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Our program combines traditional coursework with clinical fieldwork, graduate-level research, and online learning over the course of nine consecutive semesters.

Overview & Distinctions


As a physical therapist you'll help people regain function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities to improve movement and the human experience.

If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree, enter our CAPTE-accredited three-year professional program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This demanding program combines traditional coursework with clinical fieldwork, graduate-level research, and online learning over the course of nine consecutive semesters, allowing you to complete the program in as little as three years.

Physical therapists are in demand in nearly every healthcare setting and are poised to take on an even larger role as our population ages and awareness about the benefits of exercise and good health continues to increase. If you're interested in a career that's both fulfilling and has enormous opportunities for growth, becoming a physical therapist might be exactly what you've been looking for. 

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Our CAPTE-accredited program has a proven track record of success, with 100% of our graduates finding employment in the field of physical therapy within six months of graduation.
  • Studies show that teamwork across clinical specialties improves patient outcomes. D'Youville's unique interdisciplinary education lab offers the opportunity for you to practice treating patients (played by actors) alongside a team of students from 7 other healthcare majors at D'Youville — all under the supervision of a skilled instructor. 
  • Learn from professionals who are vanguards in their fields. The vast majority (80%) of our clinical labs and lectures are taught by full-time clinical faculty - many hold advanced specialist certifications in their areas of practice.
  • D'Youville has developed relationships with 300 clinical fieldwork sites in a wide array of settings, facilities, and treatment protocols. And as you conduct your fieldwork, you’ll be constantly supported by participating in the online discussion that runs concurrently with your clinical experiences.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements


Applicants to D'Youville's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program must submit a graduate application and will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of completion of 60 or more hours of work with a vulnerable population (e.g. children, individuals who are socio/economically disadvantaged, clinical populations, individuals with disabilities)
  • Evidence of capability to succeed in a graduate program, as shown by a cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Evidence of completion of all prerequisite courses completed with a grade of B or better with a minimum prerequisite G.P.A. of 3.20
  • A willingness to conform to published college and program policies 

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants to Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program must complete the following prerequisite courses equivalent to the following D'Youville courses:

Math and Natural Sciences
Two 3 credit courses in human based science or applied science
One course in human anatomy with lab
One course in human physiology with lab (May be two courses in human anatomy and physiology with labs)
Two courses in chemistry with labs
Two courses in physics with labs
One course in statistics
Social and Behavioral Sciences
One course in Psychology

Use the Online Course Equivalency database to see whether the courses you've taken at other institutions can be counted towards a degree at D'Youville. 

International students whose primary language is not English:

Submission of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score (students must achieve a minimum score of 600 written or 250 computer based on the TOEFL) or completion of D'Youville's Intensive English Program.

Technical Standards (All Applicants)

Because of the number of essential psychomotor competencies and level of communication and clinical decision-making requirements of clinical fieldwork, the following technical standards are applied to all applicants and matriculants, including:

  • Community-level mobility over a three city-block area with or without accommodation of ambulation or mobility aid;
  • From a seated position, the ability to lift an object (equivalent to a 10lb sack of potatoes) a vertical height of 16 inches and replace it with precision to its initial resting position without accommodation;
  • The ability to turn over five small disks equivalent to the size of five quarters with hand precision and efficiency without vision of the disks and without accommodation;
  • The ability to orally communicate a grammatically correct and cogent interpretation of a common proverb with a time period of three minutes. Interpretation should describe the general meaning of the proverb rather than literal meaning;
  • The ability to fluently and sequentially describe and efficiently demonstrate the motor planning required to perform a familiar task such as tying one's shoe or wrapping a package. 

PTCAS Application

The Physical Therapy Department at D'Youville is participating in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS.  Applicants to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must apply online through the PTCAS application. To apply to D'Youville's DPT program visit PTCAS at and select D'Youville College as one of your designations.

  • Application Deadline: applications must be complete and verified by PTCAS prior to December 1st, for summer semester start to be considered for admission.



Find detailed course information for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, tools to plan your education, and complete academic policies and procedures in the D'Youville academic catalog.

Course Requirements for the Professional Phase

In the Specific Area of Concentration

BIO-639 Human Gross Anatomy 6
BIO-639L Human Gross Anatomy Lab 0
GRA-601 Research Methodology and Design 3
PT-500 Essential Skills I 3
PT-500L Essential Skills I Lab 1
PT-502 Pathophysiology for Physical Therapists 3
PT-503 Clinical Orientation Seminar I 0
PT-504 Clinical Orientation Seminar II 0
PT-505 Intro PT and Health Care Systems 2
PT-506 Physiology of Therapeutic Exercise 2
PT-506L Physiology of Therapeutic Exercise Lab 1
PT-510 Essential Skills II 2
PT-510L Essential Skills II Lab 1
PT-513 Orthopedic Physical Therapy I 2
PT-513L Orthopedic I Lab 2
PT-514 Integumentary Examination & Intervention 2
PT-515 Professional Development I 1
PT-518 Biomechanics and Kinesiology for PT 2
PT-518L Biomechanics and Kinesiology Lab 1
PT-519 Lifespan Development 1
PT-519L Lifespan Development Lab 1
PT-520 Lifespan Development II 1
PT-520L Lifespan Development II Lab 1
PT-522 Functional Anatomy 2
PT-522L Functional Anatomy Lab 1
PT-525 Community Health & Wellness I 1
PT-526 Community Health & Wellness II 1
PT-526L Community Health & Wellness II Lab 1
PT-547 Pharmacology for Rehabilitation Spec 1
PT-550 Clinical Neuroscience 5
PT-550L Clinical Neuroscience Lab 0
PT-552 Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy 2
PT-552L Cardiopulmonary Lab 1
PT-552S Cardiopulmonary Seminar 0
PT-574 Clinical Fieldwork I 3
PT-602 Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics 2
PT-602L Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics Lab 1
PT-604 Clinical Orientation Seminar III 0
PT-606 Neuromuscular Assessment 2
PT-606L Neuromuscular Assessment Lab 1
PT-613 Orthopedic Physical Therapy II 2
PT-613L Orthopedic II Lab 2
PT-615 Professional Development II 1
PT-618 Rehabilitation II 3
PT-618L Rehabilitation Lab II 2
PT-627 Application of Research Methods in PT 4
PT-627L App of Research Methods in PT Lab 0
PT-628 Research Seminar 3
PT-674 Fieldwork II 4
PT-675 Clinical Fieldwork III 4
PT-701 Clinical Decision in Therapeutic Exercise 2
PT-701L Clinical Decision in Therapeutic Exercise Lab 1
PT-703 Education Advocacy Consultation 3
PT-709 Business Management Strategies for Physical Therapists 2
PT-725 Clinical Fieldwork IV 5
PT-748 Differential Diagnosis 3
PT-799 NPTE Examination Preparation 0
PT-XXX One Graduate Elective/Practicum/Study 5
Total Credits 108




Our program prepares you for general physical therapy practice where you’ll work to improve movement with patients whose functionality is impaired by injuries or disease. 

A Physical Therapist's Role

Your role as a practicing physical therapist will be to help your patients regain strength and function, improve mobility, relieve their pain, and prevent or limit the scope or impact of physical disabilities on their lives and their health.

In clinical settings you’ll work with patients to assess their physical functions in the context of their medical history and social support. You’ll also test and measure their strength, range of motion, balance, coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration, and motor function in order to establish baselines for therapy.

Finally, as a physical therapist you’ll also help your patients after they leave your care by prescribing therapeutic exercise in order to improve the quality of their lives.


The preparation you receive at D’Youville will qualify you to begin your professional career as a physical therapist in almost any healthcare setting. However, while many of our graduates enjoy fulfilling careers in general practice, many others choose to specialize in areas such as: 

  • Orthopedics: focusing on the treatment and correction of functional impairments or deformities of the musculoskeletal system
  • Pediatrics: focusing on early intervention for babies and children who are functionally impaired from injuries or disease
  • Sports medicine: focusing on athletic conditioning, preventing and treating athletic injuries, and increasing human athletic performance
  • Geriatrics: focusing on healthcare issues of older adults
  • Industrial settings: focusing on maintaining health and treating diseases and accidental injuries affecting people in the workplace
  • Home care: focusing on using physical activity, exercise, and other treatments in order to assist with healing and relieving pain for those who are homebound with an injury or other physical disability

Post-Professional Degrees

While many of our graduates go into clinical practice, others enter advanced academic programs in order to pursue careers in research and teaching in both private and public organizations. These students typically pursue post-professional degrees such as doctor of science (D.Sc.), doctor of education (EdD), or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

If you choose to pursue this path you can rest assured that the rigorous academic, research, and clinical work you’ll complete in our entry-level professional DPT program will provide you with a solid foundation for advanced study and practice.

Career Outlook

Physical therapists are in demand in nearly every healthcare setting and are poised to take on an even larger role as our population ages and awareness about the benefits of exercise and good health continues to increase. Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. For more information about the job outlook for physical therapists, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
For more information about careers in physical therapy, visit:

Clinical Education

Clinical Education

It's one thing to learn something in the classroom ... it's quite another to put the knowledge and skills you've learned into practice in a clinical setting. At D'Youville you’ll get the experience, guidance, and support you need to become a confident, competent clinical professional.

As a physical therapy student, you'll gain experience with a total of 32 weeks of clinical fieldwork during the professional phase of the program. During your clinical fieldwork, you'll experience the fundamentals of evidence-based practice, including:

  • patient evaluation
  • direct patient care
  • problem-solving and critical thinking
  • healthcare administration
  • teaching and supervision of other healthcare professionals

Your success is paramount to us, and we'll be with you every step of the way as you progress through your clinical experiences. As you conduct your fieldwork, you’ll be constantly supported by participating in the online discussion that runs concurrently with your clinical experiences.

D'Youville Distinctions

  • Benefit from the close relationships that D'Youville has developed over the years with over 300 clinical fieldwork sites in a wide array of settings, facilities, and treatment protocols.
  • In select classes, our faculty practitioners bring patients to the classroom to maximize the development of the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed as a physical therapist.
  • Through our unique interprofessional education labs, you’ll learn to better understand the roles of other members of the healthcare team and develop skills to work effectively to improve patient care.

Interprofessional Education

The Interprofessional Clinical Advancement Center is a research and academic project that uses professional actors to create real-life patient care simulations for students. Students from eight healthcare disciplines at D'Youville take part in the center, including physical therapy.

Physical Therapy Doctoral Degree at D’Youville

Physical Therapy is a career that's both fulfilling and has enormous opportunities for growth with PTs in demand in nearly every healthcare setting. Sarah Pictor, DPT, a clinical associate professor at D’Youville, explains why D’Youville’s three-year professional program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree prepares graduates to obtain advanced, rewarding careers.

Physical Therapy students look in the simulation center.


PT students at D'Youville learn to work as part of a collaborative healthcare team through Interprofessional Education Labs.

learn more
Sarah Pictor in pediatric physical therapy lab

our faculty

"When the parents tell me hippotherapy is the most valuable therapy their child has received, I remember that moment." 

read her story
Pam Bartlo in KAB

our faculty

"I like that I get to know my students individually and that they can get to know me.

read her story

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