Physical Therapy

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The DPT degree is an entry-level clinical degree that prepares the student to enter the field of physical therapy with a background in musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular/pulmonary and integumentary systems.

The professional program requires full-time enrollment for three academic years and three summer sessions. The curriculum contains foundational and clinical sciences combining traditional lectures and course work, lab sessions, problem-based learning classes and clinical education. A graduate must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to receive a license to practice.

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Overview

Students who enter the MU Physical Therapy program will enter a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program. Students will be required to have a bachelor’s degree (regular admission) or at least 90 semester credit hours (early admission option) to enter the DPT program.

The University of Missouri Physical Therapy Department offers an entry-level educational program only. We do not offer post-professional degrees. If students already have a degree in Physical Therapy/Physiotherapy, they must pursue higher education at another university.

Careers in physical therapy

A graduate must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to receive a license to practice. In recent years, Mizzou PT grads have achieved a near 100% exam pass rate and 100% employment rate. Physical therapists work in a wide variety of settings, including private clinics, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. The median salary for a physical therapist in 2021 was $95,620 per year. 

Physical Therapy students perform therapy services in PhysZOU, under the supervision of faculty member Anita Campbell

Clinical education

Mizzou DPT students are introduced to clinical practice initially through the pro-bono clinic, PhysZOU. Paired with other cohorts under the supervision of faculty clinicians, students evaluate and treat adult and pediatric clients with neurological and orthopedic conditions.

Admission and application

To apply, students must complete core required courses, 40 observation hours, meet minimum GPA requirements and more.

Curriculum

Learn more about the DPT prerequisite courses and view a sample curriculum.

SHaRP Scholar Program

The Department of Physical Therapy offers a guaranteed admission option for high school seniors and first-semester MU freshmen. Students selected as SHarP Scholars and who remain in good standing are guaranteed a position in the PT program upon satisfactory completion of the undergraduate degree and successful completion of the requirements for admission to the program.

To apply to be a SHarP Scholar, students must:

  • Have a composite score of 30 on the ACT or equivalent SAT score (superscores are not accepted)
  • Be ranked in the top 10% of their high school class
  • Submit a completed application by Nov. 15

Applicants are required to complete an interview process with the physical therapy department before selections are finalized.

**Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee acceptance as a SHarP Scholar. The Department of Physical Therapy has a cap on the number of SHarP Scholar positions available each year, and many excellent candidates cannot be offered a SHarP Scholar position.

SHarP Application and Instructions

Tentative Interview Date: Dec. 9, 2022

Cost and financial aid

Learn more about the professional cost of attendance and how you can apply for financial aid.

Accreditation

The Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Missouri is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085.