Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

rehab teaching

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 2017

Graduation Rate: 100% 
National PT Licensure Exam Pass Rate: 100% on first attempt
Employment Rate: Data not yet available

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%

Class of 2014

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

Admissions Facts


Class of 2017 Class of 2018 Class of 2019 Class of 2020
Number of Applicants 239 243 230 226
Class Size 50  50  52 52
Acceptance Rate  20.9%  23%  22.6% 23.4%
Overall Undergrad GPA  3.65  3.75  3.69 3.73
GRE Verbal  153.54  155.4 155.4 154.66
GRE Quantitative  153.94  155.7 152.7 155.48
GRE Analytical Writing 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.39


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.  To view the three-year DPT curriculum schedule, click 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

Class of 2018 Commencement Information

Graduation Ceremony:
Saturday, June 16, 2018
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Attending the Ceremony
No tickets are necessary.  Graduates may invite any number of guests to the ceremony.  Auditorium seating is on a first-come basis, but there should be plenty of space for everyone.

Commencement Ceremony
Northrup Memorial Auditorium
84 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Commencement Reception
There will be a reception immediately following the ceremony in the Northrup Auditorium Reception area.  Cake and beverages will be served to you and your guests. 

Parking is available at the Church Street Garage, 4th Street Ramp, and Washington Avenue Ramp; you must pay a fee to park in these ramps. Parking is usually paid to an attendant before you enter the ramp.  Parking will cost about $8.00-$10.00 – the attendants will only accept cash or check.  More information may be found at

Guests with special needs 
Please contact Liz Goebel 612-624-2662 or  We will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

Grad Fest ‘18
Wednesday, March 21, 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday, March 22, 10 am - 4 pm
DPT graduates are invited to attend Grad Fest, the University’s annual one-stop event for commencement, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, March 22, in the Great Hall in Coffman Union.  The event is coordinated by University of Minnesota Bookstores. There is no charge for the event.  However, you do not have to attend this event to secure your commencement apparel.  Your apparel will be ready for pick-up at the bookstore before commencement.  See below for more information regarding gown rental.

The Program does not pay for the rental of your gown.  So even though I have placed the order for your gowns you still have to go to the bookstore website to submit payment.  There is not a deadline as to when you have to pay for your gown.  However, you will need to pick it up by June 15, 2018.  Please follow the link below to confirm your order and pay for the rental of your gown, cap, and hood.  Your DPT hood is Teal and you will pay for the doctorate gown.  Be sure you request the cap and tassel in addition to the hood and gown.  I believe the cost is $49.95.  Please check your gown, etc., when you get it.  There have been times when students received the wrong color hood.  There won’t be time on the morning of the ceremony to exchange your hood should it be the incorrect one. 

Commencement Ceremony Information for DPT students
Pick up your gown at the bookstore by Friday, June 15.  You should make arrangements with a classmate if you are out of town and unable to pick up your cap, gown, and hood from the bookstore.  The gowns are very wrinkled when you pick them up, so you may want to allow for some extra time to press them. You are responsible for returning the rented gown to the bookstore the week following graduation.  The bookstore is also open on Saturday, so you can return it right after the ceremony if you wish. 

Academic hoods:  It is important that you rent an academic costume and indicate that you will need the teal DPT hood. You will not wear your hood in the initial procession; you will be “hooded” on stage as your diploma is conferred.  You’ll carry your hood on-stage draped over your right arm.

Student check in:  Please be at the Northrup Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. for your group photo.  The photographer will be ready to take the photo at 9:45 a.m.  At 10:15 a.m. we will have a quick rehearsal and then proceed to the dressing room. 

Photos:  Guests may take photos during the ceremony.

Diploma:  Commencement participation does not imply that you have officially graduated on June 16.  Your official graduation date will be June 30, 2018.  The award of your degree should be posted to your transcript by approximately July 14, 2018.  Please be aware of this date because it may impact when you can begin a job.  Your diploma will be mailed out to you in about 90 days after your degree is posted to your transcript, and will show the June 30, 2018 graduation date.

DPT Program Commencement Ceremony Coordinator
Liz Goebel
ChRC 311

Learn More About the University of Minnesota's Physical Therapy Program

History of the U of M PT Program              Why Choose the U of M for Your PT Education

U of M DPT Student Experience 

Questions on how to apply?

Apply to the DPT Program

Contact Us

Liz Goebel
Admissions Coordinator
Division of Physical Therapy
MMC 388
420 Delaware Street SE
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN  55455

Phone: 612-624-2662

The 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: