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Established in 1941, the Division of Physical Therapy has been preparing students for over 75 years. Here are just a few reasons to study physical therapy at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

High-quality education

Our faculty includes clinical specialists and PhD trained faculty teaching in their areas of expertise. Our curriculum and course content are continually updated to incorporate the latest developments in the profession. Our graduation rates and first-time board-licensing pass rates are consistently well above the national average, and we have a strong national reputation as an academic physical therapy program, ranked in the top 15 percent of all physical therapy (PT) schools nationwide by US News and World Report.

More reasons to study at the University of Minnesota Medical School

Great environment

We are located on the east bank of the Minneapolis campus in the Children’s Rehabilitation Center. Students enjoy the academic, cultural, social, and recreational opportunities of a large university and major metropolitan area. The Twin Cities are an unusual combination of the small-town and the cosmopolitan.

Cultural life is a mixture of world-renowned institutions and a rich array of locally cherished theater, music, and arts organizations. The Twin Cities also feature the state capital and the headquarters of major corporations in electronics, medical devices, transportation, and forestry. There are many reasons to live in Minnesota—Minneapolis and St. Paul consistently rank near the top of quality-of-life and residential satisfaction ratings. 

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Job placement

Physical Therapy is an exciting profession that offers countless opportunities in clinical practice, education and research. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks physical therapists at number eight among its 100 Best Jobs of 2013.

Our recent graduates have consistently had 100 percent job placement in PT clinical positions. Many graduates have accepted offers prior to graduation and graduates have been fully employed soon after graduation. Graduation from the University of Minnesota places one among an alumni network of nearly 1500 physical therapists across the state of Minnesota and the nation.

Big Ten resources

Our PT program class size is 50 students. Faculty will get to know you individually and you will often have opportunities to work in small group settings. At the same time, the University is a major research institution with extensive resources including large medical library holdings, valuable anatomy facilities, web-integrated course materials, and access to nationally prominent faculty.

Clinical experience

Our curriculum incorporates supervised clinical experiences throughout the education program, beginning the first fall semester. These clinical experiences are integrated with concurrent classroom training to allow immediate hands on reinforcement of lecture content and increase the student's experience, confidence and skills prior to full-time clinical internships. Full-time internships in the third year include contracts with over 350 clinical sites in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, statewide, and nationwide.

Global clinical internships

In response to an increased interest in international opportunities for Doctor of Physical Therapy students and the University of Minnesota's commitment to better prepare individuals to participate in global health initiatives, the Program has developed a system of internships that allow for diverse experiences in global health care and physical therapy.

Research opportunities

As a student in our program, you will have the unique opportunity to work directly with faculty performing state of the art scholarly work that is routinely published in national and international scientific journals. Focus areas for this cutting edge research include: basic science work exploring fundamental principles of muscular and central nervous system plasticity, creation and refinement of contemporary diagnostic and treatment practices in rehabilitation, and investigation of best practices in didactic and clinical education.

Note from the Director

Paula Ludewig Welcome to the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Physical Therapy! Students who join our program are constantly challenged to think, learn, do, and reflect on the physical therapy profession. Program graduates are knowledgeable, self-assured, adaptable, reflective, and service-oriented practitioners who, by virtue of critical thinking and ethical values, render informed and independent judgments concerning patient/client needs, promote the health and quality of life of the client, and enhance the professional foundations for practice. 

This division consists of faculty members who are dedicated clinical educators and scientists who embrace our mission to improve the physical well-being and quality of life of people in Minnesota and throughout the world. Through faculty members' clinical teaching skills and commitment to advancing new knowledge in physical therapy, students are artfully mentored to meet the challenges facing health care today. 

As one of the oldest and highly ranked physical therapy programs in the United States, we encourage you to consider seeking a University of Minnesota education. Your education will serve you exceptionally well in pursuing a long and rewarding career in physical therapy. You are encouraged to explore our website, visit our facility, and meet our students as you explore the possibilities in the profession of physical therapy. 

Paula Ludewig, PhD, PT
Professor and Interim Director
Division of Physical Therapy