About the Program
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is a full-time, post-baccalaureate program that begins each May. Its unique design gives students an unshakable foundation in theory, basic science, and professional skills, enhanced with outstanding opportunities to put concepts into action through clinical practice.
The 31-month curriculum is designed to help students learn and apply scientific theory and professional skills through focused course work, clinical practice, and a final summer and fall semester devoted to clinical internships. Each semester, you’ll complete 12 to 16 credit hours of academics. You’ll also practice your skills under the guidance of expert clinicians.
In the last three years, 96 percent of our graduates passed the state licensure exam on the first try. After graduation, 100 percent of our alumni are employed within three months.
The outstanding facilities on the UT Southwestern campus—including the Aston Ambulatory Care Center, Parkland Memorial Hospital, University Hospitals St. Paul and Zale Lipshy—let students experience a wide range of patient conditions and treatment modalities. Clinical internships are available at more than 240 sites in Texas and across the country.
After completing their internships, successful students receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and are eligible to sit for the licensure exam in any state. Historically, all of our graduates pass the licensure exam.
After graduation, 100 percent of our alumni are employed within three months. Graduates currently work in hospital care, rehabilitation, pediatric and senior care, public schools, sports medicine, private practice, and industrial health. They also serve as consultants, teachers, administrators, and researchers.
The faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy at UT Southwestern School of Health Professions is committed to providing students with the highest quality of academic and clinical education sufficient to attain licensure and yield graduate physical therapists who are independent clinical practitioners with a generalist background. Graduates from this program will be prepared to assume leadership roles in rehabilitation services, prevention and health maintenance programs, and professional and community organizations.
The fundamental objective is to graduate students who will provide optimal physical therapy care for communities, groups, and individuals. To achieve the primary professional objective of facilitating the individual’s optimal function within the community, the physical therapist must master substantial breadth and depth of knowledge in the basic and applied sciences, incorporate critical thinking skills, exercise humility, demonstrate integrity and professional behaviors, and bridge theory with practice.
The graduate must be able to examine, evaluate, diagnose, prognose, and intervene accurately in the management of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities of the cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, neurological, and integumentary systems. Our graduates should be able to preserve and restore movement and physical function through evidence‑based clinical practice, interdisciplinary research, and professional education. Equally important, our graduates focus on promoting health and wellness as a means for improving the quality of life of their patients and clients.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. If you have a question about accreditation, please contact CAPTE directly.
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
Department of Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314