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Doctor of Physical Therapy


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 a little under 3 years and the curriculum spans 11 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)


COVID-19 Admission Requirement Update: We recognize that COVID-19 has required changes to academic programs and the ability of prospective students to complete observation hours and other admissions requirements. Accordingly, the following changes have been made to our DPT program admissions requirements:

  • If you’re enrolled in courses with labs that have been changed to online format, Drexel will accept these courses during quarters/semesters directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Students who have the option of earning a pass/fail grade rather than a standard grade are advised to decline this option for prerequisite courses. If no graded option exists, we will accept pass/fail or credit/no credit courses taken during quarters/semesters directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prospective applicants should recognize that pass/fail and credit/no credit grading can impact grade point averages. The Drexel DPT program’s minimum cumulative and science grade point averages are 3.0.
  • Applications will be accepted without the minimum 50 hours of documented observation in the Fall 2020 DPT application cycle with the expectation that documented observation hour requirements will be met prior to program start.
  • We continue to require the GRE for admission, and our minimum required score is 300. If the pandemic has impacted your ability to take or retake the GRE and you feel that this has negatively affected your application, there is an appeal process. In 100 words or fewer, please provide a concise explanation that clearly articulates your situation. You may send your appeal to once you have submitted your PTCAS application. Our admissions team will review your appeal and notify you of the decision to waive or require the GRE within two weeks.


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, 2020
Program Start Date: September 20, 2021

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

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 overal GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum cumulative science GPA: 3.0

Accelerated BS/DPT Option GPA Requirements:
For the incoming class of 2017 and beyond, 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
  • 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 minimum 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 required. 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.

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. Female 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.


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.


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

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 267.359.5535 or email


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::

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

First time pass rate 5 year average (2016 - 2020) - 98.8%

Graduation rate:

  • 2020 – 96%
  • 2019 - 98%
  • 2 year average – 97%

Six month employment rate:

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

The Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences has 9,000 sq ft of dedicated research laboratory space. Learn more here.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Leadership Team


Glenn Williams, PT, PhD, ATC

Associate Professor
Department Chair, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
Executive Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

267.359.5544 P
267.359.5576 F
Three Parkway, Room 9123
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Kevin Gard

Kevin Gard, PT,  DPT, OCS

Clinical Professor
Vice Chair, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
Director of Operations, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

267.359.5534 P
267.359.5574 F
Three Parkway, Room 909
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Megan Schaefer, PT, DPT

Megan Schaefer, PT, DPT

Clinical Professor
Director of Clinical Education

267.359.5547 P
267.359.5576 F
Three Parkway, Room 915
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Helene Engel black and white headshot

Helene Engel, MS

Program Administrator, Business & Finance, Interim Admissions and Recruitment, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

267.359.5538 P
267.359.5574 F
Three Parkway, Room 9121
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Amina Floyd Murphy Headshot

Amina Floyd-Murphy

Administrative Coordinator II
Recruitment, Admissions, & Marketing

267.359.5535 P
267.359.5574 F
Three Parkway, Room 923.01
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102