Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (tDPT)

Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

General Information

The transitional doctor of physical therapy program (tDPT) is a degree parity program designed for the working clinician. The tDPT program is a distance learning education program meant to advance knowledge in content area added in the entry-level DPT program, but not addressed in bachelor's or master's degree curricula. The courses are designed for and delivered with the ability to interact with faculty and other learners through email, on-linediscussions, and bulletin board postings. Focus is on gaining theoretical knowledge to advance one's practice and the profession, and on interaction with other professionals.

Consistent with the missions of the College and the Department of Physical Therapy, the mission of the tDPT program is to provide practicing physical therapists whose entry level degree is not the doctor of physical therapy, with a quality education in contemporary practice, strengthened by ongoing scholarly endeavors, and to promote the spirit of community and professional involvement. It is also an opportunity for licensed physical therapists educated outside the United States to experience and become current with practice within the United States. The program is committed to accomplishing the goals set for by the APTA to prepare doctoral level therapists for efficient and effective patient centered care.


As a degree parity program, the tDPT upholds the same program outcomes as the entry-level DPT program described above. These outcomes are achieved through specific content objectives which were developed to bridge the gap in knowledge between entry-level bachelor's and master's degree programs and the entry-level doctor of physical therapy program.

The CSS tDPT learner outcomes are to:

  • Evaluate published studies related to individual physical therapy practice, research, and policy and integrate the findings into clinical practice.
  • Iintegrate concepts of diagnostic imaging and pharmacology in the comprehensive management of patients and clients.
  • Iintegrate and synthesize patient/client history and clinical signs and symptoms for determination of a differential diagnosis and need for patient/client referral in the area of the   therapist's practice.
  • Analyze and discuss current healthcare issues
  • Apply acquired skills into a final project that is clinically meaningful and relevant

Admissions Information

Admission criteria for the tDPT program:

  • Proof of graduation from an accredited entry-level bachelor's or master's degree physical therapy program. 
  • Proof of licensure (unrestricted) to practice physical therapy in the United States. 
  • Employment equivalent to one year, full-time (2,080 hours) as a licensed physical therapist. 

Applications for the program may be obtained by contacting: 

The College of St. Scholastica 
Graduate Studies Office 
Physical Therapy Admissions 
1200 Kenwood Avenue 
Duluth, MN 55811 

Phone: (218) 723-6285