Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Graduates of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) gain didactic knowledge, clinical skills, and translational abilities to bring prevailing best practices into the clinic.

The Division of Physical Therapy at the University of Minnesota began as a certificate program in 1941. It expanded to a baccalaureate program in 1946, a Master of Science program in 1997 and a professional doctoral degree program in 2002. All students entering the program and completing all requirements graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

Mission & Philosophy

We aim to prepare students with the clinical, professional, and research skills to become capable primary practitioners and to bring new knowledge into practice that best serves the rehabilitation needs of each patient as an individual. Our philosophy emphasizes an active learning environment in which the individual actively participates in the learning process and adopts this responsibility as a life-long behavior.

From the scientific perspective, the program's curriculum emphasizes the importance of methodical inquiry into the causes of movement dysfunction, the efficacy of applied interventions, and the physiological mechanisms by which function is improved. 

We are driven to discover and disseminate a deeper understanding of the sciences related to physical therapy. The program is dedicated to excellence in education and aspires to produce graduates who are effective in serving society, not only with the technical skills of physical therapy but also with leadership and advocacy skills and an overall attitude of altruism contributing to the betterment of the world.

Graduate Outcomes

Class of 2018

Graduation Rate: 94%
National PT Licensure Exam Pass Rate: 98% (96% on first attempt) as of November 2018
Employment Rate: Data not available yet

Class of 2017

Graduation Rate: 100% 
National PT Licensure Exam Pass Rate: 100% on first attempt
Employment Rate: 100%

Class of 2016

Graduation Rate: 100%
National PT Licensure Exam Pass Rate: 100% on first attempt
Employment Rate: 100%

Class of 2015

Graduation Rate: 98%
National PT Licensure Exam Pass Rate: 100% (92% on first attempt)
Employment Rate: 100%

Admission Facts



Class of 2018 Class of 2019 Class of 2020 Class of 2021
Number of Applicants 243 230 226 207
Class Size 50  52  52 52
Acceptance Rate  23%  22.6%  23.4% 25%
Overall Undergrad GPA 3.75  3.69  3.73 3.68
GRE Verbal  155.4  155.4 154.66 154.31
GRE Quantitative  155.7  152.7 155.48 154.56
GRE Analytical Writing 4.2 4.3 4.39 4.12


The DPT program requires three years of year-round graduate study. Academic coursework and research activity are completed during the first seven semesters. The final two semesters are devoted to clinical internships.  In addition to completing the Physical Therapy curriculum, all graduate students at the University of Minnesota must complete the Graduate School requirement for training in the Responsible Conduct of Research Education.  To complete this requirement, students complete a training module supervised by their research advisor.  View the curriculum schedules here

Clinical Education

Students complete part-time Clinical Clerkships in the first and second year of their didactic coursework.  During the third year, students complete forty weeks of full-time Clinical Internships.  DPT students have the opportunity to participate in full-time Clinical Internships locally, nationally, and internationally.  For more detailed information regarding clinical education, click here.

Cost - Financial Aid

Many internal and external opportunities exist for students to help offset the cost of education.  For detailed information regarding residency requirements, tuition and fees, non-resident tuition grants, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities, click here.

Job Opportunities

Physical therapists work in a wide variety of settings: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, private practice, school systems, industry, sports medicine, home health, and more.

Factors such as an aging population and improved management of chronic conditions have created an increasing need for physical therapists. National and local projections indicate a continued growth in physical therapy jobs through at least 2018. 

See a list of current openings      Visit APTA for more postings

capteThe Program in Physical Therapy at the University of Minnesota is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: