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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares students to be outstanding clinicians in the practice of physical therapy. Graduates of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program are prepared to, provide leadership to the profession, and use their knowledge and skills to contribute to the health care of society.

As essential practitioners in the health care delivery system, physical therapists (PTs) assume roles in rehabilitation services, prevention and health maintenance programs, and professional and community programs. As professional members of the health care team, PTs supervise support personnel, serve as consultants to other health care personnel, serve as consultants to families and caregivers, participate in administrative services, and conduct clinical research. PTs also serve as advocates for health policy and standards of care that help ensure optimum care for their patients/clients.

What you'll learn

As a science, physical therapy examines human motion at the tissue, organ, and systems levels. In the clinical environment, PTs examine and evaluate patients/clients and implement procedural interventions that restore physical function for all people across the life span.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum produces broadly educated physical therapists, while being sensitive to the needs of the health care community and the students' interests. The program strives to foster both intellectual and professional growth in students and is reflective of contemporary practice to prepare graduates for the ongoing changes in health care delivery.

The program is two and a half years and the curriculum spans 10 academic quarters and consists of integrated didactic and clinical study with an emphasis on adult learning methodology. The curriculum consists of foundational courses during the first year, with subsequent quarters sequenced to progress through the hierarchy of educational objectives from simple to complex. All didactic material is organized for synthesis and application to professional practice.

What makes the Drexel DPT program unique?

  • Knowledgeable faculty who are recognized leaders in their areas of practice and who are invested in student success
  • Experiential learning that occurs both in our department managed and staffed clinical practices and with our clinical partners
  • Integrated clinical and research facilities that include multiple disciplines from the College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • Use of state-of-the-art healthcare technology including a standardized patient lab and simulation manikins
  • 100% pass rate on state board licensure examination for the 35+ year history of the program

Program Fact Sheet (PDF)

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

 

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Application Deadlines and Timeline

Regular Decision Application Deadline: December 1, 2022
Program Start Date: September 25, 2023

To be considered eligible for review, a verified PTCAS application and all supporting materials must be received by the application deadline. Please note that the PTCAS verification process can take about 4-6 weeks.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the class is filled. Qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an admissions interview in the fall.

Admission Requirements

Degree:
A Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution.

International students who received a bachelor’s degree outside of the United States (or from native non-English speaking country) must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more information, please see the drop down at the bottom of this page.

GPA Requirements:

  • Minimum cumulative overall GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum cumulative science GPA: 3.0

Accelerated BS/DPT Option GPA Requirements:
The Accelerated BS/DPT Option requirements are the maintenance of a 3.33 cumulative GPA and a 3.25 science GPA while earning a minimum grade of "C" on all DPT program prerequisite courses. For more detailed information on the Accelerated BS/DPT Option, please refer to the BS/DPT website.

Prerequisite Coursework:
All prerequisite courses must be completed within 7 years of your application to Drexel University. A minimum grade of a “C” is considered transferable; however, achieving a “B” or above will make for a more competitive application.

  • A full year of Biology with laboratory (8 credits)
  • A full year of Chemistry with laboratory (8 credits)
  • A full year of Physics with laboratory (8 credits)
  • One course in Human Physiology or A&P I with laboratory (4 credits)
  • One course in Human Anatomy or A&P II with laboratory (4 credits)
  • One psychology course (3 credits)
  • One statistics course - behavioral science course preferred (3 credits)

Please note, students who attend a college/university that is on a quarter system will need to complete 12 quarter credits each of biology, chemistry, physics, and anatomy and physiology (or A&P series).

Application Requirements:

  • Application: All applicants must apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS) at www.ptcas.org.
  • Official Transcripts: Send all official transcripts directly to PTCAS. Copies do not need to be sent to Drexel.
  • Standardized Tests: The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required. GRE scores can be sent using code 7795. Our preferred GRE scores are a combined verbal and quantitative score of 300 and a 4.0 on the writing section.
  • References: Two letters of recommendation are required. One letter must come from a science-based professor or advisor, and the other letter must come from a licensed physical therapist.
  • Personal Statement/Essay: The essay prompt is provided in the PTCAS application.
  • Observation Hours: 50 or more volunteer, shadowing or paid internship hours are highly recommended. Hours must be observed under a licensed physical therapist. We encourage applicants to shadow in multiple PT settings.
  • CV/Resume/Licenses: We recommend listing your accomplishments in the Experiences and Achievements sections of the PTCAS application.

Interview:
Qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an interview. Qualities such as maturity and effective interpersonal skills are ascertained from the letters of recommendation and an interview. Any candidate who submits an application that is deemed competitive will be offered the opportunity to interview with the program faculty and interact with current students. Overall, the interview is a time for the program faculty to learn more about the applicant, as well as an opportunity for the applicant to discover more about the program.

Students are selected for admission into the program based primarily on the anticipation of their ability to successfully complete the curriculum. To make this judgment, the program’s admissions committee uses the materials submitted by the applicant, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and the interview.

Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central. Tuition and fees for the DPT program can be found under the College of Nursing and Health Professions drop-down.

International students

International students must also submit:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Applicants who have not received a degree in the United States must take the TOEFL. Official score report must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. Drexel's TOEFL code is 2194. We require a score of at least 100. 
  • I-20/DS-2019 application form. (PDF) 
  • Transcript evaluation by World Education Services (WES is highly preferred by PTCAS).

Program Requirements for Dress and Scheduling

Dress Regulations
There is no prescribed uniform for the DPT laboratory courses. Depending on the lab skills to be practiced and/or evaluated, students will need to be able to expose relevant body parts. Gym shorts or t-shirts are usually necessary. Students may need to wear a halter-top, sports bra, or bathing suit top underneath their t-shirts. Professional dress is required for clinic visits, clinical education experiences and SPL. Students should also be aware of when guest speakers will be present and dress appropriately. Flat-heeled shoes or sneakers are recommended for lab and clinical settings. Students should avoid wearing open–toed and/or high heel shoes. Students are encouraged to wear their issued nametags or student identification badges within the lab and clinic visits. Course instructors will review any special clothing requirements for their laboratory sessions or clinic visits. During clinical education experiences, students adhere to the dress and nametag regulations of the facility. Failure to dress appropriately and bring necessary materials will lead to dismissal from the laboratory or clinic visit.

Scheduling Requirements
Drexel University supports an environment that respects the religious observances of others and is committed to make every reasonable effort to accommodate the religious observances of students. If a student misses lecture or lab due to religious obligations, they are responsible for making up the coursework that they have missed. This includes reaching out to instructors to meet regarding making up class time/lab work. Students are expected complete class assignments on time and must inform instructors about any absences or conflicts with the examination / assignment schedule due to religious observances at the beginning of the quarter and well in advance of the anticipated absence. For more information, please visit the Provost’s website to review the Religious Observance Statement.


Curriculum

Clinical Education

A strong history of comprehensive clinical education exists for our professional students. The clinical experiences of the DPT program are integrated into the didactic portions of the curriculum so that knowledge obtained in the classroom is readily put into practice. The DPT program has contracts with hundreds of clinical sites across the nation, representing all facet of professional practice. Students build confidence by participating in 32-33 weeks of full-time clinical experiences that offer various levels of acuity in different clinical environments.

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Drexel University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100
Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085

Telephone: 703-706-3245
Email: accreditation@apta.org
Website: http://www.capteonline.org

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 267.359.5535 or email ptadmissions@drexel.edu.

Outcomes

Graduates of the DPT Program are prepared to work as competent physical therapy professionals in a variety of health-care settings including, but not limited to, acute care hospitals, outpatient orthopaedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, adult neurological rehabilitation, and sports medicine. Our graduates are innovative practitioners who value life-long learning and assume leadership positions in their area of practice. We are proud of the accomplishments of students graduating from the Drexel DPT program including:

State Board Licensure Exam Pass Rate::

  • 2021- 100%
  • 2020 - 100%
  • 2 year average - 100%

First time pass rate 5 year average (2017 - 2021) - 98.8%

Graduation rate:

  • 2021 – 98%
  • 2020 - 96%
  • 2 year average – 98%

Six month employment rate:

  • 2021 - 100%
  • 2020 - 100%
  • 2019 - 100%
  • 2 year average - 100%

Actual clinical education costs are extremely variable. We work with students on an individual basis if they have extenuating circumstances regarding placements over 50 miles. As such, we have attributed $1,000 for Clinical Education 1 in the second year and $2,000 for Clinical Education 2 and 3 in the third year.

Please note that beginning with academic year 20-21, the length of Drexel’s DPT program is 102 weeks.

Click here to download the Financial Fact Sheet. [PDF Download]

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Leadership Team

Lisa Chiarello

Lisa Chiarello, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Program Director
Professor

267.359.5532 P
267.359.5576 F
lisa.chiarello@drexel.edu


Kevin Gard

Kevin Gard, PT,  DPT, OCS

Director of Operations
Clinical Professor

267.359.5534 P
267.359.5574 F
kevin.gard@drexel.edu


Megan Schaefer, PT, DPT

Megan Schaefer, PT, DPT

Director of Clinical Education
Clinical Professor

267.359.5547 P
267.359.5576 F
mks365@drexel.edu


Heather Brossman, DHSc, DPT, MS, CCS, PCS

Heather Brossman, DHSc, DPT, MS, CCS, PCS

Assistant Director of Clinical Education
Assistant Professor

267.359.5548 P
267.359.5576 F
heather.brossman@drexel.edu


Helene Engel black and white headshot

Helene Engel, MS

Program Administrator, Business & Finance, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

267.359.5538 P
267.359.5574 F
hbe25@drexel.edu


Headshot of Mary Rinker

Mary Rinker, ME

Administrative Coordinator II, Admissions, Marketing and Recruitment

267.359.5535 P
267.359.5574 F
ptadmissions@drexel.edu