Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
The Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum includes 11 consecutive quarters of instruction with a new class beginning each autumn. Attendance is full-time during the day on Monday through Friday. Enrolled students complete over 150 required credits and the average load per quarter is 15 credits. Clinical internship assignments are full-time, requiring at least 35 hours per week attendance.
The first phase of the curriculum includes a clinical clerkship, a professional seminar, and the following courses:
- Functional Anatomy
- Gross Anatomy Lab
- Assessment Procedures
- Overview of Rehabilitation Diagnoses
- Exercise Physiology
- Therapeutic Exercise Procedures
- Physical Restoration
- Professional Seminar
- Clinical Clerkship
In addition to completion of a graduate project and three clinical internships, the second phase of the program includes the following courses:
- Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Motor Control
- Physical Therapy Administration
- Rehabilitation Psychology
- Lifespan Issues
- Professional Practice Matters
- Differential Diagnosis
- Prosthetics & Orthotics
- Biomechanics of Exercise
- Capstone Project
- Clinical Internships
Clinical experiences begin between the first and second year of the program, with a four-week clinical clerkship. The final autumn, winter and spring quarters are spent entirely on clinical internships. During this time, students complete three 11-week assignments of supervised, full-time clinical work. The program culminates with the award of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
For more detail on the individual courses and curriculum requirements, please read the Division of Physical Therapy Curriculum Plan (pdf file12kb).
A more detailed listing of courses for the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (including the physical therapy program) may be found in the University of Washington Course Catalog. The UW DPT Curriculum follows the standard academic calendar.
Clinical Education Policy
The University of Washington Division of Physical Therapy takes pride in the vast array of clinical educational opportunities available to our students throughout the Pacific Northwest and nationally. Our Clinical Education policies enable students to take advantage of these opportunities. Students are required to complete a minimum of one of their 11-week full time internships during the third year of the curriculum outside of the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area (encompasses Everett to the north, Issaquah to the east, Tacoma to the south, and bordered by Puget Sound to the west). Students may complete additional internships outside of the Greater Seattle Metropolitan area based on interest and/or if this becomes necessary to fulfill the requirements for diversity of clinical experiences. Applicants will be made aware of this policy at the time of application to the Division of Physical Therapy and, as part of the application process, will be asked to sign a statement demonstrating their understanding of this policy. Once enrolled, students will be further reminded of this policy when they are planning and submitting requests for their third-year required clinical education schedules. Exceptions to this policy are granted rarely.
Student Achievement and Promotion
In order to graduate, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA on required courses (with a minimum of 2.7 in each course) during the professional phase of the program. A required course with a grade below 2.7 may need to be repeated. Students whose performance falls below this level will be placed on academic probation and allowed two quarters to raise their GPAs.
Students must demonstrate professional behavior and a very high rate of attendance throughout the program. In addition, they must receive acceptable grades in each required course, as well as credit for their clinical education experiences. Failure to meet minimum standards will result in dismissal from the program. Decisions regarding student achievement and promotion are made by the Physical Therapy faculty and the Advisory & Evaluation Committee.
To learn more about the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Washington, please explore the links below: