The program began in 1963, graduating its first class of 10 in 1965. Approximately 60% remain in Missouri where a significant proportion provide physical therapy services in rural areas. In 1997 the Bachelor in Physical Therapy degree was discontinued and the Master in Physical Therapy (MPT) established. The first MPT class graduated in 2001. In 2006, the University Board of Curators and the Coordination Board of Higher Education approved conversion from the MPT to the Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT).
The first class entered the DPT program in 2007 and graduated in 2010. The DPT program requires three academic years, including summer sessions. Up to sixty students are admitted each year. The Department of Physical Therapy was a program in the School of Health Related Professions, which had been a division of the School of Medicine since 1976. In December, 2000, the UM Board of Curators approved a change in status of the School to make it an autonomous academic unit on the MU campus. The name changed to School of Health Professions (SHP). SHP contains the Departments of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Health Psychology and Health Science.
The MU PT curriculum is nationally accredited through 2022 by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). For a detailed narrative history of the MU PT program, click here.