The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program provides the required education necessary for graduates to take the professional license examination and embark on a professional career in physical therapy.
The program embodies a strong foundational background in the biological, kinesiological and behavioral sciences, incorporation of principles of logical and scientific reasoning throughout the curriculum, and the philosophy that the practice of physical therapy is empowered by the collaborative efforts of the team, ensuring a partnership of people working towards a common goal.
The DPT is the degree endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association. The DPT graduate possesses clinical competence consistent with the preferred outcomes of evidence-based practice and is prepared for collaborative practice, capable of evaluation and treatment without the need for referral from another practitioner, but ready to work in collaboration with members of the health care team.
Ranking and Accreditation
The Department is ranked sixth in the nation among graduate programs in physical therapy at public universities by U.S. News and World Report.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Florida is accredited by the The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Any student graduating from a CAPTE accredited program is eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE). Each person who passes the NPTE becomes eligible for licensure in any US jurisdiction upon 1) submitting an application for licensure to the Board of Practice in that jurisdiction and 2) completing the laws and regulations examination for that jurisdiction. More information regarding individual states’ law and regulation examinations is accessed through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Licensing Authorities webpage.
The DPT Curriculum
The curriculum is an eight (8)-semester plan of study, which incorporates 32 weeks of full-time clinical internship and several weeks of integrated part-time clinical experiences. The students are awarded the DPT degree after completing 113 credit hours of professional course work.
The curriculum had been established along three basic educational principles that are instilled in the philosophy and mission of the program. First, it is necessary that a strong basic science background in the biological, kinesiological, and behavioral sciences be established as the foundation upon which the curriculum is developed. Secondly, incorporation of principles underlying logical reasoning and the scientific method shall be woven throughout all aspects of the curriculum. These principles shall be implicitly stated in the faculty’s behavior as role models through their incorporation of their research and clinical practice experiences in the classroom setting. Thirdly, students will recognize that the practice of physical therapy is empowered by the collaborative efforts of the team, ensuring a partnership of people working toward a common goal. This principle is instilled in the students throughout the content of the curriculum and is exemplified by the faculty’s collaborative teaching and research efforts.