Doctor of Physical Therapy – Entry-Level DPT Program

Earn Your DPT Degree in Three Years

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program improves your abilities as a critical thinker and clinician who embraces evidence-based practice. Employing a life-span approach, the DPT degree program develops professionals who care for, value, and respect all patients across all backgrounds. It prepares you to become a leader in your field, not just for you, but more importantly for the benefit of your future patients.

Through our rigorous Doctor of Physical Therapy program, you obtain the experience, clinical perspective, and expert guidance needed to serve patients of all ages as a licensed physical therapist practitioner.


Why Choose UM-Flint’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program?

Experienced & Accessible DPT Faculty

The UM-Flint’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program is led by expert faculty who possess profound real-world experience. You can learn from professional clinicians at the forefront of their fields. Your faculty are available to support, mentor, and guide you toward your professional goals throughout the program’s completion and beyond.

Dynamic Learning Experiences

Our DPT students are able to grow their knowledge and gain hands-on skills through experiential learning that utilizes patients and community partners within the classroom. You have the opportunity to participate in PT Heart, a pro bono student-run PT clinic for our local community, and other community service activities including exercise programming for people with Parkinson’s disease. We also offer a study abroad program to provide PT services internationally.

Relevant Clinical & Professional Experience

In the DPT program, you can dive headfirst into clinical internships to obtain real-world experience. You can choose your internships based on your career interests and goals. You also have the opportunity to build your professional network through participation in the DPT Student Association, as well as state and national professional organizations.

Flexibility to Fit Your Life

The DPT program at the University of Michigan-Flint allows you to complete your degree in three years studying full-time. For a select few, a part-time option allows you to complete your degree in 5 years while balancing personal and professional obligations.

U-M Resources

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

Research

The faculty of the College of Health Sciences is deeply engaged in research. These scholarly pursuits are diverse in subject matter and allow faculty to engage with students, colleagues, the community, and industry on many projects. Check out some of the current research activities taking place in CHS.


DPT Program Outcomes

With the commitment to student success, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Michigan-Flint makes every effort to support students to pursue their academic and career goals.

As a result, the DPT program has achieved a 99% graduation rate and a 96% National Physical Therapy Exam pass rate; 100% of our students report employment as physical therapists within one year of graduation.

Graduation YearGraduation Rate*NPTE-PT**
Ultimate Pass Rate
NPTE-PT
First-Time Pass Rate
Employment
Rate***
2017
(n=59)
100%100%93.2%100%
2018
(n=56)
100%96.4%89.3%100%
2019
(n=55)
98.2%100%89.1%100%
2020
(n=61)
100%93.4%88.5%NA
2 year mean99.1%
(2019, 2020)
96.7%
(2019, 2020)
88.88%
(2019, 2020)
100%
(2018, 2019)

*Calculated by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
**NPTE-PT is the National Physical Therapy Exam for Physical Therapists
***Employment Rate is the % of graduate survey respondents who sought employment and were employed as a physical therapist within 1 year of graduation.

DPT Program Curriculum

The UM-Flint’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program curriculum requires students to complete 120 credit hours of coursework. The robust curriculum arms students with extensive knowledge and skills to excel in physical therapy practice.

The 120 credits of coursework can be finished over 9 semesters (three calendar years) on a full-time basis. Students are required to follow a specific course sequence that builds their scientific knowledge in a progressive and comprehensive manner. In the last year of study, students participate in clinical internships where they can acquire valuable patient interaction experience.

Learn more about the
Doctor of Physical Therapy program curriculum.

Dual Degrees

The dual degree program allows you to earn two degrees simultaneously. Students interested in pursuing leadership roles can combine a DPT degree with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) earned through UM-Flint’s respected School of Management.

Students with an interest in teaching and/or research have the opportunity to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) while working toward their DPT.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Careers

Graduates of the DPT program can become licensed physical therapists who are able to diagnose and treat patients with movement disorders, help patients restore physical mobility, promote wellness, and improve patients’ quality of life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of physical therapists in the U.S. is projected to grow 18% through 2029 with over 250,000 jobs in the market. In addition to the promising job growth rate, the median salary of Physical Therapists reached $91,010 per year.

Our alumni who responded to our DPT graduate survey boast a 100% employment rate. As the Physical Therapist field continues to expand, with a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy, you are well prepared to pursue career opportunities in various settings including:

  • Local, state, and private hospitals 
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Home health care agencies
  • Schools and universities
  • Wellness centers
  • Private practice
$91,010 median annual wage for Physical Therapists Source: bls.gov

Admission Requirements

Students interested in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program must meet the following requirements:

  • 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 “*”)
    • 3.0 undergraduate GPA in all science prerequisite courses (items below noted with “#”)
    • For admission purposes, it is recommended that future applicants should take the option of a letter grade instead of a P/F (pass/fail) grade for any course during semesters affected by COVID-19.
  • 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 development across lifespan) *
    • 1 credit Medical Terminology *
  • Please use the UM-Flint Transfer Equivalency Guide to ensure courses will satisfy requirements. If you do not see your institution listed or have additional questions please email physicaltherapy@umich.edu.
  • 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 UM-Flint DPT program uses a holistic admissions process when reviewing applications.  Holistic admission refers to the process of considering the educational experiences and attributes of applicants beyond just grade point averages and GRE scores.

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 & 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 UM-Flint’s DPT program uses
Rolling Admission Criteria.


Apply to UM-Flint’s DPT Degree Program

UM-Flint uses the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) for the evaluation of all applicants. The application will be available July 1 – October 15 of each cycle. Students who apply by October 15 must be PTCAS verified no later than December 1.

Submit the following to PTCAS:

  • 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 recommendation 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.
  • UM-Flint DPT program will not require observation hours for the 21-22 application cycle due to the pandemic. If you have completed observation hours we recommend you include them in your application. However, observation hours are still not required for your application to meet the requirements for review for this cycle. 
  • 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 (no later than December 1):

  • $55 UM-Flint Supplemental Application Fee (paid online)
  • GRE scores (general test): UM-Flint DPT program will not require GRE scores for the 21-22 application cycle due to the pandemic. If you have official GRE scores that were completed within the past 3 years and want to include them in your application, please use code #7737. However, GREs are still not required for your application to meet requirements for review for this cycle.
  • International students must submit additional documentation. This program is an on-campus program. Admitted students are eligible to obtain a student visa (F visa). International students cannot complete this program online in their home country.

Application Deadlines

The UM-Flint Physical Therapy program operates on a rolling admission basis, and we encourage you to apply early. Only 60 students enroll each year in the fall semester.

  • The deadline to submit all your documents to PTCAS is October 15 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 15, the materials may arrive at UM-Flint late and could take your application out of consideration.

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program at the University of Michigan-Flint is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 810.762.3373 or email PhysicalTherapy@umich.edu.

CAPTE only accredits entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs. The PhD in Physical Therapy and the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy programs cannot be accredited by CAPTE.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Michigan-Flint satisfies educational prerequisites for professional licensure as a physical therapist in all 50 US states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands.


Susan Ann Talley, PT, DPT, PhD
Director, Physical Therapy Department
Clinical Associate Professor
(810) 762-3373
susantal@umich.edu
2131 William S. White Building
303 Kearsley St.
Flint, MI 48502


Academic Advising

At UM-Flint, we are proud to have many dedicated advisors who are the experts students can rely upon to help guide their educational journey. Book an appointment today.

Additional Information for Admitted DPT Students and Clinical Partners

Professional Physical Therapist Program Mission Statement

Physical Therapy Department Mission Statement
The Physical Therapy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint prepares accomplished physical therapist practitioners, researchers, and educators through best practices in teaching and learning, advances scientific knowledge by engaging in rigorous scholarship, and serves our diverse local community and beyond to optimize movement, participation, and health and well-being for all individuals.

Professional Physical Therapist Program Mission Statement
The mission of the University of Michigan-Flint Doctor of Physical Therapy program is to educate students to become competent physical therapists through engagement in evidence-based practice, scholarship, and community service, thereby enhancing the health and well-being of the public.

Vision
The Physical Therapy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint will be recognized globally as leaders in physical therapy education, research, and service.

Our work is guided by the following principles:

  • Act with professional and ethical responsibility.
  • Foster environments for collaboration, diversity, service, and accountability.
  • Act with caring and compassion.
  • Support and reward excellence and innovation.
  • Create competencies for lifelong learning.
  • Use evidenced-based decision making in all physical therapy practice. 
  • Advocate for patient-centered care, access, and equity.
  • Service to benefit our community and our profession.

Learn More about the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Earn your DPT degree and become a competent physical therapist in just three years at the University of Michigan Flint. Through rigorous training, you are empowered to enhance people’s long-term well-being and promote health to the public.

Submit your application today.

Have more questions about the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program? Request information to learn more!