Seminars, lectures, and hands-on lab experiences integrate clinical, theoretical, and professional concepts to prepare graduates who provide ethical, evidence-based, client-centered services in a culturally sensitive manner. Coursework related to the science and art of physical therapy includes basic, clinical and applied sciences; concepts of practice management; health policy and ethics; and quality in health care.
Promoting Health Through Movement
UVM's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares practitioner-scholars who translate evidence into contemporary best practice to provide patient-centered care in an evolving and complex health care environment. UVM DPT graduates promote health through movement and exercise, optimizing activity and participation across environments for individuals, communities and society.
Opportunities and Clinical Experience
Students prepare for practice through clinical internships offered throughout the U.S. in a variety of specialty areas and participate in research, service, and professional development activities. DPT graduates become decision-makers who understand the role of lifelong learning to support client, patient, and professional needs. Learn more about student involvement and success outcomes.
The curriculum for the program per graduation year:
Additional requirements are outlined in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Handbook. Official course descriptions are outlined in the UVM Catalogue. Contact us to learn more about the combined DPT/Neuroscience Ph.D. degree option.
UVM contracts with over 300 clinical sites throughout the United States to provide practice in a variety of settings under the supervision of clinical instructors who are licensed physical therapists.The curriculum includes four clinical internship courses that comprise 36 weeks of full-time clinical education experience. Students should expect to have to travel and are responsible for travel and living expenses during the internship courses. Students are required to demonstrate adequate immunization against certain specified diseases and must obtain professional liability insurance, health clearance and CPR certification prior to enrolling in the clinical experience.
DPT program goals are derived from our mission and values to:
- Provide an educational environment in which curriculum-guiding principles are integrated with ethical and legal professional practice.
- Offer an evidence-based curriculum that prepares graduates for contemporary best practice.
- Admit highly qualified students who are willing to actively engage in their learning experience while supporting the mission and educational outcomes of the University, College, and DPT program.
- Recruit students who are committed to embrace the values of this program within their future practice environments.
- Prepare students to engage in outreach and personal life-long learning.
- Attract and support faculty who excel in teaching, research, and service.
- Encourage faculty to support the academic needs and professional formation of the DPT students.
- Prepare graduates to achieve desired educational outcomes of the program.
- Develop graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to succeed in a constantly changing health care environment.
- Develop graduates who lead and collaborate in multiple roles that can positively impact clients, patients, the profession and society.
- Inspire graduates to appreciate uniqueness and value of all individuals within diverse cultures and societies.
A grade point average of 3.0, successful completion of all internship experiences and a comprehensive examination are required for graduation. Refer to class year curriculum sheets for credit hours required for graduation. Graduates earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy and practice in many different settings including outpatient practices, rehabilitation facilities, acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, school systems and home health agencies.
Many graduates obtain advanced degrees in clinical specialties, or become practice owners, clinical administrators, or academic faculty. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national professional licensure examination administered through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. The Office of Professional Regulation in the Vermont Secretary of State's office governs licensure requirements for Vermont.
DPT faculty model clinical and research expertise across all specialty areas of physical therapy practice.
Areas of Expertise: Chronic pain treatment, addressing pain and functional loss in victims of torture and trauma, low back pain, lymphedema treatment
Areas of Expertise: Understanding and examining disability in spinal cord injury, work rehabilitation, and arthritis
Areas of Expertise: Sports medicine, knee injury prevention and treatment, shoulder injury prevention and treatment
Areas of Expertise: Exercise and physical activity adherence, influence of environment and technology on physical activity behavior, strategies for healthy aging
Areas of Expertise: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, screening tools in mild Traumatic Brain Injury, recovery of motor functions post-stroke
Areas of Expertise: Essential functions in physical therapy education, clinical education in physical therapy, strategies and functional outcomes for patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions
Areas of Expertise: Neural correlates of motor impairment and recovery post-stroke, gait rehabilitation and neuromechanics, structural neuroimaging
Areas of Expertise: Utilizing thoracic spine treatment strategies for managing upper quarter pain and dysfunction, the effect of volitional preemptive abdominal contraction on active forward reach performance, the effect of screw fixation on sacroiliac joint stiffness using vibration energy color Doppler imaging
Areas of Expertise: Analysis of structured clinical education in transition to workplace, service learning to engage student learning in Geriatrics
Areas of Expertise: Classification and treatment of low back pain, orthopedic manual therapy, post-professional physical therapist education, international collaborations in health care, novel mentoring techniques for new clinicians and clinicians in rural settings, kinesiology, biomechanics, travel study
Areas of Expertise: Wound care/pressure management, neurologic disorders and function/balance
- Tracy Benedict, PT, D.P.T.
- Heather Collins, PT
- Dan Farnham, PT, D.P.T., ATC
- Jennifer Green-Wilson, PT, Ed.D.
- Gary Mawe, Ph.D.
- Victor May, Ph.D.
- Parminder Padget, PT, D.P.T.
- Connie van Eeghen, DPH
- Margaret Vizzard, Ph.D.
- Sonya Worth, PT
- Heather Blackburn, PT, D.Sc., PCS
- Samuel Feitelberg, PT, M.A., D.Sc., FAPTA
- Jean Held, PT, Ed.D.
- Sharon Henry, PT, Ph.D., ATC
- Mary Moffroid, PT, Ph.D.
- Leonie Nelson, PT, M.S., D.P.T.
- Deborah O'Rourke, PT, Ph.D.
- Nancy Zimny, PT, M.S.
Applicants must complete a baccalaureate degree in any major at a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; applicants with a baccalaureate degree from institutions outside the U.S. will also be considered. All applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or greater prior to entry into the program:
- Two semesters of anatomy/physiology with labs
- Two semesters of college chemistry with labs
- Two semesters of physics with labs
- Two semesters of biology (not botany or zoology)
- One semester of psychology
- One semester of statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the program?
The program is 2-1/2 years including summer semesters.
What about financial aid and tuition costs for the program?
For current information about financial aid, tuition, and fees, refer to the Student Financial Services website. If you have questions about whether you are an in-state or out-of-state resident, refer to the Registrar's Residency Policy. If you are a permanent resident of Maine or New Hampshire, you may be eligible for discounted tuition through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE)'s RSP Tuition Break program. For more information please contact the Graduate College.
What is Early Decision?
The Early Decision program is a binding option for applicants who have decided that a particular PT program is their first choice and they will enroll if accepted. As an Early Decision applicant, you can apply to only one program that participates in Early Decision. If accepted as an Early Decision applicant, you must accept the offer and will not be permitted to apply to any additional programs in PTCAS during the application cycle. The Early Decision application deadline is August 15. (Non-Early Decision deadline is November 15.)
Will I need a car?
Yes, you will most likely need access to a car during your clinical internships. All students should expect to have at least one clinical internship out of state. Students are responsible for travel and living expenses during their internships.
How can I find out more about the program? Do you hold information sessions?
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences Office of Student Services is able to guide you during the application process and answer any of your questions. There are also advisors and current DPT students available to speak with you about the program. The Office of Admissions offers tours, which are a great way to see the campus. You may contact them to arrange a visit. Information sessions for the DPT program are held a few times a year. More information including dates and locations can be found in the prospective graduate students section of the CNHS website. These sessions - held by a faculty member in the department - are highly recommended.
How many applicants are there annually? What is average size of the class?
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences receives a large group of very competitive applications each year. The average class size is 40 students.
Do I need to have all of the prerequisite courses completed prior to applying?
You may have no more than two prerequisite courses remaining for the spring semester when you apply. The Graduate College must be notified of final grades before classes begin.
Is there a period of time that the prerequisites are no longer acceptable towards my application?
It is highly recommended that the prerequisite courses are taken no more than ten years prior to applying to the program, although it is not a requirement.
What is the minimum prerequisite GPA? May I retake any prerequisite courses to obtain a better grade?
Students applying to the program must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater in their studies and a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or greater in their prerequisite courses. The average overall GPA for students enrolled in the program is 3.5 with an average 3.5 for the prerequisite GPA. Through PTCAS, applicants identify the courses that they want to count toward the prerequisite GPA. So, if you retake a prerequisite course, you may select the course with the best grade that meets the requirement. The calculation for the GPA prerequisites is then based on the grades from the courses you identify.
Are observation hours required?
There is no requirement for observation hours for the application process, although it is favorable to have this type of experience.
Is an interview required for admission into the UVM DPT program?
There is no interview requirement for the application process.
Where should I send my application materials?
Official transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation should be submitted through PTCAS. The GRE Code for the University of Vermont DPT program is 7708. Refer to the PTCAS website for more information. The UVM on-line supplemental graduate application must also be completed. Please put only the names of your references on this application and not their e-mails, as it will send them another recommendation request. In the box calling for an essay, please upload a Word document or PDF stating "See essay on the PTCAS application."
How can I find out if PTCAS has received my transcripts (or any other materials)?
PTCAS will have the information related to the status of your transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. If you are having any questions or difficulties with PTCAS, contact their customer service line at (617) 612-2040 or email@example.com. UVM will notify you when applications have been received.
When will I hear whether I have been admitted to the program?
All applicants will be notified of their admissions decision by mid-February.
The Physical Therapy Program at the University of Vermont is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: (703) 706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 802-656-3252 or email Justine.Dee@med.uvm.edu.