I, II
Physical Therapy Exam/Interventions I, II
Exercise Physiology
Clinical Practice I, II, III
Functional Neuroscience
Research I, II
Psychosocial Issues in Health and Wellness
Movement Science Across the Lifespan
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation I
Cardiovascular Rehabilitation I
Ethics in Healthcare
Medical Management I

Second Professional Year

(Summer, Fall, Spring semesters)

Pulmonary Rehabilitation I
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation II
Neurorehabilitation I, II
Research III, IV, V
Clinical Practice IV, V, VI
Integumentary PT
Acute Care PT
Rehabilitation Across the Lifespan
Medical Management II
Clinical Education Experience I
Integrative Management I

Third Professional Year

(Summer, Fall semesters)

Integrative Management II
Clinical Practice VII
Clinical Education Experience II, III
Leadership