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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.

Graduates promote health through movement and exercise, optimizing activity and participation across environments for individuals, communities and society.

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Student checks patient ankle mobility

Innovative Clinical Partnerships

UVM’s academic-clinical partnerships provide hands-on learning experiences. Students work together with licensed physical therapists to manage musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and post-concussion-related conditions through exercise. UVM also partners with the UVM Medical Center and UVM Health Network, and maintains clinical affiliations in healthcare settings locally and nationwide.


UVM DPT faculty model clinical and research expertise across each of the specialty areas of physical therapy practice while facilitating students' development as movement experts who promote health through exercise. Learn more >>


DPT coursework relates to the science and art of physical therapy - and includes basic, clinical and applied sciences; concepts of practice management; health policy and ethics; and quality in health care. Seminars, lectures, and hands-on lab experiences integrate concepts to prepare DPT graduates who provide ethical, evidence-based, client-centered services in a culturally sensitive manner. 

The curriculum for the program by 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.

Clinical Education

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 three clinical internship courses that comprise 32 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, maintain professional liability insurance through the school, and obtain health clearance and CPR certification prior to enrolling in the clinical experience.

Program Goals

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.

Graduation Requirements

A grade point average of 3.0, successful completion of all internship experiences and a comprehensive examination are required for graduation. Graduates earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy and practice in 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. 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.

Learn more about student involvement.

Student Outcomes

Graduation, Licensure and Employment Rates

The following information has been reported to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Graduation and employment information is compiled from departmental records. Employment data reflect percent employed within six months of passing the licensure exam. The licensure pass rate is reported by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Graduation Rate
Graduate YearGraduation Rate
Two-year average

Licensed Graduate Employment Rates & Licensure Exam Pass Rates
ClassEmployment RateFirst Time Pass RateUltimate Pass Rate
Two-year average


Educational Outcomes

Upon completion of the University of Vermont DPT program graduates will be able to:

  • Serve as movement system experts who exemplify contemporary best practice to improve quality of life.
  • Illustrate leadership as primary care providers that model professional core values.
  • Collaborate with patients, families and professional colleagues to optimize health outcomes, maximize patient experience, and facilitate cost efficiency.
  • Apply evidence-based clinical and practice management that exhibits value-based patient/family-centered care.
  • Advocate to improve health outcomes and increase the overall functioning and well-being of our society.
  • Offer consultation as movement system experts while demonstrating value and adherence to ethical and legal principles.
  • Communicate via means commensurate with needs of the individuals within the context of the task and environment.
  • Educate patients/clients, peers, professional colleagues, and the community in a manner that is culturally sensitive.
  • Commit to be reflective practitioners and lifelong learners.
  • Engage in community and professional activities that demonstrate social responsibility.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • College grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay
  • Prerequisite courses outlined below (grade point average of 3.0 or greater)
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and observation hours are not required
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 3.0 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

Virtual Info Sessions

  • Monday, July 20, 2024 at 5 PM EDT

Email cnhsgrad@uvm.edu to register for a session.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the program?

The program takes 2-1/2  years, including summer semesters, to complete.

Where can I view the term start dates?

View the UVM Academic Calendar for term start dates and other important information.

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.

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 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 3.0 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, essay and letters of recommendation should be submitted through PTCAS. Refer to the PTCAS website for more information. 

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 and letters of recommendation. If you are having any questions or difficulties with PTCAS, contact their customer service line at (617) 612-2040 or ptcasinfo@ptcas.org. UVM will notify you when applications have been received.


Accreditation: The Physical Therapy Program at the University of Vermont is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22305-3085; phone: (703) 706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 802-656-3252 or email Denise.Peters@med.uvm.edu

Professional Licensure: The University of Vermont seeks to offer transparency around comparable national standards for our programs leading to licensure. View licensure requirements by state.

UVM DPT students with faculty in lab




Application Deadline: November 15

Term Start Date: June

Credits: 102

Duration: 2 1/2 Years (including summers)

Learning Format: On-Campus

For tuition information, please contact UVM Student Financial Services.

UVM DPT Financial Factsheet (PDF) 

Attend an Info Session

Email cnhsgrad@uvm.edu to register.

APTA Reach 100 Student Members Challenge

The UVM DPT program values the role of our professional organization in preparing our students for contemporary practice. All faculty and students are members of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Attend Continuing Education 

Give to the DPT Program Fund

(Under designation, select "other options," then "DPT Program Fund".)

Download Program Brochure

View Admitted Student Checklist

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