Why UM-Flint

What Sets UM-Flint's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program Apart?

The DPT program at UM-Flint prepares you to become an exceptional practitioner ready to advance your practice while also advancing patient care. It employs a life-span approach, which encourages you to value and respect diversity of gender, race, culture and disability, regardless of age.


The DPT from UM-Flint allows you to pursue your interests and direct your course of study. Choose the full-time track to complete your degree in three years. The program’s part-time enrollment option gives you the flexibility to complete your degree while balancing personal and professional obligations.


As part of the DPT program, you’ll have a say in choosing clinical internships that reflect your academic and professional interests, and that translate directly to your future practice as a physical therapist.


Broaden your experience and build your professional network through participation in the DPT Student Organization, state and national professional organizations, as well as PT HEART—the student-led pro bono clinic that enables DPT students to work directly with underserved patients from the local community.


DPT faculty remain available and accessible to mentor and support you throughout the program and after graduation. Along with the guidance of faculty, you’ll also have the support of fellow students who enter and complete the program alongside you. You’ll develop close connections with your classmates who share your journey as well as your passion for excellence in patient care.


Students interested in pursuing leadership roles have the option to combine a DPT degree with a Master of Business Administration earned through UM-Flint’s highly respected School of Management. Our dual degree program allows you to earn both degrees simultaneously with certain courses counting toward both programs.


As part of the world-renowned University of Michigan, you’ll have access to the full academic and research resources at the Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses.


UM-Flint’s DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

  • 100% of graduates from the classes of 2011-2013 secured employment within 6 months of graduation.
  • 100% of graduates passed the licensure examination for the classes of 2011, 2012 and 2013.


Physical Therapy Professional Program (DPT)

Physical Therapy Department information  

The Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program prepares graduates to be licensed practitioners within the scope of practice defined in the public health code in state law. Graduates are prepared to assume roles consistent with various physical therapy practice patterns throughout the United States, and are required to be critical thinkers and lifelong learners. 

Physical therapy education is built on a solid foundation in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology. Study of humanities and behavioral sciences provides an important preparation for the interpersonal relationships that the physical therapist must successfully establish with patients and their family members, health care professionals, and community healthcare agencies.

The DPT program operates under a guiding philosophy that entry-level physical therapists should be competent to perform patient/client management of persons from infancy through elder years. This lifespan approach enables program graduates to value and respect diversity of gender, race, culture and disability, regardless of age. Graduates are self -directed learners who are critical thinkers, recognizing the value of and using scientific method to research existing literature to make sound clinical judgments. Graduates understand the scope of physical therapy practice, recognizing when a patient needs medical management in substitution for or in addition to physical therapy.

The PT faculty mentor students into the profession using a collegial model which incorporates mutual respect and understanding between the faculty, staff and physical therapy students as they proceed through the program. The collegial model encourages faculty and students to form close, effective working relationships that enhance student learning. The Physical Therapy Department faculty members have a consistent record of scholarly and service activity at the state, regional and national levels of the profession and therefore mentor students in leadership and service to the profession and community.

Admission to the DPT Program

Admission to the program is highly competitive, and students are admitted in the Fall semester only. Positions in the class are assigned to those candidates ranking highest among the group eligible for consideration. The number of available spaces in the class is currently 60, which may include part-time positions. Admission to the professional DPT Program is the prerogative of the faculty of the program. Applicants are reminded that the supplemental application and reference forms are data sources that provide both quantitative and qualitative data. The faculty interprets these sources in making the final admissions decisions. Up-to-date admissions requirements and application process information is available on the website at www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms/physical-therapy-entry-level-dpt.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements and qualifications by the time they are admitted:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Overall 3.0 GPA or higher in the undergraduate degree
  • Overall 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses* from an accredited institution with an equivalent grade of ‘C’ or better in each course:
    • 8 credits Biology with at least two labs (no Botany)
    • 8 credits Chemistry with at least two labs
    • 8 credits Physics with at least two labs
    • 4 credits Human Anatomy with lab
    • 4 credits Human Physiology with lab (if a 5-6 credit combination Anatomy and Physiology class is taken, then course content needs review)
    • 3 credits Exercise Physiology with lab
    • 3 credits Statistics
    • 3 credits College Algebra and Trigonometry or Pre-calculus
    • 6 credits Psychology (general and developmental)
    • 1 credit Medical Terminology (must be a letter-graded course)
  • Overall 2.75 GPA in science prerequisites 
  • Completion of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) general test (must be completed before application will be considered for admission) with a minimum test score of 146 Verbal and 141 Quantitative
  • Current CPR (Adult, Child, and Infant) and First Aid Certification
  • 60 or more hours observing Physical Therapists in two or more different types of clinical settings required; 125 or more hours in four or more settings recommended

*Prerequisite courses should be completed within 7 years of applying to the program; prerequisite courses taken more than 7 years prior will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The most competitive applicants demonstrate knowledge of the depth and breadth of the profession as well as consistent academic performance, maturity and values associated with health care professions.

Application Process

To be considered for admission, an applicant must submit a completed application though the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Instructions for completing the application may be found at the PTCAS website (http://www.ptcas.org) or at the Office of Graduate Programs Website (http://www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms/physical-therapy-entry-level-dpt).

International applicants must submit additional documentation (see the Graduate Study  portion of the catalog) and meet Physical Therapy Department English proficiency requirements  

Application Deadlines

Students are admitted for the Fall semester only. Application deadlines are posted on the admissions portal through the PTCAS website.


Students should be aware that they will be required to purchase clinical attire, evaluation tools to be used in the classroom or clinical practice and professional textbooks. Clinical Education experiences may require students to leave the Flint area. All students are responsible for providing their own transportation to all clinical sites, housing, and clinical attire. Students are responsible for costs related to keeping all required health documents updated, including special tests required by clinical sites (drug screen, fingerprinting, etc). Current estimates of costs are available to applicants through the Physical Therapy Department. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

DPT Curriculum

The curriculum of the professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program provides students with multiple opportunities to enhance their learning. A variety of teaching formats are used, including but not limited to didactic teaching, hands-on laboratory experiences, recitation sessions, and student group projects and presentations. A modular course curriculum is used to ensure consistent organizational structure of the curriculum. Students are expected to adequately expose head, trunk and extremities in laboratory sessions with multiple student partners (male/female) in order to become familiar with surface anatomy and to develop handling skills necessary for the practice of physical therapy (religious and cultural standards regarding exposure of the body are honored when requested by students). Students are also responsible for the provision and appropriate utilization of laboratory attire and for conducting themselves in a professional manner. Faculty members of the Physical Therapy Department are responsible for review, revision and implementation of curriculum. Students admitted to the program are expected to abide by faculty decisions regarding revisions of curriculum.

Clinical education is an important aspect of the program. Initial exposure to clinical practice occurs in the Fall and Winter semesters of Year 1 and Fall semester of Year 2.  Following the satisfactory completion of all didactic courses, students engage in three ten-week, full-time clinical internships Winter Year 3. Students must attend an acute care setting, general outpatient setting, and area of interest for the three final full-time internships.  This full-time clinical experience provides students an opportunity to engage in supervised work and study in selected clinical facilities. Students may be assigned to hospitals or other institutions in Flint, other cities in Michigan, or other states. Approximately 150 facilities/agencies at nearly 400 different sites participate in the clinical education program. Students are responsible for arranging transportation and housing for these clinical education experiences. Projected costs for physical therapy students are available from the Physical Therapy Department.

Part-Time Professional DPT Program

The University of Michigan-Flint offers a part-time course of study that, when completed, awards the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), the professional degree for professional practice. The part-time program is specifically designed to accommodate those students who are unable to or otherwise choose not to attend the University on a full-time basis. Students are admitted in the fall semester only. Positions in classes are assigned to those candidates ranking highest among the group eligible for consideration. The number of available part-time spaces in each class is limited. The sequence of courses in the part-time program is predetermined. Since courses are scheduled according to many constraints in the overall program sequence, students in the part-time track may not elect and schedule courses to meet their own personal, employment or other needs. The part-time program involves a reduced credit load per semester, but not necessarily a limited number of days per week on campus. 

Students accepted to the part-time program:

  • Remain in part-time status (as defined by the University) for at least two years
  • Follow a predetermined part-time curriculum plan
  • Complete the professional DPT program within a 5 year period
  • Enroll full-time in Year 3 

Sequence Requirements

Courses in the professional preparation program are intended to be taken in a prescribed sequence. It is important for students to recognize that the Physical Therapy Professional Preparation Program is not just a series of courses but instead a professional preparation program in which appropriate sequence is critical for assuring intended educational outcomes. 

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of credit for courses in Years 1-3 taken prior to admission to the program is the prerogative of the Physical Therapy faculty. Transfer courses must meet the requirements outlined in the Guidelines for the Transfer of Credit of Previous Course Work in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for Professional DPT Program which is available from the Physical Therapy Department.

Requirements (120 credits)

The DPT degree requires completion of a three-year academic program with satisfactory completion of clinical education courses. Students must achieve an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher both prior to beginning the final clinical internships (PTP 823 , PTP 824 , PTP 825 ) and upon completion of the degree program. The program is completed in three consecutive years on a full-time basis. Each academic calendar is a 14-week Fall and Winter semester followed by a 10-week (first year) or 11-week (second year) Spring semester. A part-time curriculum is also available.

Year One

Fall Semester (15 credits)

  • BIO 634 - Human Anatomy (6).
  • PTP 611 - Kinesiology & Applied Anatomy (4).
  • PTP 629 - Integrated Clinical Experience I (2).
  • PTP 664 - Fundamentals of Patient Management (3).

Winter Semester (17 credits)

  • PTP 612 - Clinical Neuroscience (3).
  • PTP 630 - Integrated Clinical Experience II (2).
  • PTP 651 - Neurologic Diseases & Disorders (3).
  • PTP 655 - Therapeutic Relationships and Cultural Competency I (1).
  • PTP 662 - Critical Inquiry I (3).
  • PTP 665 - Fundamentals of Tests and Measures (3).
  • PTP 681 - Teaching, Learning & Health Education (2).

Spring/Summer Semester (15 credits)

  • PTP 627 - Introduction to Musculoskeletal Practice Pattern (3).
  • PTP 648 - Pharmacology in Practice (3).
  • PTP 663 - Critical Inquiry II (3).
  • PTP 670 - Fundamentals of Procedural Interventions (3).
  • PTP 671 - Cardiopulmonary Diseases and Disorders (2).
  • PTP 699 - Integration I (1).

Year Two

Fall Semester (15 credits)

  • PTP 730 - Full-Time Clinical Experience (4).
  • PTP 750 - Electrotherapeutic and Physical Modalities (4).
  • PTP 752 - Neuromuscular Examination and Practice I (3).
  • PTP 772 - Cardiopulmonary Examination and Practice I (2).
  • PTP 781 - Pediatric Diseases and Disorders (2).

Winter Semester (16 credits)

  • PTP 728 - Musculoskeletal Practice Pattern: Axial Skeleton Integration (3).
  • PTP 745 - Metabolic and Endocrine Conditions in Practice (3).
  • PTP 753 - Neuromuscular Examination and Practice II (4).
  • PTP 761 - Evidence-Based Practice (1).
  • PTP 773 - Cardiopulmonary Examination and Practice II (2).
  • PTP 782 - Pediatric Examination & Plan of Care in Practice (3).

Spring/Summer Semester (13 credits)

  • PTP 729 - Musculoskeletal Practice: Upper Quadrant Integration (3).
  • PTP 746 - Integument Conditions in Practice (3).
  • PTP 760 - Ethics (1).
  • PTP 770 - Assistive Technology to Enhance Accessibility (1).
  • PTP 783 - Geriatrics in Practice (3).
  • PTP 794 - Professional Service Learning (1).
  • PTP 799 - Integration II (1).

Year Three

Fall Semester (11 credits)

  • PTP 830 - Musculoskeletal Practice: Lower Quadrant Integration (3).
  • PTP 841 - Medical and Surgical Patient Conditions in Practice (2).
  • PTP 855 - Therapeutic Relationships and Cultural Competency II (1).
  • PTP 892 - Management in Practice (3).
  • PTP 893 - Professional Issues in Practice (1).
  • PTP 899 - Integration III (1).

Winter Semester (10 credits)

  • PTP 823 - Clinical Internship I (5).
  • PTP 824 - Clinical Internship II (5).

Spring/Summer Semester (5 credits)

  • PTP 825 - Clinical Internship III (5).

Required Elective (3 credits)

Three (3) credit hours of electives must be selected from the list provided below. For more detailed information regarding the Independent Study course and other courses, please speak with your advisor.

  • PTP 602 - Independent Research (1-10).
  • PTP 769 - Chronic Pain Management Across Disciplines (3).
  • PTP 779 - International Service Learning (3).
  • PTP 789 - Seminar Topics (3).

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  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • GPA minimums:
    • 3.0 GPA or higher in the undergraduate degree
    • 3.0 undergraduate GPA in all prerequisite courses (items below noted with “*”)
    • 2.75 undergraduate GPA in all science prerequisite courses (items below noted with “#”)
  • Completion of prerequisite courses from an accredited institution with an equivalent grade of ‘C’ or better in each course:
    • 8 credits Biology with at least two labs (no Botany) # *
    • 8 credits Chemistry with at least two labs # *
    • 8 credits Physics with at least two labs # *
    • 4 credits Human Anatomy with lab # *
    • 4 credits Human Physiology with lab (if a 5-6 credit combination Anatomy and Physiology class is taken, then course content needs review) # *
    • 3 credits Exercise Physiology (lab recommended) # *
    • 3 credits Statistics *
    • 3 credits College Algebra and Trigonometry or Pre-calculus *
    • 6 credits Psychology (general and developmental across life span) *
    • 1 credit Medical Terminology *
  • Prerequisite courses should be completed within 7 years of applying to the program; prerequisite courses taken more than 7 years prior will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Updated First Aid and CPR certification: CPR certification must include infant, child, adult CPR with AED training for Healthcare Providers. In order to receive certification, hands-on experience with mannequins is required (online coursework only is not accepted). This will need to be kept updated for each year in the program.  You may get certification through the American Heart Association class “Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers” or through the American Red Cross class “CPR/AED for Professional Rescuers and Health Care Providers" or "Advanced BLS for Lifeguards."

Applicants admitted to the DPT program must demonstrate that they possess the attributes necessary to succeed in a challenging curriculum as well as perform in the practice of physical therapy. Essential and Technical Standards are the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical abilities required for satisfactory completion of the DPT curriculum and development of professional attributes required of all students at graduation.

While an applicant is not required to disclose the specifics of any disability, it is the applicant's responsibility to request reasonable accommodation if they cannot demonstrate these Essential and Technical Standards without accommodation.

The Fall 2015 entering class GPA average was 3.56.


For the Fall 2017 admission period, the University of Michigan-Flint will use the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). The application will be available July 1-October 17, 2016. 

  • Sixty students are admitted once each year in the fall semester.
  • The UM-Flint Physical Therapy program operates on a rolling-admission basis; we encourage you to apply early.
  • The deadline to submit all your documents to PTCAS is October 17 to ensure full consideration of your application.  It can take up to six weeks for PTCAS to send UM-Flint all of your documents after you have submitted them to PTCAS.
  • If you do not submit all PTCAS materials to PTCAS by October 17, the materials may arrive to UM-Flint late and could take your application out of consideration.

Submit the following to PTCAS by October 17:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended in the United States (foreign transcripts are to be sent to the Office of Graduate Programs, not PTCAS)
  • Two letters of reference submitted to PTCAS.
    • One reference must be from a physical therapist who has observed you within the last five years in a clinical setting.
    • The second reference may be from another physical therapist or a university professor who has instructed you in a course within the last five years, or who has acted as your academic advisor.
  • Observation of Physical Therapist Hours: 
    • Arrange for a licensed physical therapist to review and verify your PT observation hours.
    • 30 or more hours (paid and volunteer hours are accepted)
    • Two or more different types of clinical settings required (inpatient and outpatient)
    • 75 or more hours in four or more settings recommended
  • Essay Questions specific to the DPT program at the University of Michigan-Flint through PTCAS
  • The University of Michigan-Flint does not hold admissions interviews

Submit the following directly to UM-Flint by October 17:

  • $55 UM-Flint Supplemental Application Fee (paid online)
  • GRE scores (general test) sent to UM-Flint Institutional Code #7737
    • Verbal: Minimum score of 146
    • Quantitative: Minimum score of 141
    • Competitive scores are in the range of 153 Verbal and Quantitative
    • Must be completed before application will be considered for admission
  • Transcripts and diplomas or certificates of graduation from any colleges and universities you have attended from outside the United States (do not send to PTCAS)
  • Additional Documentation if your native language is not English or you are an international student seeking a student visa. Visit the International Students page for details.