Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

School/Division: Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry/Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

Degree/Certificate: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Founded in 1945, USC’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy has been a pioneer of the physical therapy (PT) profession and a leader in PT education and research. Currently a top-ranked school of physical therapy in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (published in 2020), the Division has spent the last three decades creating a unique and powerful community of faculty, students, staff, patients and partners to transform the way we prepare the next generation of physical therapists to deliver the highest level of care to society. The Division’s continued excellence derives from a combined strength in clinical service, education and research.

The Division offers multiple degree programs to individuals who want to enter the evolving field of physical therapy, including the three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which is delivered in both hybrid and residential formats.

The Division is located on USC’s Health Sciences Campus in Northeast Los Angeles, which is surrounded by the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, three large private hospitals and numerous outpatient clinics and diagnostic centers. Both residential and hybrid DPT students benefit from the Division’s location within this elite medical community, as they are able to learn in state-of-the-art clinical facilities, research laboratories and classrooms.

The DPT degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and provides the required educational preparation for a professional career as a physical therapist in all 50 states. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to apply and sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), which is an essential step toward receiving a physical therapist license. Graduation from an accredited physical therapist education program and passing the NPTE are only two components of the evaluation process used by licensing authorities to assess a license applicant’s competence to practice physical therapy. Please contact your individual licensing jurisdiction to find out what additional requirements there may be, such as taking a jurisprudence exam or a jurisprudence assessment module.

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