Doctor of Physical Therapy – Entry-Level DPT Program

Experience the Michigan Difference in Our Nationally-Ranked DPT Program

The University of Michigan is proud to offer the state’s top-ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program on Flint’s campus. The program is also nationally-ranked and has been preparing physical therapists since 1952.

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Through our rigorous program, you will obtain the experience, clinical perspective and expert guidance you need to become a licensed physical therapist and leader in your field.

The program employs a life-span approach and will train you to be a clinician who embraces evidence-based practice for the benefit of your future patients. You will be well-prepared to care for, value and respect patients across all backgrounds.

At UM-Flint, we innovate. For learners eager to complete a world-class degree quicker than others, our Physical Therapy Accelerated Pathway offers students the chance to save both time and money. Students will work toward their bachelor’s degree for three years, with 33 fewer credits than the traditional undergraduate degree path. They are then eligible to apply for entrance into our Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. Students who follow this pathway will receive their bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in a significantly shorter amount of time, and will be ready to start their career as a physical therapist sooner.

Quick Links

Interested in visiting the UM-Flint campus and meeting with a current DPT student? Fill out this form to set up a visit!

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

Join Recognized Tradition of Excellence

Learn and grow in the DPT program that was named the number one program in the state of Michigan and ranked 83rd in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report on their list of the 2021 Best Graduate Schools.

Grow With Experienced Faculty at Top of Their Field

Engage with faculty who are board-certified specialists in their content area, continue to practice, and are ready to share their current, real-world experience. Your faculty are here to support, mentor and guide you during the program and throughout your professional development.

Address Health Disparities Through Community Engagement

You will make a difference in your community beginning in your first semester. The program includes many opportunities for service learning in the community, including working with HEART (Health Equity, Action, Research and Teaching), the student and faculty run pro-bono health clinic operated by the UM-Flint College of Health Sciences.

Engage in Research

Our faculty are highly-productive researchers and leaders in research locally and nationally, and provide many opportunities to participate in research and advance the field. Students often present award-winning research in a variety of topics at regional and national conferences.

Gain Diverse Clinical and Professional Experience

Gain real-world experience in many clinical internships and choose them based on your career interests and goals. You will work with a broad range of patients, including geriatric and pediatric patients, and people with neurological impairments.

Join Our Strong Network of Successful Graduates

Our students and graduates have a long track record of success. Our program has exceptional 100% graduation rates, 97% NPTE PT exam pass rates, and 100% employment rate after graduation. Graduates go on to become leaders in the profession and work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to, the military, internationally-acclaimed hospital systems, outpatient clinics, collegiate and professional sports, and clinics they own.

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 100% 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
First-Time Pass Rate
2-year mean
(2021, 2022)

*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.

The dual DPT/PhD program double counts credits from your DPT degree, allowing you to earn both the DPT and the PhD in PT and save time and money. After you finish your DPT and obtain your PT license, you can work as a clinician while taking on-campus classes 1 to 2 days each week to earn the PhD degree.

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 17% through 2031 with over 230,000 jobs in the market. In addition to the promising job growth rate, the median salary of Physical Therapists reached $95,620 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
$95,620 median annual wage for physical therapists
Graduate Programs Ambassadors

Jenna B.

[email protected]

Educational Background:  Bachelor’s degree in Sport Exercise Science from the University of Northern Colorado.

What are some of the best qualities of your program? The best qualities of my program include the size of the program and the various professors and the experiences that they bring to the table.

Sarah V.

[email protected]

Educational Background: I got my undergraduate degree at UM-Ann Arbor in Movement Science

What are some of the best qualities of your program? The faculty are excellent clinicians who also care about their students’ success. I appreciate that we are encouraged to learn by practicing, working, and volunteering in our community. Our clinical education experiences are also excellent. I love that we got into the clinic during our very first semester and have such amazing clinical partners across the country.

Max C.

Max C.

[email protected]

Educational Background: Bachelor’s of Movement Science from UM-Ann Arbor.

What are some of the best qualities of your program? Getting into the clinic right away so that we can start applying our knowledge, and the community of students always willing to help each other out.

Sara H.

Sara H.

[email protected]

Educational Background: I graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology

What are some of the best qualities of your program? With a larger cohort, I get the chance to work with so many different people. I also love getting to work with different faculty to gain insight into their perspectives on how to do different things. Learning how to do it one way is great, but I have enjoyed learning multiple ways to do something correctly so I can choose how I would like to do it one day!

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 Chemistry with at least two labs # *
    • 8 credits Physics with at least two labs # *
    • 4 credits Biology with at least one lab (no Botany) #* (For students applying for fall 2025 & beyond)
    • 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)*
  • We encourage you to review your courses and determine which transfer by using the College of Health Sciences Prerequisite Guide. This guide is intended as a starting point for prospective students. If you do not find your course(s) listed or need assistance, please reach out to the DPT program directly at [email protected].
  • 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 a reasonable accommodation if they cannot demonstrate these standards without accommodation.

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

The DPT class admitted in fall 2023 had an average GPA of 3.59 and an average science GPA of 3.41.

Review your courses and determine which transfer by using the College of Health Sciences Prerequisite Guide.

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 November 15.

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, but do recommend, observation hours for the 23-24 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):

  • For any degree completed at a non-US institution, transcripts must be submitted for an internal credential review. Read the following for instructions on how to submit your transcripts for review.
  • If English is not your native language, and you are not from an exempt country, you must demonstrate English proficiency.
  • Students from abroad must submit additional documentation.

The application process includes an asynchronous interview through Kira Talent; qualifying applicants will receive an invitation to interview after an initial review of verified applications.

This program is an on-campus program with in-person courses. Admitted students can apply for a student (F-1) visa. Students living abroad are unable to complete this program online in their home country. Other nonimmigrant visa holders currently in the United States please contact the Center for Global Engagement at [email protected].

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.


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: [email protected]; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (810) 762-3373 or email [email protected].

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.

Jennifer Blackwood PT, PhD
Director, Physical Therapy Department
Associate Professor
(810) 762-3239
[email protected]
2131 William S. White Building
303 Kearsley St.
Flint, MI 48502
See our policy on how to provide feedback or a complaint by clicking here.

Estimated Costs for Adequate Financial Planning for the DPT program

Academic Advising & Visiting Campus

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. For academic advising, please reach out to your program/department of interest as listed here.

Interested in visiting the UM-Flint campus and meeting with a current DPT student? Fill out this form to set up a visit!

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.

The Physical Therapy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint will be recognized globally as a leader 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!