Curriculum | Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

The Physical Therapy Program is a post-baccalaureate, graduate program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Entry into the program requires completion of a bachelor's degree and program specific prerequisites.

Program Length

The DPT program is a full-time day program of 108-credits and takes 33 months to complete.

Curriculum focus

  1. Foundational sciences - Basic science including functional anatomy, neuroscience, motor development, kinesiology/biomechanics, pathology, pharmacology and diagnostic imaging.
  2. Tests & Measures - Develops the skills associated with examination and evaluation of the cardiopulmonary, integumentary, neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems.
  3. Interventions - Students develop purposeful and skilled abilities in the application of interventions.
  4. Professional and social responsibility - Development of an understanding of what it means to become a healthcare provider. Topics include professional behaviors, self analysis and reflection, ethics, teamwork, teaching/learning, communication/coordination/ documentation, administration, group dynamics, and the healthcare delivery system.
  5. Patient management - Rotations to area work sites and laboratory experiences with patients (real or simulated), provide hands-on application of skills, knowledge and behavior. Emphasizes clinical decision-making and reasoning.

A focus on professional development

Our curriculum is designed to expose students to a variety of teaching methods including lectures, laboratory exercises, reading, role-playing and clinical experiences. As students progress through the program, they are expected to take increasing levels of responsibility for their own education and the development of professional actions and behaviors. This provides graduates with the knowledge and skills to deliver efficient and appropriate services to patients and clients.

Clinical internships

Students must complete four internships while in the program. Clinical internships provide opportunities for the student to integrate and apply theory, knowledge and skills acquired during the academic year to a variety of patient populations. Students must complete one internship in a rural setting; each remaining internship must differ in type of setting or experience. Within this affiliation framework, students have the opportunity to pursue areas of interest including but not limited to pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, industrial medicine, etc.


Students graduating from this program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination. Successful completion of the exam is required for licensure in all states. Requirements for taking the exam vary by state. Students must apply separately for the national exam and for licensing. The department will certify the student's readiness for these procedures, but is not responsible for obtaining, completing or returning the required forms.


The College of St. Scholastica is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at The College of St. Scholastics is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: (703) 706-3245; email:; website:

Living our mission: The Benedictine values in action

The DPT program is structured philosophically around values that are shared by the physical therapy profession, the College and the College's Benedictine heritage.

  • Love of learning is reflected in the professinoal values of diligence, dedication and scientific inquiry.
  • Respect is seen in the professional qualities of caring, communication, leadership and collaboration.
  • Community is evident in the professional values of helping, collaborating and welcoming diversity.
  • Hospitality is realized though the professional values of warmth and openness.
  • Stewardship is demonstrated through the process of scientific inquiry, which results in optimum use of resources to ensure that patients/clients receive the best possible care.

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